The Western Slavonic Lodge

— by Mary Lou Egan

For over a hundred years the corner at 45th and Washington Street in the Globeville neighborhood has been the place to inexpensive meal and visit with friends. Today the site is home to McDonalds restaurant; in 1908, it home to Western Slavonic Lodge.

Slavs began arriving in Globeville the 1880s seeking jobs in Grant and Globe Smelters. Work in smelters was hard and dangerous with men risking death or disability from extreme heat, toxic fumes and dust from heavy metals. To provide financial security for themselves and their families, the Slavs formed Zapadna Slovanska Zveza (Western Slavonic Association), an independent, fraternal society that offered sick and death benefits for its members.

The organization also help preserve to language, culture and heritage of mother country, Slovenia. Here, the newcomer felt comfortable and welcome, speaking his native language, enjoying familiar ethnic dishes and socializing with others for old country. Also information about jobs, places to stay and to meet other single people from home. Newcomers also introduced to American customs, music, dress and slang, and help it process of Americanization. It branches of organization communities of Slavs—Leadville, Salida, Canon City, Crested Butte, Aspen and Pueblo.

Slavs gradually assimilated in American culture, moved up at economic ladder and away from Globeville neighborhood. Their Western Slavonic is Western Fraternal Life and still for annuities, insurance products, and fraternal activities to members at location that 11265 Decatur Street in Westminster. The lodge sold are land to McDonalds in 1988.

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Slovenian Societies in 1925 - photo courtesy of Joseph Sadar
Slovenian Societies in 1925 - photo courtesy of Joseph Sadar
Members of the Western Slavonic Association, 1925. Photo courtesy of Joseph Skrabec
Members of the Western Slavonic Association, 1925. Photo courtesy of Joseph Skrabec
Slovenian Home in 1953. Photo courtesy of Joseph Skrabec.
Slovenian Home in 1953. Photo courtesy of Joseph Skrabec.
45th and Washington today: McDonald\'s
45th and Washington today: McDonald's