West Jefferson, North Carolina

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West Jefferson is a town in Ashe County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 1,081 at the 2000 census.



West Jefferson was incorporated as a city in 1909, and it is the second-oldest incorporated town in Ashe County. West Jefferson has the distinction of having the only cheese factory in the south-eastern 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.


West Jefferson is situated in the Appalachian Mountain chain, in a valley between Mt Jefferson (to the east) and Paddy Mountain (to the west).

West Jefferson is located at 36°23′43″N 81°29′30″W / 36.39528°N 81.49167°W / 36.39528; -81.49167 (36.395181, -81.491742)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.8 square miles (4.5 km²), all of it land.


As of the census[1] 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). There were 601 housing units at an average density of 344.3/sq mi (132.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 94.73% White, 0.37% African American, 1.57% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.19% Pacific Islander, 2.04% from other races, and 0.83% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.27% of the population.

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