Irem Shrine Center is one of 195 Shrine Centers in the world. The National Shrine Order was started in 1870 to provide a social recreational diversion from the more serious ritual work of other Masonic bodies. The Shrine later discovered that along with " fun and pleasure,' the Order must also have a more purposeful goal in relieving certain humanitarian problems of society. Accordingly, in 1922, the Shrine founded the Shriners Hospitals for Children. Today, the Shrine supports throughout North America, substantially at it's own expense, 10 Orthopedic/Neuro-muscular Children's Hospitals and 3 Hospitals for treating children with burns, regardless of the family's ability to pay.
From the 1800's men from the Scranton, Wilkes Barre and Kingston areas who desired to become "Shriners," traveled to the Oasis of LuLu and were created Nobles of the Mystic Shrine in Philadelphia. Over the years, interest in Shrinedom grew.
In the autumn of 1893, Wilkes Barre Nobles started the process of establishing a Temple in the Wilkes Barre area. September 2nd, 1895 the Imperial Council at Namtasket, Massachusetts unanimously adopted the petition to create the new Temple, Irem. Irem Temple became the 71st Temple in North America.
October 15th, 1895 was a meeting of Nobles in Elks Hall. This date was set for the constituting of Irem Temple. This was the first time Imperial Council granted a Charter rather than a Dispensation to any Temple.
G.A.R. Memorial Hall on South Main Street in Wilkes Barre became Irem Temple's meeting place in March 1898. The Shrine spent thousands of dollars on renovations and new equipment for this hall. At that time, this temporary home was considered the most outstanding of any Temple in North America.
Through the late 1890's and early 1900's Irem Temple continued to grow. A permanent home was needed. On March 13th, 1907 a unanimous vote was taken to purchase two properties on North Franklin Street in Wilkes Barre, PA. On September 21st,1907 ground was broken and the cornerstone was laid in position on November 27th, 1907. The Temple was completed in 1908, with the first Irem Temple Ceremonial Session being held later that year.
The Irem Shriner was constituted October 15th, 1895, with 54 Charter Members. The membership today is approximately 1500 and covers the jurisdiction of 17 counties in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The Shrine Center was relocated from Franklin Street, Wilkes Barre, to the 355 acre campus of Irem Country Club, Dallas, Pennsylvania.
The Irem Campus includes the largest covered outdoor pavilion in the state, capable of seating over 500 guests and is used for dances, concerts, weddings, and other events held throughout the year. Additionally the campus has a pistol & rifle range, shotgun clay bird shooting range, an RV park with a pavilion. It is also home to an 18 hole championship golf course designed by the legendary golf architect A.J. Tillinghast. The course is the home course for two local high school teams and a local University.