North Carolina Mountains - Beautiful Vistas & Great Retreats!

Discussion in 'Travel Stories' started by giradman, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. skimonkey

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    Very interesting read Dave. The picture of the library is fantastic among the other pics that you have posted. The book yoi mentioned certainly sounds like one I'd like to put in my reading list. Love biographies.

    Thanks for sharing all this!
     
  2. scifan57

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    Thanks for the pictures giradman. If I lived there, I think I'd need more than one AirPort Extreme to cover the whole house.
     
  3. giradman

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    Hi Scifan.. - I suspect that George V. would have had internet in the house if available - :D

    All 'modern' conveniences of the time were included in the house from the beginning, including electricity and the use of Edison light bulbs - below is a quote from HERE - there is a sub-basement tour which we did a few years ago - both D.C. & A.C. current were part of the original plan - the house is wired w/ lightening to reflect the times (i.e. low wattage and 'darker' than one would expect in a modern house but true to the times). Dave :)

     
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  4. giradman

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    Biltmore Estate - Fall & Rise of an American Treasure!

    Well, not sure how much interest this post will generate, BUT just some more history of the house through the first half of the 20th century - :)

    As stated previously, George & Edith Vanderbilt had one child in 1900 who was named Cornelia (in honor of her great grandfather Cornelius Vanderbilt who founded the family fortune, yet another story). George died unexpectedly in 1914 following an appendectomy in Washington, D.C. (likely a postoperative pulmonary embolus - he was just 51 y/o); his will left the estate to his daughter when she 'came of age' - as quoted below (from a Wiki article on GWV), much of the property was sold for financial reasons, leaving just 8000 acres remaining today.

    Cornelia married a British aristocrat & diplomat, John Cecil in 1924 - they had two sons, both are still alive in their 80s - their children & now grandchildren run the property. In 1930, Cornelia & John opened the house to the public for their own financial needs and to stimulate an increased interest in deteriorating tourism in the Asheville area, yet @ the start of the Great Depression - these were indeed difficult times. About the same time, Edith's attorney, Junius G. Adams (more on him HERE) was placed in charge of the estate and through wise management, including the development of a dairy and eventually a winery (more in a later post), Biltmore survived and prospered and is, I guess, an American success story!

    Below just a few pics - the newly wed couple, i.e. Cornelia & John Cecil and remembrance of the dairy which no longer exists - Dave :)

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  5. giradman

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    When did I become aware of the Biltmore House?

    Again just a side story which in part relates to the lawyer, Junius G. Adams of Asheville. I grew up in northern Ohio/southern Michigan near the west end of Lake Erie. After high school, I attended the University of Michigan for 7 years (3 undergrad & 4 medical school). In August 1968, at the start of my sophomore year in medical school, I rented a single bedroom in a house just off campus - probably the two most important events occurred in my life at that time. First, my future wife (a social work student) rented a room in the adjacent house (she was from New Jersey), and a fellow rented the attic bedroom in the same house as me - we shared the bathroom.

    The 'fellow' was Junius G. Adams, III, known as 'Jay' - he was obtaining a PhD in genetics - we developed an instant attraction and were best friends for the next 3 years - at the time, I knew little of North Carolina and had never heard of the Biltmore House. He married first, and Susan & I in July 1970 - probably in late 1970 (or early 1971 before my graduation), we took a car trip together to Asheville, NC - his hometown; his parents lived in Biltmore Forest (a residential property started by Edith Vanderbilt who insisted on having potential purchasers dine w/ her at the 'house' for a perusal, I guess - ;)) - SO, Jay grew up in Biltmore Forest near the great house and his grandfather was indeed the famous Junius G. Adams mentioned in my previous post - this trip sealed my decision to leave Michigan (in agreement w/ Susan) for a change in the weather and the locale - I've never regretted (and have relished) in that decision made way back in 1971! Dave :)
     
  6. scifan57

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    I just finished reading the technological tour of Biltmore you linked to in an earlier post, it was very interesting. Thanks for the link.
     
  7. giradman

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    Hi Scifan.. - glad that you enjoyed - that is an excellent link (check out item 7 there on the hot water, plumbing, & bathrooms, if not already read).

    In general, for those who might be visiting the Biltmore House, leave some time to take one or several of the additional tours, such as the grounds ('Legacy of the Land') and the basement tour that covers (and shows) the electrical, heating, & water management of the house. Dave :)
     
  8. giradman

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    Biltmore Winery - History & Visiting!

    Well, just a final post from our recent trip about the Biltmore Winery - a summary below from their Website - the original winery is in the 'converted' dairy which is open to tours (there are other buildings for wine production & storage). The winery is the most visited one in the USA (see pics below of tasting room, the winery, and Mr. Cecil).

    "Today, Biltmore offers more than 50 different wines and produces 2 million bottles each year." (Source) - the Biltmore Winery was one of the first NC wineries (the state has now over 100 wine facilities), but is unique not only in the number of wines being made but sourcing grapes from areas other that North Carolina, such as California & Washington State - this accounts for the LARGE and varied assortment of wines produced, including three sparklers made in the traditional French champagne method.

    So, if you are planning a trip to the Biltmore Estate and enjoy wine, then certainly tour the winery, do a tasting (standard & paid options), and buy some of the wines you enjoy! Dave :)

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    Winery-our-story.jpg IMG_5006winery.jpg IMG_5008winery.jpg AshevilleDay3-0360.jpg Our-story-default-Mr.-Cecil_Barrels.jpg
     
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  9. suenc

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  10. suenc

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    Amazing place. Not air conditioned, don't know how they survived with those heavy clothes.
     

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