Happy Birthday, Cornelia Vanderbilt
Estate History 08/06/14
Written By Jean Sexton
On August 22, 1900 George and Edith Vanderbilt welcomed the arrival of their only child—a daughter—who was born in the grand Louis XV Bedroom in Biltmore House. She was named Cornelia Stuyvesant Vanderbilt in honor of prominent members of both her mother and her father’s family.
Cornelia’s birth was mentioned in the society pages of newspapers all across the country, including the Asheville Citizen, which reported:
Stork comes to Biltmore
To Mr. and Mrs. Vanderbilt a Child is Born
“The advent of a daughter to Mr. and Mrs. George W. Vanderbilt was announced last evening from Biltmore House. The little stranger is a Buncombe baby—pretty as babies go—but with the Buncombe birthright of the mountain health its days of babyhood will dot in dimpled sweetness and the fairy lines of beauty blend in a vision fitting to its home on the grand estate.”
And from the Spartanburg Journal of upstate South Carolina:
Biltmore’s New Star
“A new star has appeared at famous Biltmore, and the charming mistress of this most gorgeous home is smiling upon her first born, a tiny girl called Cornelia Stuyvesant Vanderbilt…”
Although we have no specific descriptions of birthday parties during Cornelia's childhood, we do know that she had many playmates among her cousins and the the children of families who lived on the estate.
As Cornelia grew older, her birthdays would be celebrated in a style befitting a young woman who was making her debut in society. We’ll take a look at some of those festivities in an upcoming post.
In the meantime, happy birthday, Cornelia Vanderbilt!