Piedmont, West Virginia

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Piedmont is a town in Mineral County, West Virginia, United States. It is part of the 'Cumberland, MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area'. The population was 1,014 at the 2000 census. Piedmont was chartered in 1856. The town is the subject of Colored People: A Memoir (ISBN 0-679-73919-X) by Piedmont native, Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Contents

History

Piedmont is located along the North Branch Potomac River at the foot of the Allegheny Mountains as its name suggests. The town was also known as Mount Carbon due to the persuasiveness of the officers of the New Creek Company, a corporation chartered to construct canals, build railroads, purchase lands, and to carry on manufacturing. The officials convinced the Baltimore and Ohio, the Burlington and Mount Holly Railroad, the Boston and Lowell, and the Long Island railroads to use coal instead of wood in the firing of their locomotives. The first coal used was mined in the mountains surrounding Piedmont. In 1888, William Luke established the West Virginia Paper Company (now NewPage Corporation) on 50 acres (202,000 m²) of land known as West Piedmont (now Luke, Maryland) adjacent to the larger town of Westernport, Maryland. The company remains a major economic factor in the area.

During the Civil War the town of Piedmont was frequently raided by the McNeill's Rangers in an effort to disrupt B&O train service for the Confederates.

Jazz great, Don Redman, was born in Piedmont on July 29, 1900. Henry Louis Gates, a professor of African-American history at Harvard, was raised in Piedmont, an experience he described in his 1994 book "Colored People". Rock singer Steve Whiteman of the band Kix, best known for their hit song 'Don't Close Your Eyes', was born in Piedmont in 1956.

Geography

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