Giblem Lodge

Saving Wilmington's 1st Black Masonic Lodge
Click here to donate to the Giblem Lodge Rehabilitation Fund.

The cornerstone of Giblem Lodge was laid in 1871. The Historic Wilmington Foundation is partnering with the Masons to ensure that this historic building continues to serve our community long into the future. 

Giblem Lodge is the second-oldest Black Masonic Temple in the state—and it still has an important role to play in the 21st century. The Prince Hall Masons seek to preserve their c. 1871 building so that it may serve as a revitalized center for the expression of Black history and culture in Wilmington. Giblem has always served as a community hub and meeting hall, fostering Black economic, civic, and educational advancement. The site of NC’s first “Colored Industrial Exposition” in 1875, Giblem went on to be utilized as Wilmington’s Black library during segregation.

HWF is working with the Masons to return this structure to prominence as a cultural center and meeting hall, with the inclusion of an exhibit space for Black history. After Giblem’s rehabilitation is complete, the Lodge will once again serve the community as a space to support Black economic growth, youth education, cultural enrichment, philanthropy, and political action.

photo (above): Giblem Lodge exterior, taken by photographer Jeff Hall in August of 2023, after the installation of a new roof, soffit, and fascia

Giblem Lodge’s rehabilitation is made possible through the generous support of:

  • Marion Stedman Covington Foundation ($15,000)
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation ($5,000)
  • North Carolina Community Foundation’s 1898 Memorial Fund ($1,160)
  • Residents of Old Wilmington ($4,625)
  • Patriot Roofing & Exteriors (~$6,600, in-kind)

A community-based task force is facilitating the rehabilitation process, applying for grant funding, and organizing fundraising efforts. The task force consists of representatives from:

  • Giblem Lodge No. 2
  • Historic Wilmington Foundation
  • Burnett-Eaton Museum Foundation
  • Third Person Project
  • University of North Carolina at Wilmington
  • Sokoto House
  • North Carolina African American Heritage Commission
  • City of Wilmington’s Commission on African-American History
  • New Hanover County’s Commission on African American History, Heritage, & Culture
photo (above): Princess Street Facade of Giblem Lodge c. 1939. Courtesy of Susan Love Lewis from the private collection of Mrs. Eileen “Tinka” O’C. Lewis & David Westcott Lewis, Jr.
photo (above): Travis Gilbert (left), former HWF Executive Director, with Raymond Mott (right), Giblem Lodge’s former Most Worshipful Grand Master
photo (above): Giblem Lodge exterior, taken by photographer Jeff Hall in August of 2023, after the installation of a new roof, soffit, and fascia

Giblem Lodge: Past, Present, Future

Watch the video below to learn more about the history of Giblem Lodge—and plans for its future. This video was filmed at New Hanover County Public Library on February 19, 2023.

Take a (Virtual) Tour

Even now, with much rehabilitation work to be done, Giblem Lodge is an awe-inspiring building. Take a virtual tour by exploring the photos (taken by HWF), below!