About LEVS - A Brief History

Before 1975
Our organization's history started with the Leif Ericson Society International. This organization was founded in 1926 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as a way for Scandinavians in the area to gather. The organization "dissolved", but then was revived again in 1974 by new interest.

1975 - 1990
In 1975, the Leif Ericson Viking Ship organization was a sub-committee of the Leif Ericson Society International, created when they decided to built a parade float Viking ship. The float was built so well that it was decided to convert the float into a boat, and the Ravnen took life in 1976. LESI realized that the Ravnen was a useful educational tool, since she drew attention whenever she was sailed in the Philadelphia area. The organization began seeking out events to go to, but mostly stayed withing the greater Philadelphia area, celebrating Leif Ericson Day every October 9th. In 1990 age, dry rot and hull damage made it necessary to retire the Ravnen.

1990 - Present
The Leif Ericson Viking Ship organization solidified as a non-profit organization separate from LESI but still affliated, when it raised funds to get a new ship built. In July of 1992, we celebrated the Norseman's maiden voyage at OpSail '92 in New York City. From then on, we have actively sought out events to attend - wherever they might be. We've been to such states as Texas, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and of course Pennsylvania and Delaware. We have even traveled to Newfoundland, Canada, Sweden, and Russia.

The Leif Ericson Viking Ship, Inc. has been granted 501(c)3 educational nonprofit status from the IRS. We developed a mission statement, which we endeavor to achieve. We look forward to the various events we have, because it allows us to teach people about Leif Ericson and the Viking culture. It doesn't hurt that we enjoy a sail every once in a while!

Please take a look at the rest of our site, to understand more about the Leif Ericson Viking Ship organization. We'd love to hear from you, as well!