What's in a Name: Leland

By Colin Hackman - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

LELAND, NC (WECT) - Leland is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, but not everything in the town is new.

Despite the expansion, development and construction, the population hardly changed from 1890 to 1990.

Leland once was just the place where Village Road crossed the Railroad tracks, but the swampy land around the area was pristine for rice so a rail station was built and more and more folks came along.

In the 1890's Joseph Gay built a general store to service the rice fields.  He and other area residents petitioned the post office department in Washington for a local post office. Since the area wasn't called anything they sent in a list of three names for the postmaster general to choose.

His Choice? Leland. But where did that name come from? You'll learn sometimes it really is "who you know".  Leland Adams was Gay's young nephew.

Over the next 100 years the town grew by about 2,000 people in the year 2000.  Since then the area has more than quadrupled to an estimated more than 11,000 residents with more than 7,000 home sites yet to be built.

The old post office has been moved down Village Road a bit, and those swampy rice fields have been drained.  Instead, up have sprouted general stores and a community that might even have made Joseph Gay, and his young nephew Leland proud.

If you'd like to learn more about why a certain place is called what it is, email Colin at whatsinaname@wect.com.

©2009 WECT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.