Share Your Love

A love story from the gilded age to today

When you think about a place to relax, gather, and celebrate for weddings, parties, and picnics, what place comes to mind?

If you are like many in our region, you think of Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park with its more than 100+ year-old Victorian mansion, magnificent gardens, and majestic trees . The natural elements of this public garden greatly enhances the restorative and tranquil qualities of this local treasure and this magical place may hold a special meaning for you, as it does for so many.

Frederick Ferris & Mary Clark Thompson
Frederick Ferris & Mary Clark Thompson

The Love Story

It all started with a love story — two young people deeply in love selected Canandaigua as a place to build their summer home in Mary’s hometown over one hundred and fifty years ago. As Frederick and Mary Thompson began their life together in 1863 they built a wonderful mansion, gardens, fountains, greenhouses and more. After Frederick passed away in 1899, Mary began redesigning and adding diverse gardens that were influenced by visiting famous gardens all over the world as a living memorial to her husband.

The paradise that Thompsons created is now a public site enjoyed by all. And their love endures in the many young couples who chose Sonnenberg for their wedding celebrations and in the devotion and commitment of many volunteers who provide endless man hours to support Sonnenberg’s operations.

Sonnenberg Today

With the financial and volunteer support of members, individual donors, and community partners like you, Sonnenberg Gardens has made significant progress in the past ten years to restore, renovate, and enhance its gardens and historic structures. Over four million dollars of improvements have been led by a small dedicated staff and committed board of trustees. Many elements of our site have been restored and improved, but there is still much more to be done to bring back this estate to its pristine Gilded Age grandeur!

Share Your Love for Sonnenberg

Make difference by making a gift today.

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    Share Your Love – Donate

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    Share Your Love – Our Gardens

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    Share Your Love – Our Historic Structures

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