West Jefferson early view

West Jefferson Celebrates 100th Anniversary 

West Jefferson is planning to celebrate its 100th Anniversary. Planning is underway to have the big event in 1915. No dates are set yet, but we'll post info as it becomes available.

Frankie Faw

This led me back to some notes I'd made in conversation with my grandmother, Frankie Faw Anderson, back about 1985. I'm trying to piece together the various items and list out the significant facts, such as "first's" in West Jefferson.

One that stood out was the first silent movie being shown in a wooden building, an old ice house, in 1919, not in the earliest theatre we see in town today, a couple doors from the Parkway Theatre.

Frankie Faw Anderson about 1917    

Frankie New River

Frankie grew up with the town and knew much of its history firsthand. Her father cut timber off the slopes around town and down on New River in Obids.

The story of her life, courtship, and family was featured in the Jefferson Post in 2000. Click on the images below to open a larger graphic for reading.

Faw Anderson story 1 Faw Anderson story 2


A page from my notes is at right, click it to see them and how some are bits and pieces, those who know the town's history really well may find it easier to identify all the references contained within... Granny Notes  

Here's some of the tidbits I've found:

We welcome corrections, additions, and references to these items!

The first autos sold in town were Ford, by Shade Joines

The first car may have been owned by Bob Bare.

John Weaver had the first ice cream parlor

Stockyard started in 1938-40, tobacco warehouses earlier

Livery stable where City Florist was...buggies, hacks, and wagons, owned by Bynum Faw of Lansing

Badgers started in Jefferson, building wooden coffins and holding overbight wakes

Original High School dormitory, wooden, six grades in county, towns had High School, Bynum Faw's daughter ran it, cooked food, she married a Dickson

Vance Woody ran a dray wagon from the Depot, delivered shipped goods from Sears and Montgomery Wards

John Anders Richardson had a dry goods store on the corner where pizza place was (1985) - his daughter had a 5&10 next door

Morgan Jones had a dry goods store, sold shoes and cloth, newer clothes, ready-made by then, groceries too

Main Street and the highway had a square cement planter at center, with a tree growing in it, the corner that has been the Department store was a gas station, possibly Gulf

1922 - Bank on corner, Post Office right side of Jefferson Times, corner where 1st Union was (1985)

WJ hardware corner, two dentists offices upstairs, Ray Drug next door, Hamilton-Price Co next to that

The second theatre was a wooden building, boards on barrels for seats, folks called it the "picture house", behind Burgess on the backstreet

Thomasville plant started as just sawmills, cut lumber, bought logs, stacked lumber, a little building there, bottomed chairs with cane for twenty-five cents, later built frames and new chairs

Where Roten's Electric was, was Dr. Reeves office

1915 printing office, sold to Skyland Post which started early in town

End of WWII, people gathered at railroad tracks, boys returned home "hooping and hollering"

Big July 4th in 1922, first airplane flew in, circled town, took people up for rides

McGuires Root and Herb bought roots

Medical doctor's wagon came to town with snake oils

The "haunted Jackson house" - across from Colvard's

The "Bloody Bucket" restaurant, carl Miller and wife, hung himself upstairs

K.K.K. in Ashe, met above GC (?) Hardware, 1920's - 30's, they'd walk town hooded and talk with people, burnt crosses as warnings, drug people out and whipped them, "People got fed up with them fast..." the law stopped it, pastor of First Baptist was rumored to be involved..."in the hall robes hanging up... until then the town didn't have much law...they disbanded."

There was cockfighting, but more so it was in Wilkes County

S. Shumake possibly first town policeman, 1915