Some time in the late 1870′s Scooba, Mississippi lawyer J.A. Minniece needed to build a small house for a laborer on his estate. Minniece sent off for mail order plans to the Bridgeport, Connecticut based firm of Palliser, Palliser & Company, Architects. The firm’s principal partners were brothers George (1849-1903) and Charles (1854-post 1908). George Palliser had a successful practice prior to establishing Palliser, Palliser & Company, Architects with his brother. His work had been mostly in Connecticut and the surrounding area. When Charles emigrated from England in 1877 the brothers successfully expanded George’s existing business to include mail order plans. From this business they published several books over the years to help drum up potential clients. This first book Palliser’s Model Homes was published first 1878, with a second edition developed for 1883. The laborer’s cottage the Palliser brothers designed for J.A. Minniece was the first building featured in the book Palliser’s Model Homes. It is the only building in the book that is from the deep south. One of the interesting features of the structure that may have influenced its use in the book is the fact that the casement style windows slide into the walls, similar to pocket doors, to allow for maximum ventilation.
I do not know where in the vicinity of Scooba this house might be or frankly if it was ever built. To add to the confusion, I ran across an article in an October 1889 edition of the Indiana Democrat that features the Scooba house. The image from the article shows the structure without a gable dormer being the only real change. It’s possible that the image may reflect the cottage as built, or it might be an older image of an unfinished design that was used by an unknowing newspaper editor. Any readers out there who are familiar with the area know of any building that might fit this bill?