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What is Giblem Lodge?

Ben Steelman

Home of the area’s oldest African-American Masonic lodge, at 720 Princess St., Wilmington [Map this], Giblem Lodge is one of the city’s foremost African-American landmarks.

Giblem Lodge No. 2, of the Free and Accepted Prince Hall Masons, was chartered on March 26, 1870. Prominent lodge members over the years have included James B. Dudley (1859-1925), the longtime president of what became N.C. A&T State University University in Greensboro, and Bishop Herbert Bell Shaw (1908-1980) of the AME Zion Church, chairman of the central committee of the World Council of Churches, who was also a grand master of Prince Hall Masons in North Carolina.

Cornerstone for its lodge building was laid on Dec. 29, 1871, and the first regular communication was held in the building on Nov. 10, 1873.

In December 1875, the lodge was the site of North Carolina’s first black Agricultural and Industrial Fair. On June 24, 1926, the first public library for blacks in Wilmington was open in the building. Theatrical productions have been staged in Giblem Lodge, Sunday school classes have met here, and a municipal fish and produce market opened here in 1889.

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One Response to “ What is Giblem Lodge?”

  1. On April 12, 2010 at 9:46 pm michael byrd wrote:

    Thank you very much this information has been very enlightening

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