Daughters of Norway
Celebrating Our Norwegian Heritage for over 100 Years!

Eva Nansen BannerEva Nansen Lodge #46

Eva Nansen Portrait

Eva Nansen Logo

Founded: November 5, 2006                 
Des Moines, IA

Meeting Details

When: First Tuesday of month at 7:00 pm
           (No formal meetings held in February, June & July)
Where: Faith Lutheran Church, 10395 University Ave., Clive, IA
Phone Contact:  515-822-4842
Email:  lodge contact 

May 2024 Newsletter

Lodge Officers


Christkindel Market, Silent Auction Tree

Des Moines, Iowa


Annual Taste of Norway

1Eva-Nansen-2020-Woodworking.gif  2Eva-Nansen-2020-Rosemaling.gif

3  Eva-Nansen-2020-Cafe-Preparing-for-Lunch.gif

1 Woodworking       2 Rosemaling      3 Kitchen Crew preparing for Scandinavian coffee and lunch  


Lodge Highlights

Origin  Scandinavians began immigrating to Iowa as early as the 1830s and 1840s where they settled mostly in central and northern Iowa.  According to the 2000 Census Bureau, Iowa’s Scandinavian American population is 338,161 or 11.5%;  LINK: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scandinavian_American

Eva Nansen Lodge #46 became the first Iowa lodge to bear the name Daughters of Norway on November 5, 2006 with forty-six charter members representing Norway, Denmark, and Sweden ancestries.  It is a 501c-8 non-profit organization.  Lodge Sisters Velkommen guests to attend any lodge gathering held the first Tuesday of each month except February, June and July.

Membership Opportunities  If you would like to join the Daughters Of Norway’s Eva Nansen Lodge 46, click contact to receive additional information and an application form to bring it to the next Lodge gathering. Membership is available to:

  1. women ages 13 and older with Nordic connections by birth, descent, marriage, or relative married to a Norwegian.
  2. be of Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, or Swedish birth or descent; or
  3. be married, or have been married to a man of Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, or Swedish birth or descent; or
  4. have a "slektning" (relative) married to a person of Norwegian birth or descent. 

About Us  Monthly lodge gatherings are guided by a thirteen member board elected each November and installed in January.  Lodge Sisters freely volunteer their talents and services throughout the year by serving on committees, hosting, program presentations, and providing delicious Scandinavian and American foods. 

Cultural Activities and Programs  Keeping in touch with your Nordic heritage and bonding friendships are primary interests.  Sisters take delight in being entertained by guest speakers presenting Scandinavian programs pertaining to history, travelogue, genealogy, music, area costumes, jewelry, folktales, needlework, crafts, literary works, and social traditions.  The ever-popular demonstrations and hands-on workshops offers opportunities for members and guests to discover and learn “how to” in making culinary favorites, arts and crafts. 

Participates in Special Events  Summertime is for Iowa field trips to Elk Horn’s Danish Museum, Story City’s Scandinavian Days, Decorah’s Nordic Fest, Ames’ Bethesda Lutheran Church Scandinavian Coffee and Bazaar, shopping Scandinavian Iowa gift shops, e.g., Vær Så God; also for individuals traveling out of state or to Scandinavia countries. First weekend in December, Lodge Sisters participate in the Christkindlmarket Des Moines held in downtown DesMoines’ Cowles Commons, 3rd & Locust (www.dmeha.org).

Discover Your Nordic Heritage  Throughout the year the lodge welcomes guests and families to celebrate (May) Syttende Mai, and (Dec) Julefest ; in October sisters sponsor Taste of Norway that’s open to the public. The first weekend in December, the Lodge Sisters participate in the Christkindlmarket Des Moines where they decorate a Norwegian theme tree for the Silent Auction. Sisters actively partake in special events hosted by Des Moines area Sons of Norway, Danish and Swedish groups. In even years, sisters attend the Daughters of Norway biennial convention.


Daughters of Norway Sister demonstrates how to make lefse at Taste of Norway!



The lodge's Nordic programs have included

  • Music
  • Genealogy
  • Travelogue
  • Rosmaling
  • Famous Artists
  • Nordic Fashion Show
  • Immigration to America
  • Woodcarving workshops
  • Hardangersøm Embroidery
  • Nordic celebrations & parties
  • Craft & wheat weaving workshops
  • Food workshops & demonstrations
  • Syttende Mai & Julefest Smørgåsbords

Lodge's Name


Lodge sisters


Lodge 46 was named in honor of famous Norwegian romance opera singer, Eva Helene Sars Nansen (born Dec 17, 1859 in Christiania, Akershus, Norway and deceased Dec 9, 1907 in Lysaker, Bærum, Akershus, Norway).  She was the youngest of 21 children of Michael Sars and Maren Cathrine Welhaven.  At age 28 Eva left for Berlin to study opera with a contemporary of Tchaikovsy.  Eva knew Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg and she performed his music beautifully.  Eva was relatively short, but very athletic and became a pioneer in mountain and cross country skiing.  She was a smart and practical woman and realized the need for women to stop wearing only dresses while practicing the sport.  Thus, she became the first woman in Norway to wear “trousers” while skiing!

Eva married ski pioneer, famous Norwegian explorer and scientist, Fridtjof Nansen on Sep 6, 1889.  They were a very “modern” couple, both continuing their individual vocations after their marriage.  Eva not only continued to sing in operas at home and in other parts of Europe and Scandinavia, but she also gave lessons when at home.  At the age of 49 (1907), she sang in a final concert at a well-received performance in London.  Not long afterwards that same year, Eva died suddenly of pneumonia.  That left her husband a widower with five relatively young children to raise: Liv (14), Kåre (10), Irmelin (7), Odd (6), and Åsmund (4).