Tucked away amid towering pine trees adjacent to the Omni Grove Park Inn is one of Asheville’s hidden gems. Known today as Grovewood Village, this historic site once housed the weaving and woodworking operations of Biltmore Industries, a groundbreaking enterprise in the history of American craft and textiles, founded by Edith Vanderbilt. Originally located outside of the Biltmore Estate, Biltmore Industries moved to this site in 1917 and grew to become the largest hand-weaving industry in the world by 1930. Biltmore Handwoven Homespun was worn by the likes of Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt, and first ladies Eleanor Roosevelt and Grace Coolidge (for whom “Coolidge Red” was designed).
Learn the story of Biltmore Industries on a guided history tour, offered Wednesday - Saturday at 1pm during April – December. Tours include a visit to the historic Dye House at Grovewood Village (usually closed to the public), where you’ll peek into the past and view the original looms, carding machines, spinning mule and dye vats used to make the famed homespun cloth. Tours last approximately 45 minutes and operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Maximum 25 people per tour. Tours are free, but donations are appreciated.