A Place to Meet
The Giblem Lodge, built from 1871 to 1873, became Wilmington’s first African American Masonic Lodge. In 1875, on a state and national level, the Giblem Lodge hosted the first African American Agricultural and Industrial Fair. The first floor became the Floral Hall and featured quilt work, sewing, hairdressing, needle crafting, and other similar activities, while the second floor held the agricultural exhibits. As a result of failed attempts by African Americans to gain access to the city library in 1926, two thousand supporters raised enough money to start a library specifically for African American patrons in Giblem Lodge, making it Wilmington’s first African American library. Giblem Lodge still serves Wilmington and the African American community as a meeting place and in 1983 the Historic Wilmington Foundation recognized the site as a landmark.