Living in Leicester
The township of Leicester was originally known as Turkey Creek. It had a Post Office beginning April 7,1829. The name of the township was changed to Leicester (pronounced Les-ter) in 1859. The town was named after Leicester Chapman. His father, Robert Chapman, was a captain under the Earl of Leicester and stationed in Wales. Leicester Chapman was named for the Earl of Leicester. Leicester purchased a tract of land nine miles from Asheville, NC in the area at that time known as Turkey Creek. He established a Stand or Mercantile business and named the area Leicester in honor of his titled godfather the Earl of Leicester. Native countrymen who didn’t much care for such a highfalutin name dubbed the place “Lick skillet” then begrudgingly settled for “Lee-ces-ter”. The township is pronounced “Les-ter”.
Leicester is one of those towns that if you blink your eyes you’ll pass right by, yet it encompasses nearly 67 square miles of breathtaking pastoral beauty, and relatively little development compared to most other areas near Asheville. Around each winding country road, there’s another little valley, another hidden cove, with a collection of fascinating people from around the county, around the country and around the world that have chosen to live a more secluded and private lifestyle. University professors, farmers, authors, painters, inventors, musicians, engineers and symphonic conductors, some famous some not, all make Leicester “Lester” their home. Why Leicester when there are so many other places around Asheville to chose from? Some people that live in Leicester say it’s the rural beauty and relative closeness to Asheville, others love it because of the community of great people that they have come to call neighbors, others value the privacy and the sense that not too many people really know much about it, and then others like the seemingly simple and less complicated lifestyle that most people living out here have chosen. And among everyone that lives in Leicester there appears a common theme or thread that weaves them all together, they all talk about “a feeling” they get living here, a feeling of place that they haven’t felt before. Some call it an energy or something of a spiritual or religious element, a unique sense of peace and contentment, a true sense of connection and home. No matter what they call it or why many people that live in Leicester experience it, one thing is true, and that is that Leicester residents, for the most part, love it here. My bet is that if you take the time to look around here you will begin to understand. And if you hang around in her mountains and valleys long enough, who knows…you might even start feeling it too!
Property descriptions were written by Hal Millard. * “Living in Leicester” was written by Mark Fields with information in the first paragraph obtained from www.leicesternc.com.