Gardens is a large, late nineteenth century home with
portions of the framing dating to the mid nineteenth
century. Little is know about the property before the
Jackson and Perkins families acquired it. The earliest
record of the property is Kneeland Townsend’s purchase
of 14.21 acres from Lyman Sherwood in 1838. Local
tradition holds that the Townsend family built the
house, described as wood and of “ample dimensions.” In
1842, Townsend sold a parcel of just over six acres to
David H. Mandeville, a farmer and reportedly a one-time
steamboat captain on the North River. The property
changed hands again in 1849, when Thomas Barnes
purchased six acres from the Mandeville estate. Mr.
Barnes, also a farmer, served as the Arcadia town
supervisor in 1841-43 and as a member of the New York
State assembly in 1856 before starting a dry goods
business. At Barnes’s death in 1864, the property
passed to Albert E. Jackson and Charles H. Perkins.
Initially Jackson and Perkins farmed the property
raising grapes, raspberries, and vegetables. The
residence primarily reflects two major construction
periods and occupation by two generations of Jackson and
Perkins Company executives. The large, two and one-half
story wood-frame building was substantially remodeled
c1880 after Charles H. Perkins moved into the home.
Local historians record that Stephen N. Keener, an
important local architect, rebuilt the house in 1889.
In 1919 when Charles Perkins moved to California,
George C. Perkins and his wife, Caroline Stuart moved
into the house. George Perkins remodeled the property
in c1921-22. The design is credited to E.A.P.
Krabbenschmidt, a native of Germany and another
prominent New York architect. In 1935, George Perkins
sold the property and followed his father to
Today, the property
associated with the residence is smaller than it was
during the period of significance, however, the
2.66-acre property retains many elements of its designed
landscaping Much of the homes late nineteenth century
floor plan has been preserved and some interior finishes
and features, such as marble fireplace mantles. Early
alterations include stucco and battens to suggest
half-timbering, a cross-gable roof, porch expansion, and
interior feature such as multi-pane pocket doors and oak
parquet floors. Although the experimental gardens have
been lost, the site retains the foundations of one
greenhouse, mature trees and shrubs, a fountain and
other late nineteenth century landscaping.
Kimberlee Meeks, natives of California, were on vacation
in the New York Finger Lakes region in May of 2006. They
had always dreamed of owning a grand property and
opening a Bed and Breakfast in their home. They
discovered that the estate listed for sale and it was
love at first sight. In August of 2006, the Meeks moved
to Newark and made Vintage Gardens their home.