Slobot About Town XCIV:

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Old School Slobot!

From East Broad Street Slobot spied a magnificent mural. The mural is the result of a competition held in 1979. The winner of that contest was artist David Benson, a graduate of the school that the mural graces.

Slobot loved the mural's festive scene...

and its organ grinder's monkey!

Nearby, on South Dean Street, Slobot found a beautiful balustrade.

The mural and balustrade both belong...

to the former Frank Evans High School!

Dr. Frank Evans would serve as superintendent of Spartanburg city schools from 1895-1934.

Frank Evans High School, designed by J. Frank Collins, would open in 1921.

The school's original entrance would face Dean Street, though Kennedy Street entrances would be added later.

In 1959 Frank Evans would be downgraded to a junior high school. In the late 1960s, Evans Junior High School would become the first home of the Spartan Rifles, USC Spartanburg's basketball team.

One former Rifle, Jim Smith, would later joke that, "one of the agility drills was chasing rats around the locker room" of the old Frank Evans High School.

USCS would open the new home of the Spartan Rifles, the G. B. Hodge Athletic Center, in 1973. The Rifles would commemorate the conclusion of their 1971-72 season with a mock funeral for Evans Junior High School.

Today the old school is home to the Spartanburg Human Resource Center.

Slobot found a far different school out in Chesnee.

It was an old Rosenwald School. Rosenwald schools would be named for Julius Rosenwald, an erstwhile executive of Sears, Roebuck & Company.

Julius Rosenwald would, in the early part of the 20th century, become quite a philanthropist. In one philanthropic project Rosenwald would match community donations for the construction of community schools for black students in the rural South.

This particular Rosenwald school would be built during the 1928-29 school year, its construction financed by a $500 donation from the magnanimous Mr. Rosenwald and an additional $2500 contribution from the community. The school would house two classrooms, a small stage, a kitchen and two potbellied stoves.

Out back, Slobot found remains of the school's old outhouse. Today the school, outhouse and all, belongs to the Brooklyn CME Church.

Back in Spartanburg, on Magnolia Street Slobot, Slobot found a brick-walled, slate-roofed building.

That red brick, slate-roofed building, Slobot would remember, was the old Fremont Elementary School! Fremont Elementary would be built after the South Carolina General Assembly made school compulsory for all children ages 8-14.

The school would be designed by Luther D. Proffitt and open in 1915.

An addition, designed by J. Frank Collins, would be built in 1926.

Fremont Elementary would serve Spartanburg schoolchildren until 1979.

Slobot took to the stairs of the old Fremont School.

Slobot found wide hallways...

and transoms.

Today these red brick walls shelter 46 apartments,

thanks to the Downtown Rescue Mission, Faith Ministries of Chesnee and Progressive Redevelopment!

Slobot would like to thank the Spartanburg Human Resource Center, the Brooklyn CME Church, the Downtown Rescue Mission, the SC Department of Archives and History and YOU!