Piedmont was laid out by the New Creek Company and incorporated in 1856. Its earliest basis and stimulus was the Baltimore and Ohio railway which reached the site of the future town in 1851. Its earlier growth was largely due to Henry G. Davis who, on assuming the duties of station agent of the railway at that point in 1854 and by his keen foresight in grasping its industrial and commercial advantages, established his brothers in the coal and lumber business and four years later (1858), on resigning his position with the railroad, became the head of the firm and organized the Piedmont Savings Bank of which he became president.
When the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad reached the foot of the Alleghenies, Piedmont was not yet a community and was unprepared, at first, to meet the needs of the railroad employees and their community. An interesting description of Piedmont in 1855 is revealed in an editorial and an advertisement published in the South Branch Intelligencer, an early newspaper in Romney. The newspaper, dated October 5, 1855, published an advertisement offering for sale by the New Creek Company, 100 lots in Piedmont.The lots were sold at the public sale on October 25, 1855.The editorial and advertisement follow: "See advertisement of the New Creek Company's sale of valuable building lots in the very flourishing village of Piedmont, in this county (Hampshire).Piedmont, at present, contains a population of about 1,200 - and situated as it is, in the heart of the coal region of this section, and being also the seat of the machine shops of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, and the proposed terminus of the Alexandria, Loudoun and Hampshire Railroad, we can but think that it would prove a good speculation to invest in these lots." On another page of the newspaper was the advertisement: Public Sale of Valuable Building Lots at Piedmont *On Thursday, October 25, 1855, will be offered at public sale at Piedmont, Hampshire County, Virginia at 10 o'clock, p.m. 100 Building Lots "These lots are situated in the vicinity of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, which passes through the property; and on which that company has erected a number of buildings and a machine shop capable of employing 300 workmen. "Piedmont is pleasantly situated on a bend of the Potomac River, opposite the mouth of George's Creek, 29 miles west of Cumberland and 206 miles from Baltimore by railroad. "Within three years this town has sprung up; then it contained two shanties - now it contains 140 buildings, including two churches, a machine shop, 325 X 100 feet, an engine house, 150 feet in diameter, and another in progress, 175 feet in diameter, hotels, stores, and etc. "The situation is pleasant and healthy, with an active, industrious and intelligent population of 1,000 to 1,200 persons, the George's Creek Railroad in Maryland connects with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in Piedmont." "Provisions are plenty and prices are low." "This property lies near the central valley of Virginia.Two trains of passenger cars pass daily through town each day, between Baltimore, Wheeling, one of which stops some hours here." "Piedmont is the only rapidly increasing town of any size for a number of miles along the Cumberland Mountains, and offers inducement to laborers and mechanics to locate in, being surrounded by coal fields and the mountain slopes being heavily timbered, afford cheap building materials.Large quantities of iron ore, fire and other clay are also abundant....."
Piedmont Historic Preservation Foundation, LTD Henry Gassaway Davis House Piedmont, WV 26750