The Vanderbilt Mansion
Today, in 1893, The Times out of Philadelphia reported on a George Vanderbilt's mountain home; It said that the millionaire had transformed a forest into a blooming garden.
Of course, it was describing the Biltmore - Vanderbilt's country mansion and estate. Here's what it said:
"[Vanderbilt's] first step was to purchase, besides several mountains, 18,000 acres of land along the French Broad and the Swannanoa rivers. The next step ... was to restrain the natural temptation to carry out plans of his own and to employ the services of the greatest landscape artist in the country, Frederick Law Olmstead...
Seven hundred men are employed, their wages running from $1 per day to the salary of $12,000 paid to the overseer.
Three years ago, the work of transforming old fields, pastures and woodlands into a harmonious landscape began, and Professor Harbison.. is enthusiastic over the progress made... Boulders have been set in place, rhododendrons transplanted, and the whole is declared to be a poem in plants, trees and bowers. .. Already by the introduction of mosses and vines at the bridges portions of the place have taken on the appearance of age and the appearance of newness has been overcome."