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from the Sunny Hill

Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park

FALL 2015

Reflections from the Boardroom

Join Us in the Giving Garden



appy fall, everyone! The focus of my message this season is to get you to think about what makes Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion such a special place. We have a real gem right here in the heart of the Finger Lakes, and sometimes I think we forget what a treasure we have. So much work has been done over the past several years. Through the work of our Executive Director, David Hutchings, his extraordinary staff, and over 250 active volunteers—Sonnenberg is indeed well and thriving! Just to put this in perspective—for the past 9 years, the organization has not only been in an operating surplus— we have also raised over $4,000,000 in grants, contributions, and the National Heritage Trust Fund. Virtually every penny of this funding is being utilized to complete some much needed restoration work. We are currently in the midst of an adaptive reuse project to restore the Aviary Building, which is now fully funded. In addition, this year we have been awarded an astounding $90,000 in

The Children’s Garden is a working vegetable garden for the community. Inset: renovating this space early in 2015


f you visited Sonnenberg this season, you may have noticed a lot of activity in our southeast corner. Shovels, hoes, heavy machinery and many hands changed the old and worn Children’s Garden into a bright, inviting and new garden. And in keeping with traditions that Sonnenberg’s original owner and community benefactress Mary Clark Thompson started 100-years ago, produce grown on this estate is being donated to charitable organizations that serve the hungry of our community. As in Mrs. Thompson’s time, hunger is no stranger in our community today. According to a Hunger in America 2014 study, food banks feed 46.5 million people in need across the United States, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors. Due to the effort of many Sonnenberg volunteers and staff, close to 1,000 pounds of fresh produce were donated this year to our local soup kitchen. The nutritious and tasty meals made with those vegetables no doubt brightened the days and lives of those who shared them. The Thompson legacy lives on. But the garden doesn’t stop there. Future plans for the garden include increased vegetable donations, new program offerings, increased visitor engagement, seating, and more. It is an exciting space that is bringing a new and vibrant energy to our park—an energy that we are sure will spill out to touch and bring positive changes to all of Sonnenberg. •

Please see the Volunteer Corner article on page 3 for more about this amazing project and the people who made it possible!


You Give w We Grow

Be part of the world-wide giving and charity event, Giving Tuesday, on Dec. 1, 2015 at CONTINUED ON PAGE 3 www.roctheday.org


May 1 - October 31 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Memorial Day - Labor Day 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM

onnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park

State of the Property


By David Hutchings, Executive Director

istory is a fabric, a series of threads of people’s lives and how they lived together. History is also comprised of the stories of people. Our story is of the development of the gardens, and the life and legacy of the Thompson family. The gardens are of Mary Clark Thompson’s own personal genius and constructive skill. They are what they are because of her thought and labor. Our business at Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion is to preserve and interpret the nine historic gardens and tell the stories of the people who lived, loved and gardened this historic estate. In 2015, we will have presented this story to over 35,000 people during the garden season. In 2016, we will be presenting a year long program on the gardens of Sonnenberg and the influence on Mrs. Thompson by her travels that spanned her lifetime. This season at Sonnenberg was one of giving back to our community in many ways. We started the garden season by hosting the Thompson Health Rose Walk in May, the Twilight 5K run for the Red Cross in July, and the Altzheimer’s walk in October plus we also hosted the 4th annual Finger Lakes Plein Air Art Festival in June. These events brought many community people into the gardens at no cost. We also started this season to convert the White House Garden space in to a children’s and community’s vegetable garden which provided close to 1,000 pounds of fresh produce to date to the Gleaner’s Kitchen to feed the less fortunate in the community. As I come to the end of my 10th garden season at Sonnenberg Gardens, I reflect back on all the good that has been accomplished by a dedicated core of people on the board, a dedicated staff and our multi-faceted volunteers who keep this wonderful estate alive and open now for over 43 years. The nonprofit has been busy raising the matching funds to the grant for the Conservatory project. We raised $25,000 from the Davenport Hatch Foundation in June and $20,000 from the Klos Historical Preservation grant at the Rochester Community Foundation in August and $12,500 to date in private gifts. We are just $35,000 short of our goal to start restoring the domed greenhouse in 2016. This unique historic greenhouse complex that has had no modifications made to its structure. The cost of heating this structure in the present condition to protect our collection and grow the annual gardens is over $25,000 which is absolutely prohibitive to our goal to develop and sustain the optimal functioning of the Thompson estate by improving the effectiveness and efficiency of operations, programs and services. We are very close to being able to send this second restoration project next year out to bid and this GH conservatory project to be completed in 2016. As the season ends, we invite you to support this historic restoration and to be a part of our community’s legacy of saving the Thompsons’ summer home in Canandaigua – enjoy your winter with your family and friends, and we look forward to seeing you for an exciting 2016 season. • 2

Views from the Sunny Hill

FALL 2013 FALL 2015

MISSION STATEMENT: Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion preserves the living collection of nine historic gardens and interprets the life, times, and legacy of Canandaigua’s Thompson family estate. Board of Trustees


Lead Volunteers

Location & Mailing:

Margaret Owens, President Malcolm O’Malley, Vice President Lynn Herzig, Secretary Diana Johnson, Treasurer Jacqueline Biernat Kristen Fragnoli Daniel McCormick Scott Rankin Barbara Stahl R. Michael Tantillo John Tharp, Park Manager. Seneca Lake State Park Brian Young Admissions - Pat Garrahan Buildings & Grounds - Fred Salsburg Bus Guides - Deb Havens Floral Design - Dorothy Talone Housekeeping - Helen Myers Museum Docents - Ginny Konz Tasting Room - Evelyn Fleming Tram Guides - Ron Owren Walking Tour Guides - Kathleen Linse

David Hutchings, Executive Director, Director of Horticulture Kimberly Burkard, Marketing & Membership Coordinator Barbara Carson, Office Coordinator Kevin Coon, Maintenance Pamela Gangloff, Guest Svcs. Mgr. Volunteer & Education Coord. Bruce Henninger, Business Manager Cynthia Hunt, Curator Deborah Kelly, Program Manager Tyler McMillian, Landscaper Diana Palotas, Development Manager Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park 151 Charlotte St. Canandaigua, NY 14424





E-mail: Newsletter Editor: Kimberly Burkard Uncredited Articles: Kimberly Burkard info@sonnenberg.org Aerial Photo: G. McLaughlin Aerial Worx Newsletter printing by Microera Printers, www.microera.com

Follow us on: To get our FREE monthly e-newsletter, send a subscribe request to: marketing@sonnenberg.org

Mary Clark Thompson Award


By David Hutchings, Executive Director

n October 11, 2015 one of our long time volunteers and board members, Laura Harkness was honored with the Mary Clark Thompson Award. In 1978 Laura started volunteering at Sonnenberg in the Rose Garden and also collected rose petals to make potpourri and pillows for sale to benefit the gardens. Wes Gifford, the Director at that time, asked his wife Kitty Croucher to start a retail gift shop in the Mansion and Green House and from 1980 to 1982 Laura assisted Kitty with these shops. CONTINUED ON PAGE 5

Volunteer Corner


By Pamela Gangloff, Volunteer & Education Coordinator

olunteering is important for so many reasons that benefit both the community and the volunteers themselves. When someone donates a handful of time, the difference made is tremendous and it shapes a community for the better. The experience may also benefit the person who donated the time. Whether you are sharing time at a fundraising event, giving a daily tour, planting flowers, or helping to park cars for a community event, the more helping hands from the community the more the community will grow. We are truly grateful for all that volunteers do each day to keep the Thompson Legacy alive in the Canandaigua Community, and to keep Sonnenberg one of the premier tourist destinations in the region. At Sonnenberg we have hundreds of volunteers from many different communities that share their time each year. There are 14 different areas where volunteers can share their time here at Sonnenberg to show their love of a genuine Canandaigua treasure. This year we have a true community project with the upgrade of the Children’s Garden. Pat Hutchings is the Lead Volunteer for this project. With Pat’s guidance, over the winter we put into place a new garden layout. To help make this garden a reality, we got three grants to cover the cost of

Creating the newest garden at Sonnenberg, the Children’s Garden

the project—Thompson Health, the local Canandaigua Rotary and the District Rotary supported this much needed upgrade to the garden. Our primary purpose for this project is to serve Gleaner’s Kitchen at St. John’s Church, the local food kitchen, with fresh produce—this is not unlike what Mrs. Thompson did in 1915. Mrs. Thompson had a four acre kitchen garden in the southwest corner of the estate near where the Armory property stands today. In this garden, fruit trees and vegetables were grown. Besides providing food for Mrs. Thompson, fruits and vegetables were donated to the local Orphan Asylum, Thompson Hospital, and Clark Manor House. This year we have donated close to 1000 pounds of fresh produce to Gleaner’s Kitchen from the new Children’s Community Vegetable Garden. Besides community giving, this space will also allow for a variety of future Sonnenberg programs. Isn’t it wonderful that such an exchange occurs? Your commitment to volunteering can only be strengthened when you can see such benefits to the recipients of your efforts. •


grants and have raised an additional $12,000 through fundraising efforts towards a Greenhouse Conservatory project. We also received this summer a $25,000 contribution from the Davenport Hatch Foundation towards this effort. We would like to raise an additional $35,000 so that we can put the project out to bid in 2016. It is absolutely wonderful to see all these improvements taking place; improvements that will help ensure a sound future for Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion. We want this to be a place that you and your children can enjoy for many years to come. If I can share with you what makes Sonnenberg so special to me—it’s because this historic park is one of the nation’s most extensively preserved country estates from the Victorian era. Whether you enjoy the historic gardens, the magnificent Queen Anne style mansion, or the fantastic array of programs that are offered—if you haven’t been to Sonnenberg in the last couple of years, you absolutely MUST pay a visit and witness for yourself all of the progress. Thank you for all you do—and please continue to support Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion. Share the love! •

Become a member of Sonnenberg today!

Membership Levels - see complete list of benefits on our website Student $25 Individual $40 Dual $60 Rose $500 Orchid $1000 Lily $2500 Member Information Name: Street: Email:

Family $100 Patron $250 Mary Clark Thompson $5000

Phone: ( ) City/State/Zip:  New  Renewal  I want to volunteer!

Payment Information  Check 

Donation: $

Total Enclosed: $

Credit Card #: Exp. Date: / CCV: Mail to: Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park, 151 Charlotte Street, Canandaigua, NY 14424 You may also visit our website www.sonnenberg.org or call our offices at 585-394-4922 to pay for membership or to make a donation.


2016 EVENT CALENDAR February 6

Planning Your Garden: Principles of Garden Design April 23 - 24

Spring Wildflower & Orchid Show April 24

Amenda Quartet Concert April 30

Park Opens for the Season April 30

Spring 5K Run & Stroll May 7

I Love My Parks Day May 7

Saturday Mother’s Tea May 21 - 22

Honorable Mentions


t has been a notable year for Sonnenberg in that more and more people outside of our immediate community are recognizing this historic park for the unique treasure that it is. This summer we made it to the list of the 15 Best Botanical Gardens in NY. Many prestigious gardens make this list including those that are nationally and internationally recognized. We also made it to the list of the Most Beautiful Places in New York You Didn’t Know Existed! This interesting list spans a wide range of locales and site types but all are must-sees. Early in the season we were featured in an article in the magazine The Good Life: Central New York. The article, Garden Variety: Stop and Smell the Roses and More at Eight Gardens Near and in Syracuse, featured Sonnenberg as well as some of the best gardens NY has to offer: EM Mills Memorial Rose Garden, Cornell Plantations, Lorenzo State Historic Site, Hamilton College Arboretum & Root Glen, Ellwanger Garden, Parker F. Scripture Botanical Gardens, and the George Eastman House. And this fall we made multiple state-wide and regional lists featuring our Haunted Garden Stroll event including the I Love NY’s 10 Thing’s You Can’t Miss This October statewide list. We are also pleased to say that we are a multi-year (3+) winner of TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence Award and we are TripAdvisor’s number one rated thing to do in Canandaigua for at least as long. In 2016, be sure to visit this treasure in your backyard. •

Photography Workshop w/ Wayne Cahilly June 4

History Talk: Mary Clark Thompson’s Inspiration June 13

Roses & Rosés June 19

Father’s Day Car & Motorcycle Cruise Every Friday Night in July & Aug 5

Moonlight Strolls July 24

Family Fun Day July 25

Ladies Golf Tournament August 1 - 5

Historic Summer Camp Every Thursday Afternoon in August

August Teas

August 20 - 21

Arts at the Gardens September 15

Sonnenberg Golf Tournament October 8-10

Fall Gardening Symposium w/ Allan Armitage October 21 - 23 & 28 - 29

Mansion Mysteries October 30

Haunted Garden Stroll October 31

Park Closes for the Season December 3

Holiday Home Tour Event schedule subject to change. Call or see website for details. 151 Charlotte Street, Canandaigua, NY 14424 www.sonnenberg.org • 585-394-4922


Views from the Sunny Hill

FALL 2013 2015

e-Sonnenberg We urge everyone to follow our various social media outlets for news, photos, and fun. The spirit and character of everything Sonnenberg, as well as news, is freely shared via: • • • •

Facebook Twitter Instagram Pinterest

• • • •

Flickr Blogspot YouTube E-newsletter


In November we added two articles to our blog—Fairy Rings and Other Fabulous Fungi and Wooden Sashinko, Japanese Embroidery Patterns in the Tea House. To read these articles, visit our blog at: strollthroughsonnenberg.blogspot.com

You Give, We Grow Whether it is on Giving Tuesday / ROC the Day (December 1) or another day, your year-end gifts help to sustain Sonnenberg throughout the entire year. It heats the historic buildings, plants flowers in our gardens, preserves antique statuary, and keeps our gates open to the public. To make your gift, call 585-394-4922, see our website sonnenberg.org, or use the enclosed envelope with your check. Thank you!


You will also find an informative video introducing the fall beauty of the witch hazel tree on our YouTube channel at: youtube.com/user/SonnenbergGardens

View from inside the Japanese Tea House

Annual Report

By David Hutchings, Executive Director

Year to date in 2015, Sonnenberg again had a season with challenges from the long harsh winter and a cooler, wetter season which affected the overall income slightly making us below budget after the first 3 quarters. Our gate attendance has had another good bus tour season, but with the weather there was an overall a modest decrease to this year’s visitation starting with the Orchid Show and lasting all the way through the first July Moonlight Stroll. We had approximately 35,000 people at Sonnenberg this season and are close to meeting our 2015 membership goals. Sonnenberg did have a good year in community sponsorships and our private event season was about 20% over budget to date. Our individual and in-kind contributions have been steady throughout the 2015 season. We also started a planned giving program—for more information regarding any of our planned giving programs, please contact me at director@sonnenberg.org or at 585-394-4922. We had some growth in 2015 with corporate events and business site rental. This year we hosted the many community fundraisers plus the Annual Picnic for Canandaigua National Bank which had over 2,000 visitors. Other notable revenue streams for Sonnenberg in the 2015 season included operations and conservation grants—a $10,000 ZBGA grant for the gardens and the Greater Hudson Heritage Network awarded us $7,033 for the conservation of the marble Neptune fountain sculpture, and we also recieved a Circuit Rider grant to have the conservators do an overall assessment of our outdoor statuary collection. We also received money this year from two local foundations—$3,000 from the Canandaigua Rotary and District 7120 and $500 from the Thompson Health Foundation to assist with the Community Vegetable Garden. We also were awarded $45,000 for the Green House Conservatory dome; $25,000 Davenport Hatch and $20,000 RACF Klos Historic Preservation Grant. Thanks again to our two internal fundraising committees of Arts at the Gardens and the Friends Council. Arts at the Garden gave a generous donation of $30,000 this year to the organization after our weekend event in August. This again was our largest community fund-raising event in 2015. The Friends Council raised some good funds selling concessions at public events and hosting August Teas. They gave $5,000 at the end of this season towards the Library ceiling and wall plastering which will be completed this winter and $2,082 towards the Green House Conservatory project. The Board of Trustees and Staff are encouraged with the positive results of so many of these efforts this season. We all look forward to the further restoration of Sonnenberg’s physical property in 2016 with the Aviary building project and the new North entrance project. We are on the right track in our slow and steady return to being a community and regional destination as a public garden and historical home of the Thompsons. We look forward to opening this State Historic Park again in 2016 to continue to herald the story of Frederick and Mary Clark Thompsons’ legacy in Canandaigua. Thank you to all the volunteers, members and the community at large that assist with our continued success. • MARY CLARK THOMPSON AWARD, CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

She was also a key part of and one of the founders of the Sonnenberg Garden Club. In 1997 she was asked to serve on the Sonnenberg Board of Trustees and in the second year was promoted to the Executive Committee as the Secretary— eventually becoming the Vice Chairman and then Chairman of the board. She also headed up the SWAT Team of seven people after the embezzlement and kept Sonnenberg going from 20022005. Steve Russell and Laura came into my life in January 2005 and after five months of letter exchange they invited me to join the team and to be vetted for the Executive Director’s position once the State agreement was finalized. Steve and Laura worked

Support and Revenue = $839,026 Expenses = $837,160 Operating Surplus = $1866 arduously with NYSOPRHP to finalize the agreement using the State agreement with Old Fort Niagara as the model to be used for Sonnenberg. Laura was the principal person working with CNB and NYSOPRHP to come to our first 5 year agreement to establish the private and public partnership that is thriving today. Laura came off the board and returned for her second tenure in 2009 and finished in 2015 where she has made the gift shop a very profitable fundraising center for our organization during this time as a board member. It was by unanimous decision in August 2015 by the Board of Trustees and the Executive Director that Laura Harkness would be this year’s recipient of the Mary Clark Thompson Award, the highest honor given to a volunteer or staff at Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion. Mary Clark Thompson would have been proud to have a person like Laura Harkness, our Mary Clark Thompson Award recipient, who has dedicated so much of her life work here at her estate . • WWW.SONNENBERG.ORG 5

Thank You to Our 2015 Contributors

We also appreciate the continued support of our Members. A Member list will be included in the Spring 2016 newsletter. Contributors ($100 & Above) Alstom Signaling Foundation Inc. Anonymous Joseph & Deborah Augustine B&B Builders Lucie Bard Bloomfield Garden Club Bristol Mountain William & Anne Buckingham Canandaigua Chrysler Dodge Jeep Canandaigua National Bank Central New York Community Foundation CIG Insurance Agency Denby Vending, Inc. Wanda & Dana Drake Estey-Struble Theatrical Gail Flugel Friends Of Brian Kolb G.W. Lisk Company Inc. Greater Hudson Heritage Network Paul Harvey Shelby & Wendy Haynes Josephine & John Ingle Paul & Shirley Kellogg Bruce & Jennifer Klein Rhonda Kreft & Janet Kemp Bruce & Susan Krobusek Nancy Lee Robert Lowenthal Elizabeth Lyon Lyons National Bank Timothy & Julie Macko Richard & Sandra McGavern Mengel, Metzger Barr & Co. LLP Jean Middlebrook Karen & Peter Mount Martin Muehe Mary Lue & George Mueller Paul Oakley William O’Connor Frieda O’Hanlon Preston Pierce Marylou Powers Floyd Rayburn Virginia Reed David & Phyllis Reynolds Margaret Rhodes Rochester Area Community Foundation Ryans Wine & Spirits Carl & OJ Sahler Horst & Elaine Schroeder David & Mary Jo Shuler Sidco Filter Corporation Carol & Harvey Simmons Dale & Carla Stell The Davenport-Hatch Foundation, Inc. Ronna Treier Arthur Tuppen 6

Views from the Sunny Hill

List as of October 20, 2015

Susan Van Der Stricht Velmex, Inc. Timothy Veness & Michael Baum Vic Vena Pharmacy Walmart Bruce Walters Wegmans Food Markets Ernest Whitbeck Michael & Patricia Wilder Louise Zipp

In-kind Contributors Many of our in-kind donors have supported one or more of our fund-raising events this year with goods or services helping to make these events a success. The balance of the in-kind donors have provided services and goods that help in our daily operations. All donors marked with * have made gifts with a total value of $100 or more. Albright-Knox Art Gallery Alex and Ani Anthony Road Wine Company Aquarium of Niagara Dorothy Arrighetti * Martin Barber Lisa Barnum * Bed, Bath, & Beyond Roy & Nancy Beecher Bella Rose Bed And Breakfast * Billsboro Winery Borglum’s Iris Gardens Bristol Valley Theater Kimberly Burkard Buttonwood Grove Winery Ellie Cacamise Casa De Pasta Casa Italiana Cazbah * Cheesy Eddies Cheshire Farms Creamery Chesler Photography * Laurie Clark * Corning Museum of Glass Country Ewe Crown Jewelers * Davidson Shoes Dick’s Sporting Goods Kristen Dilg Dr. Frank Vinfera Wine Cellars Everson Museum of Art F. Oliver’s Finger Lakes Ace Hardware Finger Lakes Coffee Roasters Flowers by Stella Margaret Foley *

FALL 2013 2015

Friends of Ganondagan * Friends of Sonnenberg Sue Garrow * Gateway Grille Genesee Region Orchid Society * Geva Theatre Center, Inc. Glenora Wine Cellars/Knapp V&W Good Life Tea Goose Watch Winery Granger Homestead Society, Inc. Hangar Theatre Harris Seeds * Bruce Henninger * Heron Hill Wineries * Hunt Country Vineyards, LLC * David & Pat Hutchings Inspire Moore Winery Tillie Johnston JR Dill Winery Just Press Print * Mike Keegan & Dianne Byers Deborah Kelly Jana & Warren Lamboy * Lyons National Bank Max Rochester * Mayflowers Nursery & Garden Center McGregor Vineyard Memorial Art Gallery Karen & Peter Mount * Museum of Science & Technology Nedloh Brewing Company Olde Homestead Country Store Ontario ARC * Donna Orr * Papa Jack’S Grill & Ice Cream Pat Rini Rohrer Gallery * Potter HVAC & Metal Fab, Inc. * Paula Pratt Quilty Pleasures * Renaissance Goodie II Shoppe * Rheinblick German Restaurant * Richard & Laurie Riedman * Rochester Community Baseball, Inc. Rochester Museum & Science Center Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra * Rockcastle Florist * Rosamund Gifford Zoo Runnings Ryans Wine & Spirits Sample Seed Shop Mike Sargent Joseph & Sylvia Schepisi * Sciencenter Scoops Seabreeze Amusement Park Seedway LLC * Select Seeds Seneca Park Zoo

Serenity Vineyards Seward House Historic Museum Sky Zone Judith Smith * Judy Soprano * Standing Stone Vineyards Stomping Grounds Stuart’s Spices Susan B. Anthony House Tantalo Photography The Rabbit Room The Smith Center for the Arts The Strong * The Woodhouse Marianne Timms * Treleaven Wines by King Ferry Vineyard Wine & Spirits Wades Market Center Wegmans Food Markets * Wickedly Sent Wizard of Clay Pottery Woodcliff Hotel & Spa WROC TV * Zugibe Vineyards

Pane of Glass Greenhouse Restoration Project Donations Made: In Honor of the Archives Committee In Honor of Cheryl Bootes In Honor of Doug Davis In Honor of Kathleen Davis In Honor of Matthew S. Davis In Honor of Steven M. Davis In Honor of David Hewson In Honor of Jean Ingalls In Honor of Gail Kirk-Winters In Honor of Virginia Konz In Honor of Helen Myers In Honor of Jean Peterson Battle In Honor of Barb Stahl In Honor of Robert Taylor In Honor of Barbara Tomer In Honor of Esther Warren In Honor of the Wednesday Gardeners In Memory of Martha Anderson In the Memory of Judy Mimm Culp In Memory of Joan Curry In Memory of Wes Gifford In Memory of James Ingalls In Memory of Shar Nyquist In Memory of Ellie Spiegel In Memory of Robert & Adeline Sweet

In Honor of Candice Smith Patricia Taylor

In Honor of Carol Ennis Barbara Stahl

Thank You, cont. In Honor of John C. Murphy Aurelia Holden In Honor of Judy Poltenson FGCNYS-Spade & Trowel Garden Club In Honor of Kathleen Davis Diane & John Cormack In Honor of Laurie Robeson & Gary Schlemme Margaret and Rich Perham In Memory of Carol Colbert Constance Mussaw In Memory of Florence Richardson Donna Plain In Memory of Harvey Dudley Robert & Mary Bausch Muriel Coleman Philip Gerner Paul and Joan Hoogesteger Cynthia Massey David and Phyllis Reynolds Carol and Harvey Simmons In Memory of Jane Corrigan Barbara & Jason Bowman In Memory of John Cowan Kathryn Group Laura Harkness Paul & Shirley Kellogg Florence & Jeffrey Trumball In Memory of Margaret Mercado Louise Zipp In Memory of Ricky Ross MaryLou Powers In Memory of Stella Cardella Kathleen Shattuck In Memory of Margaret Veness Timothy Veness & Michael Baum Wesley Gifford Fund Stephen Hamlin We greatly appreciate your generosity and support so if you have any questions about this listing, please call 585-394-4922 or email marketing@sonnenberg.org.


Sonnenberg is operated by a non-profit organization in cooperation with the State of NY. This arrangement, of which there are only 3 of this type in the NY State Parks System, is periodically renewed between the State and the appropriate organization. With Sonnenberg, this renewal has been every 5 years. NY State is so happy with us, they just renewed our arrangement for 10 years! •

The Sonnenberg mansion in a coat of winter white

Collections & History


By Cynthia Hunt, Curator

s the most intact example of a New York country estate west of the Hudson River region, Sonnenberg offers visitors a unique experience. Representative of both the Gilded age (1870s - 1900) and the Country Place Era (c.1890 -1930), Sonnenberg immerses visitors in the experiences of an upper class family during America’s evolution from the 19th to early 20th century, an experience that the public does not have many opportunities to learn about in this region of New York State. The Thompsons created an impressive mansion, beautiful lawns and gardens, and several outbuildings where they loved to entertain guests. After Frederick’s death, Mary Clark Thompson introduced a new greenhouse complex, designed by the prestigious Lord & Burnham Company, an aviary for exotic birds, a deer park, and the extraordinary gardens and statuary that you see today. Mrs. Thompson wanted to share her beautiful estate with others, and she regularly opened the Sonnenberg “pleasure grounds” to the public throughout the warmer months. We want to welcome our guests in the same way the Thompsons did, striving to offer our visitors a more immersive experience than a typical house museum. Many rooms throughout the mansion are open so that visitors can walk in and look around, sit on the porches, and take in the same beautiful views that have been enjoyed by guests at Sonnenberg for over a century. We want to recreate the same welcoming atmosphere that Mary and Frederick did for their friends and family. We will continue to make Sonnenberg an even more inviting and comfortable place while preserving the estate’s original architecture, artifacts, and statuary.


This fall, thanks to another Conservation Treatment grant from the Greater Hudson Heritage Network, we had conservators Michael Morris and Lisa Goldberg clean and conserve the fountain at the head of the Italian Garden. Earlier this season, with funding from the GHHN Circuit Rider Program, they conducted a survey to assess the overall condition of Sonnenberg’s outdoor statuary collection. Their recommendations will guide us in our continued efforts to preserve our outdoor sculpture collection to ensure the future enjoyment of the Sonnenberg estate for generations to come. There are several high priority pieces in the collection, in dire need of stabilization and cleaning, which we hope to address in the near future. While we continue to seek financial assistance for statuary conservation through grant proposals, your generous donations are always welcome and appreciated! • Of Note: the “immersive experience” Cindy mentions has been positively commented on by many of our guests in person and via the reviews on TripAdvisor. They all enjoy the “rope free” nature of the mansion that better allows them to imagine the mansion in the days of Mr. & Mrs. Thompson. WWW.SONNENBERG.ORG 7

Nonprofit Org. U.S. POSTAGE


Permit No. 24 Canandaigua, NY

151 Charlotte Street Canandaigua, New York 14424 www.sonnenberg.org 585-394-4922

Fall 2015


ROSE HARVEY Commissioner

Dear Friends, Another fantastic season is coming to a close, and I don’t want to let it pass without writing in recognition of everyone’s extraordinary efforts at Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Site this past year. Across the State Park system, we have seen a transformation emerge. Governor Cuomo is modernizing State Parks and reversing decades of neglect with the NY Parks 2020 plan—a multi-year commitment to leverage a broad range of private and public funding to invest approximately $900 million in the state park system from 2011 to 2020—and I am delighted that Sonnenberg has been allocated a portion of these funds for improvements to event space and the aviary building over the past two years. I realize that in prior, challenging financial times, it has not always been easy to maintain the beauty of Sonnenberg’s significant land and historic structures. The work of the staff, volunteers, and community members who keep Sonnenberg a favorite Finger Lakes destination is known, recognized and immensely appreciated. I extend my deepest thanks for all you do. Until next season,

Rose Harvey, Commissioner Also in this Issue: Reflections from the Boardroom 1 • Giving Garden 1 • State of the Property 2 • MCT Award 2 • Volunteer Corner 3 • Event Calendar 4 • Honorable Mentions 4 • e-Sonnenberg 4 • You Give, We Grow 4 • Annual Report 5 • Donor Thank You 6 • Collections & History 7 • Commissioner Letter 8 8

Views from the Sunny Hill

FALL 2015

Profile for Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park

Fall 2015 Views from the Sunny Hill  

Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park Fall 2015 Newsletter

Fall 2015 Views from the Sunny Hill  

Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park Fall 2015 Newsletter