Looking Back–6720 Maplewood Avenue

by Gayleen Gindy

Continuing west on Maplewood Avenue, the next house, celebrating its 100th year, was built in 1920. It is definitely a catalog home, but I was unable to find this exact style in any of the old books. Here is the list of owners since the building of the house:

  • 1921 – Levi C. & Bessie D. Hubbard
  • 1953 – Bessie D. Hubbard
  • 1969 – Ralph Ayers, Kathryn Ayers, Mary Ann Sutton
  • 1974 – Mary Ann Sutton and Kathryn Ayers
  • 1975 – Mary Ann Sutton
  • 1987 – Christine V. Davis
  • 2019 – James A. Moan
  • 2020 – James A. and Elizabeth Moan LLC

In 1920 when this home was built the property was still owned by George Keene who lived next door to the east, so he either built the house or had the house built. Building permits were not required until 1924 so there is no record of the construction.
In 1921 this house was sold to the Hubbards. The Hubbard family name goes way back in Sylvania’s history. Levi Hubbard and Bessie Ayers were married in 1900 in Adrian, Mich., and they first lived in Toledo. By the 1910 census they were living on Summit Street in Sylvania. He was working as a clerk at the Chandler Hardware store in downtown Sylvania, listed as 34 years old. Bessie was listed as 31 years old. In the 1920 census they were living on North Main Street in Sylvania, and then in 1921 they moved into this new home on Maplewood.

In the 1930 census Levi and Bessie were still living here. He was listed as 54 years old and employed as a buyer at the Chandler Hardware store. Bessie was listed as 52 years old. Ten years later in the 1940 census they were still living here. He was 65 years old and still working at Chandler Hardware, now as the floor manager. Bessie was listed as 62 years old. They had no children while they were married. Levi died in 1953 and the house transferred into Bessie’s name that same year. Bessie lived here until 1960 and then began renting the house out.
Bessie died in 1968 while living in Adrian, Mich. Her will divided this house in the following manner: to her brother, Ralph Ayers, 13/24; to her sister-in-law, Kathryn Ayers, 1/24; and Ralph’s daughter from his first marriage, Mary Ann Ayers Sutton, (Bessie’s niece) 10/24.
Ralph Ayers died in 1973 and in 1974 his 13/24 share went to his wife Kathryn, now giving her 14/24 shares, and Mary Ann still owned 10/24. Then in 1975 Kathryn transferred her 14/24 share to Mary Ann, giving her full ownership.
Mary Ann Ayers was the daughter of Ralph Ayers and Mary W. Lucock. Her mother died in 1937 in Northville, Wayne County, Mich. Her father, Ralph, remarried in 1939 to Kathryn. In 1951 Mary Ann married Lennox “Jack” Sutton in Northville, Mich. She held full ownership of this home in Sylvania from 1975 until 1987, and rented it out the entire time to James and Christine Grinnell.
The first Polk Suburban Directory was published in 1957 and included listings for streets in Sylvania. That directory showed that Bessie Hubbard was still living here. Each directory through 1960 listed her living here until the1961 directory showed the house as vacant.
The 1962 directory listed James C. Grinnell and Christine renting the home. He died in 1964 and Christine continued to rent the home. She remarried in 1972 to Wilbert Davis and as of the 1973 directory he was listed as the occupant. In 1976 a zoning permit was issued to Wilbert Davis to add an addition to the rear of the existing garage. The home was still owned by Mary Ann Sutton at this time.
In 1987 Christine Davis, who had been renting the home since 1962, purchased the home. (Maybe it was a land contract agreement). In 1988 she was issued a zoning permit for the addition of a porch at the rear of the home.
Wilbert Davis died in 1993 and his obituary notice said that he was a truck driver for A & P for 25 years, a driver for Matlack Trucking for 10 years and was also a school bus driver for 10 years for the Sylvania School System. He had also patented a wheel alignment system.
As of the 1994 directory and continuing through 2019 the occupant was Christine Davis.
I remember Christine working at
Maplewood Elementary school in the
cafeteria, and I went to school with
her daughter Carolyn Grinnell.
I did not find an obituary notice for her so assume she is still living somewhere.
In 2019 James A. and Elizabeth Moan purchased the home and that same year a permit was issued for the installation of new heating and cooling units, and some interior alterations. The red brick has been painted a dark gray. The trim around all the windows and the porch trim has been painted white, which really makes the house stand out.

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