About Us

We are Olympic Lodge #37 of Sons of Norway. You are cordially invited to attend any of our lodge's meetings or activities. Regular meetings are held at the Port Angeles "Scandia Hall" building, 131 West Fifth Street, on the second Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m., except in July and August. Other special activities occur throughout the year.

Nordic culture has formed many of the habits and attitudes that we consider Washingtonian. You will find much that is familiar to you in our lodge and in our District's activities.

Olympic Lodge is part of District Two of the national organization, Sons of Norway. This district is comprised of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington and was the second district to be established by Sons of Norway, the first being the Upper Midwest. Norwegians began immigrating in large numbers to the Upper Midwest in the 1870s and 80s. Sons of Norway was established in Minnesota in by 18 Norwegian immigrants in 1895. The first lodges outside the Midwest were the Seattle and Everett lodges in 1909.

According to the "Nordic Cultural Heritage Guide" published by VisitSeattle, "Immigrants from Nordic countries - Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland - settled in large numbers in the Pacific Northwest in the late 19th century, drawn to a landscape of saltwater fjords, farmland, forests and mountains that reminded them of home. By 1910, Scandinavians were the largest ethnic group in Washington State, comprising over 30 percent of the foreign-born population." In the 1960's, when Boeing wanted to bolster its ranks of aeronautical engineers, it imported them from Norway, assured that they would feel at home here not only because of the landscape but also because of the cultural traditions and spirit that had been nurtured by local groups.

Two waves of Norwegian immigration arrived in the Olympic Peninsula. The first arrivals were the fishermen and lumberjacks attracted by the natural resources and beauty of our area. The second wave was farm families displaced from the Midwest during the Great Depression. Many of the latter group came because they had family ties with the earlier immigrants and by word of mouth learned of the jobs here in mills and logging camps and in commerce.

The Norwegian immigrant experience was typical of other immigrant groups which founded fraternal benevolent societies to provide mutual financial support to members and operated through local lodges. These mutual assistance societies addressed the hardships faced by immigrant communities and met needs, such as old age and survivors insurance, that had been filled by kinship or established social institututions in the old country. In the 20th century the creation of Social Security, Medicare, and Great Society programs have lessened the role played by tthe fraternal society at the national level. Today the national organization Sons of Norway still offers life insurance and annuity products to members of its affiliated lodges. Lodges have since their founding functioned to promote a sense of community within the broader American society. Central to this mission for lodges has been to encourage social and educational programs that celebrate Norwegian culture and heritage and to serve a benevolent purpose through members' community service activities.

Important observances are Sta. Lucia's Day and Syttende Mai (Norwegian Constitution Day).

Christmas program 2012
Syttende mai program 2011
Our President's Christmas message 2018

Our lodge acknowledges that the lands on which we live were appropriated homelands of Indigenous Peoples. We gratefully acknowlege their respect for and preservation of the sea, forests and mountains which are dear to the hearts of the Nordic immigration.