Sonnenberg is the former summer home of Frederick Ferris and Mary Clark Thompson. He was a NYC banker (think Citibank and JP Morgan Chase) and she the daughter of NY State Governor Myron H. Clark.
In 1863 the purchased a 300 acre farm named Sonnenberg (Sunny Hill) near Canandaigua Lake for their summer home. He died in 1899 and she turned the estate into the show place it is today
She traveled the world looking at gardens and she came home to create the gardens on the estate between 1902 and 1919.
In 1972, after years of neglect, the property was turned into a non profit and restoration began. In 2006 it was purchased by the state.
My favorite story I heard was that Mrs Thompson requested that if someone wanted to bring a house gift when coming to visit she asked that they bring a tree. So the grounds are full of all different types of trees from all over the world.
Of course I didn't try to take any photos in the shop but I used the bathroom and shot it! All the color you see is their tile.
The latest thing a friend just put into words for me is the fact I'm happiest when I have a vista to look at. The water, the mountains, a valley, a field, doesn't really matter what it is as long as I can see a long way. When she said "I need a vista", I thought to myself, wow, that's me, I never could put my finger on it before!
The vista from MacKenzie Childs.