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Piedmont, South Carolina
Top, left to right: Ruins of the Piedmont Number One overlooking the Saluda River, Main Street, Railroad, Piedmont Highway
Top, left to right: Ruins of the Piedmont Number One overlooking the Saluda River, Main Street, Railroad, Piedmont Highway
Location of Piedmont, South Carolina
Location of Piedmont, South Carolina
Country United States
State South Carolina
Counties Anderson, Greenville
Area
 • Total 8.8 sq mi (22.7 km2)
 • Land 8.6 sq mi (22.3 km2)
 • Water 0.2 sq mi (0.4 km2)
Elevation
791 ft (241 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 5,411
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
29673
Area code(s) 864
FIPS code 45-56365
GNIS feature ID 1225406

Piedmont is a census-designated place (CDP) along the Saluda River in Anderson and Greenville counties in the U.S. state of South Carolina. The population was 5,411 at the 2020 census.

Piedmont is a part of the Greenville-Anderson metropolitan area.

History

PiedmontSC1890
Downtown Piedmont around 1890

Native Americans and early settlers of Piedmont called the area "Big Shoals of the Saluda" after the Saluda River. The Native Americans used the shoals as a crossing. David Garrison established a grist mill around 1850 upon the shoals changing the name of the area to Garrison Shoals. Henry Pinckney Hammett bought this property for his cotton mill that used water power of the shoals. The name of the area changed again to Piedmont, "Foot of the Mountains" and became a mill town. The American Civil War disrupted Hammett's project until 1876 when his plant began operations. Piedmont was added to Hammett's charter for Piedmont Manufacturing Company and a railroad station. Water power from the Saluda River was also used to produce electricity to run the machinery from the 1880s to the 1920s. The machinery of the Piedmont Manufacturing Company was from Saco Lowell and Whitin Machine Works that helped finance Hammett's company. In 1946 the mills were sold to J.P. Stevens and Company where it then was updated with modern features. Manufacturing continued until 1977 and in 1983 most of Piedmont Manufacturing Company burned down.

Geography

Piedmont is located in northern Anderson County and southwestern Greenville County at 34°42′15″N 82°27′41″W / 34.70417°N 82.46139°W / 34.70417; -82.46139 (34.704140, -82.461427). It is 12 miles (19 km) south of the center of Greenville. Exit 35 on Interstate 85 is 2 miles (3 km) to the west of the center of Piedmont. South Carolina state road 86 cuts through the small town also, connecting with Interstate 85 at Exit 35. According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 8.8 square miles (22.7 km2), of which 8.6 square miles (22.3 km2) is land and 0.15 square miles (0.4 km2), or 1.93%, is water. The Saluda River flows southwards over a dam through the center of town.

Demographics

2020 census

Piedmont racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 4,321 79.86%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 508 9.39%
Native American 10 0.18%
Asian 16 0.3%
Other/Mixed 287 5.3%
Hispanic or Latino 269 4.97%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 5,411 people, 1,787 households, and 1,476 families residing in the CDP.

Popular culture

  • The Birth of a Nation was set in Piedmont.


Education

Schools in Piedmont include Wren High School, Wren Middle School, Wren Elementary School, Spearman Elementary School all located in Anderson School District One, and Woodmont High School, Woodmont Middle School, and Sue Cleveland Elementary School all located in the Greenville County School District.

Piedmont has a public library, a branch of the Anderson County Library System.

Notable people

  • Corinne Boyd Riley, U.S. Representative from South Carolina, 1962-1963
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