The day had come to finally tour the inside of the Biltmore House. My last day on the Estate had me going from room to room, marveling in the artwork and beauty that lie within. For all of his money, I felt that George Vanderbilt was a man of the people, and I got the distinct impression that those living in the Carolina hills felt the same way.

I won’t bore you with a room by room synopsis of my tour, as I’m sure that has already been done to death. I will tell you about the chills that ran up and down my spine as I entered the library. This room humbled me as I felt I was next to a great creator.

The grandeur of the Great Dining Hall, with its marble fireplace and the heads of trophy animals hanging high up on the adorned walls. The animals almost seemed proud to have been chosen to rest eternally in this hallowed place.

Into the basement I go, to the servants quarters. Simple and small rooms, but it was made clear that these people were also well taken care of by the Vanderbilts.

I find a swimming pool and a bowling alley.

“Put the bastard in the basket!”

I end up in the former horse stables, now a restaurant with dishes all prepared from food grown here on the Estate. I savor a hoppy IPA and some organic squash soup as I think about George Vanderbilt and the generations of people here in the Blue Ridge Mountains that have been positively affected by his life.

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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