COTTAGE AT SCOOBA, MISS.
In a Southern climate the requirements for houses, either great or small, are very different from what they are at the North.
Special attention must be paid to keeping cool in summer rather than warm in winter; therefore the rooms must be large and the ceilings high. Cellars are not among the requisites. Neither is it necessary in some parts to build solid foundations, there being no frost to get clear of; and in some instances houses are set on logs stood on the ground. In this case the frame is supported on brick piers, and a large open space is left under the floor, which is properly prepared so as to keep down damp.
It will be observed there is no Kitchen provided, the cooking being done in a small out-house provided for that purpose, so as to keep the heat out of the house as far as possible. It is, however, necessary at some seasons of the year to have a fire, and for this purpose a large open fire-place is provided in the Parlor. This fire-place is built of brick, with an arch turned in it, and the brick breast continued up; the brick being left exposed in the room, and in this fire-place it is intended to burn large logs on the hearth. The second story or loft is merely a lumber room and air space between the roof and rooms below.
The arrangement of the windows is one of the principal features in the design. The lower sashes are arranged to slide into the walls, and the transom sash to swing. In this way the whole of the windows can be opened instead of half, as is usually the case. The rooms are all well supplied with windows, and from their arrangement, if there is a breeze, a good draught will be obtained. The front Porch is arranged with a seat on each side, so that one may sit out of doors, and yet be in the shade, which is a very desirable feature. This Cottage was designed for the residence of a laborer on the estate of J. A. Minniece Esq., at Scooba, Miss., to be built of yellow pine throughout. Cost, about $500.
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?