Slovene immigrants who were less interested in religion–socialists, freethinkers, and anticlericals–organized the Slovenski Narodni Dom (Slovenian National Home) as a counterweight to nearby Holy Trinity Slovenian Catholic Church. Four hundred stockholders invested $10 each to finance the club at North Holmes Avenue, which opened on May 26, 1918.

The Slovenian National Home, ca. 1940
Credit: Indiana Historical Society

The older generation called this club “The Home,” while the younger generation called it “The Nash.” It was a meeting hall on Sunday mornings for local mutual aid societies, and a place where members could drink and play cards with friends or practice ballina (bowling with a six-inch wooden ball) in a cement alley constructed in the backyard. Through the 1930s, the Home also hosted dances for young people, glee club singing, and Slovene plays.

The founding members intended the National Home to be a social club, offering concerts, plays, sports, cards, beverages, and dances. A new building was erected at West 10th Street, on the corner of 10th Street and Warman Avenue in 1940. A 10-acre wooded lot for picnic grounds was purchased in 1971.

The Home is dedicated to preserving and passing along the Slovenian traditions of ancestors. The club continues as a center of Slovene community activities. The facility hosts monthly lodge meetings, gatherings of women (Slovene Women’s Club) and men (Yaggers), and an annual festival. The hall is rented for wedding receptions, birthday, and anniversary parties. The National Home boasts a membership of over 700 shareholders. It is registered as a nonprofit 501(c)(7) (Social and Recreation Clubs). Volunteers maintain a blog and an active Facebook page.

Revised March 2021

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