The Friendly Fifth

History of Lodges

Lincolnland 598

Early in 1984 a number of people of Norwegian descent and other interested folk began to discuss the establishment of a Sons of Norway lodge in the Springfield area. Larry and Marge Stromme were members of Valhall Lodge in Rockford, but the distance prevented them from taking an active role in that lodge, so they were two of the instigators.

The Lincolnland Lodge 598 was officially chartered on October 21, 1984 by Clifford Feggestad, President of the Fifth District, with a number of other District and International officers present. Elected to serve as the first president was Robert Larson, but because of personal reasons he was not able to fill out his term. Winton Evans, vice president, took over and served through 1986. Edward Evenson's term to concluded at the end of 1988, with Ellen Stone taking over in 1989.

A number of events and projects have been successful. Our Syttende Mai dinners have been well attended, with a traditional Norwegian menu served. To help make us more visible in the community and also to raise money, we sponsored an ice cream social for a band concert in the park. The sale of Norwegian articles and candies have also added to our income.

Christmas has been celebrated in a number of ways, one being to decorate an ethnic Norwegian tree at one of the downtown banks. In appreciation for our singing carols around the tree, a donation was given by the bank. The lodge held a potluck dinner at the Atonement Lutheran Church which was very well attended and enjoyed, especially the visit of Julenisse.

Although Lincolnland Lodge is not large, we continue to make gains in membership. Our officers have made a special effort to attend the officer seminars to learn more about Sons of Norway. In 1988 three of our members attended the Adult Heritage Camp and brought back new ideas to share with the rest of the lodge. We are proud of our Norwegian heritage and will continue to share it with the community.