Special to the Tribune
Leicester – Mike Sluder is looking for some help with a priceless family matter that holds a great deal of history for Leicester community.
According to Sluder, “Just after 1801, several Sluder brothers moved from Rowan County to the Leicester area and began purchasing land. The name Sluder is well-known in Buncombe County today, but only because of these first ancestors who settled there.”
Sluder goes on to say, “The early Sluders settled in the Cross Anchor/Jenkins Valley section of Leicester and many of the road/street names reflect their influence on the area. Our first Sluders were buried on the Sluder farm in what was known as the Sluder Cemetery. Although there is another Sluder Cemetery a few miles away, this one on Sluder farm is the original family burial ground for the Sluder family. Until the founding of Mountainview Church in 1887, this was the primary cemetery for the majority of Sluders in the area. Of course, as time went on and the Sluders spread out, more churches and cemeteries became the final resting place for the extended Sluder family members.”
“The cemetery was well taken care of until the mid-late 1960s, at which point the brush and trees began to take over,” Sluder explains. “The cemetery today is completely overtaken by nature. The property has long been out of the Sluder family’s possession, but I have just recently gotten the blessing of the current owner to clean it up.”
Here’s where Sluder is seeking some help. “In order to restore and preserve the Sluder Cemetery, which not only holds our family’s priceless ancestors, but also a great deal of Leicester history, we will surely need all the support we can get. I have reached out to the Boy Scouts of America to see if they have any interest in helping with this project.” Any of the members of the Sluder family or area history buffs who might be interested in helping Mike can contact him at (704) 264-4914.