Arthur Leonard, long time part-owner of the Refuge Inn, will be the island’s next mayor. He will be sworn into office July 1, 2016, following a landslide victory at the polls this May. Before being elected Mayor, Arthur served our town as a Councilman and Chairman of the Board of Zoning Appeals.
Believe it or not, Arthur grew up right here at the Refuge Inn. His parents Don and Martha Leonard founded the Refuge Motor Inn in 1973, when Arthur was 9 years old. He lived here until leaving for college at East Carolina University, then returned to the island to start a family in 1987. Arthur and his wife Mary Esther, along with their daughter Cynthia, moved into the apartment at the Inn when Don and Martha retired in 1990. They remained on-site for several years, welcoming and caring for guests at all hours of the day and night. In 1995, they moved up to the Leonard Farm where Arthur helps raise the family’s herd of Chincoteague Ponies.
Outside his work at the Refuge Inn, Arthur is an island historian, world-champion decoy carver, tour boat Master Captain, football coach, baseball coach, and devoted father and grandfather. All of us here at the Refuge Inn—family and staff alike—are proud of his accomplishments and will be very happy to see him serve Chincoteague as Mayor.