house September 2016

The structure that now houses the Sylvania Heritage Center Museum was the home of Dr. Uriah A. Cooke. Originally purchased in 1897 and renovated in 1902, the residence also was Dr. Cooke’s medical office from 1897 – 1942. 

Today, the Doctor's office, exam room, bedroom and parlor are preserved as they were when Dr. Cooke lived and practiced here.  Throughout other areas of the home are changing exhibits focusing on various aspects of regional history, a display of miniatures, and a local history room.  The building also houses the offices and archive of the Sylvania Historical Society and the office of the Sylvania Historical Village.  Our small book store features area authors and topics.

The Heritage Center and Museum hosts many local community events.  From school art shows, geneology workshops, holiday events, and guest speakers, the building is an important year-round venue for the Sylvania community.

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Dr. Cooke's Home

Dr. Cooke served on the Sylvania school board and helped found the Sylvania Savings Bank. He was twice appointed medical director for the poor in Sylvania, from 1927 – 1930 and 1934 – 1938. He also attended the Methodist Episcopal Church in Sylvania. After Dr. Cooke’s death in 1942, the home remained in the Cooke family until 1989. The city purchased the home in 1993. Local nonprofit organizations submitted ideas for the home’s use. The museum suggestion was chosen, and today the building is home to the Sylvania Area Historical Society and the Toledo Area Miniature Enthusiasts.

Many architectural features of Dr. Cooke’s medical office are still visible in the home. The original physician’s office and apothecary remain intact. The three-story home has 10 rooms on the first floor, four bedrooms and a storage area on the second floor and a third floor with hardwood flooring and window seats. This space was used as a billiards room and housed a cistern which supplied gravity-fed water. A basement with six rooms was added during the 1902 remodeling.

In the spacious entry room, an ornate fireplace and carved wood staircase welcomed visitors into the Cooke home. A hallway off the entry room leads to the three-room suite that served as the doctor’s office. The oak hardwood floor extends into the dining room, which features an intricate ceiling treatment, a window seat and pocket door with a faux finish. The light fixture in the dining room is not original to the house, but is reminiscent of the era.

The original pantry off the dining room features floor-to-ceiling storage, typical of the era. A small work area includes a pull-out work surface and flour and sugar bins.  The only bathroom, circa 1915, is located off the dining room and the room features original tiles and a claw-foot cast iron tub.  Attached to the rear of the house is a hand-hewn barn from the 1860s. The two-room structure housed the doctor’s horse and buggy and included a truly unique feature – an indoor outhouse.