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West Jefferson is a town in Ashe County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 1,299 at the 2010 census.
West Jefferson was incorporated in 1909. At one time, West Jefferson had the distinction of having the only cheese factory in the southeastern United States. For many decades West Jefferson was served by the Norfolk and Western Railroad, better known as the "Virginia Creeper". The railroad was the primary reason for the creation of West Jefferson, as the town became a major stop on the railway. With the decline of the railroad and the loss of textile factory jobs to foreign markets, West Jefferson's economy is increasingly devoted to the tourism industry. The town's location in the Appalachian Mountains has led to a large number of tourists visiting the area each year, and many out-of-state tourists have begun to build cabins and housing developments around the town.
The West Jefferson Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.
West Jefferson is situated in the Appalachian Mountain chain, in a valley between Mount Jefferson (to the east) and Paddy Mountain (to the west).
West Jefferson is located at 36°23′43″N 81°29′30″W (36.395181, -81.491742).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,081 people, 527 households, and 290 families residing in the town. The population density was 619.2 people per square mile (238.5/km²).
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