Historic DowntownThe Town of West Point has a long and unique history related to its location in Colonial Virginia and its American Indian heritage. West Point was once the site of an Indian village named Cinquoteck, chief village of Opechancanough, brother of Chief Powhatan. Historians believe that this was the site where Captain John Smith was taken as a prize captive in 1607. Later, in 1664, the West Point area became part of a large land grant made to Captain John West. In 1691, an act by the General Assembly arranged the purchase from West Point Plantation of 50 acres of land for the development of Delaware Town. A rail line was completed in 1859 to White House across the Pamunkey from West Point, and, in 1860, an iron drawbridge was built across the river. All of this was destroyed during the Civil War. Only four houses from that time survive today.

West Point became an incorporated town in 1870 and soon became a thriving commercial port and resort destination. The City of Richmond used West Point as its eastern shipping terminus. Traffic included schooners, then later steamships and barges. West Point was also the first terminus for the Richmond York River Railroad, another factor in the Town's growth. West Point became a destination for socializing and recreation. The Terminal Hotel stood at the site of the existing Beach Park and was a popular attraction for both tourists and visitors. After the decline of tourism, a shipyard built in 1917 and a pulp mill built in 1918 revitalized the Town.

Get an Historic Walking Tour Map for more information on West Point's history.The Town has a grid pattern of streets and blocks comprised of half-acre lots. Main Street is the primary north-south thoroughfare on which most of the district's late 19th century and early 20th century commercial, religious and residential buildings are located. Beginning at the tip of the peninsula with First Street, the Town's east-west streets continue north in numerical order to Fourteenth Street. The historic buildings found in the the district include period representatives from the Victorian Italianate, Queen Anne, and Gothic Revival architectural styles, as well as Sears mail-order houses. Visit the Historical Society of West Point for more information about West Point’s unique and storied past.

See Benefits of Listing in the National Register of Historic Places.