Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Biltmore Slumming

The Biltmore Estate was the home and toy of George Washington Vanderbilt (1862-1914),  son of William Henry Vanderbilt,  and grandson of  Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt,  which Pa and Grandpa were among the richest and most powerful people on earth at the time.  
His estate was 2000 acres but he bought much more land which, after he died, got his family through some hard times (maybe not "hard" to the middle class).
He married Edith Stuyvesant Dresser, which fitted nicely as first lady of the estate, excellent hostess, and seemingly caring about the welfare of the many employees and their families.   

George only lived about 52 years.  He died in his Washington, DC home.

Vanderbilt commissioned Charles McNamee to plan and look after the construction of the huge Biltmore House and its immediate grounds.

The Biltmore Winery

George and Edith Vanderbilt had only one child, Cornelia Stuyvesant Vanderbilt (1900-1976).  She was born in the Biltmore House August 22, 1900.  She married John Francis Amherst Cecil in 1924.
During the birth and growth of the Biltmore Estate the idea was for the property to pay for itself.  They started a successful Biltmore Dairy, grew a variety of crops, and other livestock enterprises.
I don't know how many children Cornelia and John had, but them along with their descendants the  self-generating Biltmore enterprises  a large conglomerate sprang  up and is still a strong force in today's Asheville, North  Carolina, economy.
In 1930, they opened the operation up to the public and charged admission.   The rest  is history. 

Dr, Cuss gives blacksmith demonstrations daily. 
click directly below to see a Doc video I made.

Vanderbilt hired Frederick Law Omsted  to shape the huge mostly natural property.  Omsted made a name for himself by designing Central Park in NYC.

Above is the French Broad River that runs through the Biltmore property.  Interesting, I have a Hunter link to this river.  One of my Hunter ancestors' son had a tavern on the French Broad River near Asheville.  Another Hunter kin, my g-g-g- grandfather John Hunters farmed land next to French Broad River in Asheville.  The French Connection?

Eat your heart out Donald Trump!


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