Friday, April 03, 2015

When the Cooke House was on Washington Row

A local resident, Leroy Hinkey donated several historical photographs to the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. Because of his generosity, we can get an idea of what Sandusky looked like in days gone by. This stereographic image, created by Sandusky photographer A.C. Platt, was made in the 1870s as part of the Isles of Lake Erie series. In an enlarged view, you can see several buildings that were important to the daily lives of Sandusky residents for many years. The Cooke Block, at the northeast corner of Columbus Avenue and Market Street, was constructed in the 1850s. It was built by Wildman Mills, who sold it to Charles E. and George A. Cooke in 1866, and still stands today. Many local residents will recall when Holzaepfel’s was in business in the Cooke building.

The West House hotel was owned by brothers W.T. and A.K. West. It opened in 1858, in time for the Ohio State Fair, which was held in Sandusky that year. It was five stories high, and was located at the northwest corner of Columbus Avenue and Water Street. Now the State Theatre occupies the site. The old Post Office and Customs House was at the southwest corner of Columbus Avenue and West Market Street from 1857 until 1927. This location is now a parking garage. Gray Drugs was in this spot for many years.  The home of Eleutheros Cooke was built in 1843-1844, at the southwest corner of Washington Row and Columbus Avenue. (Note: Eleutheros Cooke and Geoge and Charles Cooke were not related, to the best of our knowledge.) After Eleutheros Cooke died, Sandusky attorney  Rush Sloane purchased the home. In 1878, he had the house dismantled, brick by brick, and was reassembled at what is now 1415 Columbus Avenue. Mr. Sloane gave the home to his newlywed son Thomas and his wife Sarah, who was a granddaughter of Eleutheros Cooke. Below is a picture of the Cooke home about 1890.

The original site of the Cooke house later became the location of the Sloane House hotel in 1881, followed by the Lasalle’s store in 1949; it is now occupied by Erie County governmental offices. 

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