See How They Decked the Halls (and kept them clean) at the Turn of the 20th Century

Can you imagine being tasked with cleaning America’s largest residence?  When George Vanderbilt opened his palatial estate at the turn of the 20th century, it was, and still is, the largest private residence in America.  

Today we use lots of innovative gadgets to save time and labor as we go about our chores.  Home cleaning tools at the Biltmore House were the most advanced of their day.  Approximately 40 men and women worked to keep the house running, including cooking, cleaning, gardening, landscaping.  There was ample room for washing, sewing and mending clothes for the family.  Although the owner, George Vanderbilt incorporated the latest technology and labor saving devices available, one can only imagine how much time and effort it took to keep the 255-room mansion in top shape.  You can still visit the house and gardens and find remnants of them today.  When the house was completed, the family occupied a grand mansion that was the crown jewel not only of the Vanderbilt family, but the entire state of North Carolina.  Nothing like the Biltmore had been seen by the common people in rural Asheville.  Folks came from miles around and across the oceans to marvel at its size and beauty.  New-fangled contraptions like an elevator, electric lights, central heat, indoor plumbing fed the systems that kept the commercial sized kitchen and laundry room humming.

In those days, travelers found few accommodations and those of means were expected to spend time at Biltmore before continuing to their next destination.  Today, you can make Biltmore Estates your destination when you use a Groupon to purchase a ticket to visit the house with its landscaped gardens and stables.  Groupons which offers deals for 10% off  tours and parents, kids under 16 can get in free with the right promo code.

There you can take in the grandeur of the gardens, view the vistas from the large windows on the upper floors, and imagine how beautifully the home looked decked out for the holidays.  Actually, you don’t have to imagine it – you can come and enjoy it as thousands have for decades.  Christmas is one of the most popular times to visit Biltmore, and you’ll find Groupon codes for $50 off their Village Christmas package and lots of information on their site to help you plan your trip.

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