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A Swedish-American Fraternal Organization

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Welcome to the website of Pennsylvania District #9 of the Vasa Order of America!

We are excited to have a real presence on the World Wide Web. District Lodge Pennsylvania #9 was established in 1908 to form a regional umbrella for local lodges in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Most of our activities are conducted through our local lodges Nobel-Monitor #130 in Cleveland, OH, Drott #168 in Potomac, MD, and Svea #296 in Erie, PA. Like many other fraternal and ethnic organizations in the United States, we have seen our membership decline in recent decades and several local lodges disappear. But the Executive Board of the District is determined to turn things around. Re-launching our websites at the District, as well as, each of the local lodges is a first step in that effort. While most of our current members are 2nd or 3rd generation Swedish-Americans, we are aware that there are many Swedes who have arrived in our area more recently, along with many others, who share our interest in preserving and celebrating our Swedish cultural heritage. We are planning in the coming months and years to expand our activities both at the local lodge level and through collaboration across the District. We invite you to join us in that effort! Please check out our websites to see how our plans unfold.

PA District #9 offers scholarships to youth and adults - the youth every year to Concordia Language Camp and for adults every two years to explore their Swedish heritage.  Karin Weeden was the recipient of the Adult Scholarship in 2020.  She used her scholarship money to travel to Sweden to learn about their National  Parks.  Scroll down the home page to see pictures and a description of her adventures!  Check out the Scholarships Tab above to learn about our scholarship process for adults and youth.  Applications for 2024 are available now.  Members, what could you learn with $3,000?

Direct Members - it's that time of year again to renew your memberships.    What does $25.75 get you?

  • Vasa Archives – preserves the history of our lodges and our members.  It serves as a resource to members for genealogical and immigrant research of Scandinavian ancestors.   
  • Nordstjernan – The Vasa Star – is the official publication of the Order, published 4 times per year, and mailed to every family in the Order.  It carries information from the Grand Lodge, articles about our Swedish heritage, language lessons, and Lodge activities from around the US, Canada, and Sweden.
  • Old Age and Benefit Fund – financial assistance to members in need, based on age and years in the Order.  The eligibility matrix and application can be accessed by clicking the links below.
  • Education Fund – provides scholarships to students in higher education, scholarships for the annual youth Swedish language camp, Sjölunden, and biennial grants for Elderhostel studies. 
  • The District and its 3 lodges will introduce you to other Scandinavian cultural opportunities in addition to local activities.
  • Networking opportunities.

Bo Carlsson

District Master

Pennsylvania District #9


In addition to our website, we also have a District #9 Newsletter. We will send it out regularly, approximately 4 times per year.  For current information about each of the Lodges go to their websites:

Check out the News Tab.  In the section for District Newsletters, read Spring 1992 Distrikt Tidningen!

Make sure that you sign-up for the Newsletter!  Click here: Sign-up Today For Our District No. 9 Newsletter!

Winter in Scandinavia 

Photos courtesy of  E. Dunhem 


District Lodge Pennsylvania #9 is dramatically  improving its public face with our Wild Apricot website.

We are very excited about this development. Our website describes who the District Lodge PA #9 is and how we impact Scandinavian culture.  You can also find a description of our parent organization, Vasa Order Of America.  We are one of 18 Districts in the United States, encompassing Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC.

The website works very well on any smartphone or regular computer so you can access the website from anyplace, at any time. 

Keep checking this website for frequent updates and news about District Lodge PA #9.

My Scholarship Trip to Sweden - Karin Weeden, Drott Lodge #168

I was the recipient of the 2020 Adult District Scholarship. My trip was delayed due to the pandemic. I went to three National parks in July of 2022. I had a wonderful visit to the village where my dad grew up in the north of Sweden, near the Finnish border. I spent time with second cousins Gunvor (related to my farfar), Thomas, and his sister Margareta(related to my farmor). I met Evert Nilsson, 88, my first cousin once removed.  He is related to both my farmor and my farfar. He had wonderful stories to tell about our family.  He is the oldest living member of the Lindqvist-Nilsson family. 

My first national park visit was near the Finnish border on the island of Sandskär. It is in the Haparanda archipelago. There were ancient remains, fishing cabins and an 18th century chapel that is still in use today. I walked the 10 K trail across the island twice in two days, through forests, sand dunes, tundra-like areas, and a nice beach. Very serene environment, no Wi-Fi, no stores, only wilderness. I spent the night in an old fishing cabin, got water from a well, and enjoyed the wood fired sauna. 

Next, I went to the medieval island of Gotland and visited the national park Gotska Sandön (Sand island). The park is north of Gotland and it is made up of beaches, sand dunes, and a large pine forest in the center. I walked the trails across the northern area and went to Säludden, the seal sighting point. I followed a trail cutting across Höga Åsen – High Ridge. Carrying bottles of water, a camera, and food in a cooler, it turned out to be a real workout in the hot sun.  All in all, I walked over 8K in sand. No one lives on this island, just seals, birds, insects, and some bunnies. There are a couple of water wells, but you need to bring your own food and supplies. Very nice and serene environment. 

The third national park on my list was Fulufjäll in Dalarna. It is in the mountains and straddles the border between Sweden and Norway. The park features Njupeskär, the tallest waterfall in Sweden, and many trails, some very steep. I passed Old Tjikko, one of the oldest trees in the world. It is a 9,550-year-old Norway spruce. I grew up spending my holidays in the mountains, so this was a walk down memory lane for me. I enjoyed spending the night in a cabin on top of the mountain.  

My sister joined me for the first two parks and my oldest son joined me for the second and third one. It is great to have company on a trip like this. You want someone to share your experience with.  

I am so grateful to the District for this opportunity. I gave a presentation to Drott Lodge in March 2023 and I also plan to do one at the 2024 District convention. 

Village of Hoyanger in Norway               PBellingham

Join Us For Fun-filled Events Together With the 3 Sister Lodges In Our Vasa District, PA #9

Why not visit our three sister Lodges within Pennsylvania District #9? The lodges are Nobel-Monitor #130 in Cleveland, OH, Svea #296 in Erie, PA, and Drott #168 in Washington, D.C. Check out their websites to find out what they are doing.

We plan to have some joint activities together with members of the other lodges to include some fun events in their areas and we will travel there to spend a day or weekend with them.  We can, to the extent possible, arrange car pooling.

More information about these events later.

Here are the websites for our three sister Local Lodges:



Drott Lodge:

 ReEnergize & ReBuild Events

Restart & ReEnergize&R) Working Group Meeting

January 3, 2024 6:30 Zoom

January 24, 2024 6:30 Zoom

February 13, 2024 6:30 Zoom

February 17, 2024 3:00PM Zoom - Lucky Strike Program


Become A Member in any of our 3 Lodges closest to you!

Become a Local Lodge Member by logging on to the respective websites listed above. 

You will receive their Newsletter in order to be informed about what is happening within the Lodges.


Phrase of the Month:  

A Swede doesn’t tell you to “chill,” they ask you to “bring your spikes down”: Tagga ned.



Jamestown, NY - Scandinavian Cultural Days at Jamestown Community College are held the first Saturday of the month from October through May.

Luray, Virginia - Luray Caverns -  The cavern system is adorned with speleothems such as columns, mud flows, stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, and mirrored pools. The caverns are perhaps best known for the Great Stalacpipe Organ, a lithophone  made from solenoid-fired strikers that tap stalactites of various sizes to produce tones similar to those of xylophones, tuning forks, or bells. (Wikipedia). 

Cleveland, Ohio - The Henry Ford -   You might want to visit the Factory Tour and the Museum of American Innovation at The Henry Ford complex.

Not a member yet?

Active communication is very important to grow our three Lodges and make a difference. If you have not signed-up yet, here is your chance to become a member in one of our Lodges: Nobel-Monitor, Svea, or Drott. Click and Sign-up below

Click to sign-up to become a member in a Lodge

You can search our website here below:


Pat Bellingham

C/O Luther Memorial Church Office: 814.454.0106


225 West 10th Street

Erie, PA 16501

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