Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the northwestern region of North Carolina, the town of West Jefferson developed around the Virginia-Carolina Railroad (better known as the “Virginia Creeper”) depot in the early 1900s.
The earliest immigrant owner of the land that is now West Jefferson was Colonel Ben Cleveland, who fought the British at the Battle of King’s Mountain. One hundred and twenty years after Col. Cleveland’s land grant, the town was incorporated in 1915.
A Refreshing Climate
At an elevation of 3,200 feet, surrounded by Fraser fir and pine forests, West Jefferson’s climate offers relief from hot summers, and winters are surprisingly mild. The holiday season is extra special in West Jefferson, as there are numerous “choose and cut” Christmas tree farms in the West Jefferson area.
The community today is perhaps best known for its arts district. A walking tour through the Historic District will take you past the 15 murals that have been designed and painted by local artists and others in the state. The images reflect the area’s history and unique mountain character. There are numerous shops, restaurants, and galleries as well.
Festivals & Events
The Ashe County Arts Council sponsors a monthly Gallery Crawl in downtown West Jefferson June through October, an evening of strolling among West Jefferson’s many art galleries with refreshments, street entertainment and drawings. The Arts Council maintains a continuing schedule of events, including exhibitions and performances.
In addition to its art, West Jefferson hosts a summer-long free concert series and its annual Christmas in July Festival.
Farmers Tailgate Market
The Ashe County Farmer’s Market is held Saturday mornings, 8 am to 1 pm starting in April, and on Wednesday mornings from 8 am to 1 pm starting in July. There are also three holiday markets, Nov. 20 & 27, and Dec. 5. Located at 108 Backstreet in West Jefferson. 336-877-4141
West Jefferson is located in Ashe County, in the northwestern corner of North Carolina on US Hwy 221.