A Man Who Built America

Tonight, I’m watching the History Channel documentary – The Men Who Built America.  Specifically, the episode discussing Cornelius Vanderbilt.  It has been interesting to watch and I’ve learned quite a bit more about Vanderbilt.  Click on the picture below to get to a short video clip.


For the full video you’d have to purchase it, but you can also look for it at a local library. It’s worth a watch!

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 🙂

Wordless Wednesday: Vanderbilts at the Royal Poinciana Hotel

From the State Library of Florida’s online Flickr collection

This photo was taken at the Royal Poinciana Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida March 14, 1896.  Pictured in the photograph are Left to Right: Colonel Philip M. Lydig, Miss Helen Morton, Miss Gladys Vanderbilt, Miss Amy Townsend, Captain A.T. Rose, Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt, Miss Edith Bishop, Miss Mabel Gerry, Thomas Cushing, Edward Livingston, Dudley Winthrop, Craig Wadsworth, Miss Gertrude Vanderbilt, Lispenard Stewart, Harry P. Whitney, Miss Sybil Sherman, Cornelius Vanderbilt.

Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt would be Alice Claypoole Gywnne – her daughters Gladys & Gertrude are also here. Several months later, Gertrude & Harry would marry.  I’m not sure which Cornelius this is in the photo, but maybe her son Cornelius?

The Vanderbilts and their Hotels

I love it when I come across a new Vanderbilt connection.  :-).  This past weekend I visited Augusta, Georgia for a work conference.  While touring the Morris Museum of Art, the docent happened to make a casual reference to “the hotel that the Vanderbilt’s stayed at” called the Bon Air. Ooh! Vanderbilts & Augusta?

So, of course I have to look it up. And, interestingly enough, the topic happened to coincide with a comment I received on the blog back in September.

Bon Air Vanderbilt Hotel

The Bon Air Hotel in Augusta, Georgia opened in 1923 and was one of 4 hotels the Vanderbilts established so they could cover every season.  It seems Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt was the family member behind them (at least initially; he died in 1915).  The 4 distinct hotels were:

  • the Vanderbilt Hotel in New York at 34th st. and Park Avenue
  • a summer resort hotel in Newport, Rhode Island
  • the Condado-Vanderbilt hotel of Puerto Rico  (this is the hotel I received the blog comment about)
  • and the Bon-Air in Augusta
One article described them as such:
With the completion of the Bon Air Vanderbilt, the hotels under Mr. Marshall’s direction will provide every seasonal requirement; a winter resort in Augusta, a summer resort in Newport, an any-time-of-the-year vacation spot in Porto Rico and an all-year home or temporary stopping place in New York. — Morning Olympian newspaper 11/28/1922.

The hotel closed eventually and is now a residence for the elderly.  It looks like a beautiful building though. Wish I would have had time to at least drive by while in town.


Two Vanderbilt hotels I’ve now learned about within the past 30 days.  Kinda neat. 🙂