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Hall County Historical Markers

The Historic Piedmont Hotel


  • Source: David Seibert
  • Marker: The Historic Piedmont Hotel
  • Location: Maple St between High and Myrtle Sts, Gainesville

THE HISTORIC PIEDMONT HOTEL

The Piedmont Hotel was constructed here just prior to the opening of the nearby railroad in 1873. Primarily a summer resort, the three-story hotel was rambling, U-shaped structure with 30 rooms. A large dining room and kitchen adjoined the building. Confederate General James Longstreet (1821-1904) owned and operated the hotel for almost 20 years following the Civil War. During this time, as Georgia’s most influential Republican Party leader, Longstreet hosted a number of notable 19th century Americans at the hotel, including Union General and New York Congressman Daniel Sickles, Confederate General Joseph Johnston, newspaperman Henry Grady and writer Joel Chandler Harris. The hotel’s most famous guests were the young Woodrow and Ellen Axson Wilson. Their second daughter Jessie Woodrow was born here on August 28, 1887, in a still-existing room. The need to supply the hotel’s demand for its famous fried chicken and other savory chicken dishes is recognized as the motivation for the genesis of the poultry industry in Northeast Georgia. The majority of the hotel building was demolished c. 1918, but in 1994, a run-down duplex apartment building was discovered to be the Piedmont Hotel’s lower-level west wing, which contained the room where Jessie Wilson was born.

69-7 ERECTED IN 1998