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Authority record

Saint John's Lutheran Church (Bellingham, Washington)

  • 7.2.38
  • Corporate body
  • 1890-2020

This congregation was organized on October 26, 1890 under the direction of missionary pastor A. Woestenberger with five members present. On January 16, 1891 a loan was received from the Iowa Synod with which a lot on Kentucky Street was purchased, and construction of the church began. Dedication followed the following summer. Several Lutheran congregations were organized in the area beginning in 1895, depleting the membership at St. John’s. In 1924 Rev. H. Mau became resident pastor. The parsonage which had been built in 1904 was remodeled and the struggling mission took on new spiritual life.

In the fall of 1938 the deed was acquired to a lot adjoining the old property. In the summer of 1947 the parsonage was completely remodeled, modernized and enlarged. In 1951 the present site was purchased. The cornerstone was laid June 11, 1955 and the new sanctuary was dedicated on March 11, 1956. A new parsonage was also purchased and dedicated during Rev. Butenshon’s ministry. A new educational wing was added to the church and dedicated in 1967. On February 10, 1963 the Ebenezer Congregation of Bellingham merged with St.John’s. This congregation was a member of the Lutheran Free Church.

Following a period of declining membership the congregation closed in 2020.

Spokane College

  • UA 11.1.1
  • Corporate body
  • 1905-1929

Spokane College was incorporated in Spokane, Washington in August 1905, by representatives from various localities in Washington and the surrounding states. Until that time, there were no Prostestant affiliated colleges in the immediate area. In 1929, Spokane College closed and the records sent to Pacific Lutheran College.

Froschauer, John

  • 8.7.5
  • Person

Campus Photographer, Pacific Lutheran University, 2010-

Tumbusch, Chris

  • UA 8.7.3
  • Person

Director of Photography Services, Pacific Lutheran University: 1995-2003

Dunmire, Kenneth

  • 8.7.2
  • Person

University Photographer, Pacific Lutheran University: 1966-1995

Hartman, Jordan

  • 8.7.4
  • Person

University Photographer, Pacific Lutheran University: 2002-2009

Normanna Male Chorus

  • SIE 1.8.1
  • Corporate body
  • 1924-

The Normanna Male Chorus of Tacoma formed on 15 October 1888 when a group of eight young businessmen in Parkland, Washington got together to begin a double quartet. They originally named the group Quartetten Luren, which was a common name in Norway for a quartet. “Luren” indicates the horn used by the Chalet girls in the mountains similar to the Alpine horn. The group’s purpose was to continue the tradition of male chorus singing of Norway, which is still an important cultural group in many Norwegian communities. As the chorus grew, the group moved to Normanna Hall in Tacoma, located at 15th and K Street, and adopted the name of the hall. On 27 October 1924, ten men signed the “Agreement to Form a Corporation of Musical Purposes.” One week later, they had their first official meeting as the Normanna Male Chorus.
The chorus is a member of the Pacific Coast Norwegian Singers Association which includes choruses from British Columbia, Oregon, California as well as four choruses in the State of Washington.
Every year since 1903 the association meets for its annual Sangerfest, in which the business of the association is transacted, and singers gather for a Grand Concert with more than 180 singers in attendance. In 1988, the Normanna Male Chorus celebrated the 100th Anniversary of its founding by holding the Sangerfest in Tacoma at the Pantages Theater.

Leraas, Harold J.

  • UA 4.1.1
  • Person
  • 1908-1985

Harold J. Leraas was born in Barrett, Minnesota on December 30, 1908. He attended Barrett High School in the mid-1920’s. In 1930 he graduated from Luther College, Decorah, Iowa. He later attended the University of Michigan in 1932 and 1935, where he received his master’s degree and doctorate, respectively. The same year that he earned his doctorate, he married Helen Stein and joined the Pacific Lutheran University faculty as a biology professor. He is credited for establishing the strong reputation of the university’s pre-med and pre-dental programs. In the 1940’s he began practicing dentistry and maintained a practice in Parkland until 1960. He also served in the U.S. Army during the Second World War. He worked at Pacific Lutheran University for 39 years, retiring in 1974. Before his retirement he was presented with an Outstanding Teacher Award by the campus chapter of Blue Key. He died on Tuesday May 7, 1985 at the age of 76. Many of his former students contributed funds to the establishment of the Leraas Lecture Hall in his honor.

Vasa Order of America

  • SIE 1.4
  • Corporate body
  • 1912-

The Vasa Order of America was founded on September 18, 1896 in New Haven, Connecticut by Swedish immigrants on the principles of generosity, truth, and unity.

Pacific Northwest Lodge no. 13 was organized August 11, 1912 in Seattle, Washington by E.L Gissler from Connecticut. The nine local lodges represented were Nordstjarnan no. 145 of Spokane, Washington; Nobel no. 184 of Portland, Oregon; Norrskenet no. 189 of Hoquiam, Washington; Klippan no. 228 of Seattle, Washington; Forgat Mig Ej (later changed to Nornan no. 413) of Vancouver, B.C.; Trofast no. 231 of Everett, Washington; Norden no. 233 of Tacoma, Washington; Svea no. 234 of Bellingham, Washington; and Astor no. 215 of Astoria, Oregon. During that time District Lodge conventions were established as an annual event, but at the Spokane convention of 1920 it was changed in favor of a biennial affair in the interest of economy for both district and local lodges.

The Vasa Order of America is the largest Swedish-American cultural fraternal organization for families of Scandinavian descent in the United States of America. The order consists of 19 district lodges and several hundred local lodges throughout the U.S., Canada, and Sweden. The organization offers Scandinavian cultural and heritage programs, Swedish language study, children and youth clubs, scholarships and student loans, and many cultural activities for its members.

Riverton Heights Lutheran Church (Tukwila, Washington)

  • ELCA 7.2.35
  • Corporate body
  • 1945-1998

The Riverton Heights Lutheran Church was organized as a Mission of the American Lutheran Church on October 2, 1945. The Agreement of Association with the state of Washington was signed on October 17, 1945 by Pastor Phillip Rohrbacher, Jeanne Axtell, Kenneth Hove, Arthur Theimer, Gus Magnuson, M. E. Baker, and Malinda Spanier. The lot where the church was built was purchased for $1,350. The deed was dated October 30, 1945.

Church services, weddings, baptisms, funerals, and Sunday School were conducted in the basement of the Parsonage until the Chapel was dedicated on April 13, 1947. The Parsonage continued to serve portions of the Sunday School for several years. Ground breaking ceremonies for construction of the Parish Education Building were held on October 26, 1958. On April 24, 1960, the building was dedicated and has since fulfilled its multiple functions admirably. Recognizing our continuing need for additional facilities, a program for construction of a new Sanctuary and additional classrooms was begun in October 1966. Ground breaking took place on September 9, 1973. The new Sanctuary was dedicated on June 8, 1975.

During the church’s time many pastors served. Philip Rohrbacher, the founding pastor, served from 1945 to 1948. He was followed by Ernest Philippi from 1948 to 1952, Erich Knorr from 1952 to 1953 and February through June 1954, Vernon Kraxberger from 1953 to 1954, Leonard Kutz from 1954 to 1968, Richard Bersie from 1968 to 1995, Norma Borgford from 1995 to 1996, and Joyce Miller from 1996 to 1998, in which the church closed due to lack of funds.

  • From the commemorative booklet from the church’s closing worship
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