The Sonnenberg Garden Fathers Day Car Show Delights

A Guest post by section member Don Klug. Thanks Don!

Three members of our Finger Lakes Mercedes Benz Car Club enjoyed a delightful and surprising collection of classic, vintage antique and modern day marvels at the 6th Annual Sonnenberg Gardens Fathers Day Car Show in Canandaigua on Sunday, June 17th. Dan Bilow from the Finger Lakes region showcased his beautiful 1985 SL Convertible, flanked by a 2008 E Class owned by Betsy and Don Klug, Watertown and a 2005 S-Class owned by Rena and Menzer Doud of Pirrepont Manor.

Car lovers showcased their automobiles of all sorts, from “horseless carriages” such as two stunning Pierce Arrow Cars built/manufactured prior to 1916) to vintage vehicles, like the Model T, to mint-condition classics, to modern marvels on the grounds of Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park.

During the show, hot dogs, soft drinks, popcorn, pretzels, a chicken barbecue meal and other food items were available as well as tours of the mansion and the nine beautiful gardens. Musical entertainment set the mood for a fun-filled afternoon and a day the whole family was able to enjoy.

Perched atop the sun-bathed hill of the estate known as “Sonnenberg” (German for “sunny hill”), is the 40-room Queen Anne-style mansion. New York City bank financier Frederick Ferris Thompson and his wife, Mary Clark Thompson, the daughter of New York State governor Myron Holley Clark, purchased the property in 1863 when it featured just a brick farmhouse on 14 acres. The family prospered and built the mansion between 1885-1887.

Much of the signature floral design and landscaping seen at the nine formal gardens bears the imprint of philanthropist Mary Clark Thompson, who was influenced by numerous trips to European and Asian locales.