- 12/1/02 [Regarding the Myerstown Mansion in PA] My uncle grew up in that mansion. His father or grandfather rebuilt the smaller original home into the manor you see today. My uncle still lives in the area in Richland, about 3 miles from the manor. Two brothers bought the manor and a couple of the other buildings, but not the big barn. The brothers are restoring the manor as I type. Selling price I think was $500,000 with only a few acres of land, not the 150. The brothers are doing a good job. It's going to take a lot work and money to restore the manor. If your in the area stop and see a beautiful old grand manor.
- 11/30/02 This morning, while driving in the countryside, my husband and I came across an old homesite with the outhouse still standing. Remembering as a child the outhouse at our church having a crescent moon shape on the door, I asked my husband if he had any idea of what this symbol meant. We both had our own ideas. I then told him when we got back home I would do a search on the internet to find out why this symbol was used. He laughed out loud and thought it ridiculous that I would be able to find the answer on a question about outhouses. To his amazement I found your web site immediately and what happened to be the first frequently asked question? Thank you so much not only for the answer to enlighten our knowledge but a good laugh at being able to just find the answer and answers to other questions I had thought of but never asked. Had a good time on your web site.
- 11/25/02 I was wondering where I might be able to find one of the outhouse banks.
I tried the qvc and they no longer have them and as you noted the funrise
does not carry them anymore.
- 11/19/02 I have an indoor outhouse. Yep, its in the house. Laughing. Also have an outhouse that covers the air conditioner by the back door of the saloon. Great site you have. Old west fan and outhouses are part of it. Shiloh
- 11/15/02 I have recently purchased an outhouse which I plan to install in the next couple of weeks. I was wondering about pit maintenance. My grandfather used to dump some lye down his from time to time and I am wondering if this is still current thinking about maintenance. Do you know? Many thanks.
- 11/15/02 in camp the regiment had dug a long trench latrine the seperation mark.between officers and other ranks was a hessian screen.The c-in-c was sitting straining suffering from a long standing dose of constipation when he heard the sounds of someone settling down in the other rank section,very quickly he heard the obvious sounds of a successful evacuation,loud farting followed by plip,plop,plip into the trench..Unable to contain his envy he remarked`Gosh my man I wish I could shareyour relief``.`No you don`t sir` answered the soldier `I have just lost my knife,fork and spoon`
Great site chanced upon
- 11/13/02 Madam/Sir, would the plans or at least the email of the owner of that outhouse identified as "Restored Outhouse Befor and After" be available. Thanking you in advance for your time and cooperation. We own a middle of nineteenth century country house and would like to build an outhouse.
- 11/9/02 Thanks for your comprehensive outhouse site! I moved to the country and had access to a heap of free wood, so I built an outhouse. I documented the construction process and wrote a web page about it.
- 11/2/02 There used to be an outhouse at the old brick works in Lewistown,
Montana that was memorable for three reasons. It was a side entry, which
allowed the placing of a grab rail in front of the single seat. On one
side of the grab rail was a graffiti that said "Patent Pending": on the
other side, "January 14, 1968. 32 below zero". The rail was to let you
keep your ass from touching the seat and getting frostbit. In 1974 it was
the entire sanitary unit for the brick works.
Enjoyed your site. Hope to have my outhouse internet capable by January.
- 10/22/02 I am really enjoying this section on "Old Out House's" of America. I Trully can relate to this section!
My Father and his people were born and raised in (what was back then) a really rural counrty section. He (as well as my self) was born and raised in Caldwell County, Lenoir, North Carolina.
My Dad was a young boy of about 12 or so and he wanted a Daisy BB gun really bad. So, he started selling an item called "Clove Save"; it was in a round tin container. Once he had sold enough, he got his BB gun. Needless to say, this is when the trouble started.
His Mother would go to the sale barn and buy calf's to raise and then sell and buy more. His Dad had bought this huge Bull. One day my Dad took his BB gun; went down to the pasture and shot that bull in his "private's"! This caused that bull to go crazy! It tore up every thing in site. My GrandDad had to have that bull put tp sleep. Thus he took my Dad's BB gun and busted it all to piece's against a tree.
Well, time for revenage! When GrandPa went into the our house, my Dad turned it over!
When I was in my early teen's, I spent some time during summer vacation with my GrandParent's. Believe me, you would wait untill the very last second before bedtime to go to the out house. That was ONE place you did NOT get up during the night to go! A Friend from North Carolina, Brenda
- 10/21/02 Fantastic tour! And funny! Keep up the great work!
- 10/19/02 Our outhouse was perched on a hillside overlooking the lake and was called The Eagles Nest.
- 10/8/02 In case you need an outhouse in Texas--you might look at the ranch right
outside of Burkett, Texas (about 2 miles out of Burkett)--between Cross
Plains, Texas and Coleman, Texas. Ask about the old Heath or Henderson
ranch. The outhouse is at the old white house--there was a brick house
built when the Heath's were there up the road from the white house.
- 10/6/02 Thanks for the pictures - we wouldn't have believed it it we hadn't seen it. Now our question is...where is this church located?
- 10/2/02 Thank god! Somebody else saves Outhouse pictures. My wife and I do Real Estate Apprasail work and get to see a lot of properties. A while back a fellow told us that an antigue dealer knocked on his door and offered him $300.00 for his outhouse. He explained that they were becoming collectables. We both grew up in the country and being in our Fifites, were very familiar with outhouse's. So, I started collecting outhouse pictures. A few were sent to me from friends after finding out I had this new Hobby. They are mostly from Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.
- 10/1/02 Here is a somewhat humorous story about an outhouse.
One of our neighbours at our cottage acquired their outhouse (an A-frame
design) from a friend who had replaced their temporary outhouse with
Our friends put it on a small box trailer and towed behind their car about
80 km (50 miles) to their cottage site. One of them wanted to put a sign
reading "We're having a movement!" on the outhouse but her husband
wouldn't let her. Oh well it makes a good story.
- 9/29/02 I have seen lots of outhouse pictures which show the upper parts. But I
have not been able to find any instructions for the "basement" of the
outhouse. I thought I just had to dig a hole (how deep?) and put the
building on top. But I also hear references to a box in the hole in the
ground. Is there a proper/recommended way to do this?
- 9/28/02 Hi, I've been checking out your website. Do you have any idea where I might find an outhouse toilet paper storage container just like the one in your collection?
- 9/25/02 What chemicalcan we use for rapid decomposition of the pater, etc.? We are in a serious drought here in Colorado, so, we are very lucky to have a two holer and a four holer!! Life at the Ritz!!
1. Buy some enzyme stuff from a pet supply store to use in the hole.
2. Buy some lime to put down the hole.
3. Call your local porta john company to come pump it out.
4. Stop eating until it decomposes!
5. Become friends with your neighbor.
That's about all you can do. Activate the lime with some P_ss or a tiny bit of water.
- 9/19/02 My husband & I are in Nashville, TN. Awhile back we saw a program on TV that featured a guy that built outhouse's I believe out of Cedar wood. They had a moon shape on the door & also had a magazine rack on the inside. Do you by any chance know what I'm talking about?
- 9/15/02 Here's a theory: any chance the moon cutout was in reference to the
contents of the "pit" being referred to as "nightsoil" (when used for
- 9/16/02 We sometimes refer to it as the House of Parliament. Sometimes there is a
filibuster when trying to pass legislation!
At our cottage, the establishment was a short walk up a small hill so it
was referred to as the "Up House."
- 9/11/02 Is the bioaugmentaion packets they sell to control odor and more importantly reduce volume of contents a workable solution for full outhouses?. All the reading I have done indicates that by raising the PH you can increase the volume by friendly microbes?
- 9/11/02 Hello I was wondering if you could tell me why most outhouses have a
half-moon carved into them
- 9/9/02 HI:I just visited your site by accident. I wish to tell you it appears your web site is full of s..... hehe .
JUST a joke I found site very amussing. made my day . riverboatsam
- 9/3/02 to whom it may concern:
do you carry any outhouse salt & pepper shakers? if you do not, do you know anyone who might? thanks for your help
- 8/30/02 i have laughed so hard. we had a outhouse also. i was raised in the
applacian mts. close to natural bridge in kentucky. my brother turned the
outhouse over with a younger brother in it. it was on a small hill too. i
remember those days fondly and i will have one out back one day. thanks
for all the fond memories.
- 8/29/02 Looks like fun in the winter time. I started racing outhouses last year in
Virginia City Nevada. We race the first weekend of October. See you at the races some day, Jim
- 8/25/02 In the fifties i spent summers at my grandparents farm in upstate New York. They had a four hole outhouse, but instead of a pit they used those funnel necked milk cans to catch the waste. When the milk cans got full we had to dump the milk cans into a large barrel located behind the outhouse.(the highlight of my summer vacation..yuck) In the spring the barrel was loaded on to a wagon and the waste was used to furtilize the vegetable garden for the next summer. Now eat your veggies everyone....hehehe.
- 8/22/02 Hi! I found your FAQ page (and other interesting things) when I
tried to find out what kind of lime to use in the outhouse.
It looks as though in all agricultural projects, the AG LIME is being
used, whereas in construction the Type S Lime is being used. I don't seem
to be able to find out which to use for the outhouse. Do they both produce
the same reaction? Are they equally good and sound for the purpose and
with ground and water? Would greatly appreciate any suggestion or help. Thanks, Christa [Curator's Comment: Hi Christa,
In all honesty, I don't know.
That being said, I have to think back to what my grandmother would have bought. She lived on a farm in rural Minnesota. I have to assume she went up to the local hardware store or feed store and bought AG LIME. Maybe the S stands for "Sucker" and it is processed more finely? I'm sure you could do a search for Lime and find the answer. I don't really think it matters much which one you use...lime is lime.]
- 8/19/02 Can you tell me if Outhouses are still being used today? I know of a cabin for sale which I would like to purchase, it has an outhouse, no plumbing, and I was told by someone other then the owner that outhouses are illegal to use now. They have been baned by the health department, and that they are only used for decoration purposes only. Can you tell me if this is true, or can you still legally use an outhouse, and if there are any codes to using one. By the way, it is in the state of PA, if this helps in anyway. Thank you - Barbara
- 8/19/02 Hi! I was wondering what is taking so long to get the site updated. The
most current racing event i see is the 8th. I know there were some good
shots of last years race and i would like to share them w/ folks that have
never seen our annual event. I have a nine yr old just waiting to see what
the theme is going to be in 2003. It will be his 3rd time competing and he
wants to get started in creating his outhouse. please let us know what the
theme is going to be. wendy
- 8/17/02 I have reprints from two books on the Moule Earth Closet, and when I get
caught up, I plan to copy them onto a CD for distribution. (I suspect I
shouldn't make more than 10 copies, considering the wide interest in the
- 8/17/02 Hi, Have you thought of selling replica's of your sister's gift? I collect small wooden ones and I haven't seen one just like that.
It's an odd thing to collect, but I remember as a small child.....while our house had all the modern conveniences ...my next door neighbor's did not. One of our favorite things was to sit on their "two-holer" with my sister and read the funny papers.."Katzenjammer Kids"," Maggie and Jigs. "....while the bees buzzed around the honeysuckle adorning the outdoor plumbing as we politely called it in those days! It was practically a social affair! mj
- 8/17/02 I am looking for an outhouse seat (board only), preferrably a two-holer or a three-holer that is worn smooth. Maybe you can help me find one or direct me to someone who can. I am willing to pay $ for this board. Thank you [If you have one, Email the curator using one of the links from any outhouse picture.]
- 8/13/02 How deep are outhouse pits and how did they dig them? [Curator's Comment: They were dug from 3 feet to 6 feet. I have seen some pits that were only about a foot deep. That works if you hardly go!]
- 8/13/02 Is there a place that sells outhouses that you can order as a kit?
These would be wooden outhouses. Thank you. [There are a number of places: http://www.outhousesforsale.com/final_002.htm and http://www.focusindustries.ca/externalsites/focustanks/toilet.htm Be sure to tell them you saw the link on www.jldr.com]
- 8/12/02 Amazing to see that a site like this has a copyright, you know I'm just
doing some work for my nephews who's site is off and I get this " do not
attempt to steal bull...." I can hardly believe it. Nice site however. [from South Africa]
- 8/7/02 Employees are like indoor plumbing - rarely appreciated except when
absent, and hardly noticed unless they fail to work!
- 8/6/02 How delightful to run across your site. As the proud owner of an "Elenore", WPA era, cement outhouse base, I spent some time looking around and marking the site to tell my friends.. It was also fun to find a reference to the 'chicken switch'. I am attaching a copy of my poem "The Stick". It is a true story about a snooty cousin of ours when we were kids and her problems with the outhouse. (Names slightly changed to protect the innocent!) You have my permission to use it on your site. All I request in return is copyright credit. (and perhaps a link to my pages on Omar West's Bar-D, http://www.cowboypoetry.com/dch.htm ?) The poem is on my CD 'Cattle Calls', listed at Silver Creek Music. It is one of my most requested pieces.
I will be happy to send you photos of our "Elenore" if you are interested. A side note, I am also the proud owner of a half inch high sterling silver outhouse (with opening door and little man inside!), which was presented to me by my friends on the occassion of finding out our recently uncovered outhouse base was indeed an "Elenore". I wear it with pride! We have plans to build the outhouse back to original and place it next to the new barn we are building. For now, she sits in the front yard for all to admire. She's some a long way from the junk pile in the pasture that she was hidden under...buried treasure indeed.
- 8/5/02 hi I have a outhouse ,I was told it was commissioned by Eleanor Roosevelt for migrant workers when her husband was president. can you help me with info such as when where how many possible value? thanks [That's a WPA outhouse with a cement floor and a wooden riser seat with a rectangular shape.]
- 8/5/02 Where's the sears catalog?I can remember at Grampa and Gramma's in Boscobel,Wi. in the 40's,sneaking out to the outhouse just to look at the womens underwear ads.I know they thought I had.bad kidney's.I used to wonder why Grampa winked at me when I came back in the house.Thanks for the fun site.
- 7/26/02 "Nooshnik" is an Alaska Native term for the outhouse, though I'm not sure
which dialect. I've seen it attributed to the Alutiiq, some others may
have used it too. When I was a kid, we all called the 'shack out back' the
This was written in the late 70s by a friend of our family who spent
several summers helping build my dad's house. The mosquitos in the area
were flat-out vicious, and he came up with this little gem one night.
---------------------- Ode to the Nooshnik
Tho the time you spend there is not worth remembering,
always enter the Nooshnik with great prayer and trembling.
For the mosquitos there just are not discreet,
The blood from your buns they do like to eat;
Swing, slap, and yell tho you may,
They slurp, suck, and bite both night and day
If there's one thing to remember about the Nooshnik
Its namely, to sit very lightly and get out quick!
Just thought you could appreciate that...
- 7/14/02 wondering when a update may show up sam...
- 8/2/02 My nephew asked his mother the other day "Why have all the outhouses I've seen always have a moon on the door?" I told my sister I would find out. Yet I haven't been ble to find the answer anywhere. My husband told me it was because the shape was ideal to let in light but not allow people to peek while someone was in . . . Is there anywhere I could get this answer? [Curator's Comment: Go to www.jldr.com/faqs.html to find the answer...]
- 8/2/02 Regarding "The Passing of the Backhouse" poem; Just simply love this fine ditty.
- 7/31/02 My Grandmother was born Mary Ellen Crapper, in Yorkshire England. Her father was the brother of Thomas Crapper. The firm that Mr. Crapper built is in operation today. Two of his descendents recently retired from the firm and are in the process of researching the family tree.
- 7/31/02 do you sell real outhouses too, or just photos, etc.?
- 7/16/02 I'm hoping you can help me. I've looked all over the internet, to no avail....
Two weeks ago, we lost a 37-year-old outhouse built of historic railroad ties, in a fire that took several outbuildings. The outhouse itself was sturdy enough, but aside from the sentimental and historical issues it had long out-lived it's pleasantness. Aside from the loss of a necessary 'convenience', I just remembered that also consumed by the flames was a 1976 Sears catalog. (Pages of red, white, and blue items from clothing to housewares, celebrating the nation's Bicentennial...) But, that's all.beside the point.
We are looking for outhouse plans that include a modern PVC vent pipe; how long the pipe needs to be, where to exactly place it, how far down it should be located, etc. As the curator of the Outhouses With A View, perhaps you would be able to at least point me in the right direction in finding this information? It would be much appreciated.
Wasilla, Alaska [Curator's Comment: First of all, hello to Alaska! You need to look at my FAQ page for locations of Outhouse plans. Your local library may be able to get their hands on the books listed or check on Amazon.com for the books. You can follow a link to Amazon from my web site. The FAQ link is www.jldr.com/faqs.html.
The PVC pipe should be above the peak of the Outhouse. Think of it as a woodstove chimney. Paint it BLACK!. That will create a natural draft that sucks the bad air out and good air in. It only needs to go down just below seat level. You can install it inside the back wall and out a sealed hole in the roof. Make a chimney cover at the top to stop rain from going down and filling up your hole. You can also go down the outside at the back or side. Place it on the South side to get the most sun. I would probably use 4" diameter.
- 7/20/02 I just participated in the 40th Anniversary of TELSTAR project held in
Andover, Maine, site of the first TV transmissions via an active satellite
to Europe. We recreated the event with video to France and England live
from the Town Square in Andover.
The Andover site was selected as it is in remote western Maine inside a
"high bowl" away from radio interference. I have "microwave blocking
diagrams" from the Maine AT&T relay towers to Andover showing attenuation
of signal. interference from the relay sites had to be lower than
TELSTAR's signal which was -95 to -100 DBM. Todays satellites have much
more power and have directional antennas that concentrate signal power to
This summer while photographing Maine microwave relay towers, I found the
one on Stickney Hill in Athens, ME. The tower is inside a fence and is
accessable through the equipment building, which of course was locked.
You betchya, at the foot of the tower was an outhouse, the only one I have
seen in Maine so far.
- 7/20/02 Hi there, You have a great site. I had fun looking at all the pics of outhouses.
I was looking for building plans for an outhouse as a yard ornament for my
yard. I have several acres and just bought a Missouri Pacific caboose
which was placed in my front yard yesterday. (yes, the neighbors are all
talking about me) I was thinking of putting in a garden bathroom (not
functional, just fun) setting with bushes/trees making an outdoor bath
house... including a claw foot bath tub, old wash sink, an old rotten
garden hose hanging from a wooden rod (my version of a shower) and an
outhouse near the caboose.
I wanted to put up an old looking sign that said something like...
OUTHOUSE 1 cent
SHOWER 5 cents
BATH 10 cents
TOWEL 20 cents
TRAIN COT 25 cents per night
I found an old claw foot tub at an auction, so I have that. I do not have
the bucks a contractor wants to built an outhouse, so I thought maybe a
friend would help me if I found some plans to buy. Do you know of anyone
that sells outhouse plans? I wish there was someone selling them near me.
Thanks for any help or direction you can give me. [Look at the FAQ page at http://www.jldr.com/faqs.html for plan information]
- 7/20/02 I bookmarked the AT&T Outhouse with Microwave tower photo etc, but cant' find it now. Did you take it away?
BTY, when I grew up, we had an outhouse in the corner of the house, and it was in town. Not ony that, an upstairs apt. had an outhouse to where the summer people lived. The "chute" is still in place, and the upstairs outhouse, but the first floor outhouse was taken out when the house was put on a foundation.
I remember my father bringing home a metal barrel, donning a black rain coat, and taking the cover off the clean out spot. One night the cat fell in and had to have a bath. Yes, most of the rest of the town had bathrooms [From the state of Maine][Curator's Comment: It's still there at http://www.jldr.com/ohmartin.html]
- 7/19/02 Hello, I happened upon your wonderful site through a link that was posted on a Country Talk forum that I hang around on. Would you be interested in a couple of pictures of my own outhouse that I built on my lake property in Aitkin MN. I built it out of brick you see...It has a stained glass window with the moon and 2 stars in it.
- 6/23/02 your site - excuse the pun - ain't worth a crap! [Is that English?]
- 6/13/02 We just had some guys dig our yard for outhouses. I had never heard of this before. They said they have been anxious to dig our yard for years. My parents always said no, but since my sister is living in that house now, she said yes. Our house was built in 1856 and is the oldest standing house in Traverse City, MI. Apparently the guy that built the house was a politician who was appointed by Abraham Lincoln. They found bottles from Washington DC which of course meant that these people traveled quite a ways and had a lot of money. We determined that they drank quite a bit and we found some pre-civil war bottles. Just thought I would share this with you. We were really excited to see what we found. Becky
- 6/12/02 Hi, I looked up outhouses on a search engine and i found your site is Thomas Crapper Real? if he isn't i won't tell any one i promise this is a pretty funny web site but you have just got to be kidding because if you aren't some people in our country our CRAZY Well here is your "DUMP" from me A concerned American
- 6/12/02 WOW! imagine my pleasure at finding this site, Many years ago I started a collection and have shown these wonderful little houses at my local library. I have post cards and posters from Nova Scotia, photos of them from New Brunswick and Ontario. One of my mothers' friends and my brother. I plan to see the race next year. Thanks for a great site and a few laughs to brighten my day. Otilla.
- 6/11/02 Why do you put brown sugar, yeast and bleach in an out house? We are told to do this at our Girl Scout Camp site. [Curator's comment: I would like to see the manual that calls for that as well as the explanation on why. I don't really recommend using those in an outhouse. I assume the sugar and yeast will cause fermentation but then the bleach will kill the yeast and everything else so you are back to ground zero. I recommend lime. A scoop now and then should help do the trick.]
- 6/2/02 I enjoy a beautiful lake lot with my better half 3hrs North of Edmonton. We overlook a lake but it was missing one important element when we took over our location from a previous owner! An Outhouse.
I had no idea that I could go online and find as many sites as I did, offering up ideas and insight on how to go about building an outhouse. This made me very happy! Out of all the sites that were offered, yours was my very favorite. I plan to build this on my lot too. I may downsize a little, and the color will be different, but I have never seen an outhouse with stained glass before.
When this is your only place of "relief" I felt that it had to be nice and comforting inside and out.
I will build the structure the same without a window in front. Instead it will be on the side so that when you are "sitting", you have a sliding window w/ screen, curtained to add natural light. I will put the stained window on the back to add character. We would love running water, and this is possible, we will just have to see how far the budget stretches......
Thank you for offering this to whomever comes across this site, it definately helped me explain what I was after in building the perfect outhouse!
- 6/2/02 i am looking for ideas on how to build a outhouse for my camp. does anyone have any blueprints they can e-mail me. all i want is a one-holer.maybe 4 feet by 4 feet. thank-you kupton
- 5/20/02 Is it possible to get in touch with people who have posted information about their outhouses on your web site? There's a guy in Western Wisconsin who said he reviewed all kinds of plans before putting his up, and would be happy to talk with others. But I couldn't find his name or address. Where can I get more detailed information about how to build an outhouse? Are there books or monographs? My husband says I can't possibly build a fly-proof outhouse - I think he's wrong. I'd particularly like suggestions that will help me prove him wrong!
- 5/21/02 I am trying to find information about outhouses. I 'm getting my
grandma's outhouse and I am trying to figure out what to do with the
outside of it. My friend thinks I should not paint it because then it
will lose it's old look. Do you have any suggestions? Thank You Beth [Curator's Comment: If you like white or whatever, paint it! If you like the old wood look, buy some Behr clear wood waterproofing deck stain and use that. It will preserve the wood and you will have one classy looking outhouse. Try a bit of the stain on a small area in the back first to be sure that is the look you want.]
- 5/18/02 My grandfather, son of Norwiegan immigrants, had (in addition to a good sense of humor) a small wooden model of what was labeled a "Norwiegan Outhouse." From the outside, it looked to be a normal outhouse, and inside there were two holes... but one was placed in a panel directly above the other, with a ladder leading up. If I can find out who has it now, I'll get a picture of it and send it to you. It's a very humerous piece you may like to add to your collection. K Franklin
- 5/12/02 I'm seeking the text of "The Substitute Parson" I think it was by Chic
Sale. Could you guide me to the source? Thanks!
I dug a little further and found a source for a recording of this piece: Victor Orthophonic #22103 (two sides) "The Substitute Parson." I remember listening to it at my Grandmother's.
It begins: "As you all know, our minister is ill, however, I have volunteered to take his place. I am not a minister, I am an undertaker."
He then chooses as his text "Old Mother Hubbard." He recites a bit, "Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard.. There being no mention of Mister Hubbard, we will assume that she was a widow, a poor friendless widow."
And it goes on, but it has faded from my memory, after all, that was some 65 years ago.
I don't have 78 rpm playback capability and I don't know how to bid for the record.
Thanks for your response. It's nice to have one's memory jogged. I'll keep looking.
a r c h
- 5/3/02 Dear Sir or Madame,
I am writing on behalf of the Grimshaw & District Chamber of Commerce in Grimshaw, ALberta Canada. Many years ago outhouse races were a part of the local Farmers Day celebration here and we are looking to brinng them back. We do not have any official rules on file and wondered if you would be willing to share your information.
Thank-you for a ny assistance you may offer.
Kathryn M. Secretary
- 4/19/02 Gee, We TROLLS Need To beat You YOOPERS with a Annual Crapper Show like
your's .To Funny ..TY for the Delightfull web Page ...If, I do Not leave
Michigan .I will be attending Next Years.Outhouse Rally ,,,,,lol .. Best
- 4/11/02 Is there a way that I can get a plan to build an outhouse for real? I live in Mexico and have friends that need to build some. Bob in Acapulco [This really came from Mexico!]
- 4/8/02 Would like to find plans to build an outhouse. Do you know a link. Also would like to purchase one. thank you
- 4/6/02 Hi, Alho am nt sure I looked at all your outhouses, didn't see one that
had white and purple stripes! Friends out of Pryor, Mt. had one like
that that you drove by getting to their house...
Also, I make Breyer model horse pros for horse shows, and have a
jump, with the 2 standards- at each end- being outhouses, with poles
bstween. Also made an outhouse for a trail horse scene. I used old
shingles,so look rustic.
I have alot of outhouse pictures too, and my husband and I are just
completing a new- reallife one. He dug the hole...
A fellow outhouse admirer... Margie Smith
- 4/6/02 Hello, I seen the picture of the crap castle and was interested in trying to find out who owns this and if I could get their e-mail from you if you have it. We own a campground named Kastle Kampground and would love to get permission to add this to our site in our facilities in the port o potties section for a joke. We would love to take some good digital pictures of this if possible and we can e-mail the new pics to them.
- 3/29/02 Do you have any outhouse plans? I want to build one (a simple one)
- 3/26/02 Great shots of many outhouses . . . but aren't there any with a moon on the door? [Lots of them. You just have to realize that not all outhouses have them!]
- 3/18/02 I was told there was Government Specifications and Plans for outhouses. Do
you know where I can look to find them or how I can get my hands on a set
of the plans and specs? I hope you do. Please e-mail me with any information you may have. Thank you. Pam
- 3/14/02 Have you ever known of any Outhouse postage stamps? I asked at my postoffice and they had never heard of any....Where can I buy one, have never seen an outhouse tshirt! The Post Office man was very helpful & looked with what info he had available & steered me to the USPS. At one time, I was told, a stamp (no certain o.h.) was being considered then it just fell to the wayside. Thanks again! Reta from Oregon.
- 3/10/02 Thanks for the data in FAQ. I have been unable to find data on military regulations concerning US Army garrison privies, specifically those in Wyoming Territory, 1865-1868. Can you offer any suggestions?
- 3/9/02 I have visited your website, and am now drooling....I want one of my own. I am begging my spouse for an outhouse...I want a pitched roof, a window, an the ever so popular, must have, the crescent moon in the door....I however, do not care if it's a working model....it's just for fun. Can you give me any ideas as far as measurements? I just love your website, keep up the good work!!!
- 3/9/02 My daughter recently bought some land in Vermont for vacation purposes. It
has a small cabin but no toilet. I suggested that one of the first things
she & her husband needed to do was build an outhouse.
- 3/6/02 I wish I had nothing better to do than read all these comments you have
received. I noticed someone wanting to know about the design for a WPA
outhouse. I am writing about the WPA works in four states. I found an "engineers
drawing for the outhouse" in the special archives room at my library. I
thought it was cute! If a person wants a copy, they need to email me at
email@example.com. WPA made about 3
million, and they were also called "Eleanor's White House", for those
interested. FDR was criticized for spending money on outhouses. They did
of course, save many lives by curtailing diseases brought on by such
unsanitary conditions. Many people and even schools did not even have an
outhouse. M. Barton.
- 3/6/02 I am a published writer who has been researching and documenting the WPA
projects of the 1930s. My first book on the topic will highlight works in
the four states: Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky. I have
located one WPA outhouse in Kentucky that is well preserved, but I would
like to know about more. If you are any of the outhouse collectors know of
others, I would like to know the location. Pictures of some will be in the
book. I suppose you know that WPA built and installed about three million
outhouses. I know they probably don't have the interesting bottles in the
bottom, unless they were installed over the same hole, which I suppose is
- 2/22/02 Hi: I'm planning to write a column about outhouses and the nostalgia
surrounding them, and wondered if you had any contact information for
outhouse-owners or Trenary, MI, outhouse racers who live in the Greater
Lansing area? Also, would you know where to look for more history about
outhouses in the Greater Lansing, MI, area? Any contact info or leads you
could give me would be appreciated. By the way, your web site is very
entertaining! :) Thanks, Jennifer
- 2/21/02 have you any idea if you have a water less closet like the ones that they
used to have on trains? i am wondering if you have any idea who made a
toilet that used carbon to absorb odor ? [Curator's Comment: Hmmmm,
Trains used to "dump" your "dump" onto the tracks. when you pushed the
pedal, it fell through a hole. I remember watching the railroad ties go by
one time but not for long! Don't know about the carbon toilet.]
- 2/19/02 please i need help, each year i attend my husbands family reunion in northern ontario. There is four outhouses for 100+ .people , at the end of the weekend no one is able to go near them let alone use them. I would like any ideas or input ,please iam affraid of going in the woods late at night , there are bears and big snakes. thankyou. [Curator's Comment: Buy some lime at the local hardware store and a plastic scoop. Throw a scoop of lime down the hole 3x a day when there are that many people. You can also buy a few pounds of Baking Soda and open the boxes. Put them in the outhouse and it might help. Late at night use a chamber pot with a lid and throw the "results" into the outhouse hole the next morning.]
- 2/18/02 My wife and I are interested in getting into outhouse racing! Could you please send me any rules, regulations and race schedules for the upcoming season. Thank you, Jim & Dora
- 2/7/02 Why did some outhouse doors have the shape of a quarter moon? A shape like the smile of the chesshire cat in Alice in Wonderland.
- 2/6/02 My mother's family lived in Gravel Switch. In the late 50's I remember using their outhouse. My great grandfather's name was Will May. Would you remember the May's?
- 2/7/02 Have you seen the two story four holer, located near Arcola Il. I think it
was featured in the Chicago Tribune, and on Wild Chicago, and has a long
heritage as being attached to an old 1900's General store and rooming
houses, that have since bured down.
- 2/6/02 I told Karen last night that an outhouse photographer was what I want to be when I grew up. Of course, she patted me on the back and gave me that "I have.known that you are weird for many years now" look. However weird I may be, I can not deny the lure of this obsession any more than one can deny the existence of the moon and the tides.
I can see myself in the future, crisscrossing the States with my RV and camera.....
I have about 30 or so outhouse photographs that I have taken over the years. I have scanned a few and have started to share them Via e-mail.
- 2/3/02 We had property at Rand's Pond
in Goshen, New Hampshire. This was built well away from the pond and had
limited use because we only went there in the summer on Sundays. Never one
to do anything half way, dad built it big enough so we could change
bathing suits there and store a little dry fire wood. The house was done
in clapboards with a asphalt shingle roof. It had a window with curtains
and in the corner was an old toilet we flushed with a pail of water from
the pond. This was connected to a 55 gallon drum with lots of holes buried
in stones under ground. All materials were carried in along an old 1/2
- 2/2/02 When I was around six, one of the family activities was to go to "KXLA" radio in the Huntington Hotel in Pasadena California. It was a Country station where I met Quite a few country/western stars. We would sit in the audience of about 20 to 30 people in the studio when the "Squeakin Deacon" program was on the air. Carl Moore was the Deacon, and he became a good friend over the years. My dad, a carpenter, built a "Three Holer" about six inches tall. It was mounted on a piece of plywood that was about a foot and a half on a side. It was landscaped with a tiny "split rail" fence, a couple of bushes and a path leading to each of the two doors. They were on each end and they were connected inside by a little rod. When one was opened, the other opened for the person inside to run out. It was painted to look like it had been standing for many years. Very realistic looking. Dad prsented it to Mr. Moore during a program, when Pat Buttram was a guest on the program. Pat was Mr. Haney on Green Acres, and a country singer in his younger years. It was a big hit on the show. When I last visited Mr. Moore, The outhouse was "center stage" on his fireplace mantle. I was around twenty three at the time, in 1964. I wonder if it still exists. You folks have a nice site... Joel
- 2/2/02 Great outhouse "stuff". I once built a breakdown full size outhouse which I could haul around in my pickup to variouse sites ,set it up with a background of my chosing and take great photos,than take it down and move on to another roadside spot with a river or mountain in the background and do it again and again.
Got some real strange looks . it only had 2 sides and a roof which is all you can see of any square object. Built it out of old barnwood. The 2 sides and roof,are laid flat in the back of the truck and its to the next site.Figured I could build about a half dozen of these in different form ,take pictures in all kinds if different settings and sell the pics in bed and bath shops. never did. Our great country was founded by outhouse users and lets not forget the great contribution these stinky little buildings have made to the things of more comfort we enjoy today.--------------------------------??? Yaaaaaaaa Jim W
- 1/23/02 Hello, Great site I have not been here in a while and you have done a lot with it. I was wondering if you took pictures of outhouse from other people I would like to enter our cedar lined and a lot of my neighbors have some interesting houses to. There is a book of Alaskan outhouses and it includes Don Sheldon's over looking the Ruth Glacier. Also I don't see mention of the other stick northerns need, it is a forked stick about 3 feet long. Funny River Alaska
- 1/23/02 Ok, here is the situation. One of the guys that I work with popped this
on me the other day "Why is there a cresant moon on the outhouse door" he
claims that he heard the real reason from Paul Harvey and it has nothing
to do with gender, light, or ventilation. He also refuses to give any
clues as to the origin. He is in fact being a ----head about his one bit
of historical knowledge. By any chance do you know the answer to the
question? A reply would be appreciated. Mike (Iron Mike) [The answer is HERE!]
- 1/18/02 my name is jonny', i am a vietnam veteran living in bellingham
wasington working at discount tires while pursuing my college degree at
the local university. I was arguing with my roommate one night and we got
into a heated discussion about the birthday of Thomas Crapper. See i
plainly remember reading somewhere that Thomas Crapper was born on august
8th 1630 c.e. However my roommate, David argues that Thomas
Crapper was born on May 25th 1669 c.e. and that Thomas Crapper patented
the toilet on august 8th 1630 c.e. Could you please help staighten this
out for us?? [Your answers can be found HERE and HERE!]
- 1/18/02 I LIVE IN SOUTHEAST GEORGIA AND HAVE A DESIRE TO DIG AN OUTHOUSE. I
HAVE A MID 1800 SITE IN MIND THAT I'M SURE HAS NEVER BEEN DUG. IT'S
CLEARED AND TRACTOR PREPPED ALL THE WAY AROUND ALL SIDES TO PLANT PINES.
PART OF THE FOUNDATION IS STANDING SO I THINK I KNOW THE ORIENTATION OF
THE HOUSE. I'VE BEEN TOLD TO PROBE THE BACK SIDE OF THE HOUSE FOR THE
LOCATION OF THE PRIVVY. ANY INFO FROM AN EXPERT WOULD BE APPRECIATED TO
HELP A NOVICE GET UNDERWAY WITH HIS FIRST DIG.
- 1/11/02 years ago my old uncle used to call the outhouse a "chick sale'"or"-chicksales", a term i think he got from will rogers. i recently thought of this old saying and tried to look up the origin or proper meaning, no luck, thought you might know? enjoyed visiting your site.
- 1/10/02 HOW DO I GET THE RULES FOR BUILDING. A OUTHOUSE?. CAN YOU E-MAIL WHERE I HAVE TO GO ON THE INTERNET.
- 1/3/02 Your web site was very informative. I have been looking for some information what the "moons' cut into the structures was for. My question has been answered. Thanks,
- 12/27/01 I'm doing a project for U.S. History and I wanted to know in what year was the flush toilet patented by Thomas Crapper. And if ya could answer as soon as possible would be nice. Thanks. Check Here for the answer...
- 12/27/01 I really like your site. It is very interesting to read. I was just wondering if you had a lot of people asking you for a web site that buildes outhouses. I have a brother who is trying to start the business and I have been handed down the wonderful task of researching it. I have not been lucky enough to find such a web site. If you know of any could
you please let me know. Also if you have a great number of people looking to bye one i would be happy to hear that people still want to purchuse one. I am talking about the full size working outhouses by the way :).
- 12/26/01 Hello there! I was viewing your web site when I came across the people who restored one in Wisconsin. I too restored one last summer. We got off of a farm in rural SE Minnesota and transported it to our lake cabin in Wisconsin. Was a rather interesting ride to the cabin with half rotted outhouse in tow. Anyway I restored it to it's original condition and quite proud of it.
- 12/22/01 I currently have the pleasure of living in an 1834 Irish mansion in Limerick, PA. Behind the mansion sit two stone 11' X 11' out buildings. One is a smokehouse/potting shed and the other is an eight-hole outhouse. Upon further review (looking down threw the holes with a video camera) I noticed that at one side was a cleanout. I also noticed that under each four-hole side, there was a stone archway.
- 12/22/01 hello ~ sorry i was bord surfing the web, and seen your web site. i live here in crandon and i have never heard of your crap castle. would you be willing to tell me where are you located? or what part of crandon you are in?
- 12/19/01 Just thought I'd write to tell you I have a 3 holer in my backyard. I don't know much about it other than it appears to have been there for quite some time. The house we live in was built pre-1850.
- 12/19/01 I am a reporter that covers Millington and by doing a story on one Millington web site, I encountered the
tin roof outhouse. I am interested in a story, to say the least.
- 12/14/01 Thanks for your co-operation, the Cabin Fever Outhouse Race is turning into a relay event, the first round will take place in little ole' Telkwa and the final round will be held on Main Street Smithers. I am meeting
with the Smithers people this Sunday to hammer out the details but thanks to your website, a seed has been planted. I'll send you a copy of our event and I'll be happy to direct folks to your website and give credit where credit is due.
Thanks again and Merry Christmas from your fellow outhouse junkies.
- 12/13/01 I was wondering if you might have a list compiled of outhouses here in central new york.
- 12/10/01 Hello there , I am trying to find a picture of a 4 holed outhouse? Ever seen one? I need it to make an amusing christmas card. We have a saying at work : Couldn't organize a three man run on a four man shithouse. I thought it would be cute to make a card for the person who uses this saying the most, thanks in advance for any help you can give me. Lorna way
up in the frozen country of canada. Where Luckily I have INdoor plumbing!
- 12/7/01 Could you send detailed plans on how to build an exploding outhouse?
- 12/5/01 In talking about the crescent moon cut out of the door of the outhouse, the question arose as to it's origin/purpose. Do you happen to know these answers?
[Curator's Comment: Sure! Go to our Frequently Asked Questions page for the answer!
You can also get to it from our main page located Here!]
- 11/29/01 I have not a clue as to how your site showed up on my search engine for the specs on a pellet gun but LOL, LOL, LOL -- you sure have done a fine job! THANK YOU!
- 11/21/01 Pretty cool site. Can you please tell me what the half moon symbol on an outhouse door means? My name is mike.
It has come up in conversation and nobody seems to know for sure. Don't ask how the conversation of outhouses came about.
- 11/17/01 I NEED A PICTURE OF THE WPA...... OUTHOUSE BUILT DURNING THE DEPRESSION IN
IOWA----- THEY WERE CALLED ROOSEAVELT TOILETS----- PAINTED STARK WHITE AND TWO HOLERS- A PROJECT TO HELP THE ECONOMY TO GVE WPA WORKERS JOBS------THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP!!!!!!! THESE ARE KINDA BATTERED, BUT WHEN NEW THEY WERE VERY WHITE AND GOT PAINTED EVERY YEAR---- WE LIVED IN SOUTHERN IOWA ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF TOWN AND HAD ONE. THEY WERE CALLED ROOSEVELT TOILETS, BE CAUSE THE WPA BUILT THEM---- BELEIVE IT OR NOT I PROMISED TO SEND A PIC- TO PRESIDENT FRANKLIN D. R 'S GRANDDAUGHTER
---- SHE WAS NOT AWARE OF THEM AND HAD A GREAT LAUGH WHEN I TOLD HER ABOUT THEM LAST WEEK--- WHEN SHE WAS IN OUR TOWN----- THANKS LOADS FOR SUCH A PROMPT REPLY AND THE PICTURE OF WHAT I NEEDED---
- 11/16/01 Hello from Canada: I am coordinating our community's annual Cabin Fever Days and would love to hold an outhouse race, may I use some of the rules, lingo and ideas I have found on your website??
- 11/8/01 Being from the mother country I am a great lover of the sea and all its
I was informed that the Head got its name from the plank behind the figure
head on the old sailing ships where the sailors used as a toilet. Now I AM
WONDERING, where and how did the Poop Deck get its name? One area for the
enlisted men and one for the officers? I would appreciate your views. [View the Poop Deck. Unfortunately, the pictures turned out dark...]
- 11/2/01 I have been reading in a book of American history
about a double, or 'two storey' outhouse circa 1850-60
Built for use where the snow fell heavy and drifted deep, apparently
they were two outhouses built one on top of the other over
the hole in the ground. In late spring, summer and autumn folks used the
bottom outhouse as normal. In winter, then the snow got deep, they took up
the flooring in the bottom outhouse, then used the one on top without
having to dig down to the lower doorway to get access. Do you have any
more information on this type of convenience? J.
- 11/1/01 I chanced upon your website because I was searching the web for references
to Sleepy Eye, MN. I looked at your Outhouse Tour of MN and noticed that you do not have a picture of the two-story outhouse in Belle Plaine, MN. That is a fascinating creation and is still standing, attached to the house. It is part of a historical house so the Belle Plaine Chamber should have info. on it.
- 10/31/01 The occasional scoop of lime prevented maggots from growing in the
waste to become houseflys.
- 10/31/01 In England we didn't have corncobs or Sears catalogues so we used to use
newspapers cut into squares. (There was even a joke about certain people
not being able to read a newspaper UNLESS it was cut into squares.) It
would be threaded through one corner with a string and hung on a
strategically-placed nail in the outhouse wall. I think they sometimes
also used the blue or purple tissue that used to be wrapped round oranges
or other fruit at the greengrocers. It might turn your bum purple though!
In a hospital I worked in once the cleaners never replaced the toilet
rolls in the staff loo. This was very irritating as you can imagine! So
one day I cut up a newspaper and hung it in the staff loo, in the above
manner. That made them think a bit and we started getting more toilet
rolls . . . for about six months, then the cleaners started to forget
again. Oh well . . . I'm too young to remember World War II (!!) but there
used to be toilet rolls with cartoons of Hitler on them - I saw some in a
museum, people must have kept them as souvenirs! I think the label said
"Shitler's Special Nasti Toilet Roll". One of the more bizarre methods of
keeping up morale on the Home Front.
- 10/28/01 Hi there! What a website! Thanks for posting the lyrics to "Little Brown
Shack out Back". I remember (early 60's) my father "modernizing" our
outhouse with a brooder-house lamp (the kind you would use for chickens)
that we could turn on from the house so the outhouse would be nice and
warm in the wintertime when you got there! Thanks again for maintaining
such an enjoyable website.
- 10/26/01 I am working on a NAtional History Day Project invloving Thomas Crapper.
Can you send me the bibliography for this page, so I can find other
sources too? Thank you very much!
- 10/26/01 My father was a carpenter foreman and was hired by the Federal Government
to built Outhouses for the WPA in the late 30's. He worked in Wisconsin,
where we lived(Leona), when the State CCC workers program was going on.
Most of the men were from the Chicago area. They were cutting fire lanes
in the northern State Forests. He told me the housing, cook shack and the
outhouses were all on skids and would be pulled from site to site via
teams of draft horses and later with steam tractors. The Outhouses were
the six and eight hole type. Keeping the Camp ahead of the men was a hard
task and took its toll on the buildings - thus rebuilding and repair of
the smaller outhouses was a constant job.
Another subject: If anyone can get me pointed in the right direction so I
can get some of the plans for the outhouses that were built during the
depression times under the WPA I would be grateful. I am looking for the 2
holler type. Millions were made during this period for sanitation in the
Urban/Rural area and for the Forest Service, who setup the program. I have
tried the US Forest Service with out any feed back. [If anyone has this information, please Email the Curator. Thanks.]
- 10/19/01 I would love to know where your mother and sister found the outhouse music
box. It's just what I'm looking for! Thanks!
- 10/16/01 this is the best sight i have been on in a long time. it is really
comforting , think maybe you can send me plans on how to build one of
these privys. i live in the middle of the woods it woul be nice to have
thanks again its been great. i like that norteastern pennsyvania one.can i
have all the details on the digging of the whole to thank you very much
and god bless
- 10/15/01 Is there plans for the Exploding outhouse?
- 10/12/01 MY DAD'S PARENTS HAD A 3 SIDED OUTHOUSE AT THEIR CABIN AT LAKE QUAMBA (MUD LAKE), MINNESOTA. I FEARED
WORSE THAN RACOONS. (-: THANKS FOR TOILET TOUR. I GOT LINK FROM FOREVER FRIENDS AWHILE BACK.
- 9/23/00 John, if you didn't get to receive my pic of the outhouse I lost my purse
in, here is that sad and forlorn Government Issue that was the center of
activity! I think your website is about the greatest.....I luv it!
- 4/29/00 We have been contracted to build an outhouse for a client here in
Washington State(Huskie Football!!!). This job was contracted on the net
and plans and ideas were faxed back and forth. My brother is the
contracter and asked if I new anything about them. I sead our late uncle
had three on his farm and I could still remember how they looked. He asked
if I would be interested in doing the work and I sead I would take the
job. He then showed me the price he was charging and I was shocked at how
high it was. I jockingly told our parrents who both work for a state park
here and they thought the price was too low! They sead the state had just
instaled two single seaters on the park and one was fifeteen thousand and
the other was thirty five. I was floored! So the cost of the one I am
building doesn't seem so high now. The client already had an old outhouse
on their vacation property but it was small an listing about thirty degees
to port. I was given the basic layout and the rest was up to me. So heres
some particulars. The base is five by five with eight foot elivation in
the front wall and six foot five for the back wall. Everything is built
from cedar except the toilet seat. All studs etc., are cedar. The interior
is sheathed in Alaska yellow cedar three inch T and G layed horizontaly
this includes the cieling too. The seat base I built using half in.,
marine plywood I had laying around and caped it with half in., by six
western cedar. This half by six is going on the floor overtop left over
pieces of the yellow cedar. I perchased a small leaded glass window from
an stained glass artist down the road and built a frame for it. There is
only one window for light but the yellow cedar will keep it bright inside.
For night use, the customer thought tap lights woud be a good addition.
The seat is offset to the right side of bench so that the left side can be
used for a changing seat. The roof is cedar shake and the exterior sideing
is shake panels and everthing is trimmed with five quarter by two rough
cut cedar that will be left to age naturally. All this will be set on a
stone foundation. Were building this in our shop and transporting it
eighty miles to the site.
- 9/29/01 I went to an auction in the Lancaster PA area, and I bought a wooden box
that opens up and reveals a wooden seat with a large hole, and underneath
a tin bowl for waste, to be emptied. The box is made of pine with joint
construction, and has two metal arms that enable someone to open the box.
My question is: is there any formal name for this crapper? And do you know
of any websites I could go to to research where it was made, etc? There is
no label on the box. [Curator's Comment: That sounds like what is called an Earth Closet. The crap would drop into the soil and be consumed somehow. I have a few pictures of them on the web site. Do a search for "Earth Closet" to find the pages. I have a few pages about Earth Closets.]
- 9/29/01 Is it just me, or is the latch on its door on the outside? Wouldn't an
outhouse door's latch be on the inside to keep people from getting in, not
getting out? Just a thought... [Curator's Comment: Good catch! Usually the doors have a latch inside. The outside latch is to hold the door shut when no one is inside. Sometimes doors would swing open on their own.]
- 9/29/01 My grandfather memorized this wonderful poem and the tradition has been
passed down to my father, and now some of my artful sisters. We have a
cabin, wherein there is a wooden carved wall hanging of "father and
mother's holes," gifted from those relatives who appreciated so my
grandfathers reciting of the poem. My sister sent me your website as a way to bring some cheer into this
solemn time. Thank you for archiving the legend.
- 9/27/01 My name is Heather. I have a history class who is going over the west right now. The subject came up of outhouses. We all were wondering why on so many outhouses do they have moons on the door? A great question huh? We
would love to know! Thanks for your site...it is so great!
- 9/25/01 [regarding the song/poem about the little brown shack out back] not "and dream my dreams" but
"and build my castles" to the yellow jacket's drone
imagery, imagery imagery
- 9/25/01 I know that they didn't actually clean out the holes, and that they moved
the outhouse itself to a different spot. But what I want to know is how
do they clean them out in the cases where the outhouse is on a cement
foundation, and is made of bricks?
I go camping at a campsite near Westport, California right on the northern
coast, and I often go into the (very large, I might add) outhouse and
wonder if they send someone down there to do the honors of cleaning it out
(because it seems like more of a room than a hole in the ground). Or
maybe they have some kind of poop-vacuum or something that sucks it out.
Also, I wonder if since it's so close to the beach, if maybe it's somehow
flushed into the ocean (but I doubt it since the campsites are high on a
cliff, and the beach is below with plenty of sand and tourists
in-between). This question has been driving me buggy for years, and I
finally decided to ask someone...and who better to ask than you?
Thanks for your time, and keep up the good work on the website!
- 9/25/01 I was wondering if you might know where i could find the guitar chords or
better yet tab or whatnot for this fine piece of cultural music--billy ed
wheeler's "little brown building". Any help would be greatly appreciated.
- 9/24/01 "A thing of beauty [a well built outhouse] is a joy forever."
- 9/23/01 Regarding the Nail hole in center of outhouse hole cutout: It may have been to hold a string to circumscribe a circle as the article says. HOWEVER, most out houses I have seen in my youth in Wisconsin did not have perfect circle holes, they were somewhat elongated. And those very hole cutout pieces WERE equipped with a nailed on wooden spool or
cleat specifically to serve as a convenient handle, and used to cover the hole when the outhouse was unoccupied! The reason they often ended up in the pit was because someone was careless in putting the lid on and it slipped into the pit. Children were often the main cause of this, and not always was it an accident.
- 9/23/01 Dear Curator, I am a Septic System Consultant (i.e., a SPECIALIST of
sorts), and I thoroughly enjoy reading the many stories, and folklore
As a lad, growing up in the rural community of Woodstock, Connecticut, my
family lived in an ancient farmhouse (over 200 years old in the 1960s)
that was equipped with indoor plumbing, but still had the old two holer
out back. We used the "Back House" in the late summer when the well
usually went dry. The Back House had a peaked roof, the door opened in,
and came "furnished" with a cob box, a TP roller, and a book shelf for
magazines. It also had an electric light.
My favorite limerick was penned by a Catholic Priest, Father John
Bannister Tabb, S.S. of the Sulpician Order, based in Baltimore, Maryland
from 1905 to 1925. The limerick referred to an actual, tragic event that
befell the twin brothers McBride who were fraternity brothers of Father
There once was a man named McBride
He fell in a two-holer, and died
Along came his brother
And fell in the other
Now they're 'interred', side by side
- 9/22/01 I really did enjoy your "out houses" Tour!
This brought back memories. There was something nice about a well built
house when I was just a kid and they were everywhere on the farm and even
in the cities sometimes.
My Grandfather died about 1942 and I never forgot him he was a good man.
He worked for himself and took all sorts of odd jobs. He kept a journal in
1886 and there were many entries for his work among them was "paint Mrs.
Grace's out house Ten cents" Someone else's porch for 25 cents. Total
income for the year $869.00. He also built out houses as well as a real
house. This was in Michigan Marine city area. Thank you again for some
real nostalgic fun.
- 9/22/01 Just a quick note about our oldest son, Paul and his first home. He moved from New Jersey to New Hampshire and bought a neat cabin on 3.5 acres. The cabin had no water, electric and of course no plumbing. However, he did have a two seater out house, but with a neat addition. It had a sun roof. It was almost a year before he outfitted the cabin into a home and installed electric, water and a septic to handle the bathroom. I'm not sure, but I think he saved the outhouse as a reminder of where he came from. Enjoyed the tour, thanks for your creativity.
- 9/22/01 Interesting site. I looked for and didn't find any references to people
researching pits of old outhouses for articles lost by those who used them
in the last century or two. [Curator's Comment: Actually, I have a ton of information along those lines. Follow THIS LINK to the Outhouse Digging section where you will find a lot of information about what you are looking for.]
- 9/22/01 when I was younger my dad would say "I am going to see a man about a
horse" meaning he was going to the outhouse...
- 9/18/01 Do you happen to know where (or if) there is a place where I can obtain
either an old antique outhouse seat or a replica? I would like to have a "double-seater" -- I want to use them as
double-picture frame for my wall.
- 9/9/01 What materials were used for "wiping" before toilet paper came along. What
did people use when they couldn't afford toilet paper? did they use corn
husks? [Curator's Comment: They used corn cobs after the cows ate the
corn off. They also used Sears catalogues before the pages turned shiny.
After that, the pages didn't wipe properly! When I was old enough to use
our outhouse, we had the Sears catalogue in it but I used to look at the
pictures. We actually had toilet paper to use then.
- 9/9/01 When i was a boy scout in the early 1960's, the camp we went to was the Lone Tree Scout reservation in Kingston, NH. The outhouses at each campsite had an aluminum wash basin that stretched from the front for about six feet or so, with
a water pipe and five spigots for getting water to wash our faces and hands in the morning.
There were known as "Didgeboos". A common punishment detail for the scouts in the camp was the "Didgeboo Patrol". They would make the rounds of the camp sites, sweeping out the latrines and installing the extra rolls of toilet paper as
needed. [Curator's Comment: Did you check out the Boy Scout camp toilets on the web site? They are shown in the Real Outhouses section. Talk about primitive! I used to go to a YMCA camp in NH over by Portsmouth. It had those long basins too. I remember all the bugs and spiders that were there all the time.]
- 9/5/01 When reviewing your page, my dad Glenn Gundy made the following comments:
"There ain't nobody that can forget that smell." and "Looking at those pictures makes it seem like yesterday, not 30 years ago." I was born while he was serving in Vietnam in 1968. [Curator's Comments: This is why I keep the site going. It is, and will continue to be history.]
- 9/4/01 I am renovating a house I just bought. It has a two holer. The old owner
called it "The Bank", cool huh! I am doing my down stairs bathroom in
outhouse wall paper etc... I am looking for stuff to decorate with. Can
you help? [Curator's Comment: Sure can! Take a look at our Outhouse items for sale right here on this web site!]
- 8/31/01 I just wanted to say thank you for your website. I am 25 years old and have been interested in outhouses since I could remember. My aunt had one in her backyard and I think it started there. Why? I have no idea. I would like to redo my bathroom in an outhouse theme so I am thinking about some of the wonderful items in your store to buy. I already have various pictures. Well, thank you again for your unique idea.
- 8/16/01 Hey guy,
Thank god I found your site. I've got a story for you. I too am
interested in locating old outhouses. I dig for bottles and relics.
Four years ago I bought an old log house built in the mid-1800's. The
house didn't have plumbing until 1972. (Even That Was a Joke). After three
years of totally restoring it, I now have time to explore the property.
One area of the yard always got my attention. I just knew there was
something there. A few days ago I started fooling with the dirt. After
only about a foot down it was smooth sailing. It's lined with rock. At
first I thought it to be an old cistern type well. The more I started to
dig, the more I'm sure it's where the outhouse sat.
My dad happened to visit when I was about four feet in the hole. He
said "Oh, I bet you'll find treasures in there". He's 78 and spoke about
what went into outhouses back then. I had to stop because my five year old
was making me nervous. He wanted to help dig.
I haven't been able to get started again. I can't wait.
My husband thinks I'm totally off my rocker. He thinks I'm nuts.
I'll keep you posted. Oh yeah......by the way........ I really dig
- 8/16/01 I am just so frustrated trying to find outhouse decorations to re-do my bathroom. Can you please help? I'm looking from a towel rack to a big replica of an outhouse for my bathroom. Please send me any information to
how I can order anything with outhouses. Thank you so much! [You are in luck! Click HERE to see the items we have for sale on our web site!]
- 8/15/01 funny web site.....ask jeeves sent us there.....my son asked me why is
there a cresent moon on the outhouse door?????? don't know......do you?
by the way.....i am just over in iron mountain and actually know a couple
people from trenary and rock. ......
if you have an answer for my son, please write back.
i see someone else has asked about the crescent moon. ha. i didn't see an
but for the saying on the towel rack...with all the outhouses
"pick your favorite"
- 8/16/01 Hi, Lived in Michigan all my life and have never even heard of this race [For complete coverage, go directly to The Outhouse Races]. What a great idea! Thanks.
- 8/17/01 What a HOOT your site is! It sure brings back memories of by-gone days!
I recall as a child growing up in Maine using a two holer and also a three
holer. I recall very vividly when I was between 4-5 my Grandparents and
Uncle and Aunt telling about a "Weasel" that they spotted near the barn.
This was where the three holer was located! I had no idea what a weasel
was but from the way they talked I knew I did not want to make contact
with it. When I had to go I peered down the hole first to make sure that
creature was not there waiting to get me!!!
In later years after I married a West Virginian and visited the farm
there, I was back using ~ this time a two holler! Worse than the weasel
there was the "Copper Head Snakes" that you were always on the lookout
The old outhouse is still there with it's crescent moon on the door but
the farm house finally got indoor plumbing. The outhouse is a real
fascination to the grandkids and our kids ~ they love to pose by it ~ last
year our older daughter took several shots of it from all angles when she
visited there from Washington State!
And they say, "those were the good old days"? Give me a break ~ you
froze in the winter and burned up in the summer~ and the smell was