Know Before You Go

What to know about this historic site:

Eleutheros Cooke originally built this house on the corner of W. Washington Row and Columbus Avenue in 1843-44. He also had built Sandusky’s first stone house, now gone, in the 100 block of Columbus Avenue, which is still standing. He and his wife, the former Martha Carswell, lived in each of these houses before the erection of this, his final residence, where he died in 1864. His wife continued to live in the house until her death in 1878. 

Eleutheros and Martha had six children, including Jay, a financier whose sale of bonds helped finance the Union cause during the Civil War; and Henry, who became the first governor of the District of Columbia. 

After the Cookes’ death, the house was moved to its present site and rebuilt to look just as it had with one exception—the basement is now deeper, and thus the house sits closer to the ground than originally. The rebuilt house was a wedding present to Thomas Sloane and Sarah Cooke, daughter of Pitt and granddaughter of Eleutheros and Martha. 

Judge Roy H. Williams bought the house in 1922 from the Sloane estate, and Williams sold the house to Randolph and Estelle Dorn in 1951. Randolph was the son of John G. Dorn, a prosperous vintner. After extensive remodeling, the Dorns moved into the house in 1953. Randolph, a local industrialist, died in 1965, and his widow in 1994. Estelle Dorn willed the house and most of the contents to the Ohio Historical Society, its present owner.