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First in Forestry: Carl Schenck and the Biltmore Forest School

Written By Sharon Bell

Posted 09/05/14

Updated 03/01/24

Estate History

A little bit of the past caught up with Biltmore last week when actors portraying George Vanderbilt, Frederick Law Olmsted, Gifford Pinchot and Carl Schenck were on property to film scenes for a documentary about Schenck, “First in Forestry: Carl Schenck and the Biltmore Forest School.” The film looks at the role that Schenck, Biltmore’s chief forester in the 1890s, and America’s first school of forestry, played in American conservation history.

As you can imagine, the production created chatter among our guests and in particular, Biltmore employees, who recognized Vanderbilt, Biltmore’s visionary founder. Actor Peter Van Rijssen easily looked the part, especially due to the moustache he grew for the role.

The Forest History Society and Bonesteel Films of Asheville are collaborating on the film. We think they did a fine job of casting the four pivotal roles. See for yourself:

Photo comparison between lookalike actors to Biltmore's historic founders

Click here to view the documentary trailer on YouTube!

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