The Friendly Fifth

History of Lodges

Fagernes 616
Blair, Wisconsin

Sons of Norway Fagernes Lodge 5-616 History
Blair, Wisconsin is the home of Sons of Norway Fagernes Lodge 5-616. The Lodge meets the
fourth Saturday of the month at 1 p.m. at the Blair Community Center at 103
E. Broadway; Blair, Wisconsin. 54616.
The village of Blair was established in 1855. By the 1870’s massive groups of Norwegians
came to settle the area. The immigrants did not leave their traditions in Norway. There were
Norwegian services in church and children were confirmed in the Norwegian language.
Churches soon sponsored annual lutefisk dinners that continue today. Families continued to
enjoy the food and delicacies enjoyed in Norway. Eventually a lefse plant was established
which still ships the Norwegian staple all over the United States. A Norwegian Folk Singing
group entertains at gatherings.
Kongsvinger Lodge No. 39 was Blair’s first Sons of Norway organization and was established
in the early 1900’s. The group apparently disbanded.
In August 1991, seventy people from the area met for an organizational meeting for a new
lodge. Thus was established Fagernes Lodge 5-616.
The Lodge consists of members from Galesville, Ettrick, Blair, Whitehall, Taylor, Arcadia and
other areas.
The Lodge has received the “Lodge of the Year” in District 5 three years.
The Lodge has been active in many activities including:
Community: Enter the Sons of Norway float in many area parades.
Cultural: Has lessons on craft and foods at the monthly meetings. Arrange presentations on
subjects pertaining to Norway at meetings. Attend various Norwegian performances and
places of interest in other areas. Encourages all members to earn Cultural and Sports medals.
Participates in Norwegian Days in Blair. Conducts Norwegian language lessons at each
meeting. Conducts an annual Fyr Bal in coordination with another Lodge.
Donations: Raises money for the Sons of Norway Foundation by members giving donations at
every meeting, conducting a Silent Auction annually, holding Wii bowling at a member’s house
and hosting dances in the past. Raises money and provides scholarships for Masse Moro by
conducting a frokost (brunch and bake sale). Donating money for needy families at Christmas,
area food pantries and disasters. Encourages collection of stamps for the Tubfrim project
which helps disabled children. Provides cookies for the Hayward, Wisconsin Barnebirke.
Youth: Conducts Adopt-A-School program to encourage school-age children to develop an
interest in Norway. Hosts a Juletre Fest for members and any children. The children all receive
gifts that are donated. Hosts a Barnelopet.
Cynthia R. Anderson, Historian