The Friendly Fifth

History of Lodges

Elvedal 556 original

With Joe Thompson, Field Representative from Black River Falls having done the recruiting, Elvedal Lodge 556 was ready to become a Sons of Norway Lodge by the fall of 1975. On December 11, 1975 Fifth District President Richard Haugness presented the charter. The name chosen for the new lodge was Elvedal, meaning "river valley".

Through the years Elvedal has sponsored a number of Scandinavian programs:
Stoughton Dancers (1977,'78,'84); a Swedish choir (1977); Swedish Dancers (1979); Nilaris Accordian Club ofTrondheim (1984); Lars and Signe Eickland of Fana Folklore (1984); Frieda Nowland of Norskedalen (1985); Darrell Henning, curator ofVesterheim Museum (1986).

Lodge members have taken boat trips on the Mississippi River and the Waupaca Chain-o-Lakes. Chartered bus trips to Stoughton, Westby, Door County, Mt. Horeb, Blair, Black River Falls, Coon Valley, and lola to Scandinavian events have been successful. We have also traveled to the Vesterheim Museum in Decorah, IA and to Minneapolis.

A loosely-knit group which calls itself "The Elvedal Singers" has performed at lodge meetings and for the Syttende Mai celebrations at Wergeland Lodge in LaCrosse, our Sister Lodge. Several members have developed a program on Norwegian culture which is shared with children in area elementary schools.

At the lodge's tenth anniversary celebration in May 1986 a bunad show merited a feature story with pictures in the local newspaper. Our julefest has been very popular, and promises to become even greater.

Fund-raising events have included garage sales, Norwegian baked goods sales at the local mall, and silent auctions. The lodge supports community activities and appears in the Discover Wisconsin Rapids Area Week parade, each year modifying our Viking boat to fit the chosen theme.
Elvedal Lodge meets the third Thursday of the month except for the summer months. Meetings are deferred to weekend nights occasionally to accommodate program schedules and special events.

Sigrid Kahoun of our lodge is a full-time field staff representative for the Sons of Norway. At the District Lodge Meeting in Eau Claire, 1988, James Moore was elected to the Fifth District Board as a Director.
All in all, lodge members profit from their participation in the lodge's fraternal, cultural, and social activities.
.... Janice Sisley