The Victorian era in Canandaigua comes alive when private homeowners open their doors to the public for the Sonnenberg Holiday Home Tour

CANANDAIGUA — Homeowners at seven city homes will open their doors Saturday for the annual Sonnenberg Holiday Home Tour. The Victorian-era Sonnenberg Mansion on Charlotte Street will be headquarters for the tour of historic homes in the surrounding neighborhood.

Guests will be invited inside each of the significant dwellings that have been meticulously maintained and now trimmed for the 2018 holiday season —  to take in the architecture and splendid holiday decor and to learn the stories behind those who lived there.

The tour runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and wraps up back at Sonnenberg for refreshments and festivities.

A sneak preview of what’s in store: At the home of Mike and Nancy Yacci, 85 Gibson St., the classic Victorian built in 1887 by Elihu Chapin shows off its original architecture. The home displays antique furnishings and exhibits how modern changes were incorporated into the original features.

At 70 Howell St., owners Gary Schlemme and Laurie Robeson will show their 10-room Queen Anne style home built in 1883 on land owned by Alexander and Thomas Howell. The house was updated with stucco in the early 1920s by Judge Leon Van Deusen. It features an octagonal bedroom, a private front porch accessible only from the inside, fine woodwork, front staircase with midway landing and elaborate furnishings. The house features an arched porte-cochère, a covered porch-like gate originally used for the arrival and departure of horse-drawn carriages. The Howell Street home also sports a bright, comfy family room that was converted from a two-car garage.

The home tour is a fundraiser for the nonprofit organization that runs Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park. The 50-acre Victorian era estate was once the summer home of civic leaders Frederick Ferris and Mary Clark Thompson and a gift to the community. Sonnenberg today is one of just two public gardens in the New York State Parks system.

For more information and tickets for the Holiday Home Tour, call 585-394-4922 or visit