Lodge Jenny Lind No. 388
Vasa Order of America


About Us






About Lodge Jenny Lind No. 388

Established and organized by Peter Tengvall, District Master of Golden Gate District #12 and commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the birth of the "Swedish Night-in-gale" Jenny Lind in 1820, our lodge was "Chartered" on September 18, 1920 in Turlock,California. Our lodge is one of the over 150 local lodges of the Vasa Order of America in the United States, Canada, and Sweden. Vasa is a Fraternal Society originally established for the benefit of Swedish immigrants a century ago, but now dedicated to preserving and sharing our Scandinavian culture and heritage.

The following is a short history of Jenny Lind Lodge #388,Vasa Order of America: The town of Turlock, California was settled on the Southern Pacific Railroad line in 1872 along the San Joaquin Central Valley Route between Lathrop and Bakersfield, CA. Many Swedish, Portuguese,and German immigrants from Europe rode the railroad West in search of cheap land, @ $.50 an acre and farming opportunities. Swedes answering the ads in the church tracts of the Midwest and East Coast were urged to "come to the Central Valley of California for the many glorious farming opportunities" ! They journeyed from back East by rail enticed into the so called "bargain land" by former "Alaska Gold Rush promoter" Nels Hultberg in 1902. They invaded the Stanislaus River basin farming red wheat, melons, alfalfa, and corn, and establishing the Youngstown Colony earlier in 1890 in honor of Rev. Jonas O. Bodin's eastern roots in Youngstown, Ohio.The pioneer families bought 10-40 acre parcels of land for $250 down.The existence was harsh coping with sandstorms, tumbleweeds, gophers, jackrabbits, grasshoppers, suffocating dry heat and drought.The early homes were modest of mud or wood frame construction.Wealthy farmers might have had the luxury of a windmill to pump water but the plumbing was definitely rustic with tank-houses and out-houses.Telephone service and electricity didn't come into use until the early 1900's.These early Scandinavians learned to cope with the oppressing valley heat in summer and bone chilling thule fog of winter.They were stubborn and strong and "made the best" of their newly adopted land. They came and they stayed, determined not to give up their new fortunes in spite of the grim dreary existence they had to endure. Our meetings offer you a fine opportunity to meet, become friends and socialize with many fellow members of Scandinavian roots sharing common history and interests at the Local lodge and District level. Check out the Departments in the left sidebar to find out more about our calendar of events, our activities. Follow the Links in the right sidebar to explore the structure or purpose of the Vasa Order of America, and view activities of other local lodges.

Membership is open to men and women over 14 years of age of Nordic roots, {Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish or Icelandic}, and their spouses who want to rediscover the traditions of their forefathers, and those who are not of Nordic ancestry but are committed to the promotion and advancement of Swedish heritage and culture. If you are not interested in membership at this time, but are curious about Nordic culture and heritage, you are most welcome at our meetings and events at Jenny Lind which are open to the public !

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