Commodore Sighting!

Today while at work, I heard a commotion outside my office window – heard clapping.  I looked out and saw a crowd.  Since I’ve just joined Instagram I’ve got picture-taking on my mind, so I took one.

Turns out it was for National Walking Day and a group had convened in front of the library to begin a 20-minute walk.

It was only after I took the picture when I realized that the Commodore mascot was in it.  How fun! If I’d known he was going to be there, I may have walked 🙂

Parris R. Sumner sues George Washington Vanderbilt

From the Kinston Free Press newspaper of Lenoir County, NC
October 30, 1910

Asheville, Oct. 28 – Pariss R. SUMNER, formally an employee on the Biltmore estate, has brought suit against Mr. Vanderbilt for damages alleged to have been received for the plaintiff was working on the estate. It is alleged for the plaintiff that while operating a machine in the Biltmore shops his hand was caught in the swiftly-moving knives and one finger was cut off.

Vanderbilt Commencement 2010

On May 14, 2010, yours truly had the distinct honor of graduating from Vanderbilt University with my Masters in Public Health.  I won’t go into the specific details of the ceremony, but if you’re interested, you can read the details on my personal/family blog here.

The ceremony was beautiful and the Chancellor even mentioned the Commodore’s gift to establish the university, noting that the $1 million dollar contribution in 1873 would be worth $3 billion dollars today.   This would be the beginning of the Vanderbilt family’s philanthropic activities as we have come to know them today.

My commencement took place on one of the campus lawns:

Today, while doing research at the Tennessee State Library & Archives, I took photographs of some of the old Vanderbilt yearbooks.  In contrast to my ceremony, here is a picture of commencement from 1909.  Looks like the students marched on the lawn and the ceremonies were held inside.  I wonder if it rained that day?

Vanderbilt 1909 commencement

Now that I’ve graduated, here’s hoping for more Vanderbilt Genealogy posts!

Feature Friday – A Railroad Report

Feature Friday posts will feature relevant information from a chosen online resource. This month, the database is Google Books.

As I was browsing Google Books for Vanderbilt-related content, I found the 27th Annual Report of the Board of Directors of the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company.  Even back then in 1896 companies generated reports for their stockholders.

At the time, the Board of Directors consisted of names we are quite familiar with:

  • Cornelius Vanderbilt
  • Chauncey M. Depew
  • Charles C. Clarke
  • Horace J. Hayden
  • William K. Vanderbilt
  • Frederick W. Vanderbilt
  • Samuel F. Barger
  • J. Pierpont Morgan
  • Samuel D. Babcock
  • William Bliss
  • Sherman S. Jewett
  • Erastus Corning
  • George C. Buell

At the time of this report, there were over 12,000 stockholders in the company, with the accounts at more than $158 million dollars.  The report contains all kinds of financial figures, statistics, and numbers of the railroad operations.  Probably not something I’d read from beginning to end, but it’s an interesting glimpse into the Vanderbilts’ operations.