The Friendly Fifth

History of Lodges

Fossen 534
Black River Falls, Wisconsin

On August 18, 1973 at the Cherokee Club in Black River Falls, 135 aspiring members became the 534th lodge in the order of the Sons of Norway. They chose the name "Fossen", meaning "falls" in Norwegian, because each of the towns where we meet have falls ... Black River Falls, Pigeon Falls, and Blair.

Our lodge has had an annual schedule of activities which includes studying the Norwegian language, bunads of Norway, heirlooms, geneology, and culture. Books have been placed in area libraries as memorials. Our colorful parade floats are often prize winners at area celebrations. We have taken many trips over the years to exciting places, singing Norwegian songs as the miles roll on.

In June our Fyrball celebration, which celebrates the summer solstice, finds members of our lodge joined by members of other lodges enjoying a picnic supper. At sunset bonfires are lit on both sides of Lake Henry in Blair, and people gather at the water's edge to welcome Fyrball royalty as they arrive on a boat, and are crowned King and Queen ofthe Fyrball for the year. Norsk entertainment rounds out the evening.

For the annual "Fiddle-In" area musicians come together in February to share their musical talent and become teachers of future musicians who are interested in preserving our musical heritage. The American Legion Hall really swings in time to the sweet fiddle music for a few hours. Toes keep tapping and many memories are recalled.

The highlight ofthe year for the youngsters comes in December, at our Juletrefest. Children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews have been delighted boys and girls re-living a Norwegian Christmas complete with the Julenissen bringing Christmas presents.

Two of our members, Don Evenson and Donald Becker, have served on the Fifth District Board. Each summer one or more of our young people attend the Heritage Camp. A former camper, Mandy Severson from Fossen Lodge, was the first graduate of the heritage camp to become an instructor in 1987 (for the Adult Camp, too!).