FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sonnenberg Gardens Focuses on Women’s Suffrage for Fall Programs and Exhibits 

CANANDAIGUA – This autumn Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park will focusing on the history and contributions of the residents of this region to the historic Women’s Suffrage movement that gained the right to vote for women in New York State in 1917 and for all American women in 1920 with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. 

The Suffrage activities will start September 1 with an installation of a Rochester Regional Library Council Women’s Suffrage traveling exhibit, “Recognizing Women’s Right to Vote in New York State,” in the park’s mansion library. The exhibit will include informational panels covering a variety of Suffrage topics: women’s rights, race & diversity, anti-suffrage, and more. The exhibit will be on display though the month of September. Access is free with paid park admission.

On September 16 Sonnenberg Gardens and 1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse with support from Humanities New York will present the first of two such collaborative programs, “Local Suffragists and the Vote” from 2-4 pm in the Sonnenberg Carriage House. This program will feature a panel discussion on the contributions to the Suffrage movement made by certain local individuals. Facilitated by Donna Hill-Herendeen (Farmington Historian) the panel includes: Wilma Townsend (Ontario County Historical Society Curator) speaking on the participation of rural women; Beth Thomas (Bristol Historian) on Bristol’s Emily Parmely Collins; Rosa Fax (Huron Historian) on local “Freethinker” James Cosad; and Carol Bailey (Lyons Historian) on the Grange Movement’s action for suffrage. Event is free and open to public with paid park admission of the special discounted price of $7 starting at 1 pm.

On October 7 the second program in this collaborative series, “The Role of Hodinöhsö:ni’ Women and Suffrage,” will take place from 2-4 pm in the Sonnenberg Carriage House. This program, in conjunction with Ganondagan State Historic Park’s new exhibit “Hodinöhsö:ni’ Women: From the Time of Creation,” focuses on the influence Hodinöhsö:ni’ (Iroquois) women had on early Suffragettes. Guest speakers will be midwife and activist Jeanne Shenandoah (Eel Clan, Onondaga Nation) and author, activist, and Executive Director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Center for Social Justice Dialogue Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner. Attendees will learn why it is no surprise that this region is home to both the Hodinöhsö:ni’ people and the birth place of the Women’s Suffrage movement. Event is free and open to public with paid park admission of the special discounted price of $7 starting at 1 pm.

Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park is one of America’s longest surviving estates from the Victorian Era. The elegant Queen Anne-style mansion was built in 1887 in Canandaigua by New York City financier Frederick Ferris Thompson, and his wife, Mary Clark Thompson, as a summer home. Between 1901 and 1920, the widowed Mrs. Thompson created the nine formal gardens as a tribute to the places she and Frederick had traveled to or had always wanted to visit. The grounds are open to the public from May 1 through October 31 each year. Sonnenberg is a non-profit organization dependent upon the support of members, sponsors, and its dedicated corps of volunteers. For more information, contact Marketing Director Kimberly Burkard or Executive Director David Hutchings at 585-394-4922.