Enjoy a most interesting and “not to miss” tour at the Grovewood Galleries, at the Biltmore Industries Homespun Museum. The tour takes you through the Homespun museum and “dye house”. Be sure and make a point to take in this free tour & explore.
Biltmore Industries Homespun Museum
Formerly known as Biltmore Industries, the museum celebrates the rich history of the textile and Arts and Crafts traditions of the area. This history may be seen in this amazing time capsule.
The Dye House has long been closed up, sitting for decades collecting dust (since 1980). It has been opened up for the tour and it is like walking back in time. Original looms, dye vats, mule spinners and various other odds and ends are still sitting where they were when they closed doors. It is nothing less than an amazing time capsule and perhaps even a touch creepy in its’ dusty preservation! In its heyday, 40 looms were in full operation producing some of the highest quality fabrics. These fabrics were ordered and worn by the wealthiest and most famous, including US Presidents and first ladies. “Coolidge red” was named for the fabric ordered by the first lady, Grace Coolidge.
At the turn of the century after completion of the Biltmore Estate, George and Edith wanted to preserve local traditions. Thus Biltmore Industries was born. When George Vanderbilt died in 1914, Edith sold the business to Fred Seely. Fred was the architect of the Grove Park Inn and son-in-law to Edwin Wiley Grove. hen owner of the Grove Park Inn. Fred Seely moved the industries to the present location, just across the street (on the back side) of the now Omni Grove Park Inn, wisely keeping the Biltmore name as part of the acquisition.
The Free Tour
The free tour begins in the Homespun Museum and then moves on into the dye house. The docents are excellent in sharing the history. The ability to walk around in the old buildings freely in and amongst all the old looms, vats and miscellaneous odd objects, adds to the fascinating nature and uniqueness of this particular tour.
Offered April through November (excepting Thanksgiving Day), on Wednesday through Saturdays at 1pm, the tour begins at the Homespun Museum and moves on into the fascinating dye house. The docents are delightful and share the fascinating history bringing the story to life! One is able to walk around in the old buildings freely, in and amongst old looms, vats and miscellaneous odd objects, adding to the fascinating nature and uniqueness of this particular tour. To help to preserve Asheville’s history and the story of the Arts & Crafts movement of Western North Carolina, please donate!
Additional Things to See and Do
Shopping (or just looking at the amazing local arts and crafts for sale) is a pure treat at the galleries. Shopping is also available within the complex, showcasing current local artists. A quaint café, The Golden Fleece Restaurant, is available for lunch and dinner. For information, reservations and directions: 111 Grovewood Rd, Asheville, NC, (828) 424-7655
Additionally onsite, enjoy the car museum (also free of charge), in one of the original weaving buildings. The car museum was Harry Blomberg’s former car. There is an enchanting wind and sculpture garden surrounding the complex. Enjoy wandering through, it’s complete with picnic tables, bring a lunch!
Parking: There is free parking and it is a little tricky to find. Parking for the tour and shops is located through the quaint gates. Past the Gallery complex & next to the Car Museum. Don’t park at the Grove Park Inn where there are lines, traffic and parking fees. For more information about the tour, call 828-253-7651 or visit grovewood.com.