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Wesley Chapel NC

This family-oriented village has become a popular choice for homeowners, and we take pride in balancing our housing communities with a charming, rural feel alongside all of the conveniences of suburban lifestyle. If your HOA is in search of new management, please contact us today to discuss your Wesley Chapel community.

Wesley Chapel, North Carolina, is a village in Union County. Wesley Chapel is a suburb of Charlotte, North Carolina, and is around 21 miles from uptown Charlotte. 

In the last twenty years, Wesley Chapel has developed into a bedroom community for Charlotte. The Population of Wesley Chapel per the U.S. Census in 2000 was 2,549. The population had grown to 8,681 per the 2020 U.S. Census.  

The Village of Wesley Chapel is an incorporated village. It was incorporated by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1999. The village is governed by a nonpartisan village mayor and a four-member village council elected by the residents of the village. The village council members serve staggered four-year terms. The village mayor serves two-year terms. The village operates under the Mayor-Council plan as provided for in Part 3 of Article 7 of Chapter 160A of the North Carolina General Statutes.

The Village of Wesley Chapel’s motto is “A Great Place To Live and Raise a Family.”

A Brief Historical Overview of the Village of Wesley Chapel, North Carolina, and the Surrounding Area.

There is a long and rich history in Wesley Chapel and the surrounding area. The archeological evidence indicates that Native Americans inhabited the Piedmont region of the Carolinas for thousands of years. There is documentary evidence of Native Americans within the Catawba River Basin area dating back to the expedition of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto in 1540.

The Catawba River Basin was, and still, today is well suited for agriculture, hunting, and fishing with a moderate year-round climate. This ample ecosystem is likely what led to the many thousands of years of human habitation of the region. The outer eastern edge of the Catawba River Basin is found in Union County and the Wesley Chapel area. 

The expedition of Spanish explorer Juan Pardo was the next European to document the Native Americans of the Catawba River Basin in 1567. The Native Americans being the Catawba people or Catawba Indians. These encounters with the Catawba people are documented in Vandera’s narratives of Pardo’s expedition. The Catawba people are referred to as the Ysa Issa (Iswä) in these narratives.

Over a hundred years later, the third to document the Catawba Indians in the Catawba River Basin was German explorer John Lederer in 1670. Lederer’s expedition was from Virginia through the western part of Carolina. He chronicled his encounters in The Discoveries of John Lederer, In three several Marches from Virginia, To the West of Carolina, And other parts of the Continent: Begun in March 1669 and ended in September 1670. In his work, the Catawba people are denoted as the Ushery. 

At one time, from what can be determined from artifacts and oral histories, the Catawba people inhabited the Piedmont regions of present-day North Carolina, South Carolina, and up into Virginia. The Catawba people were primarily a settled agrarian-based civilization that supplemented their agrarian diet with fishing and hunting. They lived in socially economically structured communities or villages. However, Catawba villages varied in size were typically constructed with palisades or walls of logs and tree branches surrounding the dwellings within. The dwellings within were constructed of bark and tree limbs. The was a council house with an open area for community gatherings and other functions. Sweat lodges were a large part of the social order of the Catawba people and played a central part in their lives. Typically, sweat lodges were constructed within the village of stone and were circular. 

In the future Wesley Chapel and Union County areas, there have been accounts of both Catawba and Waxhaw Indians habituating these areas. There is some historical debate on whether the Waxhaw Indians were actually a separate Indian people or but a branch of the Catawba people. The debate about the Waxhaw and Catawba being from the same tribe centers around the language and customs similarities. Both shared a Siouan-based language, and most peculiarly, both practiced a ritual of flattening their infant’s foreheads. This ritual resulted in setting the infant’s eyes abnormally further apart along with the sloping forehead. The Waxhaw and Catawba people accomplished this by binding their infants to boards after birth until obtaining the desired result. Another shared custom between the Waxhaws and Catawbas was the organization and structure of their villages. Both peoples similarly covered their individual dwellings within their villages with tree bark. What makes this determination difficult, if not impossible, is that the Waxhaw Indian population was drastically reduced by the Yamasee War (1715-1717). At the end of the Yamasee War, some historians assert the surviving Waxhaw Indians were merged with the Yamasee people. If the Waxhaw Indians were, in fact, a separate tribe from the Catawba Indians, they were considered extinct after 1717.

While the Yamasee War and intertribal conflicts had negative consequences on the Native American population, nothing had the overall impact that smallpox did. Smallpox introduced by European traders and settlers to the Native American populations was devastating. Due to the fact that Native Americans had not built up any natural immunities to these European diseases, they were hit especially hard during the many smallpox epidemics during the 1700s.

As the Native American population began to decline, European immigration to the New World and North Carolina increased. As European traders had been in the region for decades, a sprinkling of European settlers began arriving in the Catawba River Basin in the first part of the 1700s. The Catawba Indians and the early European settlers had a peaceful coexistence for the most part. Granted, this peaceful coexistence was more than likely due to both parties’ trading relationship with each other. The trading relationship was very beneficial to all parties. For example, the deer skins the Catawba Indians traded for firearms and powder gave them a strategic advantage over other Native American tribes, primarily the Cherokee Indians. The deer skins were as good as cash with settlers and traders because of the high demand in England. This relationship based on commerce also led to the Catawba Indians protecting the settlers from other Native Americans who were not happy about the settlers’ presence. 

Wesley Chapel is situated along the area that was once part of the “Occaneechi Path” or the “Great Trading Path.” Fort Henry, Virginia (present-day Petersburg, Virginia) was the starting point of the Great Trading Path. Winding through Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and ending in Augusta, present-day Georgia. The Great Trading Path ended at a substantial trading post located at Augusta.   

The origin of the Great Trading Path was believed to have been a succession of trails between Native American villages that had been linked by traders. The Great Trading Path was most relevant before the heavy European colonization of North America. These scattered footpaths developed into a major route of commerce with the beginning of the fur trade in the 1670s between European traders and the Catawba, Cherokee, and other Siouan Indian tribes. 

The Great Trading Path slowly became less relevant in the early 1700s as more roads and other points of civilization developed throughout the region. However, the Great Trading Path did facilitate some of the first European settlements along the area of its route. The nearby communities of Wesley Chapel of Waxhaw and Indian Trail are good examples of these early settlements.

These early European settlers arriving in the future Wesley Chapel area, in the first part of the 1700s, were primarily German Palatines (also known as Pennsylvania Dutch) and Scot-Irish. In the 1740s, European immigrants began arriving in greater numbers to the Union County and future Wesley Chapel area. This increase in migration was primarily via the “Great Wagon Road” from Philadelphia. The Great Wagon Road had a left fork, a branch of the road that led to Augusta, Georgia, via Lancaster and Camden, South Carolina, which was approximately 15 miles west of present-day Wesley Chapel. These new immigrants were primarily subsistence farmers with a few tradesmen. This subsistence farming and rural environment would remain relatively unchanged for the next 100 or so years in the Wesley Chapel area. 

Most likely, the next big development for the future Wesley Chapel was the arrival of the railroad to the Indian Trail community around five miles away in 1874. The Carolina Central Railway was constructed through Indian Trail from Wilmington, North Carolina, to Charlotte, and eventually reaching Shelby, North Carolina. Even though this Indian Trail train stop was five miles away, this was still a big economic development for the entire area. The Carolina Central Railway offered farmers and merchants a more economical and efficient way to deliver and receive products. Agriculture being the primary economic base of Union County since the early settlers, was greatly boosted by the railroad. The railroad incentivized the production of cash crops, which further boosted the area population’s economic conditions. Cash crops being crops raised for market and not personal consumption. Reportedly the cash crop in the Wesley Chapel area of Union County was cotton. Other crops were cultivated as well; corn, oats, and wheat were cultivated as well. 

Many early rural communities either developed around churches, general stores, or train depots. The community’s name often derived from those pivotal social magnets, and thus did the community’s name, Wesley Chapel. In the rural areas of early America that were without established churches, there was a movement during the Second Great Awakening of the early 1800s that is still followed today, referred to as “camp meeting.” Camp meeting is the Protestant practice of followers attending religious services or revivals and spending the night out under less than modern or primitive conditions for around a week. This entails camping out in primitive structures or tents with no modern conveniences. Even today, camp meetings are held with attendees electing to go without electricity, running water, etc. During the day, the camp meeting offered religious and community fellowship to the isolated rural area population. The camp meeting would draw the population from afar to camp, pray, sing hymns, listen to itinerant preachers, listen to music, and sometimes dance. The limited nature of transportation in the 1800s and the distances the attendees had to travel necessitated the camping out onsite to ensure they did not miss anything that went on during the services. 

There was a camp meeting site known as the McWhorter Camp Meeting Grounds located adjacent to where the Wesley Chapel Cemetery is located today on Potter Road. The cemetery is located approximately one and one-quarter mile on the right after turning onto Potter Road from Weddington Road (NC Highway 84). Supposedly, there was a lack of water at the McWhorter Camp Meeting Grounds, so sometime in the early 1800s, the McWhorter Camp Meeting Grounds was shut down in favor of the Pleasant Grove Camp Meeting Ground, which is a little over three miles away. The Pleasant Grove Camp Meeting Ground was originally founded in 1830, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is still holding annual camp meetings today. 

The abandoned McWhorter Camp Meeting Grounds was the location of the first Wesley Chapel church, which was established in 1832, and this church is where the community got its name. The church was located between the cemetery and the current church’s location. This original church was constructed of wood and was destroyed by fire on April 1, 1878.   

Mr. & Mrs. McCollum Price donated two acres of land to construct a new church at the intersection of Chambwood Road and Potter Road. The first services held in the new church were held on May 18, 1879. This sanctuary was expanded, and then a third, larger sanctuary, was constructed which is in use today. This church is located at 120 Potter Road, Wesley Chapel. Wesley Chapel Church has been a focal point of the community for coming up on two hundred years. In 1968 the Wesley Chapel Methodist Church became the Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church. 

When the community or area started to become known as Wesley Chapel is up to some historical debate. At the turn of the 20th century, U.S. Post Office maps of the area noted Price’s Mill in the general vicinity of Wesley Chapel. Price’s Mill was granted a post office in November of 1875. A common practice at that time was to name the post office after a local business or industry that was well known. This may have been the case here because the Price family did own a number of local enterprises in the area, most notably the grist mill. The Price Mill Creek still flows south from Indian Trail following the Waxhaw-Indian Trail Road, eventually emptying into Twelve Mile Creek. The Price family had substantial agricultural land holdings in the area Wesley Chapel area as well.   

1896 US Post Office Map below 

Union County, North Carolina Post Office Map – 1896 

Price’s Mill being used to denote location can be traced back in newspaper accounts to 1872 and was used up until 1928. Around the turn of the 20th century, maps were denoting both Price’s Mill and Wesley Chapel around the same vicinity. 

What may have led to Wesley Chapel beating out Price’s Mill for the eventual name of the community was the celebrated Wesley Chapel Graded School. The Wesley Chapel Graded School was one of the first tax-supported rural graded schools in North Carolina passed by legislation act on March 7, 1901. The school had such a solid reputation that North Carolina Governor Charles Aycock gave the commencement address in 1902. United States Congressman Robert N. Page gave the commencement speech in 1903. An article in The News and Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina) from February 16, 1902: “Wesley Chapel Graded School to Solve Problem: A Successful Country School. Only so Many School Houses as we Can Have Efficient Schools.” The article goes on to credit the school’s four trustees, J.N. Price, H.L. Price, R.H. Howie, and E.M. Moore, with establishing the tax funding and staffing the educational program. Wesley Chapel Graded School eventually became Wesley Chapel High School.

This was around when the area became referred to more commonly as Wesley Chapel in newspaper articles, and Price’s Mill began to be used less frequently. Probably another contributing factor is in 1903 when the Price’s Mill Post Office was closed and consolidated with the Monroe Post Office. 

Over the next seventy-five to one hundred years, the biggest factor has been the population growth within Union County. This population growth has primarily been in the western part of the county. This has transformed Wesley Chapel from a rural farming area into a bedroom community for Charlotte. The United States Census Bureau calculations for Union County since 1900: 

Historical population

CensusPop.

1900 27,156

1910 33,277

1920 36,029

1930 40,979

1940 39,097

1950 42,034

1960 44,670

1970 54,714

1980 70,380

1990 84,211

2000 123,677

2010 201,292

2020 238,267

The population growth per the U.S. Census in three nearby municipalities of Wesley Chapel: Weddington – 1990/3,803 to 2020/13,181; Indian Trail – 1990/1,942 to 2020/39,997; Waxhaw – 1990/1,294 to 2020/20,534. 

The Village of Wesley Chapel was incorporated in 1999. This incorporation would probably be better described as incorporation in self-defense rather than any other goal. This incorporation by the Wesley Chapel residents was spurred by the concern of forced annexation by other nearby municipalities. At the time and up until 2006, forced annexation by municipalities was extremely common within North Carolina. Forced annexation is the annexation of unincorporated areas without the consent of the residents of the unincorporated area. Per the John Locke Foundation, “Only a handful of states are considered forced-annexation states, and North Carolina is extreme even among those states.”

Forced annexation in North Carolina came to a sudden halt in 2006 with the North Carolina Supreme Court case of Nolan v. City of Marvin: “The primary purpose of involuntary annexation, as regulated by these statutes, is to promote ‘sound urban development’ through the organized extension of municipal services to fringe geographical areas. These services must provide a meaningful benefit to newly annexed property owners and residents, who are now municipal taxpayers, and must also be extended in a non-discriminatory fashion. Under that definition, forced annexation in N.C. is not achieving its primary purpose. Forced annexation is not used for sound urban development. Municipalities are simply ignoring the areas that need services and annexing those areas that do not need services.”

The first U.S. Census after Wesley Chapel incorporated calculated a population of 2,549. Within twenty years, the U.S. Census 2020 population calculated was 8,681. Per the 2010 U.S. Census, Wesley Chapel has 9.48 square miles of land area. As Indian Trail, Weddington, and Waxhaw have continued to become bedroom communities for Charlotte, Wesley Chapel appears to be on that same growth projection. 

There is still a great deal of rural farmland around Wesley Chapel. However, these farmlands seem to be slowly disappearing and becoming residential homeowner associations (HOAs). Cotton cultivation can still be found in Union County. However, in what farmland is left, corn and soybeans are probably much more prevalent in the 21st century. 

Wesley Chapel NC

This family-oriented village has become a popular choice for homeowners, and we take pride in balancing our housing communities with a charming, rural feel alongside all of the conveniences of suburban lifestyle. If your HOA is in search of new management, please contact us today to discuss your Wesley Chapel community.

Wesley Chapel, North Carolina, is a village in Union County. Wesley Chapel is a suburb of Charlotte, North Carolina, and is around 21 miles from uptown Charlotte.

In the last twenty years, Wesley Chapel has developed into a bedroom community for Charlotte. The Population of Wesley Chapel per the U.S. Census in 2000 was 2,549. The population had grown to 8,681 per the 2020 U.S. Census.

The Village of Wesley Chapel is an incorporated village. It was incorporated by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1999. The village is governed by a nonpartisan village mayor and a four-member village council elected by the residents of the village. The village council members serve staggered four-year terms. The village mayor serves two-year terms. The village operates under the Mayor-Council plan as provided for in Part 3 of Article 7 of Chapter 160A of the North Carolina General Statutes.

The Village of Wesley Chapel’s motto is “A Great Place To Live and Raise a Family.”

A Brief Historical Overview of the Village of Wesley Chapel, North Carolina, and the Surrounding Area.

There is a long and rich history in Wesley Chapel and the surrounding area. The archeological evidence indicates that Native Americans inhabited the Piedmont region of the Carolinas for thousands of years. There is documentary evidence of Native Americans within the Catawba River Basin area dating back to the expedition of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto in 1540.

The Catawba River Basin was, and still, today is well suited for agriculture, hunting, and fishing with a moderate year-round climate. This ample ecosystem is likely what led to the many thousands of years of human habitation of the region. The outer eastern edge of the Catawba River Basin is found in Union County and the Wesley Chapel area.

The expedition of Spanish explorer Juan Pardo was the next European to document the Native Americans of the Catawba River Basin in 1567. The Native Americans being the Catawba people or Catawba Indians. These encounters with the Catawba people are documented in Vandera’s narratives of Pardo’s expedition. The Catawba people are referred to as the Ysa Issa (Iswä) in these narratives.

Over a hundred years later, the third to document the Catawba Indians in the Catawba River Basin was German explorer John Lederer in 1670. Lederer’s expedition was from Virginia through the western part of Carolina. He chronicled his encounters in The Discoveries of John Lederer, In three several Marches from Virginia, To the West of Carolina, And other parts of the Continent: Begun in March 1669 and ended in September 1670. In his work, the Catawba people are denoted as the Ushery.

At one time, from what can be determined from artifacts and oral histories, the Catawba people inhabited the Piedmont regions of present-day North Carolina, South Carolina, and up into Virginia. The Catawba people were primarily a settled agrarian-based civilization that supplemented their agrarian diet with fishing and hunting. They lived in socially economically structured communities or villages. However, Catawba villages varied in size were typically constructed with palisades or walls of logs and tree branches surrounding the dwellings within. The dwellings within were constructed of bark and tree limbs. The was a council house with an open area for community gatherings and other functions. Sweat lodges were a large part of the social order of the Catawba people and played a central part in their lives. Typically, sweat lodges were constructed within the village of stone and were circular.

In the future Wesley Chapel and Union County areas, there have been accounts of both Catawba and Waxhaw Indians habituating these areas. There is some historical debate on whether the Waxhaw Indians were actually a separate Indian people or but a branch of the Catawba people. The debate about the Waxhaw and Catawba being from the same tribe centers around the language and customs similarities. Both shared a Siouan-based language, and most peculiarly, both practiced a ritual of flattening their infant’s foreheads. This ritual resulted in setting the infant’s eyes abnormally further apart along with the sloping forehead. The Waxhaw and Catawba people accomplished this by binding their infants to boards after birth until obtaining the desired result. Another shared custom between the Waxhaws and Catawbas was the organization and structure of their villages. Both peoples similarly covered their individual dwellings within their villages with tree bark. What makes this determination difficult, if not impossible, is that the Waxhaw Indian population was drastically reduced by the Yamasee War (1715-1717). At the end of the Yamasee War, some historians assert the surviving Waxhaw Indians were merged with the Yamasee people. If the Waxhaw Indians were, in fact, a separate tribe from the Catawba Indians, they were considered extinct after 1717.

While the Yamasee War and intertribal conflicts had negative consequences on the Native American population, nothing had the overall impact that smallpox did. Smallpox introduced by European traders and settlers to the Native American populations was devastating. Due to the fact that Native Americans had not built up any natural immunities to these European diseases, they were hit especially hard during the many smallpox epidemics during the 1700s.

As the Native American population began to decline, European immigration to the New World and North Carolina increased. As European traders had been in the region for decades, a sprinkling of European settlers began arriving in the Catawba River Basin in the first part of the 1700s. The Catawba Indians and the early European settlers had a peaceful coexistence for the most part. Granted, this peaceful coexistence was more than likely due to both parties’ trading relationship with each other. The trading relationship was very beneficial to all parties. For example, the deer skins the Catawba Indians traded for firearms and powder gave them a strategic advantage over other Native American tribes, primarily the Cherokee Indians. The deer skins were as good as cash with settlers and traders because of the high demand in England. This relationship based on commerce also led to the Catawba Indians protecting the settlers from other Native Americans who were not happy about the settlers’ presence.

Wesley Chapel is situated along the area that was once part of the “Occaneechi Path” or the “Great Trading Path.” Fort Henry, Virginia (present-day Petersburg, Virginia) was the starting point of the Great Trading Path. Winding through Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and ending in Augusta, present-day Georgia. The Great Trading Path ended at a substantial trading post located at Augusta.   

The origin of the Great Trading Path was believed to have been a succession of trails between Native American villages that had been linked by traders. The Great Trading Path was most relevant before the heavy European colonization of North America. These scattered footpaths developed into a major route of commerce with the beginning of the fur trade in the 1670s between European traders and the Catawba, Cherokee, and other Siouan Indian tribes.

The Great Trading Path slowly became less relevant in the early 1700s as more roads and other points of civilization developed throughout the region. However, the Great Trading Path did facilitate some of the first European settlements along the area of its route. The nearby communities of Wesley Chapel of Waxhaw and Indian Trail are good examples of these early settlements.

These early European settlers arriving in the future Wesley Chapel area, in the first part of the 1700s, were primarily German Palatines (also known as Pennsylvania Dutch) and Scot-Irish. In the 1740s, European immigrants began arriving in greater numbers to the Union County and future Wesley Chapel area. This increase in migration was primarily via the “Great Wagon Road” from Philadelphia. The Great Wagon Road had a left fork, a branch of the road that led to Augusta, Georgia, via Lancaster and Camden, South Carolina, which was approximately 15 miles west of present-day Wesley Chapel. These new immigrants were primarily subsistence farmers with a few tradesmen. This subsistence farming and rural environment would remain relatively unchanged for the next 100 or so years in the Wesley Chapel area.

Most likely, the next big development for the future Wesley Chapel was the arrival of the railroad to the Indian Trail community around five miles away in 1874. The Carolina Central Railway was constructed through Indian Trail from Wilmington, North Carolina, to Charlotte, and eventually reaching Shelby, North Carolina. Even though this Indian Trail train stop was five miles away, this was still a big economic development for the entire area. The Carolina Central Railway offered farmers and merchants a more economical and efficient way to deliver and receive products. Agriculture being the primary economic base of Union County since the early settlers, was greatly boosted by the railroad. The railroad incentivized the production of cash crops, which further boosted the area population’s economic conditions. Cash crops being crops raised for market and not personal consumption. Reportedly the cash crop in the Wesley Chapel area of Union County was cotton. Other crops were cultivated as well; corn, oats, and wheat were cultivated as well.

Many early rural communities either developed around churches, general stores, or train depots. The community’s name often derived from those pivotal social magnets, and thus did the community’s name, Wesley Chapel. In the rural areas of early America that were without established churches, there was a movement during the Second Great Awakening of the early 1800s that is still followed today, referred to as “camp meeting.” Camp meeting is the Protestant practice of followers attending religious services or revivals and spending the night out under less than modern or primitive conditions for around a week. This entails camping out in primitive structures or tents with no modern conveniences. Even today, camp meetings are held with attendees electing to go without electricity, running water, etc. During the day, the camp meeting offered religious and community fellowship to the isolated rural area population. The camp meeting would draw the population from afar to camp, pray, sing hymns, listen to itinerant preachers, listen to music, and sometimes dance. The limited nature of transportation in the 1800s and the distances the attendees had to travel necessitated the camping out onsite to ensure they did not miss anything that went on during the services.

There was a camp meeting site known as the McWhorter Camp Meeting Grounds located adjacent to where the Wesley Chapel Cemetery is located today on Potter Road. The cemetery is located approximately one and one-quarter mile on the right after turning onto Potter Road from Weddington Road (NC Highway 84). Supposedly, there was a lack of water at the McWhorter Camp Meeting Grounds, so sometime in the early 1800s, the McWhorter Camp Meeting Grounds was shut down in favor of the Pleasant Grove Camp Meeting Ground, which is a little over three miles away. The Pleasant Grove Camp Meeting Ground was originally founded in 1830, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is still holding annual camp meetings today.

The abandoned McWhorter Camp Meeting Grounds was the location of the first Wesley Chapel church, which was established in 1832, and this church is where the community got its name. The church was located between the cemetery and the current church’s location. This original church was constructed of wood and was destroyed by fire on April 1, 1878.   

Mr. & Mrs. McCollum Price donated two acres of land to construct a new church at the intersection of Chambwood Road and Potter Road. The first services held in the new church were held on May 18, 1879. This sanctuary was expanded, and then a third, larger sanctuary, was constructed which is in use today. This church is located at 120 Potter Road, Wesley Chapel. Wesley Chapel Church has been a focal point of the community for coming up on two hundred years. In 1968 the Wesley Chapel Methodist Church became the Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church.

When the community or area started to become known as Wesley Chapel is up to some historical debate. At the turn of the 20th century, U.S. Post Office maps of the area noted Price’s Mill in the general vicinity of Wesley Chapel. Price’s Mill was granted a post office in November of 1875. A common practice at that time was to name the post office after a local business or industry that was well known. This may have been the case here because the Price family did own a number of local enterprises in the area, most notably the grist mill. The Price Mill Creek still flows south from Indian Trail following the Waxhaw-Indian Trail Road, eventually emptying into Twelve Mile Creek. The Price family had substantial agricultural land holdings in the area Wesley Chapel area as well.   

1896 US Post Office Map below

Union County, North Carolina Post Office Map – 1896

Price’s Mill being used to denote location can be traced back in newspaper accounts to 1872 and was used up until 1928. Around the turn of the 20th century, maps were denoting both Price’s Mill and Wesley Chapel around the same vicinity.

What may have led to Wesley Chapel beating out Price’s Mill for the eventual name of the community was the celebrated Wesley Chapel Graded School. The Wesley Chapel Graded School was one of the first tax-supported rural graded schools in North Carolina passed by legislation act on March 7, 1901. The school had such a solid reputation that North Carolina Governor Charles Aycock gave the commencement address in 1902. United States Congressman Robert N. Page gave the commencement speech in 1903. An article in The News and Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina) from February 16, 1902: “Wesley Chapel Graded School to Solve Problem: A Successful Country School. Only so Many School Houses as we Can Have Efficient Schools.” The article goes on to credit the school’s four trustees, J.N. Price, H.L. Price, R.H. Howie, and E.M. Moore, with establishing the tax funding and staffing the educational program. Wesley Chapel Graded School eventually became Wesley Chapel High School.

This was around when the area became referred to more commonly as Wesley Chapel in newspaper articles, and Price’s Mill began to be used less frequently. Probably another contributing factor is in 1903 when the Price’s Mill Post Office was closed and consolidated with the Monroe Post Office.

Over the next seventy-five to one hundred years, the biggest factor has been the population growth within Union County. This population growth has primarily been in the western part of the county. This has transformed Wesley Chapel from a rural farming area into a bedroom community for Charlotte. The United States Census Bureau calculations for Union County since 1900:

Historical population

CensusPop.

1900 27,156

1910 33,277

1920 36,029

1930 40,979

1940 39,097

1950 42,034

1960 44,670

1970 54,714

1980 70,380

1990 84,211

2000 123,677

2010 201,292

2020 238,267

The population growth per the U.S. Census in three nearby municipalities of Wesley Chapel: Weddington – 1990/3,803 to 2020/13,181; Indian Trail – 1990/1,942 to 2020/39,997; Waxhaw – 1990/1,294 to 2020/20,534.

The Village of Wesley Chapel was incorporated in 1999. This incorporation would probably be better described as incorporation in self-defense rather than any other goal. This incorporation by the Wesley Chapel residents was spurred by the concern of forced annexation by other nearby municipalities. At the time and up until 2006, forced annexation by municipalities was extremely common within North Carolina. Forced annexation is the annexation of unincorporated areas without the consent of the residents of the unincorporated area. Per the John Locke Foundation, “Only a handful of states are considered forced-annexation states, and North Carolina is extreme even among those states.”

Forced annexation in North Carolina came to a sudden halt in 2006 with the North Carolina Supreme Court case of Nolan v. City of Marvin: “The primary purpose of involuntary annexation, as regulated by these statutes, is to promote ‘sound urban development’ through the organized extension of municipal services to fringe geographical areas. These services must provide a meaningful benefit to newly annexed property owners and residents, who are now municipal taxpayers, and must also be extended in a non-discriminatory fashion. Under that definition, forced annexation in N.C. is not achieving its primary purpose. Forced annexation is not used for sound urban development. Municipalities are simply ignoring the areas that need services and annexing those areas that do not need services.”

The first U.S. Census after Wesley Chapel incorporated calculated a population of 2,549. Within twenty years, the U.S. Census 2020 population calculated was 8,681. Per the 2010 U.S. Census, Wesley Chapel has 9.48 square miles of land area. As Indian Trail, Weddington, and Waxhaw have continued to become bedroom communities for Charlotte, Wesley Chapel appears to be on that same growth projection.

There is still a great deal of rural farmland around Wesley Chapel. However, these farmlands seem to be slowly disappearing and becoming residential homeowner associations (HOAs). Cotton cultivation can still be found in Union County. However, in what farmland is left, corn and soybeans are probably much more prevalent in the 21st century.

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