About West Jefferson

History of West Jefferson

West Jefferson developed around the Virginia-Carolina Railroad depot in the early 1900s. Before the railroad and the resulting town, a few families lived in the valley known for its cherry tree orchards. The valley is located between Mount Jefferson to the east and Paddy Mountain to the west. The first ownership of the valley that would become West Jefferson began in 1779 when North Carolina's Governor Richard Caswell granted three hundred twenty acres to Colonel Ben Cleveland, who battled the British at King's Mountain.


​One hundred twenty years after Colonel Cleveland’s land grant, the West Jefferson Land Company surveyed the new town and fixed its limits as a square one-half mile north, south, east and west of the Virginia-Carolina Depot. The North Carolina General Assembly chartered the Town of West Jefferson in 1915.

Early Development

​The railroad carried mostly freight, which brought West Jefferson’s initial commercial growth. Another prime factor in West Jefferson’s early development occurred with the opening of the First National Bank of West Jefferson in 1915. West Jefferson’s Town Hall occupies the bank’s branch office built in 1962.


​The Town of West Jefferson operates at the direction of a five-member Board of Aldermen. The Mayor and Aldermen are elected to four-year, staggered terms. The Board appoints the Town Attorney and Town Manager.

Board of Aldermen

  • Tom Hartman, Mayor
  • John K. Reeves, Alderman
  • Russell W. Barr, III, Mayor Pro Tem
  • Calvin Green, Alderman
  • Beth Shelton, Alderman
  • Stephen Shoemaker, Alderman

Town Attorney

John B. "Jak" Reeves

Town Manager

Brantley Price

Town Hall Staff

Rebecca Eldreth, Assistant Town Manager, Town Clerk 

Heather Holdaway, Town Finance Officer

Teresa McCoy, Accounting
Technician, Water Billing

Bradley Jordan, Chief of Police

Code of Ordinances

The Town of West Jefferson compiled various ordinances that apply to the Town and can be found by clicking here.

​Town Services

Benefits provided by town government to residents include water, sewer and garbage service, snow removal on town streets, street maintenance, public safety (police and fire protection), recycling center, community development (planning and zoning), a town-owned cemetery available to residents, sidewalks connecting the residential areas to downtown and a free public park maintained by the town featuring playground equipment, a lighted paved walking trail, tennis courts and picnic shelters.

Town Meetings

The Board of Aldermen hold regular meetings every first Monday of the month at 6:00 p.m. at Town Hall. Special meetings may be called with forty-eight hours public notice or may be scheduled during regular meetings. Public notice is given by posting the notice of a special meeting on Town Hall’s front door. The public is welcome to attend the Board of Aldermen’s meetings. Amendments must receive the Planning Board’s recommendation either for approval/disapproval prior to going to the Board of Aldermen for their approval/disapproval. The public is welcome to attend the Planning Board’s meetings. Minutes from town meetings are available by clicking here.

Planning Board

  • John K. Reeves, Chairman
  • Bob Adams, In-town Member
  • Russell Barr, III, In-town Member
  • Phil Absher, In-town Member
  • Melody Rector, In-town Member
  • James Ellis, ETJ Member
  • Zeb Gambill, ETJ Member
  • Vic Gammons, ETJ Member
  • Phyllis Hartzog, ETJ Member
  • Rick Price, ETJ Member
  • Michael Vannoy, ETJ Member

Board of Adjustment

  • John K. Reeves, Chairman
  • Russell Barr, III, In-town Member
  • Calvin Green, In-town Member
  • Beth Shelton, In-town Member
  • Stephen Shoemaker, In-town Member
  • James Ellis, ETJ Member
  • Zeb Gambill, ETJ Member
  • Vic Gammons, ETJ Member
  • Phyllis Hartzog, ETJ Member
  • Rick Price, ETJ Member
  • Michael Vannoy, ETJ Member

As a Main Street America Affiliate™, Town of West Jefferson is part of a national network of more than 1,200 neighborhoods and communities that share both a commitment to creating high-quality places and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development.

Town of West Jefferson is a North Carolina Small Town Main Street community, designated by the N.C. Department of Commerce Main Street & Rural Planning Center.  Town of West Jefferson is charged with administering the program at the local level and building public-private partnerships to spur economic development that achieves measurable results such as investment, business growth, and job creation.

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