In the early decades of the nineteenth century, one of the most popular house types in Mobile was the small one-and-a-half story cottage with doors opening onto a long front gallery. Sometimes the gallery served both as porch and exterior hallway. The small scale and simple charm of these cottages gave the city street scene a friendly, human quality, a mood of warm familiarity.
The Spear House is one of many shown on the Troost Map of 1840-46. Only a few have survived fire and change.
The Spear House is a Nineteenth century French Creole cottage located at 453 Conti Street in the Church Street East Historic District of downtown Mobile. This building is a rare early surviving example of the style of architecture that was brought to Mobile by the French settlers. These early settlers developed the Creole style of architecture from house types in the Caribbean, and Normandy, and also from influences derived from the British and Spanish traditions. The Spear House is a transitional structure that incorporates many of the French Creole characteristics before the Creole house evolved into a more Anglo-American amalgamation.
The Anne Marie Cottage, formerly the Spear House, was built before 1838 by Issac Spears. An unusual fact about the Spear House is that in its 179+ year history, it has only been owned by four families: the Spears, Sumersells, Hudson/Alonzo, and the Carters: This cottage, formally known as the Spear House is now known as the Spear-Carter House.