Have you ever passed this home on Leonidas and wondered what the heck a Tudor mansion is doing amongst a row of working class shotguns right across the street from the S&WB water purification plant? The location is not, nor has it ever been a prime spot for luxury real estate and yet here this Tudor stands in all of it's bizarre glory.
The original home that stood here was a simple 4 room bungalow that was purchased by newlyweds Ralph and Ruby Earl in 1919. Ralph was the son of the S&WB's first general director who followed in his fathers footsteps and became a top engineer at the S&WB. All Ralph had to do was walk across the street to get to work and he could keep an eye on the plant in case anything went wrong. If you are familiar with the S&WB, you know that plenty went wrong and often.
Ralph was elected assistant director of the plant the year before he purchased the home. His position was a lucrative one and I guess he decided he needed a home that reflected his financial standing. The bungalow was torn down and the Tudor was erected in it's place. Shockingly, Ralph and 124 other S&WB employees were fired to cut costs in 1931 which set off a chain of events that rocked the foundation of the board with two of the most prominent members submitting their resignations - Ralph's father and his brother-in-law.
The Earls' remained in their home and it must have been bitter-sweet to Ralph who had dedicated his life to the S&WB and was now forced to view it from all of the windows he had built to face it. He carried on and over 65 years, Ralph and Ruby filled their home with children along with a large collection of Victorian antiques, oil paintings, china, crystal and hundreds of other pieces of brick-a- brack that were sold at auction with the Tudor after their deaths a month apart from each other in 1985.
Today, we see the two water towers being constructed at the plant and marvel at the now changed skyline in Carrollton. Just imagine, over the span of their long lives together, Ralph and Ruby Earl watched from front row seats as the plant evolved from little more than a field