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Lorenzo Historic Site, Cazenovia, NY

Lorenzo is the name of a big old Dutch patroon mansion in Cazenovia, NY. Legend has it that the house was named for an Italian artist. I think the builder, John Lincklaen of Holland, was enamored with Italians. The house and its contents have a definite Italian flavor.

Lorenzo at Cazenovia

Lorenzo Back Entrance

The house was built in 1807. It remains in incredible shape. All the furnishings were donated to the State by the family. Even the daily weather journal was given. The book rested on an antique desk, open to today in 1888 (it was recorded as 78 degrees F on this day in 1888– presently, we were sweltering at 87 degrees).

Admission for touring the mansion was $5 for an adult, $4 for a student, and children under 12 were free. Roaming the grounds and the carriage house (which holds a mini museum and a cool collection of original carriages and sleighs) was free.

Lorenzo Carriage House

Resting at Lorenzo

We took advantage of the tour and got first-class treatment from the tour guide. Unfortunately, photographing the interior of Lorenzo was verboten, so I am pictureless. Sorry. We had a lively chat with the tour guide about the history of the site and about some of the artifacts on display. It was an excellent experience.

After our tour, we wandered the grounds. There is a great view of Cazenovia Lake from the front of the mansion. Originally, the property extended all the way to the lake shore, but today, Route 13 cuts across the front yard.

View of Lake

I really liked the gardens. I think the kids could have spent all day running around the paths and hiding under the looming pine trees. There was so much to explore! Little nooks and “secret” gardens were peppered across the grounds.

Gardens at Lorenzo (2)

Gardens at Lorenzo

A sundial, a fountain, and stone horse trough added that “English cottage” atmosphere.

Lorenzo House Trough

Beautiful Circle Path
The flowers were all in bloom, too. It was beautiful.

Lorenzo Gardens

The Lincklaens never had any children. Such a large house with fanciful gardens, and no children to fill it! They adopted a nephew who inherited the house, and he later had one child, a daughter. She grew up, but remained childless, too. The house was granted to the State in 1967. All the family’s furnishings, art, personal possessions (even clothing!), and everything else you can imagine, was granted with the house. To tour the house is like stepping back in time. I love living museums like that.

For more information, visit www.lorenzony.org.

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About the Author

I've been traveling throughout New York State since I got the travel bug after touring the Herkimer Home on a school field trip as a youngster. We've been blogging about our travels since 2006 and have visited over half of New York's 62 counties so far.

Comments (6)

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  1. […] life and travels in Upstate New York « Lorenzo Historic Site, Cazenovia, NY […]

  2. Mercedes says:

    This is why I love the northeast and the south. There’s so much history there. I love touring mansions. It brings you to times you can only dream of.

  3. You are very right, Mercedes! The state has done a good job preserving many of our historic mansions. We’ve seen so many, I can’t keep track of them anymore! I only started blogging about our travels in 2006. Unfortunately, I missed out on posting all the wonderful places we’d seen before then (I didn’t have a camera then, either). We do plan to backtrack slowly.

  4. windyridge says:

    Have you been to the horse show at Lorenzo? Very nice.

    I don’t live too far from the windfarm.

  5. I have heard of the horse show at Lorenzo, and even seen photographs of it, but have never been.

    You live near the windfarm! That’s pretty neat! Tell me, how is it? Is it disturbing? Is there a lot of noise?

  6. Don Reed says:

    “The house and its contents have a definite Italian flavor.”

    What a bargain! For a modest entrance fee, it’s all-you-can-eat architecture!