Piedmont’s historic downtown in pictures

Featuring 17 recent photos from historic places in Piedmont, Alabama

About once a month, some friends and I ride our bicycles through downtown Piedmont along the Chief Ladiga Trail. Most of that trail sits on an old railroad track bed that once connected east Alabama to northeast Georgia and Atlanta.

Two blocks north of where the bike trail crosses Center Avenue you will find a c.1868 train depot. The village that grew rapidly around that depot in the late 1860s and through the 1870s was known as Cross Plains.

Today, there are no train tracks found anywhere in this small city that sits at the northern tip of Choccolocco Mountain. And, that old depot is home to the local museum.

The building was listed with the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 as the Southern Railway Depot.

Along Center Avenue, the commercial area south of the depot and the residential area to the north feature several buildings that appear to be between 100 and 120 years old. But the depot is the only nationally-registered historic place at this time.

About 100 to 120 years ago, you could buy a home kit from a Sears Roebuck & Co. catalog. The Magnolia home was one of the grander models you might have chosen. Check out this page from the 1918 catalog:


Photo: http://www.searsarchives.com/homes/images/1915-1920/1919_2089.jpg

One of the few Magnolia homes that was built is found in Piedmont about 1,200 feet north of the depot.


The Sears Roebuck & Co. kit home as it appeared in 2020

Over on the other side of the depot, the attractive historic commercial area is only about two blocks long on Center Avenue, with another two blocks along Ladiga Street.

 Historic Piedmont commercial area gallery

Within a short distance you will also find other historic buildings including the old marble clad post office and three red brick churches that were built between 1891 and 1945.

Pictured, from top left: The c. 1940 Post Office, the c. 1891 First Presbyterian Church, the c. 1940s First Baptist Church, and the c. 1916 First United Methodist Church.

Piedmont is near several other cities with interesting historic downtowns, and it’s easy to visit three or four of them on the same sightseeing trip. Those nearby cities include Centre, Jacksonville, Gadsden and Anniston in Alabama, and Cave Spring, Cedartown and Rockmart in Georgia.