Sisson's Peony Gardens

 © Photographed June 6, 2017
Rosendale, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin
43° 48.567′ N, 88° 40.514′ W

In 1920 Wilbur Sisson established the first section of his Peony Gardens at this location. In 1929 he hired Jesse Phillips as his assistant and eventual partner to design and build a gateway arch and windmill for the entrance. These structures were completed using stones from the original Rosendale State Bank and Methodist Church. Phillips assumed ownership of the gardens following Sisson’s death in 1950.

Jesse and his wife, Marie, expanded the gardens to cover 5 acres and include 2500 varieties of peonies. Sisson’s Peony Gardens became a state landmark and was recognized as such by Gov. Warren Knowles in 1968.

Jesse developed several new peonies and three of them are registered with the American Peony Society: the Owen F. Hughes, the Kathryn E. Manuel, and the Tinka Phillips, named for Phillips’ grandfather, aunt, and daughter respectively.

The gardens were sold in 1979 and much of the land was used for residential development. In 2005 the surviving Windmill Garden was purchased by James and Emejean Westphal and donated to the Rosendale Historical Society to begin restoration.
The marker is located on southbound North Main Street / Wisconsin Route 26, just north of its intersection with Wisconsin Street, Rosendale, Wisconsin 54974.

Watch the video . . . it's very cool! Oh, so it's pronounced PEE-knee! I've been saying pee-AH-knee! Darn my California accent!

The property is maintained by the Rosendale Historical Society.

NOTE: This is no parking on Main Street. Park on a side street, or in the alley behind the gardens. I would not call this location "handicap friendly".

 Looking north along North Main Street.

 My favorite peony, named "Angel's Cheek".

 The pathway leading to the peony gardens.

Sisson's Peony Gardens are located in Rosendale, Wisconsin.

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