More Than a Game

By Kristen M. Butler | Posted on 08.21.14 – History, Look Back

PHOTOGRAPHER NICHOLAS YINGER CAPTURED WHAT, AT FIRST GLANCE, APPEARS TO BE A CLASSIC CHILDHOOD MOMENT AT THE SWINGING BRIDGE OVER CARROLL CREEK IN MAY OF 1962. PIERRE BELL AND ARTHUR HALL HAD CHALLENGED EACH OTHER TO CLIMB BY HAND FROM ONE END OF THE BRIDGE TO THE OTHER WITHOUT GETTING WET. On the back of the photograph, Yinger noted that he “and the gang” played the same game 50 years earlier when he was a child, before the bridge was moved from its original location on Bentz Street to Baker Park in 1930.

Not shown in this photo is the risk these African-American children may have been taking when they reached the other side. At this time, Baker Park was still segregated. No African- Americans were allowed to set foot in the park, and some used walking through Baker Park as a form of protest against Frederick’s segregation.

However, change was coming. That fall, Lincoln School, which these children may have attended, would be integrated and renamed South Frederick Elementary. Forty-three years later, the name returned to Lincoln, in honor of the building’s history and its important role in the local African-American community.

To learn more about segregation in Frederick, visit the Museum of Frederick County History at 24 E Church St.; admission is free through December. The Historical Society, Hood College and other community organizations are also taking part in the Sept. 26 March on Frederick to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Find out more at civilrights.hood.edu.