Every so often, I receive an interesting Email regarding Outhouses. This one was exceptional. Mickie H. contacted me about the Outhouse Preservation Society thinking it might be run by me. We interacted a bit and she mentioned that she had been a PenPal of George Borum. That name rang a bell because quite a few years ago, I think I sold a book about Outhouses by him. All of the sketches on this page were contributed to the Outhouses of America tour web site by Mickie H. and used by permission.
Well, Mickie then told me that George had been an artist and sketched many Outhouses as well as other things. As a result of their PenPal friendship, George sent Mickie quite a few original sketches of Outhouses in various states of dignity. She asked me if I wanted to see a few of them and sent me some. What a treasure trove of art! As you will see below, he was a great artist and it reminded me of Norman Rockwell. What follows is a description of how Mickie came to know George Borum and a little history about him. In her own words, here is what she wrote me…
George Borum (1913-2012) from Centralia, Illinois, was a man of many talents. He was a sign painter, calligrapher, auctioneer, carver, and a tramp art artist to name a few. To me he was a priviologist, an outhouse expert. We got acquainted through our outhouses. He wrote and illustrated “Our Vanishing Americana… The Little House Out Back”. I was an outhouse collector, and I bought his book, and we became penpals for years. In 1991 I moved to California, but when I went back to Iowa, I visited George in Centralia, Illinois two times. The last time he was in a nursing home, but still very sharp. George drew and built models of various outhouses. He sent me outhouse sketches, and I bought a few of his models. My favorite still is my tramp art outhouse model. It’s 15 inches tall. I also treasure my certificate:
“Lifetime Membership, Society for the Preservation of the Memory of The Little House Out back. This is to certify that Mickie Hansen is a lifetime member of above non-profit Organization and will help preserve the memories of The Little house Out Back.”
It is dated 7-21-02 and signed by Geo. Borum, President. I have fond memories of George.