Forest History Society: By understanding our past, we shape our future.

Inventory of the Biltmore Forest School Images, circa 1890s - 1988

Magnifying Glass What is this document?

Descriptive Summary

Abstract: Dr. Carl Alwin Schenck founded the Biltmore Forest School on George Vanderbilt's Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, in 1898 and served as its sole director until the school closed in 1913.
The collection includes twenty-two black-and-white and color images dating from the late 1890s to the late 1980s, with several undated images. The images show scenes of students in the field; events associated with a three-day forest fair Schenck organized in 1908 on the Biltmore Estate for the purpose of demonstrating the accomplishments and possibilities of practical forestry; former students gathered for an alumni event in 1966; buildings on the Biltmore Estate that were associated with the school; and structures comprising the Cradle of Forestry in America historic site near Asheville, North Carolina.
Title: Biltmore Forest School Images, circa 1890s - 1988
Creator: Biltmore Forest School
Repository: Forest History Society Library and Archives
Call Number: 7202
Language of Material: Material in English
Extent: 1 folder

Historical Note

Dr. Carl Alwin Schenck founded the Biltmore Forest School on George Vanderbilt's Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, in 1898 and served as its sole director until the school closed in 1913.

The school's curriculum focused on providing practical forest management field training supplemented with traditional classroom lectures in silvicultural theory. To provide the practical training, Schenck took his students on extended field trips to various regions of the United States and Europe so that they could observe firsthand different types of silvicultural operations and methods of forest management. Students usually attended the school for a one-year term, and upon completion of their studies most students sought employment with private lumber companies. The Biltmore Forest School closed in 1913 due to declining interest in the program.

In the 1910s, the Vanderbilts sold portions of land comprising their Biltmore Estate in Asheville, and parts of the forested tracts were later incorporated into the Pisgah National Forest. The U.S. Forest Service dedicated in 1966 a tract of the forest's Pisgah Ranger District to commemorate the birthplace of forestry in the United States and the establishment of the Biltmore Forest School on the Vanderbilts' North Carolina estate. In 1968, an act passed by the U.S. Congress established the Cradle of Forestry in America national historic site on this dedicated tract of national forest land. At the site, rehabilitated and reconstructed buildings form part of a living history exhibit. Forest trails meander among managed forestry plots illustrating nursery techniques, tree planting practices, and selective harvesting methods from the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. The site also has a number of interpretive museum exhibits that trace the history of forest management and forestry education on the Biltmore Estate in Asheville and more generally in the southern Appalachian Mountain region of the United States.


Collection Overview

The collection includes twenty-two black-and-white and color images dating from the late 1890s to the late 1980s, with several undated images. The images show scenes of students in the field; events associated with a three-day forest fair Schenck organized in 1908 on the Biltmore Estate for the purpose of demonstrating the accomplishments and possibilities of practical forestry; former students gathered for an alumni event in 1966; buildings on the Biltmore Estate that were associated with the school; and structures comprising the Cradle of Forestry in America historic site near Asheville, North Carolina.

Collection Arrangement

1. Photographs, circa 1890s-1988



Subject Headings

  • Biltmore Estate (Asheville, N.C.)
  • Biltmore Forest School -- History.
  • Foresters -- United States -- Biography.
  • Forestry schools and education -- North Carolina.
  • Forests and Forestry -- United States -- History.
  • Historic sites -- North Carolina -- Cradle of Forestry in America.
  • Schenck, Carl Alwin, 1868-1955.
  • Vanderbilt, George Washington, 1862-1914.

Detailed Description of the Collection

1. Photographs, circa 1890s-1988.

Image ID: FHS248

Biltmore Forest School clubhouse.

undated

Image ID: FHS263

Biltmore Forest School clubhouse.

undated

Image ID: FHS272

Carl Alwin Scheck's home on the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina.

December 26, 1936

Image ID: FHS273

Pisgah Forest.

July 1915

Image ID: FHS274

Biltmore Forest School schoolhouse.

circa 1890s-1910s

Image ID: FHS275

Biltmore Forest School students.

1911

Image ID: FHS276

Alumni of the Biltmore Forest School.

July 26, 1966

Image ID: FHS277

A mountain home of the better class.

August 18, 1904

Image ID: FHS278

Buildings -- North Carolina: Biltmore Forest, Transylvania County.

1912

Image ID: FHS279

Dr. Carl A. Schenck's Biltmore Forest School class of 1905.

1905

Image ID: FHS280

Biltmore Forest Fair.

November 1908

Image ID: FHS281

Biltmore Forest Fair.

November 1908

Image ID: FHS282

Biltmore Forest Fair.

November 1908

Image ID: FHS283

Biltmore Forest Fair.

November 1908

Image ID: FHS248

Biltmore Forest Fair.

November 1908

Image ID: FHS5069

Biltmore Forest Fair.

November 1908

Image ID: FHS5070

Biltmore Forest Fair.

November 1908

Image ID: FHS285

Biltmore Forest School picnic.

1905

Image ID: FHS286

Bucking logs on the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina.

undated

Image ID: FHS287

The restored Biltmore Forest School.

circa 1964

Image ID: FHS288

Cornerstone at the Cradle of Forestry Visitor Information Center.

circa 1964

Image ID: FHS289

Exhibits at the Cradle of Forestry in America.

circa 1964

Image ID: FHS290

New Era Celebration -- Cradle of Forestry in America.

1988

Image ID: FHS291

Biltmore Forest School schoolhouse replica.

undated


Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Forest History Society's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Forest History Society claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Biltmore Forest School Images, Library and Archives, Forest History Society, Durham, NC, USA.

Processing Information

Processed by Michele Justice, June 2002

Encoded by Amanda Ross, January 2009

Funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission supported the encoding of this finding aid. Support for digitization and outreach provided by the Alvin J. Huss Endowment.