George Washington Vanderbilt II was born into money. His grandfather, Cornelius Vanderbilt, amassed a huge railroad and shipping empire. His father, William Henry Vanderbilt, financed the founding of New York’s Metropolitan Opera and Vanderbilt University. . .
Pisgah National Forest, founded in 1916, covers much of North Carolina’s northwestern mountains. Pisgah was the first national forest created from purchased land rather than from the public domain. Many of its half-million acres were purchased from the widow of the Biltmore Estate’s creator, George W. Vanderbilt.