West Jefferson (Images of America) by Ashe County Historical Society
West Jefferson is located in the northwest corner of North Carolina, a land once known for its cherry orchards. In 1779, Col. Benjamin Cleveland, a hero of the Battle of King's Mountain, received a grant for 320 acres in a mountain valley in return for his service during the Revolutionary War. In 1912, the Virginia-Carolina Railroad became interested in the area's timber, farming, and mining resources and began building a railroad into Ashe County, ending at Todd. When the railroad came, the area was already populated by farms and businesses, as it was only two miles from the county seat of Jefferson. The North Carolina General Assembly chartered the town of West Jefferson in 1915, with boundaries extending one mile in each direction from the Virginia-Carolina Railroad depot. The railroad brought commercial growth, and the First National Bank of West Jefferson was opened in 1915 as well. West Jefferson showcases the expansion of this small town with a popular rail line to a tourist destination and retail center in the North Carolina mountains.