From Ohio History Central
St. Sava Lodge was one of the earliest Serbian social organizations in Cleveland, Ohio.
During the late 1800s and the early 1900s, large numbers of Serbian immigrants came to the United States of America. In 1900, fewer than ten thousand Slovene immigrants resided in Ohio. By 1920, more than thirty thousand Yugoslavians resided in Ohio. Serbia was part of Yugoslavia at this time. Most of these Yugoslavians and Serbians settled along Lake Erie, especially in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1914, approximately one thousand Serbians resided in Cleveland alone.
Serbian Ohioans established numerous organizations to celebrate their homeland and to assist their fellow migrants. Upon first arriving in the United States, many Serbs were destitute. To assist their fellow Serbians, in 1904, a group of Cleveland's Serbs established St. Sava Lodge. This organization acted as an insurance agency. Members assisted each other financially, providing health, death, and burial benefits. The group also played an important role in creating the first Serbian Roman Catholic Church in Cleveland. The St. Sava Lodge illustrates the influence that Serb immigrants have had on Ohio's development.
- Georgevich, Dragoslav, Nikola Maric, and Nicholas Moravcevich. Serbian Americans and Their Communities of Cleveland. Cleveland, OH: Cleveland State University Press, 1977.
- Van Tassel, David D., and John J. Grabowski, eds. The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996.