Doctor’s Office & Tiffany Window

Dr. Sylvester Willard was accepted into the Cayuga County Medical Society in 1824 and practiced in the area until the 1830s. After spending several years away, he returned in 1843 and purchased this house. Dr. Willard added the east wing to the mansion in the 1850s to create an in-home medical office.  To the left is the dispensary and to the right is the examination area.  He also added a separate entrance in this wing so patients could enter directly into the office rather than going through the house.

During a recent renovation, this wing was reclaimed for exhibit space and the original plaster ceiling was revealed. Look up to see! The objects on display come from a collection of medical equipment from the Cayuga County Medical Society.

Dr. Willard died in 1886, and Jane in 1890. Neither of their daughters, Georgiana and Caroline, married and they continued to live in the mansion.

Georgiana was sick for many years with an unknown illness. Dr. Willard writes of her illness in 1878; Our dear, affectionate, beloved daughter Georgiana was prostrated with alarming illness on the 14 of April 1871, and though some improved has during these 7 years and 8 months been an invalid and with few exceptions confined to her room. Yet she has during this long period been cheerful, and the light of our household. Her mind is sound, active, and even brilliant.


While Georgiana was confined to the house, Caroline actively helped with selecting furnishings for the new additions her father made to the house. There are various diary entries of wallpapers, rugs, and furniture she picked out for the house, often on one of her trips to New York City.  Being healthier than her sister, she was also able to participate in clubs and social events, such as a recitation club she hosted at the mansion. In 1890, they commissioned the Tiffany stained glass window for their father’s former medical office.


Both sisters had a strong connection to the Presbyterian Churches in Auburn. In fact, Dr. Willard regularly donated money during his life to Presbyterian causes and the sisters carried on this tradition. In 1885 Dr. Willard helped fund the building of the first Westminster Presbyterian Church on Genesee Street, and in 1876 he helped pay the salary of the pastor at Calvary Presbyterian Church. In 1892-1894, the sisters built and furnished the Willard Chapel at the Auburn Theological Seminary in memory of their parents.  The interior of the Chapel was designed and handcrafted entirely by the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company of New York.

See more Tiffany in Auburn at Willard Chapel and Westminster Presbyterian Church!