Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Biltmore Estate & Gardens and the Vanderbilt Family



The Biltmore Estate & Gardens and the Vanderbilt Family


The Biltmore House was built by George Washington Vanderbilt II. Why is he the second when his father's name was William Henry Vanderbilt? Why is it called Biltmore? Where did the money come from? Did you know the Vanderbilts are related to the Whitneys, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Humphrey Bogart?

1898 Waverly Inn is 24 miles from The Biltmore Estate & Gardens. It is really a beautiful example of architecture. You will never forget your visit to the Biltmore House. Take as much time as you would like exploring three floors of vintage clothing, accessories, art and furniture on a self-paced, self-guided tour. See original art by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and John Singer Sargent the way it was lived with by George and Edith Vanderbilt. The basement includes an exhibit on the history and innovative construction methods of the Biltmore House. The beautiful gardens and grounds surrounding it were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. 


The Biltmore House was built by George Washington Vanderbilt II.

The Vanderbilt family had an incredible fortune from steamboats, railroads and other businesses. The family came from Holland to New Amsterdam, as New York City was then named in the 17th century. The family originated from the village of De Bilt. In Dutch, “van der Bilt” means “from De Bilt.” The Vanderbilts are related to the Whitneys, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Humphrey Bogart.

Cornelius Vanderbilt left school at age 11. He began working on his father’s ferry in New York Harbor. When he was 16 he borrowed $100 to buy a shallow sailing craft and started a ferry service, carrying passengers and freight between Staten Island and Manhattan. Older nearby captains teased him by calling him Commodore, a nickname he kept for life. 

Starting with this single boat, Cornelius Vanderbilt built a shipping and railroad empire making him one of the wealthiest men in the world. He left most of his fortune to his oldest son, William Henry Vanderbilt. 

William Henry died only eight years later, but not before doubling his father’s wealth. He left most of his estate, about $200 million, to his two older sons, Cornelius Vanderbilt II, who his grandfather had selected as the next "Head of House." and William K. Vanderbilt.

George Washington Vanderbilt, who built the Biltmore House, was his youngest son. He is named after his father’s brother who died during the Civil War. That’s how he is "II," George Washington Vanderbilt II, even though his father’s name was William Henry Vanderbilt.

George Washington Vanderbilt traveled extensively and was fluent in nine languages. He is said to have been shy.  He inherited $1 million from his grandfather and received another million on his 21st birthday from his father. When his father died, he inherited another $5 million and a $5 million trust fund.

George Washington Vanderbilt enjoyed visiting Asheville with his mother. He began construction on the House in 1889. The basement of the house has wonderful exhibits and photos on the innovative construction techniques. Over 1,000 workers and 60 stonemasons worked on the House. (The stone came from the Balfour Quarries, two miles from 1898 Waverly Inn.) While the House was being built, Vanderbilt traveled throughout Europe collecting tapestries, carpets, paintings and prints, linens and decorative objects to fill the house. Other items were custom made, some locally. He named the estate Biltmore, from “Bilt” where his family originated in Holland and “More,” the Anglo-Saxon word for open, rolling land.

Family and friends were invited to the opening of the estate Christmas Eve 1895, just three years before 1898 Waverly Inn opened! The Biltmore House is the largest privately owned house in the United States. It has 178,926 square feet of floor space. It is still owned by one of Vanderbilt's descendants.

1898 Waverly Inn Biltmore Estate Packages
The Biltmore Estate is beautiful at any time of the year!

Packages include:
  • Two nights at 1898 Waverly Inn
  • Two Adult 2-Day Tickets to The Biltmore House and Estate Grounds
  • Fresh Farm-to-Table Breakfast both mornings
  • Complimentary, snacks,  beverages and baked goods
  • Evening Tasting Hour both evenings
  • And lots of fun.

We hope we've given you yet another reason to visit 1898 Waverly Inn in Hendersonville, NC very soon!

John, Diane, Darla & Debbie
1898 Waverly Inn
Bed and Breakfast Hendersonville NC

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Holmes Educational State Forest



It was a beautiful day at Holmes Educational State Forest.
The weather was beautiful and I learned a lot!
Did you know that White Oak trees helped to win the Revolutionary War?

Forest Fire Fighter Helicopter

Forest Service Tractor Plow Unit
This plow removes the fuel from the path of the fire to create a firebreak
 
Many Displays and Exhibits

Slice of Tree

Marbled Orbweaver Spider


Talking Trees


Forest Fire Lookout Tower
 
Holmes Educational State Forest
235 acre educational forest with rugged terrain, numerous rock outcroppings, and scenic vistas in Henderson County.

Holmes Educational State Forest is a state managed forest designed to promote better understanding of the value of forests. There are well marked and maintained trails ranging from very easy to a little steeper. There are educational exhibits and a wide range of hardwoods, rhododendron, flame azaleas, and a variety of wildflowers. The Talking Trees Trail features audio stations that teach about the trees. There are also ranged conducted classes available.

There are plenty of picnic tables and a picnic shelter with fireplaces.
Admission is Free.

Open:  Mid-March through Mid-November
Hours: Tuesday to Friday   9:00 to 5:00, Saturday and Sunday 11:00 to 8:00

The Hiking Trails are approximately 5 miles in varying degrees of difficulty.
Trail maps are available at the Ranger Station.
  • Talking Tree Trail: Recorded audio messages about various trees and their surroundings. Information on the part various trees played in history.
    1/2 mile. Easy.  Approximately 30 minutes.
  • Crab Creek Trail:  1/2 mile. Easy.
  •  Forest Demonstration Trail:  Information on current  forestry 
    2 miles. Strenuous.  Approximately 1 1/2-2 hours.
  • Wildcat Rock Trail:  3/4 mile. Very strenuous.
Directions from 1898 Waverly Inn
1898 Waverly Inn is less than 30 minutes from Holmes Educational State Forest.
Take Main Street or Church Street south.
  • You can take Main Street or Church Street south. Main and Church merge.
  • Turn right on Kanuga Rd.
  • Kanuga Road changes it's name to Crab Creek Road, but it's the same road.
  • The signs will be on the left about 10 miles out of town.

1898 Waverly Inn has Specials & Packages for every season.

We hope we've given you yet another reason to visit the 1898 Waverly Inn in Hendersonville, NC very soon!

John, Diane, Darla & Debbie
1898 Waverly Inn
Bed and Breakfast Hendersonville NC

Monday, October 6, 2014

Burntshirt Vineyards Apple Wine


The next time someone wants to add one more stop to your day go ahead and do it.

When Christie and Jessica came home a few weeks ago we went to Burntshirt Vineyards and did a wine tasting  that included an apple wine.  It was not at all what we expected.  We thought it would be more like cider or maybe like a dessert wine.  It is not at all!  We really enjoyed the forty five minutes (including shopping time) that we spent there.  Even found a couple of special gifts for Christmas stockings. 


Burntshirt Vineyards Apple Wine has won the prestigious International Women's Wine Competition Apple Wine Silver Award. This annual competition is judged by the wine industry's leading professional women.  This was a wonderfully fresh wine with more of the feel of a crisp front forward fruit that does not finish sweet.  I wanted to sit outside in the late afternoon watching the world go by and drink a glass of this mountain elixir...so I bought some to share.  October is definitely the time to serve it and I am looking forward to sharing it.

Burntshirt Vineyard is about ten minutes from 1898 Waverly Inn, here in Hendersonville.  There are wine tastings and winery tours daily.  The vineyard offers magnificent views of the Blue Ridge Mountains from patios overlooking its vineyards where you can sit, relax and renew your spirit.  Sunsets last longer so you can savor Burntshirt Vineyards' award winning wines that are estate grown, produced and bottled at the state of the art winery.  Picnic grounds and lush gardens surround  the tasting room.  Add one more stop to your schedule and do not miss this vineyard.
We hope we've given you yet another reason to visit 1898 Waverly Inn in Hendersonville, NC very soon!


John, Diane, Darla & Debbie
1898 Waverly Inn
Bed and Breakfast Hendersonville NC

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Certified Wildlife Habitat with Butterfly Garden plants at 1898 Waverly Inn

 

We all love to see butterflies! 2014 is NC State Parks' Year of the Lepidoptera. 1898 Waverly Inn has a Certified Wildlife Habitat with Butterfly Garden plants to attract local butterflies. We hope to play our part in helping increase populations of butterflies.  We have tried to provide a variety of the nourishing plants butterflies need for all stages of their metamorphosis. These plants also attract honey bees and hummingbirds.


Natural food sources for many butterflies are becoming less abundant as the plants they naturally feed on are lost. Most of the plants we usually put into a garden are not good choices for butterflies.  Planting a Butterfly Garden is a great way we can provide native plants for butterflies to feed on. 


Right now our little garden is in full bloom with plants including Butterfly Bush and hydrangeas for butterflies and Rose of Sharon and Hosta to attract hummingbirds.











While you are visiting our Inn, stop and see the Butterfly Garden at Chimney Rock State Park.  They are participated in NC State Parks' Year of the Lepidoptera by planting a butterfly garden with Junior Ranger Volunteers and Boy and Girl Scouts. They planted Echinacea, Black-eyed Susan, Blazing Star, Butterfly Weed, goldenrod, Bee Balm and Obedient Plant. The Butterfly Garden is planted near Grady the Groundhog's Animal Discovery Den, at the end of the Great Woodland Adventure where you can also see Fiona, a Virginia Opossum, non-venomous snakes and some local turtles.
  
You can help butterflies, too. Have you incorporated some butterfly plants in your garden?

We hope we've given you yet another reason to visit 1898 Waverly Inn in Hendersonville, NC very soon!

John, Diane, Darla & Debbie
1898 Waverly Inn
Bed and Breakfast Hendersonville NC

Sunday, July 13, 2014

You can see 7 kinds of squirrels near 1898 Waverly Inn.




The most common is the Eastern Gray Squirrel. They are 14 to 21 oz, 9.1” to 11.8” plus a 7.5” to 9.8” tail.

White Squirrels are the same size as gray squirrels. They are not albino.  Our white squirrels have a little decorative darker “hat.” They were only found in Brevard, but they have spread and you can see them around Hendersonville as well. The one in the photo is on my porch, just a mile or so from the Inn.

Fox Squirrels are much bigger, 1.1 to 2.2 lb, 17.7” to 27.6” plus a 7.9” to 13” tail. They are mostly found north of us, closer to the Virginia state line. They are usually dark brown or black with lighter faces.

American Red Squirrels or Pine Squirrels are small, only 8.4 oz, 12” long, 6” body, 6” tail, just a little bigger than a chipmunk. Around here they are called “boomers” because they will give you a good scolding. They are red with whitish tummies. They are harder to spot. They don’t live much in town.

There are two kinds of Flying Squirrels here. Southern Flying Squirrels are smaller, about 8” to 10” long Northern Flying Squirrels are 10 to 12 inches long.  They are both gray-brown, light brown and cinnamon colored with greyish legs and whitish tummies. They have really big eyes. They are nocturnal, so also hard to spot.


Woodchucks or Ground Hogs are also Squirrels. Yes, really! They are large ground squirrels. They are really easy to spot around here, standing on the side of the road. They weigh 4 to 9 lb, 16” to 26” long including their little 6” tail.  They can climb trees, but they are fat and clumsy. If you want to see them climb trees, try the Lake Lure, Chimney Park area.
http://www.wildwnc.org/animal-spotlight/groundhog-0

The Squirrel is the North Carolina State Mammal.

We hope we've given you yet another reason to visit 1898 Waverly Inn in Hendersonville, NC very soon!

John, Diane, Darla & Debbie
1898 Waverly Inn
Bed and Breakfast Hendersonville NC
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