Swedish Order of Valhalla Records

Identity elements

Reference code

SIE 1.3

Name and location of repository

Level of description

Record group

Title

Swedish Order of Valhalla Records

Date(s)

  • 1884-1989 (Creation)
  • 1884-1989 (Creation)

Extent

15 boxes

Name of creator

(1884-)

Administrative history

On 15 December 1884, a group of young Swedish men met at the Svea Hotel and decided to form an organization “for social and benevolent purposes.” Originally, the founders named their order Freja, but later changed it to Valhalla. For the first fifty years the group’s official language was Swedish, until a resolution was made to change the official language to English in 1939. The original initiation ritual, developed by the founders and later refined by brothers Gustave Pahrson and J.C. Lindahl, was based on Norse mythology and excerpts from the Frithiofs Saga. This ritual was later abandoned after WWI in favor of a shorter, more simplified ritual. The Order of Valhalla provided several services for its members, including health care and funds for funerals, which were provided through monthly fees paid by its members. In 1906 the order constructed its own building on South K Street in Tacoma, Washington and named it Valhalla Hall. The facilities of Valhalla Hall contained a tavern and dance hall, which were used for social gatherings, and other halls within the building, which were rented out to tenants. During the order’s early years, there was no interaction between Valhalla and local churches, until the tenth anniversary of the dedication of Valhalla Hall in 1916. During that celebration Rev. C.E. Bloomquist, pastor of the First Swedish Lutheran Church, served as guest speaker. This event opened the door for further cooperation between churches and secular organizations in the Swedish community.

The Order of Valhalla celebrated its 90th anniversary in December of 1974.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

Records documenting the of the Swedish Order of Valhalla from the years 1884 to 1989.

This collection contains records documenting the foundation, organization, management, and hosted events of the Swedish Order of Valhalla, a social organization, from the year 1884 to 1989. Included are financial records, meeting minutes, membership records, sick benefits, rituals, constitution and by-laws, correspondence, invitations and programs from hosted events, and newsletters.

Records are in English unless otherwise stated.

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      • Alphanumeric designations: MSS 279

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