Ask 13: What is the origin of Kitchin and why was Kitchin Place changed to Kitchen?

A well-known street in Biltmore Village has a new spelling, but one viewer is questioning the change.

"Can you please tell me 1) what the origin of the name Kitchin was, and 2) why the village has abandoned it and replaced the place name with a room for preparing food?" Rebecca Cochrane wrote to Ask 13.

Cochrane noticed the change in just the past few months.

It appears someone in the city of Asheville thought it was misspelled and changed the street's name to Kitchen with an "e."

The city said it believes the street name was previously spelled with an "e." But longtime businesses on Kitchin Place spell it with an "i."

City spokeswoman Polly McDaniel said the former street name sign did not have the official e-911 street name spelling displayed.

But historians said the Kitchin Place name was spelled correctly because the street was named for bookkeeper Julian P. Kitchin (with an "i"), who worked for Biltmore Estate.

McDaniel said original city plats show the name as Kitchen with an "e." But she said staff is now researching to see if it was in fact named after Julian Kitchin.

Biltmore's historian says Kitchin's name was often misspelled, but it's his opinion it was obviously named for Kitchin, who, by the way, was related to William Walton Kitchin, North Carolina's 52nd governor.

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