Sons of Norway
History
  Sverdrup Lodge No. 107 - Bismarck, ND

Sverdrup Lodge History

The founders of Sons of Norway were Americans who had crossed the wide Atlantic in search of greater opportunities for themselves and their families. A majority of those European immigrants who left Europe left a poverty which had taught them that life could be harsh. When the founder chose the name Sons of Norway they wished to give voice to their gratitude to the land of their birth, but the name signified much more. It identified the hopes which they had for their American society with the Norwegian tradition and freedom and adventure which had sustained their forefathers since the days of the Vikings.

This fraternal benefits organization was founded on the principals of creating and preserving interest in the Norwegian language by its members, insofar as compatible with the loyalty the owe the USA; to labor for the development, enlightenment and progress that conduce to honest citizenship in order that the Norwegian people in this country may be properly recognized and respected; to aid its members and their families in case of sickness and death, by according them financial assistance of such magnitude, and upon such conditions as may be determined by its bylaws.

On March 31, 1910, Sverdrup Sons of Norway Lodge 4-107 of Bismarck was organized by thirty-five charter members. The name Sverdrup was established, officers were elected, and bylaws adopted.

Their first celebration was the Syttende Mai in May of 1910. In July of 1910 a delegate from Sverdrup was sent to the "head lodge convention" in Grand Forks. District IV was not established until September 15, 1914 at Devils Lake. The members of Sverdrup were advancing the ideals of the order.

The organization grew, interest in Norwegian culture grew, and many activities and small groups were established. Annual events such as Midsummer´s Eve, June 23, are celebrated in addition to Syttende Mai. We had our first Lutefisk Dinner in 1971 and this event has been an annual fundraiser, serving around 1,000 people each year.

The Sons of Norway Park was established and dedicated in 1982. This 7 acre park on Bismarck Expressway has two stabburs, two shelters, a waterfall, playground equipment, a tennis court, a skateboard park, horseshoes, and many other items. Trees have been planted each year and are dedicated to specific Sons of Norway members, a practice which started in 1989 as a state centennial project.

Individual cultural groups include Hardanger, Rosemaling, Knitting, Bok Møte, Singing and Folk Dancing now meets regularly. We have a youth group, and members who participate in the District Family Camps. Business meetings and social events are held regularly. Our lodge has grown to a membership of over 400.


Tree Dedications

The Sons of Norway Park is located on 13th and Expressway in Bismarck, ND.

Tree Recipients

2014 - Bob & Jan McCallum
2014 - Erling & Ruth Olson

2013 - Chuck & Janet Esser
2013 - Ted & Addie Thiede

2012 - Louise Benz
2012 - Wilfred & Mary Jean Hanson

2011 - Eugene Weekes
2011 - Lowell & Karen Jensen

2010 - Sig & Dorothy Lovold
2010 - Arne & June Sakshaug
2010 - Marcus & Jeannette Radig

2009 - Al & Eve Schultz
2009 - Arlene Olson

2008 - Russell & Jane Thune
2008 - Hilma & Ernest Blaich

2007 - Amy & Henry Wisness
2007 - Ione & Ralph Leet

2006 - Lowell & Muriel Boyum
2006 - Karen Kopseng

2005 - Margaret & Erling Botnen
2005 - Verna & Albert Dronen

2004 - Vern & Doris Hanson
2004 - LeRoy Nayes

2003 - Lyle Hanson
2003 - Corma & Lyle Reinke

2002 - Vernon & Enid Monger
2002 - Lillian Nayes

2001 - Bonnie Hadland
2001 - Lyle Schultz

2000 - Lorna Tyson & Lorraine Ostroot
2000 - Audrey Solheim

1999 - Al & Bernice Steinke
1999 - Sid & Cathy Bergan

1998 - Raymond & Arlene Larson
1998 - Ella Nordby Nayes

1997 - Sylvia & Terry Watson
1997 - Marvin & Donna Evenson

1996 - Peachy & Agnar Johansen
1996 - Otto Bervik

1995 - Melvin Berg
1995 - Valborg Fisher

1994 - Howard Snortland
1994 - M. F. Peterson

1993 - Dr. Norvald Brink
1993 - Sig & Marge Peterson

1992 - Norman Peterson
1992 - Tor Hegland

1991 - John R. Erickson
1991 - Ragnvald A. Nestos

1990 - Jeannette Myhre
1990 - John Moses

1989 - Gilman & Helen Storlie
1989 - Rasmus Karlgaard


Past Sverdrup Presidents

Picture taken - February 19, 2010. Click to enlarge.

Back Row: Rallph Leet, Eugene Weekes, Al Schultz, Vern Monger, Al Steinke, Dennis Wang, LeRoy Nayes

Front Row: Bob Johnson, Erling Olson, Audrey Solheim, Jeannette Radig, Cathy Bergan


Norwegian flag