Alexandria’s West End is ever-evolving and growing.
Today it is marked by major transportation routes, newer architecture, and subdivisions, and shopping areas than historic Old Town Alexandria. But the West End has a long history and was actually its own little community that grew outside the boundary of Alexandria city.
Flour mills, a tavern and homes dotted the landscape from present-day Duke Street to Telegraph Road. The community was called Cameron, and roads such as Little River Turnpike and Duke Street became crucial, connecting port businesses to settlers farther west. This was the main route for all commerce in and out of Alexandria.
In the 1780s the West family, successful business owners lived just outside the boundary of Alexandria. They began selling plots of their plantation to business owners to grow Cameron. Then in 1796, John West subdivided his land into streets and called the subdivision West End. Homes were built, families and more businesses moved in.