Comments 2012 – Present

Over the years we have received THOUSANDS of comments from visitors like yourself. Some offer pictures of their own outhouses to be added to the Outhouses of America Tour, some add funny comments while some tell about their experiences with an outhouse. Almost everyone is interesting in its own way. Grab a favorite beverage and enjoy reading some of them. It will take you a LONG time to get through all of them!

New comments will be added below but old comments are located on several web pages in our archives. Links to them are below as well added on menu items. Feel free to send us comments as well. Enjoy!

  • Do you know if Shawn is still selling these outhouses out of Ontario? The link doesn’t work anymore and I can’t find his contact info anywhere.
    We are interested in buying an outhouse and it is so difficult to buy a pre-fab outhouse. I am only able to find plans. Thanks! Julie.

    • Curator’s Comment: I don’t think so. When I put up links like this, I would only count them as good for maybe 6 months. People change their Emails and don’t notify me so if the links don’t work, that is what happened. I would see if there are any Amish in your area. They build them and deliver them.
  • How much $ for the privy? I can haul.Please call John
    • Curator’s Comment: That is most likely an old page and is no longer available. Look at the date at the bottom of the page. If it is over 60 days old, it is most likely not available. Also, if you find the page again, Please copy the web address (URL) and Email it to me so I can update the page. I have hundreds, if not thousands of pages, on my site so it is hard to keep it completely updated. Sorry!
  • Good Day,  My name is Robert, I will like to know if you do have (Clay Diggers) in stock for sale, please advice types and sizes,Let me know the kind of credit card you do accept as payment.Also please advice if you do allow freight pick
    up from your location. With Kind Regards
    • Ummmm, No, we don’t
  • We just bought an old Victorian house in Virginia City, NV. How old? Building records here were not kept until 1900, so it was listed as being built then. However, our research shows that the house was built before that. One of the many interesting finds on the property is an outhouse! This will be my first “dig.” Any advice you or the group can share would be greatly welcome.
    Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. Rob P
  • Good afternoon I came upon your website and thought you might be able to give me some advice.     I am currently building a new outhouse and have a question in regards to design.   I am wondering whether to “box in” the bottom of the outhouse, or leave a space as in the attached pic I have sent to you.   I have seen many different options online.   I would think with leaving the outhouse skirt open it would get more fresh air.  Let me know what is the best option to keeping smell down and getting  the best results.

Should there be open air under the outhouse?
Should there be open air under the outhouse?
    • Curator’s Comment: We are talking about two different things here.

           If you were building an outhouse to house a Loveable Loo like we do, you should leave the bottom open so air can keep the wood drier than it would be if closed off.  If you are digging a hole and letting the waste drop into it, you need to close it off. The smell would be bad and like an open sewer. We recommend you close off the floor and use a Loveable Loo instead of a traditional outhouse. Go here to read about it:

      We use one in our Tuff Shed that we use as a combination shed and Outhouse/Latrine. By using sawdust to cover your waste, it eliminates the smell. Then you compost it outside and rotate your composters every year. We built three compost areas so we use one for a year and then let it sit for two years. Then we spread the compost. I can’t say enough about it. You can buy The Humanure Handbook on our web site that tells you all about it.


  • Dear John, For what it is worth. Trevor Sainsbury, of North Lake said:- ” in the 1940-50s on the NSW Central Coast, we called the night carts Humm Dingas. A swarm of flies seemed to always follow the cart at 6 am Monday Mornings, hence the name Humm..” ?????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    This was in the West Australian Daily newspaper Tuesday 6th September 2016. I hope that gives you some worthwhile information to add to your history? Sincerely, from Mrs. Sandra Ruscoe
  • 9/2016 Dear Sir or Madam, Can you please tell me the nick name for the Out House Dunny collectors? Sincerely, Mrs. Sandra Ruscoe
    • Curator’s Comment: I’m sorry but I don’t know the answer to your question. I’ve heard them all but now you just stumped me! I did a little research and apparently, there are people who collect them. Link to the information.
  • 4/2016 I do not have a question at this time but I would like to add this small tidbit. I was raised (sort of say) on an outhouse in Elida, Ohio back in the late 1940’s. My grandmother and mother always done washings on every Monday of each week. After the white clothes were washed with soap and bleach, they would take that tub of water out to the outhouse and wash and scrub down the inside of the outhouse, they did this every week!  This did help with odor especially in warmer months. And oh by the way,  it was said my grandmother had the only wallpapered outhouse in Elida, Ohio and I bet this was true. The only bad times I remember were the winters, having to put on winter coats and boots and treading thru knee high snow and sitting on ice cold wood. You almost forgot what you went out there for! Those were the days. Thank you for your articles.  Dianna L Lucke

    • Curator’s Comment: I learned in Alaska where it can get down to -68 degrees F, they put down a layer of the blue foam insulation over the seat and then cut out the Outhouse hole. They tell me as soon as they sit down on it, they feel instant warmth. OK then!
    • Her response to my comment:

      Sounds like a great idea, however back in late 40-50’s we didn’t have that luxury!  However, if I could construct one today I would definitely add the insulation to sit on. I just re-read an article on the Amish in Kenton, Ohio where the City basically told the Amish NO to their outhouses. Several of these families had just built new homes (of course without modern septic systems) and were told they’d have to tear down the houses, they didn’t meet code! Can you imagine that? You know some engineer needs to come up with a system that could be used out in the country (not in the City). I wonder what these City Code people would do if our Country lost our electrical grid systems and all sanitation systems stopped working? I’ll bet they would drive the country side looking for an outhouse!  Some people just have too much tunnel vision, they don’t take the time to ask “WHAT IF ?”. This is one good reason to get out of the City. Oh well, thank you again John for letting me talk. Have a wonderful day. Warm regards to you.


  • 3/2016 I have a book dealer coming tomorrow to look at some old books I’ve been holding onto for 30+ years. They belonged to my grandparents and great-grandparents, probably.As I was flipping through them, I found a nicely folded “copy” of the backhouse poem frequently accredited to James Whitcomb Riley.

The BackHouse

This paper is the old “onion skin” that might have been used in the old secretarial days. My grandmother and her sisters were all trained as secretaries in the early 1900s. They would have used the original carbon paper in-between the front and back. So, way back in the pre-1940s, they were saying the poem was his.

Interesting story that I could find online.

I’m going to keep the paper but the book is going.  Nancy [Curator’s Comment: A link to the folded paper is above.]

  • 3/2016 Can you recommend an exterior for our outhouse. It has vertical board siding now. Don’t know what kind but it’s old and rotted and I’d like to rebuild it wit an appropriate wood.
    Chuck (looks like a Henry 22 lever action)
    Chuck (looks like a Henry 22 lever action)

    [Curator’s Comment: It depends how long and how nice you want it to look.  I’d use Cedar planks if you want it to last or T-111 siding for more economical. You need to stain the T-111 once every other year to keep it from rotting by the ground.]


  • Here is the bottle our Outhouse Digger contributor won in the Writing contest for 2015. 1860s G.W Merchants

    1860s G.W Merchants Bottle
    1860s G.W Merchants bottle
  • 10/2015 I saw this and I thought of you (How many time have you heard this one?):  It’s a shower curtain with images of outhouses on it 🙂 And here is another one. Candie L.
  • 10/2015 Dear Outhouses of America Official Tour Representative,
    Currently I am working on a case study for a competition. I was just wondering if you can tell me the average time it takes for a family of 3 to fill up an outhouse pit? What is the standard depth of an outhouse pit? Thanks,
    Barun [Curator’s Comment: It’s all relative to the depth of the hole. Normal depth is between 4-5 feet. Outhouse is moved once every 1 to 2 years depending how full of shit they are. ]
  • 8/2015 I have a WPA outhouse I would like to sale shirley. I have just decided to sale and don’t know where to start. Thank you for any help You could give me. [Curator’s Comment: This is probably long gone by now.]
  • 8/2015 Hello there! I stumbled upon your website while searching for information on a 5 hole outhouse on an Amish farm tour that I saw as a child. Do you have any knowledge of this place? I would so like to find it again, but it was a school tour and being young at the time and from Canada, I don’t recall where exactly it was, but it was somewhere along the route between the area of Corning, NY, Gettysburg and Philadelphia. I enjoyed your site immensely! I hope you can help me locate this loo. When I find a picture of my quaint island outhouse in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands I will scan and send it to you for inclusion in your collection.  [Curator’s Comment: I’m thinking the tour took you to the Lancaster, PA area. My sister used to live near Harrisburg, PA and we used to drive to Lancaster and eat at the Good and Plenty restaurant and buy Shoo Fly Pies there. I don’t think I have any pictures of that outhouse but there are multi hole outhouses on my tour I’m sure. Other cities near Lancaster include Bird in Hand and Intercourse!]
  • 7/2015 The original part of my property was built in 1850. That part still has a stone foundation and dirt floor basement.  I have a red brick privy that was never filled in. Should I just carefully dig at the bottom? The bottom is a grayish color with little red brick fragments that have fallen down.
  • 6/2015 Do you have some of Mrs. Kimmel’s outhouse pictures? Do you have any idea what they sell for? I have had this for many years so don’t know if it
    would be worth listing. What do you charge for listing it? [Then a little later we receive this:] Just a short note to let you know that I have sold the watercolor picture of the two story outhouse. It is going to the Cherry County Museum here in NE which is a great place for it. Thanks for offering to list it on your site.Sincerely, Karyl N
  • 5/2015Hello looking a low cost outhouse what are your prices.Janet [Curator’s Comment: We don’t sell outhouses. We sell the plans to build one in our on line store and I do have some really small ones for sale in the store. Thanks for contacting me.]
  • 5/2015Hey there; hope this finds you well.  Im working on an outhouse project close to you in Gardner Colorado.  Wasn’t sure if you had any outhouses still available but if so, please let me know that asking price and perhaps a photo and maybe we can work something out. ThanksJusten
  • 4/2015 Hi… my name is Paul Jackson, and I’m a TV writer in Los Angeles.A friend of mine is a “digger” and I have discussed this hobby with a reality producer, who thinks it might make for a show. Please contact me. Thanks — Paul


Ever seen an outhouse with a concrete urinal? Other aspects make it look like a WPA but no WPA marks. Dan Murray  [Curator’s Comment: Wow!!! I have never seen one in an Outhouse before this!]

Concrete Urinal in an Outhouse!
Concrete Urinal in an Outhouse

It’s real. The urinal definitely looks to be built when the outhouse was. And it is well built. I don’t want to publicize anything yet.  It is in an abandoned cemetery. I have tentative permission to own it from a County Supervisor.  I live a mile away and it will be work to move the heavy base to my farm.  I’m also considering approaching our county museum to see if they want to move it there with other old schools, churches, depots etc..  The vents look WPA.  Here’s another picture. Dan

Outhouse with Concrete Urinal!
Outhouse with Concrete Urinal!

Well today I spoke with some county folks and told them it may be a one of a kind.  Now they’re excited too. They’ve already been out to take some pictures and like I, want to take care of it before anything happens. They’re checking to see if they can get a crew to move it to the museum.  I’ll keep you posted. I also want to take some better pictures.  One guy told me there was once an old church there and the outhouse was for the church. Perhaps the church members copied some of the features of a WPA outhouse.?

  •  3/2015 Hi,I’m looking for a download of Chic’s second book, “I’ll Tell You Why”. Do you know if it’s available? Thanks, Bill W [Curator’s Comment: I do not know of any way to get that book. You might want to check with your local librarian. They love to find books like that and might be able to find a copy for you to check out.]  Another question, at the beginning of “The Specialist” (3rd paragraph), Chic Sale refers to “the Baldwins”. Is that slang or a reference to something? [ Curator’s Comment: You know, that’s a good question.
    I would think the Baldwins either refers to some building that the Baldwins owned or it may be slang for trees.
    Thanks for asking. (also see comment below)]


  • 3/2015 John, I think your suggestion of trees was correct. A Wikipedia article identifies Baldwin apple trees as a preferred apple of that period, but a very cold winter in 1935 eliminated many orchards in New England, leading to a change in tastes. The Baldwin was a hard apple, easily shipped, and preferred for baking, for cider, and for hard cider, matching the mood of the story.Thank you, I’ve really enjoyed your page and your comments. Bill W.
  • 3/2015 To Whom It May Concern, I am currently working on a children’s history book for our town, and may be interested in using one or two of your photos of outhouses. I haven’t scrolled through your library, but just wanted to get your permission before I started. If you grant permission, do you also have photos of kitchens circa 1800s? I would appreciate your response.
  • 3/2015 Well John, that was quite a “tour”. Who would’ve thought? And yet after viewing the pictures, I could see the fascination with these structures. I was especially drawn to the outhouse in Waipio Valley on the Big Island of Hawaii, because that’s where I was born and raised. Fortunately for me, my home had a functioning indoor toilet. Thank God for small blessings, but of course, that’s only my opinion.But back to business. Much to my disappointment, I didn’t see any images that would fit into the book I’m working on. I would have loved to include you and your “johns” in the book, because you seem like a nice, fun person.Best of wishes to you,  Joanie
  • 2/2015  A line of latrines at Camp Cox, forward area one click from Bear Cat ( Special Forces ) Vietnam
Out house first to be built Bear Cat 1966
Outhouse first to be built Bear Cat 1966
  • 1/2015 Would a large company (for the time) have outhouses as public bathrooms, or they had the same kind of “closet” inside the building? [Curator’s Comment: Yes. See our FAQ page for the answer]
  • 1/2015 Hello! I’m sorry to bother you. I live in Florida and would like some information on my Porter bottle. It reads; ‘HENRY FERRIS/ No 221 Tchapitoulas St/ NEW ORLEANS’. It stands at 9 1/2″ and is 3 3/4″ wide at the base. The manufacturer is inscribed POWELL/ BRISTOL at the base. I Googled the name and found that an add appeared in the Times Picayune on June 23, 1837 and read; “PORTER STORE. FERRIS & BARDIN respectfully inform their friends and the public that they have commenced the business of bottling porter.” In the course of your privy hole travels, have you come across any of these bottles? Any further information as to the date, rarity and value would be appreciated. Thanks for your time. Regards Vernon
Porter bottle
Porter bottle
Porter bottle
Porter bottle
Porter bottle
Porter bottle
Porter bottle
Porter bottle


  • 1/2015 I would like to know how much your outhouses are. Thank You,Melissa T. , Elliott Petroleum [Curator’s Comment: Sorry, we don’t sell outhouses.]
  • 10/2014Hi,Ive recently come into possesion of an old what i beleive to be thomas crapper valve closet. It is almost simular to the one in your pictures dated 1890. The one i have has a patent no 15068 1884, its bowl is round and not square. The flush and mechanism is pretty much identical.

The toilet is in a sorry state and i would like to get into a working condition.
Ive emailed thomas cropper asking for more info and any pics they may have of a working one or atleast a complete one to help me in trying to clean up this 130 year old loo.

Ive searched the internet for the past few days trying to get more info but im not finding much. Any info will be greatly appreciated. Kind regards, Craig C [Curator’s Comment: We built a web page featuring this project HERE. ]

  • 11/2014 I was trying to find a story or poem read by Andy Griffith on the radio about a two hole privy. Are you familiar with it? do you know where I can get a copy of it? Thank you for your help. John
  • 11/2014 Well the at one time I delivered newspapers at night and the radio would play out jokes or stories. One of them was “they call it football” Andy Griffith Football Story from 1953 and it was about a bunch of convicts running around the field blowing whistles and how the two teams gathered up in the middle of the field, while another was oops I found this anyway and I thought you might enjoy it too, even if it is not what I was asking for. LOL But I am still going to look for The two hole Privy story!
  • 11/2014 Hey, how do I find out if the Elk Falls Outhouse Tour is still on this year (November 2014)? The Elk Falls website only has history, but no announcements about this year’s Tour. Should we still GO? Keith
  • 10/2014 Dear Curator of The Outhouses of America Tour:Just came across your interesting site while trying to research an item described in an 1835 inventory of personal belongings in Alabama. The item is described only as ” 1 Slab & Toylet.” Given the early period, I wondered what type of “toylet” this might have been, and the “Slab” part that is especially vexing. Could you offer any guidance? It would be most appreciated.Sincerely, Randolph P. Atlanta. GA [Curator’s Comment: If it were in the 1900’s, I would say it referred to a series of outhouses that were built during or after the depression by workers across America. Other than that, I’m not sure!]
  • 9/2014 Saw your website. Loved it and decided to do it on a local level.
    Got recognized on the local history Blog. for the inspiration. Like our port a potty?
  • 8/2014 Have they ever seen a outhouse put on someone’s grave?
  • 8/2014 I was wondering if u could tell me if Mickeys will ship their burgers somewhere? Thank you. [Curator’s Comment:I don’t really know for sure. You will have to call them. The BEST way to experience them is to stop in and down a few while you are there. I think they would lose most everything if they froze the cooked burgers and then sent them to you. They are in Marinette, WI if you want to take a vacation. Stop there and then visit the UP of Michigan and take in the waterfalls or light houses and then return back to Mickey-Lu-Bar-BQ and down some more.Mickey-Lu-Bar-B-Q
    1710 Marinette Ave Marinette, WI 54143
    (715) 735-7721
  • 7/2014 I’m writing an article for about “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Outhouses” and I came across your website and Outhouses of America Tour. Is it possible to do a telephone interview with someone tomorrow for the article?Thanks for your time, Stacey [Curator’s Comment: Yes she did interview us but I don’t know if the interview was published. ]


  • 7/2014 Is this one from early 1900’s still for sale? Would be interested. Thanks.
  • 7/2014 Toilet Museum Exhibit Lets You Go Down a 5-Meter Toilet Slide, Just Like a Real Poop
  • 4/2014 Hi John, As an introduction I too am very much into preserving the heritage, the look, the history and the legends that were created with the little house outback.
    The Society I found was created with a purpose to create interest, share photos, stories and be place for others with the same interest to be together. Now with social media there is no boundary’s.
    If agreed, I would like to open some discussion to help reestablish the Society, create interest, find new members and together go forward.
    Time has taken over and it happens to all of us. The past members did a excellent job. Now many of the past members are gone. I’m semi retired, have a lot of time on my hands and would enjoy nothing more than building, maintaining and seeking out new stories, pics and legends of our famous house outback we so dearly cherish.
    My collection I’ll never part with and other than costs for postage, print or subscriptions what I create would not be done for profit.
    I currently just use Pinterest, but FB / Twitter the Society could grow. Please let me know your thoughts.
  • 3/2014 Your John L. outhouse photos brings memories of growing up in the Midwest and having fun on Halloween pushing a big one over. A pal of mine had to be hosed as he unfortunately slipped into the deep hole.
  • 3/2014 I am Adam Sale Brown, grandson of Chic Sale who wrote “The Specialist” in 1929. I own the Specialist Publishing Co. and sell “The Specialist” which to date has sold over 2.6 million copies. A humorous monologue about a carpenter, Lem Putt, who built outhouses.
  • 3/2014 Do you market for sellers? I have a WPA vintage outhouse for sale.
  • 10/2013 I am writing you to obtain permission to use the pictures of the Victorian Porcelain Toilet, five photos attached, by R. Wilde. We are a drain
    cleaning company and I am writing a history of plumbing for publication
    and came across these very interesting pictures, which would round out my
    article nicely. Philip G.
  • 10/2013 Are you holding the Outhouse Tour this year?
    What are the dates and times?
    Will there be any food booths available or should we plan on bringing our own lunches? Thank you.  Anita Culp

    • Curator’s Comment:
      Hi Anita,

      The Outhouse Tour is cancelled due to the lack of Outhouses within close proximity of the tour route. However, you can follow past trips and some of our tours on our web site or on our blog.

      Here is a link to the blog:

      Here is a link to our web site:

      Thanks for your interest!

  • 8/2013 I have been trying to figure out what a cement trough behind my 1850’s house could be, and it has been suggested that it was a outhouse pit.
    The reason we are not sure is the curved part at each end. I have looked online and all pits seem to be square or rectangle.
    So I wondered if you had ever come across a outhouse cement pit that was shaped like this?

    It measures 4 feet wide by 9 feet long by 5-6 feet deep – the inside measurement is only 3’2″ x 8’2″ – the walls are 5″ thick. Sorry, not great pictures. We have filled it in with dirt and turned it into a garden when we moved in, because it was too dangerous to have with little children around.

Possible old outhouse site
Possible old outhouse site


  • Curator’s Comment: Well. You have me stumped. I have not seen any outhouses using this shape before. Sorry.
  • 7/2013 I have a Laurine Kimmel outhouse watercolor it is in the snow I was wondering if I could sell it. Jodi A.
  • 7/2013 Do you recommend powder or the granular form of lime?
    Hot off the presses, here is a chemist’s answer to the lime question: “On the subject of which kind of lime was used in outhouses, the subject was glossed over a little too briefly, not in keeping with the general attention to details displayed in the rest of the outhouse treatises.
    “On the subject of which kind of lime was used in outhouses, the subject was glossed over a little too briefly, not in keeping with the general attention to details displayed in the rest of the outhouse treatises.
    First, the word “lime” itself has many definitions, making it a technically vague term. The word’s meaning is determined by the context in which it is used. If discussing masonry, the definition of lime becomes the chemical compound calcium hydroxide, Ca{OH}2, also referred to as “slaked lime” or type S lime. If talking about the production of slaked lime, then the word’s definition changes to another chemical compound, calcium oxide, CaO, called “quicklime”. When slaked with water the quicklime undergoes a vigorous and dangerously heated chemical reaction with the water to form the slaked lime of masonry use. In agriculture the lime used for the fields is pulverized limestone, the material of which sea shells, marble, stalactites and stalagmites, and many mountains are composed. Chemically, limestone is calcium carbonate or CaCO3. Limestone is also the raw material from which quicklime is made, produced since antiquity in lime kilns where the limestone is heated to a bright red heat for several days to drive off its carbon dioxide. Slaked lime is also used in agriculture as part of a pesticide mixture called “lime-copper Bordeaux” that is sprayed on dormant fruit trees to control fungus infections. The slaked lime is also occasionally spread on fields, but its high cost makes widespread use of it for that purpose too prohibitive. Then yet again in agriculture there is another so-called lime used for sanitizing cow barns and chicken houses plus the equipment used in them for handling feed, milking, and watering that may become contaminated with manure. This is the erroneously labeled “chloride of lime” which in actuality is the chemical calcium hypochlorite, Ca{ClO}2. It is made by running chlorine gas into slaked lime (calcium hydroxide). The resulting material is not refined to eliminate byproducts and is simply sold as is. Although a dry white powder, its anti-bacterial properties are identical to the liquid household chlorine bleach we are all familiar with. So, which lime was used in outhouses? All of them at one time or another, but by far the most practical for killing germs is the erroneously named chloride of lime, which again correctly is calcium hypochlorite. This kept the stink down but it killed off all the bacteria so the contents of the outhouse pit never reduced biologically. The result of this was an uncomposted outhouse pit that filled up very rapidly. The way the “chloride of lime” was most efficiently used was the same way as for the animal husbandry sanitation and the way household bleach is used nowadays in modern bathrooms. That is, about a tablespoon in a gallon of water with which the outhouse seats, lids, fixtures, walls, and floors were washed and mopped to keep them very clean and free of germs.
    As far as another name for the outhouse goes, Mr. T. Hornbeck, a resident of a small town in Missouri, has referred to one as an “oath house”.”
    Richard Allen, chemist and farmer
    Many outhouses had a bag of Lime with a scoop. Every so often the owner would throw a scoop of lime down the holes to help “digest” the contents below.
    Here is some additional information from a visitor to this site…
    The lime hole on an outhouse did not help “digest” the night soil. It tended to slow down the “digestion” by sweetening or decreasing the acidity and smell of the soil. This was more important in the summer (for obvious reasons). Lime was used similarly in potter’s fields – mass grave yards for the poor, or for a large die-off during a plague. While the lime would burn the flesh, the stench was not as severe as with the natural acidity of rotting protein, urea, and amino acids.
    B. Thorneloe
    Here is another good question from a visitor: 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.]


  • 7/2013 Where can I purchase the toilet as shown in your picture? I need one for my out house. I was interested in the one that has a white pedestal with a regular toilet seat on top. I then would place this on an open hole in my outhouse. It looks like a regular toilet but has a straight drop.
Thanks for your help
  • 6/2013 We were very disappointed yesterday to find that the Outhouse was closed.  We live in upstate New York and our friends came to visit also.  When will you be opening again?  SOON WE HOPE. Thank you, Joan e [Curator’s Comment: I think they are referring to the store called The Outhouse in Lancaster, PA. I guess they went out of business!]
  • 6/2013We were on your website and the outhouse described above is exactly what we are looking for to build at our cabin in the mountains.  Are there plans available to purchase for this outhouse?  If so, who do I contact to for a copy.  Thank you in advance for your help. Caryn & Udo [Curator’s Comment: I received those pictures in 2004. That is a lifetime ago on the Internet. We do not keep in touch with old contributors and we don’t sell the plans to that fine looking outhouse. I think he just eyeballed the thing and went to town on it.
    We do sell plans for a 1 holer and a 2 holer outhouse in our store. You can find those plans here: plans contain the dimensions for both the 1 and 2-holer.]
  • 5/2013thank you for posting the text of this poem!my grandfather learned this poem back when he was in school. he didn’t want to memorize a poem but the teacher insisted. there was no library in the tiny idaho town he lived in. instead, a woman that had a serious book obsession. she let my grandfather use a book that had this poem in it. the story of this poem being discovered after mr. riley’s death and being published along with other poems of his was the same. evidently, the book was not widely published according to the “librarian”. she said that it had been published and then taken out of print because of inappropriate material.
    he memorized this poem, recited it perfectly, the teacher did not approve of the material, so he got a “c”. for years, my grandfather quoted “the torture of the icy seat would make a spartan job, for needs must scrape the flesh with lacerating cob” to the kids at times but would never share the rest. later, my father had the same dilemma over memorizing a poem for school. finally, my grandfather shared this poem in it’s entirety and my father learned it for school. again, perfectly learned but not “appropriate material so he got a “b”.that’s the story passed down in our family and i believe it to be riley’s work. [Curator’s Comment: Ha ha ha ha. That was a great story!It reminds me of a student who wrote me a few years ago. She tripped in class and said “Oh Crap!” and the teacher made her do a research paper on Thomas Crapper. Guess where she found all her information? On my web site!!! LOL]
  • 4/2013 Hey There,
    I came across your website on Outhouses and have been thoroughly educated on outhouses throughout America thanks in part to your great work. You sure do have a amazing compilation of Outhouses.
    I am wondering if you might be able to assist me in my Outhouse Search in MN.
    Feel free to call me on my office line  (Here until 7pm EST) or my cellphone.
    Look Forward to Hearing from you!
    Many Thanks,
    Amy B
    Segment Producer
    Magilla Ent. NYC
  • 4/2013 I saw the picture that you posted of the outhouse the guy in Georgia built. Do your plans include the plan for THAT outhouse? It is EXACTLY the one I am looking for! Thanks for your help!
  • 4/2013 Dear Thomas,I wanted to reach out and see if you would like to become a part of a Engineering Management Leaders group, we think that you would be a great addition.Our next meeting is on 4/18 and we also have upcoming meetings on 5/16. The Engineering Management leaders that will be presenting their best practices and ideas include Barclays, UNUM and Chiquita. We meet once per month via teleconference and the meetings typically last for an hour.See our web site to become a part of the group. Just enter the letters CS3 in the comments field of the signup form to indicate that I asked you. Due to limited space I would advise that you become a part of the group before our next meeting on 4/18, thank you.Kind Regards,Chris H. S.
    Engineering Management Leaders
    Reply with subject Re move if wished
    600 North Park, 17th Floor
    Atlanta, Georgia 30328


  • 3/2013 We have an outdoor wedding coming up for our son this spring. We have to get a couple of porta pottys brought in . One needs to be ADA or wheelchair accessible and one just a normal size. We thought it would look better to build a fake front and sides to cover it. We have found old barn wood, old windows, doors, metal roofing, ect. painted in old white wash. Constructing???
  • 3/2013 Hello, by any chance do you have the contact information for the person selling the outhouse at Jemez Mountain? Also, do you have a more specific location for the outhouse? I would appreciate any information you may be able to give me.
  • 3/2013 By a happy coincidence I was today reading the biography of Stephen Foster in A Treasury of Stephen Foster (foreward by Deems Taylor, historical notes by John Tasker Howard, published by Random House in 1946), and also was reminded by a friend of the poem “The Passing of the Backhouse.” My father introduced me to that poem, and we memorized it together. I also built from scratch (and dug from clay) an elegant two-seater behind a farmhouse I once lived in near Pittsboro, NC. One need only read about the people who copyrighted songs written by Stephen Foster, claiming them as their own, to realize how loose copyright law was in the 19th century, and how unscrupulous we humans can be. E. P. Christy, head of the Christy Minstrels, according to Taylor, “put his own name as composer to ‘The Old Folks at Home’ and kept it there for the life of the copyright”; W. C. Peters copyrighted “Oh! Susanna,” and F. D. Benteen copyrighted “Camptown Races.” In that light, it should be obvious to anyone that a copyright meant little back then. If Rankin was the author, where is the remaining body of his work that would establish him as capable of such lyrical (if risque) poetry, and in that inimitable style? Whereas James Whitcomb Riley’s poetry is ample evidence of both. My vote is with Mr. Hollenbeck, above.Dr. James Dunbar (Ph.D.), Chapel Hill NC.
  • 3/2013 Hi I was wondering if you could help me with a list of outhouses in new Mexico especially in and near sant fe? Ryan W
  • 2/2013  I was born at a little bump in the road, not far from Beckley, called Kilarney.  I left WV when I was 3 so that would make it 1952.  I don’t remember anything about Kilarney except the Outhouse.  When my mother and I moved to Baltimore she tells me that I said; “Momma, can we stay here?  They’s got inside toilets.”  Swear to God that is what she told me.  Thanks for the memories.  John Spade
  • 2/2013  So interesting, this is a rugby version as “I remember” from my days as a Cincinnati Kelt. After games we sing with the opposing team which is one of the traditions of Rugby. I developed and wrote the Sal verse myself…
    Dan, Dan, He’s a lavatory man
    He’s the chief inspector of the Shithouse clan
    He spends all his time cleaning sanitary towels
    and listening to the rhythm of the human bowels
    (Ba-da-da. Da. Da-da-da. Ba-da-da. DA. Da-da-da. Ba-da-da. Da. Da-da-da. Da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-DA)
    Stan, Stan, He’s a lavatory man
    He’s the superintendent of the Shithouse clan
    He issues the tissues and lots of paper towels
    and listen to the rhythm of the human bowels
    Sal, Sal, She’s a lavatory gal
    She’s a friend of the shitters, she’s everyone’s pal
    Cleans the slop with a mop, and cleans out the stalls
    and listens to the sound as another shit falls
    Down, down, deep in the ground
    where all the little poopies are swimming around
    There stands Dan, the lavatory man,
    Scooping out the poopies with an old tin can
    (chorus{here we are miming trombones and trumpets which carries into last verse)
    All of a sudden, the sound is heard of a
    Slip-Slop of a slimy turd
    of a slip slop, slip slop
    Hootchie-cootchie, hootchie-cootchie
    It’s the shit house rock!
    T. Wendelken
    Rugby Player and Artist (more below)
  • Hey-
    t was all dudes when I last heard it.. but I will try to get back in contact with one of the Cincinnati Kelts songmeisters, Mike Mers. Since I left Cincy, the Kelts got a women’s side… I tried contacting the Kelts, but the number appears to have changed…

    • [Curator’s Comment: Once of my favorite comments was from a girl who sent me a recording of her singing Sam Sam the Lavatory Man Look for the audio recording and click on Play to hear it.]


  • 2/2013 Please call me or Email me. I need a small outhouse for my yard or a big picture of an outhouse to hang outside on my house.
  • 1/2013It’s winter in OHIOAnd the gentle breezes blow,
    70 miles per hour at 10 below!
    Oh, how I love OHIO
    When the snow’s up to your butt;
    You take a breath of winter air
    And your nose is frozen shut.
    Yes, the weather here is wonderful,
    You may think I’m a fool.
    I could never leave OHIO
    Cause I’m frozen to the stool.
  • 1/2013 And I received the same thing from Alaska!

It’s winter in Alaska,
And the gentle breezes blow,
40 miles per hour at 25 below!
Oh, how I love Alaska

When the snow’s up to your butt ;
You take a breath of winter air
And your nose is frozen shut.
Yes, the weather here is wonderful,
You may think that I’m a fool.
But I could never leave Alaska,
Cause I’m frozen to the stool!

  • 11/2012  Hi John.The outhouse is great! Reminds me of the outhouse in our old cabin..a twin seater actually 🙂 Yours will be supplying us with fresh toilet paper in the new cabin though.If I were to order a second outhouse, I hope you will consider sending it directly to Norway. Had to pay a additonal 150 dollars in shipping to get it here…but it will still be the most perfect christmas present ever….Eirik. [Curator’s Comment: This person ordered one of our outhouses shipped to a US location AND THEN HAD IT SHIPPED TO NORWAY!!!]
  • 11/2012 Hello!  I really liked the photos of outhouses from all over the country on your website! Now I’m going to be on the hunt for ones in my area to try to capture! I was wondering if you’d be interested in selling some ad space on I don’t have a big budget, but I’d love to help support your site. If selling some ad space is something that you’d consider, please let me know!  Thanks!
  • 11/2012 Would you happen to know the dimensions for the outhouse plans? I want to use it as a well cover.
  • 9/2012 what is the value of an EARTH COMMODE? in fair condition—or better yet from mint to poor condition. Thanks Bill [Curator’s Comment: Whatever you can get someone to pay for it! ]
  • 9/2012  Just wanted to let you know what has been happening with this project. I did receive from one of our local residents, Murray Parsons, a motherload of info which I have scanned and posted into the Biffy Burning album: says he has an audio recording of the Front Page Challenge TV show which he is trying to find for me as well. I will record it as an MP3 file if he does and it works. He doesn’t remember seeing anyone there like a news crew that would have filmed this event, so there will probably be just photos of it.I had contacted the CBC, who was the broadcasting channel for the Front Page Challenge show, but they don’t have it in their archives.There are still some people I’m waiting to hear back from who may have some photos, etc. as well.I will be breaking down the group scanned photos into individual ones when I get a chance.That’s about it for now. Corey


  • 9/2012 Hi John, I came across your email while cleaning up my mail messages.Its great to see that your webpage is alive and well. I have a few updated pics of our outhouse. We turned it into a hay shed for our horses and goats. We have 2 horses and 2 goats. Best regards! Corinna B.
  • 9/2012 John ….. Came across this … and wondering if you’re still there?Send me an update from your neck of the woods.Our Outhouse Race … and the “GREAT OUTHOUSE BLOWOUT” will be October 6 this year.
    Jeanne [ Curator’s Comment: This is from Penn’s Store in Gravel Switch, Kentucky and we have a few pages and links devoted to them. They awarded us the Crescent Moon Award in 2005. ]
  • 8/2012 Which church in Nash County has the 5-holer?  I live in Nash County and would like to see it. Thanks!  Lori
  • 8/2012 At a  local one room schoolhouse the outhouse for the men
    has round holes to sit on and the ladies outhouse has diamond shape
    holes??  Why the difference??  Please advise if you know:o)
    Thank you!! [ LOL ]
  • 7/2012  In Scandinavia most  outhouses have hearts on their doors. Never seen a crescent. Read that’s a US thing?  Read your comment to Hinson’s drawing.Best whishes, Björn, Sweden
  • 7/2012  Actually I am just about to visit my own outhouse at my summer cottage where I am now. Although this is in Sweden so I don’t know if it fits in to your American collection.Would you like a foto anyway.
    Our outhouse doesn’t have a heart but most of them have in Sweden and Norway, maybe in Denmark/Finland too??. I read it is also a tradition in Germany to have a heart on the outhousedoor. In Sweden it’s common to have a picture of the royal family inside the outhouse as well (royalist or not, it’s a tradition), and lot’s of stuff to read if you like to hide from the world there for a while. Stars, moons and starbursts I guess is an American tradition, I have never seen in it.
  • 6/2012 I have an outhouse behind my cabin and I’m looking for a biodegradable product that will eliminate my waste. Do you have anything like that ?
  • 6/2012 I grew up right near Bayside, NJ. It seems like every time that I went down there, I had to take a shit. Now, after looking at your pictures, I know that I have to take a shit.
  • 5/2012  Hello, I live in a house that was built in 1880 and I would like to find the outhouse. we have a carrage house that is about 60 or 70 feet from the house. the carrage house is 40 feet long. My question is would it be in front of the carrage house or in the back. There is only one spot were it could have been in the front but, could have been anywere in the back. The well is on the side of the house about 80 to 90 feet from the barn. Also do you lnow anyone in my area lititz Pa. that does outhouse digging who could help me. thank you.
    Jon S. H.


  • 4/2012 Somewhere in my trivia memory, I remember hearing that Abby Aldrich Rockefeller was involved with promoting composting toilets. It would fertilize your garden, Since you are the expert, do you recall any such thing? I would appreciate your sharing what you know about this. The conversation took place in our faculty when the last oil crises was on and everyone was going back to the basics,  Thank you, Linda Rhoads  [Curator’s Comment:we fully endorse the Humanure Loveable Loo and use one up north at our hunting camp. We used it all last summer and in one year, we will use the compost on our garden. Go on our web site to read about the Loveable Loo and see videos about it. This is a better alternative to using a pit outhouse. You can still have your outhouse but use the Loveable Loo in it. All you need is sawdust and hay or straw in the composter.Go here for additional information. We sell a book called The Humanure Handbook that tells how to build one along with the compost area or you can buy one already assembled or in a kit.
  • 4/2012 My name is Mike, and I’m a television producer working on a new program for Animal Planet.  We recently did a story on outhouse racing, and one of visual needs of our story are nice shots of authentic outhouses.  You seem to have a great deal of expertise in this.  I was wondering if you knew of any outhouses in the greater Boston/New England area?  I see many photos on your page, but would of course need specific addresses so that they could be filmed.  If this is something you think you could help with please do not hesitate to contact me.
  • 2/2012  Hi,  I realize my request probably goes against every fiber of your being (lol) but I need to have an outhouse removed at a house I just bought in northern Maine. It honestly gives me the willies. Who do I call? Thanks! Jeanie P.
  • 2/2012Don’t ask me how I came up with the name! (lol) Gogogopher was the first thing that came to mind, for some reason and “gogo” was the logical nickname!Yes, I need Outhouse Busters! But I’ll do it exactly as you said and sure, I’ll videotape it for your website. I won’t do it until the spring, though, as there’s about a foot of snow. I’ve attached a picture so you can see the culprit there, lurking to the left of the house…I watched the videos on your site and they’re really interesting! When I was looking to buy this camp, I had been looking at places with compost toilets but I didn’t really know what they were, so I steered clear of them but they’re not so bad after all, are they?!

    I’ll be back in touch in the springtime, when I’m ready to start my outhouse project! And if you ever want to come hunting in Maine next winter, let me know! I’ll give you a deal on the rental! lol

    Thanks so much, John, you’ve been a huge help!


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