Well my friend Beth might say this is the quintessential photo of the Biltmore House located in North Carolina. The Lion is certainly the one that you see most often and I believe the reason for this is because you cannot (underscore cannot) take photos inside the house. So I guess, people take this photo before going inside.
In the 1880s, during the Gilded Age, George Washington Vanderbilt, the youngest son of William Henry Vanderbilt began to make regular visits to Asheville. He fell in love with the scenery and climate so much that he decided to build a summer estate in the area, which he called his “little mountain escape.” It is interesting to note that George’s father made the family’s fortune by investing in a ferry business in the New York harbor. He had the idea of running a ferry across the Hudson River and turned a hundred dollars into a hundred million in a very short amount of time. Later that fortune was doubled by another one of his sons. So the moral of the story is there is no such thing as a silly idea.
Years ago, a friend who passed away took this same shot. I never knew where he was standing and decided to follow the back road to the winery and see if I could find it. I did and it looks the same as the photo he gave me many years ago. This is a lagoon that was built by the original landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted for the house and for George Vanderbilt.