Archaeology Magazine

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Slice of Vanderbilt Groom’s Cake Found in Family Trunk

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

ASHVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA—A piece of the groom’s cake from the wedding of heiress Cornelia Vanderbilt to English aristocrat John Cecil in 1924 was found by 96-year-old Frederick Cothran in a trunk left to him by an aunt who’d been a cook at Biltmore House, a palatial Vanderbilt home. The small piece of cake, which now resembles very old cheese, had been packed in a small box labeled with the name of a bakery in Washington, D.C. The lid was decorated with the words “Biltmore House” and the monograms of the bride and groom. “We can’t find anything in our records about the kind of wedding cake Cornelia had, but it was a tradition for the groom to have fruitcake,” Laura Overbey, collections manager in Biltmore’s Museum Services department, told the Citizen Times.