Local Norwegians Open Time Capsule

May 14, 2009 in Ballard by BallardGuy

SEATTLE, WA, MAY 12th, 2009: A time capsule possibly containing mementos and unknown treasures from decades ago will be opened at 3pm on June 7th, 2009, at the Leif Erikson Lodge 2-001, Sons of Norway, Leif Erikson Hall in Ballard.
Last month, Russ Oberg, President of Leif Erikson Lodge 2-001, Sons of Norway, and Tom Stang, Retired Consul of the Royal Norwegian Consulate and a Past President of the Lodge were called in when demolition crews discovered the capsule at the site of the Mountaineers Club, formerly the Norway Center building, which was then better know as “The Norselander”, located at 300 3rd Ave West in Seattle. They were given both the time capsule and the actual cornerstone from the building.
On January 24, 1915, the combined efforts of Leif Erikson Lodge 2-001, Sons of Norway, and Valkyrien Lodge No. 1, Daughters of Norway, resulted in the laying of the cornerstone for Norway Hall at 2015 Boren Ave in Seattle, then the heart of the Norwegian community of Seattle. It was sold to build Norway Center. On May 2, 1979, the building was designated a Seattle Landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Board and is now owned by Cornish College of the Arts. 
On June 7, 1949, the property for the new center of the local Norwegian world was purchased and soon construction began on the Norway Center, at the corner of Third Avenue West and West Thomas Street at the foot of Queen Anne Hill. The cornerstone dedication took place on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 1950. Local legend indicates the time capsule was relocated from Norway Hall, which was built in 1915, transferred, added to, and resealed for this new cornerstone dedication.
By 1983 the bills and operating losses mounted and it was decided to sell the building to the Mountaineers. Norway Center/Mountaineers building is now almost completely demolished. The Leif Erikson Lodge held meetings at the Nordic Heritage Museum in Ballard until our current home was completed and on November 1, 1986, we celebrated our grand opening.
Now 60 years later, we’re going to unseal and open the time capsule at our current home, the Leif Erikson Hall, 2245 NW 57th Street in Seattle. Members of the Sons of Norway; the Valkyrien Lodge No. 1, Daughters of Norway; and the Norwegian Male Chorus will be in attendance. The press is invited to examine the cornerstone and time capsule prior to it’s opening, beginning at 2:30. After a brief ceremony, the capsule will be opened and its contents displayed for all to see.
NOTE: June 7th is a particularly important day in Norwegian history, as it’s the day Norway dissolved it’s union with Sweden in 1905 (the birth of Norway as a separate nation) It’s also the date that the King left Norway in 1940 because of World War II, and the same date he returned in 1945!