Founded March 4, 1913

Monthly Meeting Calendar
Swedish traditions with entertaining and
educational programs.

History of Club

For information please contact
Gunn Jensen at
(707) 644-2080 or email

For membership, contact
Harold Carlson at
(650) 941-0348
or email

SWEDISH CLUB Calendar for 2009

Valentine Dinner and Norwegian Club Annual Visit
Burlingame Woman's Club (BWC)
Dinner Meeting with program to be announced at BWC
Dinner Meeting, entertainment TBA at BWC
Wine tasting and picnic at Clines Wineries, Sonoma (to be confirmed).
Birgitta's Scramble Annual Golf Tournament,
Midsummer in Sveadal
Potluck smörgåsbord lunch.
Kräftskiva - Crayfish Party,
BWC (to be confirmed)
Dinner Meeting at BWC. (TBA)
Dinner/Entertainment at BWC
Swedish American Hall


The following is taken from The Swedish Club Biography by Heinz Hellstrom


Those were the seven founding Swedes, who on March 4, 1913, started it all by calling like minded Swedes of San Francisco to a meeting;

"You are cordially invited to take part in a dollar dinner at the Portola-Louvre,
Market and Powell Streets, Thursday, March 6 at 6 PM.
The object of the gathering is to form a Business Men's Social Reception Club
on very easy terms and without direct cost to the members.
Whereby Swedish Business and Professional men,
as well as others interested in meeting their friends,
can come together once a week and discuss the welfare
of the Swedes in general and in regard to the Exposition work in particular..."

While little is left in the Swedish Club's records to tell about the seven individuals who founded the Club, there is good reason to believe most were Swedish immigrants who wished to transplant as much of their Swedishness as possible in the new and altogether different environment. Of the founding seven, E.O. Lindblom was the first president, followed by Dr. A.O. Lindstrom, Emil Hogberg, served in 1916.One of the seven, Alexander Olsson, was the founder and publisher of "Vestkusten" and is the grandfather of several of today's members.

What does show in the remaining old records is an early penchant for picnics and sometimes overnight excursions south to the San Francisco peninsula. These Swedish-style picnics took place mostly in what was then pure countryside. Their favorite menu was 'sillopotatis' (herring and potatoes). What could be more Swedish? It is more than believable that certain Swedish drinks flowed freely.

The first 'high jinx' at Lone Oaks, all the way down in Mountain View, apparently were informal. Other peninsula locales, with names familiar to this day, were used in subsequent years: Crystal Springs Park, Sawyer's Camp, New Portola Camping Grounds (in Menlo Park) and Camp Searsville Lake. The name Sveadal shows up in 1930. It is located even further south, below San Jose. This may be an indication that our Swedish antecedents were well in the forefront of the use of automobiles long before Volvos and Saabs came over.

Formal affairs were also favored by the Swedish Club in those days. The Palace, the St. Francisco, the Fairmont, and the Clift, all great hotels to this day, were used for the club's more festive occasions.

Banquets were held to honor such distinguished Swedish visitors as Mr. and Mrs. Dan Brostrom and Consul General and Mrs. Axel Alson Johnson, both pioneers in Swedish shipping. In 1932 the Club 'tendered a farewell banquet' to Dr. Sven Hedin, a famous Chinese explorer. The following year, Envoy A.F. Wallenberg was honored with a banquet in the Palace Hotel. The invitation does not say that he was emissary of the Wallenberg dynasty, which has ruled Sweden's financial community since the mid 1800s.

The old Club menus show that ripe olives, raw oysters, mock turtle soup and oven roasted fowl or meats were popular dinner servings. The sweet life had arrived.

A notable name on the list of Swedish Club Presidents is that of Carl M. Friden. He founded and ran the calculator company in San Leandro, and his name is carried on in today's successor company. Friden was the Bay Area philanthropist who activated the restoration of the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. He was the Swedish Club president in 1929, when the Norwegian and Swedish clubs co-celebrated the wedding of Crown Prince Olav of Norway to Princess Martha of Sweden.

The list is long of the many Club members who generously contributed their time and talents to bring today's membership to over 300 men and women. Arthur C. Elwing is the name that will be indelible on the Swedish Club rolls for serving as president for a record nine years.

The drive for membership was passed from the founding seven Swedes to the officers and members of today. We now have a balance in the club that consists of a greater proportion of more recent arrivals from Sweden in many years. This has also lowered the average age of the members. Since the club has had several distinguished presidents and a very active membership drive, the future of the club looks promising.

The Club's official language is one spoken by all: English.It's second language, of course, is Swedish which is understood by most of the club members. The regular monthly dinner meeting is usually held on the second Wednesday of the month. The Club is nonprofit, strictly self-subsiding and independent. Its uniqueness is what helps maintains a live interest, not only in the Bay Area Swedish community, but equally in people and events in Sweden both past and present. In short, The Swedish Club of San Francisco and the Bay Area represents an ideal blend of a little Sweden in America.