Sonnenberg is the former summer home and creation of Frederick Ferris and Mary Clark Thompson. As newlyweds in 1863, the Thompson’s purchased a 300-acre farmstead named Sonnenberg (Sunny Hill) near Canandaigua Lake for their summer estate. By 1887, they replaced the previous farmstead residence with the current Sonnenberg Mansion. After Mr. Thompson's death in 1899, Mrs. Thompson began renovating and building gardens surrounding the mansion as a tribute to her husband. Today, Sonnenberg Gardens is a New York State Historic Park where a late nineteenth century Victorian Estate with a Queen Anne-style mansion and nine formal gardens of the world is being preserved. This 50-acre estate is one of just two public gardens in the NYS Parks system. Sonnenberg is known for its distinctive period architecture, statuary, formal gardens, fountains and unique garden structures.
Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park is a member of the Rochester Regional Library Council.