The local Plymouth landmark known as the Tubbs-Sourwine House has long had a connection with the rail line it faces.
Constructed on a rise at 49 Railroad Street between 1867 and 1870, it was originally the home of Henry Bitley and Eve Reed Tubbs. Henry Tubbs, born in 1821 in New York, owned a local planning mill that was almost destroyed by fire in 1874.
Eight children were raised in the house, which was also used for overnight stays by B&O Railroad crews. Mr. Tubbs lived until 1886 and Mrs. Tubbs until 1900; from 1919 to 1997 the house passed into the ownership of the Sourwine family.
The Tubbs-Sourwine house is a frame structure constructed in the Second Empire style of architecture, a short-lived but popular style of the late 1860s and the 1870s. Second Empire houses and buildings featured a continuation of many Italianate features, such as wide eaves with brackets and decorative window trim, but almost always included a mansard roof. Mansard roofs, with their various degrees of slope, afforded owners with another story of space. In the case of the Tubbs-Sourwine House, the mansard roof was punctuated with windows with decorative hoodmolds.
The name of the style refers to the French Second Empire, the reign of Napoleon III (1852 to 1870). It was during Napoleon III’s rule that a good deal of Paris was rebuilt with wide avenues and buildings featuring mansard roofs.
Later in the 20th century, the house became the Searle House Bed & Breakfast. The Tubbs-Sourwine House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.
Sources: Plymouth Advertiser, Shelby Globe