Cornelia VANDERBILT: Birth: 1900. Death: 1976
Note: [ralphroberts.ged] "Unlike the rest of his family, however, George Vanderbilt was little attracted to commerce and fashionable society. He preferred the world of learning and travel, visiting Europe at age 10 and journeying to Europe, Asia, or Africa about once a year throughout his adult life. It was while traveling in the mountains of North Carolina that Vanderbilt first glimpsed the site for his future country home." Source: The Biltmore Estate of Asheville, NC: Family History. The fourth son of William H. Vanderbilt was George Washington Vanderbilt, 1862-1914, b. Staten Island, N.Y. He engaged in numerous philanthropies, giving to agricultural research and donating land for the establishment of Teachers College, Columbia Univ. He also built the estate Biltmore� near Asheville, N.C. "Island, Richmond county, described as follows: Beginning at a point on the farm of George W. Vanderbilt, lying east of New Dorp lane, distant on a straight line drawn from the north corner of the Elm Tree light-house reservation, on a course N. 54~ 30` E., 206 feet and six inches from said corner, which is formed by the intersection of the southwesterly line of New Dorp lane with the northwesterly line of the Elm Tree light-house reservation; thence running from said point on the farm aforesaid, N. 42~ E., 50 feet; thence S. 48~ E., 50 feet; thence S. 42~ W., 50 feet; thence N. 48~ W., 50 feet to the point or place of beginning, being a plot fifty feet square; together with a right of way from the plot so conveyed to the northeasterly line of the New Dorp lane over a strip of land ten feet in width, and having as its northerly boundary the line or course of two hundred and six feet and six inches first above set forth; the courses above given being in accordance with the magnetic meridian of June, eighteen hundred and ninety, for the purpose of erecting a light-house thereon." From: http://assembly.state.ny.us/cgi-bin/claws?law=111&art=5 George Washington Vanderbilt Born in 1862, George Washington Vanderbilt showed an intellectual and quiet disposition at a young age. His curiosity and cultural interests took him across the globe, and it is during his travels that he came to Asheville, North Carolina, in the late 1880s. Enchanted with the area, he acquired land for the future Biltmore Estate, and contracted architect Richard Morris Hunt and landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to collaborate on the ambitious project. Married three years after the completion of Biltmore House, George Vanderbilt brought his bride, Edith Stuyvesant Dresser to her new home in 1898. A daughter, Cornelia, was born in 1900. George Vanderbilt was active in the maintenance of the Estate until his untimely death following an appendectomy in 1914. When George Washington Vanderbilt welcomed family and friends to Biltmore Estate on Christmas Eve in 1895, his holiday celebration marked the formal opening of the most ambitious home ever conceived in America. For six years an army of artisans had labored to create a country estate that would rival the great manors of Europe and embody the finest in architecture, landscape planning, and interior design. The results were astonishing. Boasting four acres of floor space, the 250-room mansion featured 34 master bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, 65 fireplaces, three kitchens, and an indoor swimming pool. It was appointed with a priceless collection of furnishings and art works and equipped with every conceivable amenity, from elevators to refrigerators. The surrounding grounds were equally impressive, encompassing a 125,000-acres of forest, park, and gardens. The youngest in a family renowned for building palatial homes, 33-year-old George Vanderbilt had outdone them all. In addition to being used for entertaining, Biltmore was very much a home. It was here that George pursued his private interests in art, literature, and horticulture, and also started a family. He married the American socialite (1873-1958) in June 1898 in Paris, and the couple came to live at the Estate that fall after honeymooning in Europe. Their only child, Cornelia (1900-1976), was born and grew up at Biltmore. But what a brave new world it was in 1890 when George Vanderbilt began planning for his 250-room Biltmore Estate, situated on 125,000 acres of over-farmed Blue Ridge terrain. He had grown up along New York�s Fifth Avenue and had already, at age 28, traveled the world. In 1892 at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, he witnessed firsthand an explosion of ideas. He had, in other words, stood at the edge of a new century and seen the future--a world propelled by technology and invention. Vanderbilt�s belief in the technological achievements of his day is evident throughout Biltmore Estate, where he employed the latest, most up-to-date systems and innovation. From the incorporation of electricity, central heat and indoor plumbing to the inclusion of some of the earliest Otis elevators in America, a sophisticated call system for servants and an indoor drying chamber for laundry. Vanderbilt�s mansion showcased the best thinking of his time. Beginning June 12, an exhibition entitled The Comforts of Home: Turn of the Century Technology at Biltmore Estate will let modern-day guests examine the ingenuity which made Biltmore House a wonder when it was completed in 1895. Mr. Vanderbilt�s guests were largely unaware of the many innovations of the Estate. They simply enjoyed their benefits. One such guest was Mrs. George Vanderbilt�s sister, Pauline Dresser Merrill, who visited Biltmore often. In March 1905, she posted a letter to a close friend who lived near Mrs. Merrill�s home in Buffalo, NY. the letter describes in vivid detail her time at Biltmore�where she stayed what the course of her day was like, the specifics of dining in the huge Banquet Hall. This letter, recently acquired by Biltmore Estate, becomes a fascinating storytelling vehicle for The Comforts of Home exhibition. By tracing the day she describes, guests to the exhibition will be able to glimpse behind the scenes at the various technologies implemented both in preparation for her visit and during her stay�all designed to make her time with her sister, Edith, and her brother-in-law George Vanderbilt, a pleasurable experience. The exhibition, located on the third floor of Biltmore House, will feature examinations of the various systems in the home, including the electrical, heating and plumbing systems. Replications of several rooms�the laundry, the bedroom where Mrs. Merrill was a guest, the Banquet Hall and Butler�s Pantry�as well as interpretations of the Otis dumbwaiter and the two Otis elevators in the house, are in the display. The elevators, one passenger and the other a freight elevator, are thought to be the oldest operating electric models in the U.S. Otis Elevator Company the American company which pioneered the development of vertical transportation systems, is sole sponsor of the exhibition at Biltmore Estate. The exhibition is offered as part of a regular visit to Biltmore Estate, which includes a self-guided tour of Biltmore House, a visit to Biltmore Estate Winery, and access to the grounds and gardens, the work of America�s premiere landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted. Biltmore Estate, a National Historic Landmark, is a private home, still owned by George Vanderbilt�s grandson, William Cecil. It is open to the public year-round except on Thanksgiving and Christmas Days. Biltmore Farm In 1891 George Washington Vanderbilt became a member of the American Jersey Cattle Club. He registered his first animal Duke of Biltmore in 1891. Until Biltmore, in North Carolina was completed he maintained his Jerseys in New York. Production started to increase beyond what could be given away, so he began bottling and selling milk also butter. The butter was churned by a bull walking on a treadmill. The herd was moved to Biltmore a few years later, with the main barn being completed only in 1902. Other than Jersey, no where were there more offspring of Golden Lad than in the Biltmore herd. Over the years the dairy business became larger and more modernized. The quality of Biltmore ice cream was outstanding. Eventually the milk operations were sold to Pet Milk Inc. in rail cars. They had both Grand Champion cow (Signal Bess Jane) and bull in 1952, the last year they showed. Biltmore Signal Bess Jane After a corporate reorganization in 1979, most of the herd was sold. Two hundred head were retained by Mr. George Cecil, Mr. George Cecil, Mr. Vanderbilt�s grandson, for establishing a Jersey herd off the Biltmore Estate. This herd continues to flourish and Mr. Cecil�s daughter has also established a new herd of Jerseys. As the other 100 year plus Jersey herds had an impact on the breed, so did Biltmore. A cow Biltmore Earl Bee was sold carrying a calf who became Soldierboy Bloomer Sooner of CJF, the production sire of the 1990s. Bee was a direct female descendant of Signal Bess Jane and also of Nelly the 14th Jersey recorded in the AJCC herd book. From: http://www.jersey.syd-fyn.dk/herds.htm
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