In 1908 a small group of hardworking women met at the home of Constance and Hans Peter Olsen to start an organization with a mission to serve the growing needs of Utsalady on Camano Island, Washington. The ladies’ goal was simple: they wanted to improve the quality of life for their children and the families of their community. Brief minutes were taken in the early days, sometimes written in Norwegian, and was really a social outing for the hardworking women.
After years of money raised by serving lutefisk and clam dinners to the community, in 1923 a lot was purchased and the building began. The cost of supplies to construct the building initially was $566.73. Their first meeting in the building took place in April of 1924, with three rules: No dancing in the building, no drinking or gambling, and not to be called a hall, only a building.
Just after the building was completed in 1924, Ole and Jennie Mellum, who owned the Utsalady Hotel, donated a lovely table to the Ladies Aid. Now almost 100 years later, that same table is used to serve lunches at the monthly meetings, and to display lovingly made baked goods for the very popular Utsalady Ladies Aid Bake Sales. And Jennie Mellum's namesake, Jeni Bottin, now sits at these tables, as do her grandchildren.
Through the continued dedication of its volunteer members, the building is kept in excellent condition and recently had a kitchen remodel. More projects are in the works for 2022. Stay tuned!
September 19, 2020