Lincoln Pool to be renamed in honor of Fred M. Evans

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 3, 2016

By Amanda Raymond

The Lincoln Pool will now be known as the Fred M. Evans Pool at Lincoln Park.

At the Salisbury City Council meeting on Tuesday, the council approved a motion to formally change the name of the pool. Thirty days were given for the public to submit any comments to the Parks and Recreation Department. No comments in opposition were submitted, according to Nick Aceves, Parks and Recreation director.

The pool is on 3.2 acres of property at 110 Old Concord Road. It is the city’s only public swimming pool facility.

Raemi Evans, wife of the late Fred M. Evans, said she was “extremely proud” of the renaming, and grateful that the city approved the change.

“We also had people in the community who wanted to suggest it,” she said. “… There were several people who would say it openly, and I think that got it started.”

Raemi Evans said the pool was important for the African-American community because it provided affordable recreation.

She said her husband was the first lifeguard at the Lincoln Pool when he was in his early 30s. When he found out the pool was being built, he got his Red Cross certification to become a lifeguard right away.

Over the years, Fred Evans taught about 100 people how to swim, and also trained numerous lifeguards.

Fred M. Evans passed away in June 2015 at the age of 74. Along with his involvement with the pool, he was the first African-American assistant principal at the formerly all-white Boyden High School during integration. Boyden High School later became Salisbury High School in 1969.

Before integration, he was a social studies teacher and assistant principal at Price High School. He was also a head basketball coach and a football coach.

Later in his life, Evans served as the director of transportation and student activities for Salisbury City Schools.

Evans was involved in numerous community organizations, including the Red Cross, Boy Scouts, the Housing Authority, YMCA and the United Way.

Since Fred Evans was well known from his community involvements, he was able to be a friend at the pool.

“He wasn’t a stranger to them,” Raemi Evans said. “And that may have helped him be successful as an instructor.”

Barry Barger and Tony Witherspoon were two of the pool’s early lifeguards who worked with Fred Evans.

When Raemi Evans spoke to them, Barry Barger, who lives in Ohio, said Fred Evans was a mentor to both lifeguards and youth in the community.

“He was a friend to all the kids and would do anything for you,” he said.

And Tony Witherspoon, who lives in Salisbury, said, “Mr. Evans made the pool a great place to be.”

Raemi Evans and the early lifeguards said Fred Evans took water safety seriously.

“When it came to swimming, he was serious,” she said.

Janine Evans, daughter of Fred and Raemi Evans, said she was glad the name change was approved. She said the youth of the community were important to her father, and he was able to mentor many young men at the pool.

“It’s a place that meant a great deal to him,” she said.

Raemi Evans, who is on the Community Appearance Commission, said there will also be a little free library at the facility to honor her late husband.

According to city council documents, there will be a renaming ceremony planned to take place sometime close to the pool season kick-off.

Raemi Evans said her husband was an asset to the community.

“I think the community will be proud that there is a pool and it’s being named for an African-American,” she said.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.