Ansted is a town in Fayette County in the U.S. state of West Virginia. It is situated on high bluffs along U.S. Highway 60 on a portion of the Midland Trail a National Scenic Byway near Hawk's Nest overlooking the New River far below.
The area of what is now southern West Virginia was long a hunting ground for nomadic tribes of Native-Americans before the arrival of Europeans in the 17th century. Around 1790, the area now known as Ansted was settled by a group of Baptists who did not hold legal title to the land. These people were known as "squatters," and built the Hopewell Baptist Church nearby. In 1792, a 400 acre (1.6 km²) tract of land in the area was patented to Charles Skaggs.
Named in honor of the Marquis de la Fayette, a major hero of the American Revolutionary War, Fayette County, Virginia was created in 1831. The first county court was held that same year at Miles Manser's general store which stood nearby Ansted's current location along the James River and Kanawha Turnpike, an early roadway built to connect the canals on the James and Kanawha Rivers. The area was known at that time as Mountain Cove. At various times, it has also been known as Woodville, New Haven, and Westlake.