Sunday, April 15, 2012
The William T. Townsend House
Sadly, during the cholera epidemic of 1849, within a period of four days, William Townsend, Mrs. Townsend, their daughter Sarah, and a sister of Mrs. Townsend all died of cholera. At the time of the tragic deaths of the Townsend family members, Mary Townsend had already married. She was the wife of Pitt Cooke, a son of Eleutheros Cooke, and a brother to Jay Cooke, the Civil War financier. Mary and Pitt Cooke took in the orphaned Townsend children, and raised them with their own six children. The Pitt Cooke family lived in Brooklyn, New York from 1866 to 1873, but they kept this home as their summer home. Elmer B. Otto, owner of Esmond Dairy, purchased this house in 1907. Through the years this house has had several other owners, and it was used as apartments during most of the twentieth century. To read more about the William T. Townsend house, see Article 13 in At Home in Early Sandusky, as well as page 20 of Ellie Damm’s book Treasure by the Bay.