The town of Newark holds so much history that I find myself constantly returning and researching it. A short drive to many of the Finger Lakes attractions and historical sites, you definitely need to consider visiting. There is so much history in this town that was once the industrial and retail center of the county, it is truly an intriguing area.
I have always been a fan of Jackson & Perkins and love the story of the company’s humble local beginnings. I think I have known for a while that the Jackson & Perkins estate was still around in the Village of Newark, but it turns out I was slightly confused about where the property was actually located. After putting in a little more effort into tracking down the historic estate, I could not believe my luck, it is currently operating as a bed and breakfast! It is much easier to get into a bed and breakfast to take pictures, than someone’s private residence. Turns out not everyone is excited about a stranger with a camera in their house 😉
I reached out to the current owners of the “Old Jackson & Perkins Estate”, about a visit, and quickly received a warm welcome from Michael and Kimberlee Meeks.
The History of the Jackson & Perkins
The Jackson-Perkins Estate is significant to the Newark Area because it marks a period of time of great prosperity and accomplishment of the area, and is also the birthplace of the Jackson & Perkins Company, one of the largest and best-known horticultural firms in the United States.
Jackson & Perkins was established in 1873 by Albert E. Jackson and his son-in-law, Charles H. Perkins, fruit growers and amateur gardeners, who had purchased the property the Vintage Gardens now sits on 1864. Initially, Perkins, a lawyer and banker, began experimenting with cultivating grapes and other fruits on the property; however, his growing passion for roses led to a substantial increase in horticultural activity, and in 1884 the company hired E. Alvin Miller, a professional propagator, and breeder.
Although the growth of the company led to the acquisition of additional farms, the family’s High Street estate remained the center of operations, with experiments in propagation taking place on site and the residence’s library serving as the company’s main office.
What had started a nursery serving Upstate New York gardeners became a mail-order powerhouse serving rose enthusiasts across the nation. Once a luxury item, only attainable to the rich, Kimberlee credits Jackson Perkins as the first company to make roses accessible to everyday gardeners.
Over the next several years, this part of the business grew so much that the company published its first catalog. Newark soon became known as the Rose Capital of America, and hundreds and thousands came each spring and summer to see the famous Jackson & Perkins rose gardens.
Jackson & Perkins is now based in South Carolina, the famous rose gardens are gone from Newark. But the Jackson Perkins Estate has been preserved and is lovely tended to by Kimberlee and Micheal Meeks, giving travelers the opportunity to explore and experience the history of the Jackson & Perkins Estate.
The Tudor style estate was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. It is tastefully furnished with antiques, and the Meeks are dedicated to maintaining its original appeal, throughout both the house and the formal gardens. The Estate is within walking distance to the charming park that sits on land that was donated by the Perkins family.
The beautiful house boasts gorgeous common areas and 5 uniquely decorated rooms guest rooms (although, while I was there one was occupied so I have pictures from 4 of the rooms to share with you today).
The furniture felt handpicked and like they poured a lot of love and effort into each room. There is not a bad view to be had from any of the rooms, the large windows bathe the rooms in natural light and offer views of the gardens, pond, and wooded lot all situated on the just under 3-acre property.
Because I was visiting in mid-winter the gardens were all dormant, but the property was still beautiful. It is evident that the Meeks are serious about the stewardship of the historic property. Not only has the couple committed themselves to the care of the property, Kimberlee has amassed a collection of items and knowledge related to the history of the Jackson & Perkins Estate that would make the local historian envious, and most of it is on display throughout the bed and breakfast.
American Beauty Room
This charming room with beautiful woodland views boasts a dramatic floral wallpaper a queen size antique replica four post iron bed and vintage oak furniture. While visiting this room make sure to check out the ornamental inlaid wood floor.
The Garden Room
With the best view overlooking the gardens the garden room, is the bed and breakfast’s newest suite. Added after reading documentation about a first-floor convalescence room in the estate that was used primarily for the recuperation illnesses, and postpartum recovery. This room is a tranquil retreat, adorned with a vintage full-size bed and furnishings, antique crystal chandelier, and private bath with a clawfoot tub.
English Tea Rose Room
Full of windows this bright and airy sun-bathed room has antique oak furnishings, a queen bed with views of the formal rose garden and fountain and the charming quiet side street, there is a great view on all sides of the room.
Asian Lily Suite
A touch of Asian decor adds beautiful flair this large room, antique furnishings, and a queen canopy bed offer a quiet relaxing atmosphere. A spacious attached private bath has an extra large claw-foot bathtub and separate shower.
Heirloom Peony Suite
The largest suite, the Heirloom Peony Suite is complete with its own quiet parlor with twin sleeper and private bath. the rooms are adorned with a full-size iron sleigh bed and mahogany antique furniture. Unfortunately, the room was occupied during my visit, and I was unable to take pictures.
Vintage Gardens Bed and Breakfast Photo Gallery Tour
Bed & Breakfast Address: 310 High St, Newark, NY 14513 Phone:(315) 331-6045
Vintage Gardens Bed and Breakfast is located at 310 High Street Newark, NY 14513.
Have you visited Vintage Gardens Bed and Breakfast? Let me know in the comments below!
Many thanks to Vintage Gardens for graciously opening up their beautiful Bed and Breakfast for me to visit.