The Cumberland Post

The Cumberland Post
My Backyard, Six Miles from the Cumberland River

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

We Didn't Buy the Biltmore Estate

We've returned from our weekend trip to Asheville, NC, to celebrate our 50th anniversary. While we were there we stayed in a beautiful B&B, The Lion And The Rose.

We toured the famous Biltmore House, the largest home in America, built by George Washington Vanderbilt, grandson of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt. As you may or may not know, old Cornelius was one of the richest men in the US the middle of the 19th century and and gave a large endowment to start Vanderbilt University. George's story and his construction of the Biltmore is a fascinating one and you can find more info about all over the Innernets. Here's a pic of Joyce and me out in the front yard of the place.
We really liked the mansion and grounds, even though I thought it was a little small at only 250 rooms and 225,000 acres. Joyce really liked everything, so, since it was our 50th anniversary, I made some calls to the Obama administration and arranged for a stimulus mortgage package. I approached the current owners and wrote out a large check to purchase the home. That's a pic of me in the restored stables which have been converted into a nice restaurant. I'm writing the government backed check.
Fortunately, the owners (it's still owned by descendants of the family) chose not to accept my offer, which would probably have pushed the US into an even worse financial situation anyway. Not to mention costing you, your children, and your grandchildren an even bigger pile of tax money than they're already going to have to pay in the future.

Glad to be back. More later...


  1. Biltmore is the closest thing to an American château as we have, innit? It's been on my travel "to-do" list for ages now; I find it odd I've been to so many European grand estates but so few American ones. I have been to San Simeon, though... which is the same but different. ;-)

    What a great anniversary destination! I like your style, as well. I think B&Bs are MUCH better than hotels... anytime. Joyce and you are a handsome couple indeed... you're living up to your "Dapper" alias!

  2. I'll pass - too much house-cleaning and mowing.

  3. Dan, just now getting around to this even though I read it a few days ago. Looks like a good time was had by all.

    I'm with Buck. I have intended twice to see the Biltmore (I have family in NC), but on both occasions something else came up. I have been to the Hearst Castle in San Simeon, but understand that the Biltmore is even grander.

    I think I could afford William Randolph's place, but the joint in Asheville is just a tad bit over my allocated spending limit.

    Glad to have you back.

  4. Jeanne Ireland let me know about your weblog, and here I find that you were roaming around my homeland. I grew up a paltry few miles south of Biltmore.

    Perhaps you'll remember me from the writers' group. Since then, I've grown grumpier and moved west. Jeanne suggested that we have some views in common.

  5. Greg, I'm pretty sure I remember you from the group. Did you live in Portland then? God, how long ago was that? I've read a couple of things in your very interesting and well written blog and will comment soon. And yes, I think we do have a some views in common. BTW, you're definitely right about the gun in the earlier humor post; it shoulda been a 1911 .45.