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 site - listed on the National Register of Historic Places - once housed the weaving and woodworking operations of Biltmore Industries, a force in American craft that was originally backed by Edith Vanderbilt.
At the height of its success in the late 1920s, under the direction of Fred Loring Seely (Edwin Grove’s son-in-law), Biltmore Industries had a total of 40 looms in steady operation, producing bolts of some of the finest handwoven wool fabric in the country. Orders were shipped as far as China and Uruguay, and customers included the likes of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Helen Keller, and several U.S. presidents and first ladies - some even had fabrics named for them, like Coolidge Red and Hoover Gray.
Learn the story of Biltmore Industries on a guided history tour, offered Wednesday - Saturday at 1pm during April – November. Tours last approximately 45 minutes and operate on a first-come, first-served basis, open to 25 people. Meet your tour guide at the Biltmore Industries Homespun Museum in Grovewood Village.