Biltmore Estate History

Cherokee Cabin
Cherokee NC

The Biltmore Estate

George Vanderbilt's first experience with the mountains of western North Carolina came in 1888 when he visited Asheville with his mother. Just a few years earlier in 1880, passenger train service had finally arrived to Asheville, which made the trip from New York just a day's journey. Asheville soon became a popular retreat for New Yorkers looking to escape the urban life and enjoy the fresh mountain air and natural springs.

George Vanderbilt was immediately amazed by the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The same year of his visit, he immediately began purchasing land for his eventual estate. Over time, that land would grow to be 125,000 acres. His idea of the perfect country estate had primarily English roots - the estate would reflect prosperity, wealth, the significance of land ownership, and the importance of family and friends.

Most of the other Vanderbilt family members dreamed of homes close to the city of New York. George's vision of his country estate was partly influenced by his sister, Lia, who was building a farm in the Adirondack Mountains of Vermont. She and her husband Dr. Seward Webb had built Shelburne Farms with land conservation tactics widely employed. George Vanderbilt was obviously influenced by this as he began work on Biltmore Estate.

For George, the estate was an expression of his individuality, most noted by his choice to build outside of the family roots in the Northeast United States. He had grown up travelling throughout Europe, and was most impressed by the large country estates of the nobility. He desired such a place to call his own, and wanted it to be large enough to entertain all of his family and friends, as well as house his growing collection of art, books, and decorative objects that he had begun accumulating at an early age. Work would soon begin on a self-sufficient, working estate that would also serve as his country home.


The Biltmore House is located about 60 miles from Cherokee Cabin. It is one of the most visited historical sites in America, and we definitely recommend a trip to Asheville during your stay at our cabin rental.

© 2008 Cherokee Cabin. All rights reserved.