Looking Back–6712 & 6714 Maplewood Avenue

by Gayleen Gindy

Lucas County records for this house on Maplewood Avenue show it was built in 1887. However, other records indicate that it might be older. In 1851 Washington Huling purchased this entire block along the north side of what was, at that time, called Indiana Avenue, which extended into what is part of Roosevelt Drive today. Our subject home was originally the Huling home and the unique cobblestone foundation on the oldest portion of this structure indicates it is older than 1887. The maps of Sylvania, drawn in 1861 and 1875, show that there was a home at this location.
The list of owners of this property is recorded as follows:

  • 1851 – Washington H. Huling
  • 1890 – Clara L. Huling
  • 1898 – George Keene and Mary E. Roberts
  • 1921 – George amd Orpha Keene
  • 1927 – August and Emma L. Mohr
  • 1933 – August Mohr
  • 1933 – Nora Manevel and Leonah M. Joy
  • 1937 – Frank Koepfer
  • 1941 – Frances M. Koepfer
  • 1953 – Arnold F. Koester
  • 1967 – Orrison L. and Wanda Werner
  • 1968 – Orrison L. Werner
  • 1986 – William M. and Donna S. Lasky
  • 1993 – Donna S. Lasky
  • 2000 – James A. and Elizabeth Moan
  • 2000 – J & E Moan LLC an Ohio Limited Liability

Huling came to Sylvania with his widowed mother in 1839 when he was 17 years old. He was a self-taught man who started with nothing and worked to become one of the wealthiest men in the area. He owned a dry goods business in downtown Sylvania for over 40 years and operated a cooper shop, a saw mill and a dairy business during this same time. He also owned hundreds of acres of land throughout Sylvania with many residential and commercial buildings that he rented out.
Huling was married twice, first to Mary Allen in 1843. Three children were born to the couple, but all died in infancy and then she died in 1852. In 1853 he married Clara Forbes, and they were still married when he died in 1890. They had no children. Huling was a strong supporter of the Sylvania community, and helped people in many charitable ways throughout his life-time.
Huling purchased this land on Indiana Avenue (Maplewood Avenue) in 1851. He built a home here and according to the 1860, 1870 and 1880 census records he and Clara were living on Indiana Avenue. In each census they show a servant and others living with them. Clara continued to live here after her husband died in 1890, until she sold it in 1898. At that time she had a new home built down the street at 6801 Maplewood where she lived the rest of her life and then donated it to her church.

In 1898 George Keene and Mary Roberts purchased this home. Mary Roberts was George’s mother-in-law. In the 1900 census the Roberts and Keene families were living here together. Ebenezer Roberts was listed as the head of the household, 58 years old and a farmer. His wife Mary was 53 years old. Their daughter Nellie Keene was 31 years old and married. Her husband George Keene was listed as 31 years old and their daughter, Ina Keene, was also living here and was listed as 8 years old.
By the 1910 census only Ebenezer and Mary Roberts were living in this home. He was 68 years old and retired, while Mary was listed as 63 years old. George and Nellie Keene had purchased the large hotel that used to be located on the northwest corner of Main Street and Maplewood Avenue and were living at the hotel while running that business. They were all still part owners of this home.
Mary Roberts died in 1911, and their daughter Nellie Keene died in 1919. By the 1920 census Ebenezer Roberts and his son-in-law, George Keene were both listed as widowed and sharing this house. Ebenezer was 77 years old and retired, and George was 52 years old and employed as a forester – in general practice.
In 1921 Ebenezer Roberts transferred this house to his son-in-law and his new wife Orpha, who George Keene had married in 1920. George and Orpha Keene lived here until 1923 when they built a new home at 5817 Main St. They continued to own this house until 1927 when they sold it.
The next owners were August and Emma Mohr. They came to Sylvania in 1927 from Amboy, Hillsdale County, Michigan. It was at this time that the home was split into two separate living areas. One side they lived in and the other side they rented to their daughter and son-in-law, Harry and Leone Joy. Emma Mohr died the next year in 1928. By the 1930 census Harry and Leone were living at 6712 Maplewood Ave., and her father August Mohr, who owned the house, was living with them. Mohr was renting 6714 Maplewood Ave. to Joseph and Lucille Brown at this time.
In 1933 August Mohr transferred the home to his two daughters and they owned it until 1937. The Koepfers owned it next. They lived across the street and rented out both units while they owned it. Koepfer was a hardware and automobile dealer in Sylvania and died in 1940 in an auto accident while on a hunting trip in Michigan. The next year, in 1941, this home transferred to his widow. She sold it to Arnold Koester in 1953. He was her son-in-law, and he owned it until 1967. He also rented out both units while he owned it.
Orrison and Wanda Werner purchased it from Koester in 1967. Mrs. Werner died the next year in 1968, and then it transferred into just his name. He was a teacher of automobile mechanics with the Sylvania School system and lived on Elden Drive in Sylvania. While he owned our subject home he rented the two units out.
William and Donna Lasky owned it from 1986 until 2000 and they rented the units out while they owned it. In 1988 they obtained a zoning permit to replace the windows, update the bathrooms and kitchen and upgrade the electrical and plumbing.
James A. and Elizabeth Moan purchased the property in 2000 and still own it today. A permit was issued in 2004 to demolish a garage and carport behind the house and add a porch addition. That same year Moan obtained a permit to construct two more dwelling units with four one-car garages behind this old home.

On April 21, 1921, Dr. Lovewell, at the age of 71, was married for a third time to Calista Micham-Reynolds, 69 years old. She was the widow of David Edward Reynolds, a well-known farmer in Adams Township, who had died in 1910. Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds had one child while married and her name was Jessie. The same year that Calista married Dr. Lovewell he died, in November of 1921. She inherited the house at that time. She continued to live here until sometime before the 1930 census was taken, when she is found living with her daughter Jessie Collins and her husband, Sherman Collins, on Reynolds Road in Sylvania Township.
In the 1930 census, this home on Maplewood Avenue was being rented out to David H. Nhare and his wife Zenobia C. Nhare. He was listed as 30 years old and employed as the manager of an implement distributor.
Calista Micham-Reynolds-Lovewell died in 1933 at the age of 83, and at that time the property transferred to her daughter Jessie Reynolds-Collins. In 1939, Jessie transferred the home to her three daughters, and that same year the youngest of the three daughters, Alice Collins, became full owner of the house.
When the 1940 census was taken Alice Collins was listed living here. She was 24 years old, single and a teacher at a public grade school. Living with her was Doris Kathryn LaVigne – 22 years old, single, and employed as a cashier at a life insurance office.
Alice Collins married Raymond Dorcas in August of 1940 and they made their home here until she died in 1997 at the age of 82. He lived here until shortly before he died in 2019 at the age of 101. They had two daughters while living here, Janice and Joyce. On Aug. 31, 1990 they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
Permits that were issued over the years included a 1980 permit for a carport by Colony Builders and, in 1982, a permit to convert a side porch into a bathroom.
Alice Dorcas taught elementary school in Sylvania for 40 years, retiring in 1982, with 34 of those years at Maplewood. I fondly remember her as a teacher at Maplewood. Her classroom was awesome, with a real “home” feel to it. All the kids wanted to be in her class for first grade. If you were lucky enough to get her as your teacher she called you a “Dorcas Dear.” Remember?
Her husband, Raymond Dorcas, lived his entire life in Sylvania, and over the years worked for the United States Army Engineers; Gulf Oil – Toledo Sales Division; Tecumseh Products; Garwood Industries; and finally became self-employed as a sales and financial consultant until he retired in 1987. In retirement they vacationed in their motor home and summers were spent at Deep Lake in the Irish Hills.
Recently this house was sold to Maplewood Art District LLC.

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