Welcome to the official Outhouses of America Tour comments page!

'Hope you're not in a hurry to go.
Where else but in America, right?

Note: The latest comments are at the top; Oldest at the bottom.
Most grammar and spelling is original from the contributor.


  • 9/13 I live in NE Pennsylvania. I am hopefully going to dig my first outhouse hole this weekend. Is there anything besides a shovel and prybar that I'll need? There was an article in our local newspaper of a guy that does it around here, and it got me inspired. Hopefully it will be productive!! Jennifer
  • 9/13 I remember my Uncle Ben's 'thunderbox', the little green-painted wooden building which had carrying handles so you could move it around the vegetable garden just beyond the orchard. A hole was dug at a new location and the thunderbox lifted into place. It was no fun in winter, shivering by the light of an oil-lamp, but in the summer months one could sit there and gaze over the Vale of Trent (I'm writing from England) towards the hills of Cannock Chase. (The thunderbox had a three-quarter height door so one could look over the top of it). And he grew monster vegetables - cauliflowers and cabbages of truly prize-winning proportions. Oh yes, those were the days! Best Wishes, C. Waller
  • 9/7 I love your website! I was wondering if outhouses are more environmentally friendly than regular toilets? Would you happen to know? Thank you very much for your attention in this matter. Very Truly Yours, J. A. Aragon
  • 9/7 I am a science educator working at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey. I need a picture of an outhouse for a program I am writing and want to know if there are any copywrite problems if I buy such a picture from your store and use it in a museum program. R. Cohen
  • 9/7 Just thought to mention Chic Sale's short film, starring himself: "Lem Putt, the Specialist"
    I don't suppose you would know anyone with a copy ?
    It has been available on VHS
    Best regards, Matthew
  • 9/6 I recently bought property that has a one holer WPA outhouse. It is in perfect shape. Cement floor and riser. The one I have has a serial number stamped in the left corner of the cement floor. Everything is still original, vertical lap siding, tin roof, corrugated metal vent pipe. wood seat.
    Now using it for storing yard tool gasoline cans. Are there people needing this information or are there any group that is need of this information? Did your outhouse have a serial number stamped in the floor? L. Simmons
  • 8/30 Do you know what company manufactured outhouses for Sears in the late 1800's? We have someone calling from Sears asking for that info. They said it was some kind of contest when I called them back as the library was closing. They didn't call us until about 1/2 hour before we closed, and a book or two that "might" have had the answer were checked out on interlibrary loan. Apparently they needed the answer last night for whatever contest it was. If I ever find it out (have a couple of more emails out), I will let you know since your site is the perfect place for this type of trivia. We have a Sears 1898 reproduction catalogue but it wasn't in the index unless they were called something else back then.
  • 8/31 Thanks, John, for replying. I have read the contrary about the moon and star. The moon was to designate a woman’s outhouse as Luna was the goddess of the moon. The star or sunburst denoted a men’s room. The heart was a German symbol, that I know, but it did not say male or female according to the source on line. The moon and sunburst sources came from The Vanishing American Outhouse by Ronald Barlow. So it is the heart that has me stumped. That is the symbol on my outhouse. Today we put it up on Hollywood blocks, tore off the roof which was in bad shape, and are ready to paint and roof.
    I get teased a lot about it—usually from people who do not know its history or ever used one. There are still four million in use today in this country compared to 50 million in the fifties. So this piece of Americana is quickly vanishing from our landscapes. Nadia
  • 8/30 This week I was lucky enough to buy an outhouse after years of searching. It will become a tool shed. I have read about the significance of moons and suns on outhouses. Mine has a heart cut out on the door. All I found was that this was a German symbol. Any idea what it might mean? Nadia
  • 8/28 My parent's folks were from Germany and whenever they had to run out to the outhouse because of the "runs", they used an expression that sounded like shanell collereens. I have no idea what it means but I'm pretty sure the shanell part was a N.Y. accented version of the German word schnell which means something like hurry. It makes sense since if you had the runs, you'd better hurry to the outhouse! But the collereens part has me stumped. Any ideas? Thanks! And thanks for a great site! K. Stanley
  • 8/27 The poop coop
  • 8/16 Say Howdy to Kilroy for me, too!
    That Little Old Shack Out Back
    as performed by Billy Ed Wheeler
    at the West Virginia Folk Festival in the late 60's
    They passed an ordinance in the town:
    they said we'd have to tear it down,
    That little old shack out back so dear to me,
    Though the Health department said,
    "Its day was over and dead"
    It will stand forever in my memory.

    Don't let em tear that little brown building down,
    Don't let em tear that precious building down,
    Don't let em tear that little brown building down,
    For there's not another like it in the country or the town.

    It was not so long ago that I went trippin' through the snow
    Out to that house behind my old hound dog
    Where I would sit me down to rest like a snowbird on his nest
    and read the Sears and Roebuck catalog
    I would hum a happy tune,
    Peepin' through the quarter-Moon,
    As my daddy's kin had done before;
    It was in that quiet spot,
    That daily cares could be forgot...
    It gave the same relief to rich and poor.
    Don't let em tear that little brown building down,
    Don't let em tear that precious building down,
    Don't let em tear that little brown building down,
    For there's not another like it in the country or the town.

    Now it was not a castle fair
    But I could build my future there,
    an' build my castles to the yellow jacket's drone:
    I could orbit round the Sun,
    Fight with General Washington,
    Or be a King upon his golden throne.

    It wasn't fancy built at all.
    It had newspapers on the wall
    It was air-conditioned in the wintertime;
    It was just a humble hut but its door would never shut,
    And a man could get inside without a dime.

    Don't let em tear that little brown building down,
    Don't let em tear that precious building down,
    Don't let em tear that little brown building down,
    For there's not another like it in the country or the town.

    I was born in 1953 and I can remember my times back when I was a kid myself.
  • 8/14 I’m looking for info on the earth closet 1869 as I have one and would perhaps like to sell it. Please pass on any info you may have to help me on value of it. Thanks a lot, Barbara
  • 8/12 Am looking to purchase a Thos Crapper & Co Ltd sign, or a repro TC manhole cover. Might you have anything or any suggestion? Thanks, Is mise le meas
  • 8/10 I too was a civil engineer in Charleston about the time you were here, I graduated from WV Tech. in August 1977 and worked at Milam Engineering in the late 70's and early 80's. So, after reading your narrative on Billy Ed Wheeler's ode to the Little Brown Shack I was wondering who you are, mind telling me your name?
  • 8/9 Would you have any building plans for handicapped-accessible outhouses? [No]
  • 8/1 I’m interested in knowing what one of the June 15 1869{stamped on brass flush handle} Earth Commode is worth as I’ve had one for many years. It was found in my father-in-laws barn attic. I’ve used it as a side table and conversation piece. I’m leery to take it to antique dealer for true estimate. Can you give me any advice? It is the same as your picture on web identified as Moule’s Patent Earth Commode Pat. 1869. Thanks for your interest and help, B. Knight
  • 7/26 I am inquiring about the 5-holer in Nash County, NC pictured on your website. Do you have further information as to where it is located? I was playing Trivial Pursuit the other night and one of the questions asked, "In what state does Nash County boast a 5-holer?" I just moved near Nash County and would love to check this place out! Cheers, L. Hawley
  • 7/21 I have been looking for a shelf like the one on your page that your friend makes. Where would I find one at to purchase?
  • 7/20 I saw the patooie? at your store. I bought one. What mechanism did you use to make it spit as people walked by? Can I do this with mine AND WHERE DO i GET NEEDED PARTS? Thank you H. Koech
  • 7/19 Hi, I'm a freelance writer for the Berkshire Eagle, a daily newspaper in Pittsfield, MA, and I am working on a story about outhouses; specifically the poster "Outhouses of the Berkshires" by Dan Dougherty. I wondered if you had heard about this poster and can elaborate why there is such nostalgia about outhouses.
  • 7/19 Howdy John, I came across your site today and am i glad i did.I just had a short look around and it is amazing. I"ll be here for a few days at break and lunch looking and reading all the neat stuff at work.Hope you get to see and fly Howie again.Sorry to read about Kaiser.He was still young at 8.Well i"ll go now and enjoy your site and get back to you again someday. God bless America What a great nebourgh country to have. Richard
  • 7/18 Hello, I built a pinewood derby car that looks like an outhouse. If you would like a picture or two for your website let me know. Doug
  • 7/28 I would be very curious to know who sent the December 1, 2002 comments to your sight. Since my father (Neil Urich) was an only child and he had 4 daughters it seems rather interesting that one would indicate their uncle grew up on the farm. Would it be possible to obtain that info.
  • 7/6 I've found your site while doing some background research for tours of our wastewater treatment plant, and was intrigued by the Earth Closet article. Some people today still experiment with that, in the form of "Humanure". Are you aware of this site? http://www.sewerhistory.org/articles/trtmnt/trtmnt.htm
    He has a huge site here, but at the top of that page, there is an article from 1877 that also mentions Earth Closets in the US. The earth closet info starts on page 10 of the PDF. Hope that might be interesting to the original Earth Closet owner, etc mentioned on your pages. Looks like it was more common in the UK than the US, but definitely happening here some, too.
  • 7/5 My father said that the term Chic Sales came from Sears & Roebuck. Sears & Roebuck in the 30’s & 40’s advertised in their catalog a complete “Chic Sales”.
  • 6/30 I bought an old orchard farm and want to sell the outhouse. Is there a market for it?
  • 6/26 Dear Outhouses of America, I’d be very interested to know if it is advisable, or not, to add kitchen compost (potato & carrot peels, coffee grounds, egg shells, etc.) to the outhouse. Do you know? I came across your site…..and a good one it is……while trying to google for the answer. Thanks for any help. Esther De Vos [Curator's response: Hello Esther, It is not advisable!
    Add that stuff to a compost pile, not to your valued outhouse! If you want to add anything, add some lime. Read about what kind of lime to add on our FAQ page. http://www.jldr.com/faqs.html#lime
  • 6/26 This was really funny. If you woulf keep me updated, I'd apperciate it. Why Lawson
  • 6/24 There was a plaque on Grandma's privy wall that read:

    Here I sit all broken-hearted,
    Came to shit & only farted!

    After Grandma had a modern bathroom installed, another plaque with a coin slot read: This bathroom sure cost me a lot of dough So please I ask, wo'nt you pay as you go?
  • 6/22 Do you know how I might contact the holder of the copyright for Ed Wheeler's outhouse song? [No]
  • 6/20 some where i have picture of a brink out house, when i was a kid they were everywhere. there is only one standing that i know of. if your interested, i'll hunt it up and email it to you. keep in touch
  • 6/20 [This is quite interesting!] The new Supermarket near our house has an automatic water mister to keep the produce fresh. Just before it goes on, you hear the sound of a thunderstorm and the smell of fresh rain. When you approach the milk cases, you hear cows mooing and witness the scent of fresh butter fat. When you approach the egg case, you hear hens cackle and the air is filled with the pleasing aroma of eggs frying. So far I have been too afraid to go down the toilet paper aisle.
  • 6/19 I'm looking for directions on how to build and use a probe to locate the old outhouse site in my yard. Do you have pictures and directions? Let me know. Thanks Steve
  • 6/18 I, too, have a night shirt with the outhouses of Michigan from Victor Hayes and actually had the pleasure of meeting him while I was at Torch Lake, Michigan. I was so taken by him and his artwork that I bought three of his sketches--two outhouses and a barn. I am moving to the British Virgin Islands and cannot take them with me. Therefore, I would like to sell them to someone that would appreciate them since they were from such an incredible man. Please let me know if you can help me find a new, deserving home for them. Not asking much, just that they would be taken care of.
  • 6/14 Hello, im looking to rent a portable outhouse for a construction site just outside of westport, if you could please email me back with a quote that would be greatly appreciated.
  • 6/10 Here is a bit of history about the Gays Illinois 2 story outhouse. As a boy 7 years old my father lived in the apartment with his parents, brother and 2 sisters. My father (Bill Weaver) gathered coal on the big 4 railroad tracks to sell to the residents of the apartment. The 2 story outhouse had a small coal stove on each floor. Each time someone went into the outhouse they would take a few pieces of coal for the stove to keep it going so the outhouse would stay warm. Winters were cold snow drifts were often 6 ft deep, there were no bathrooms in the apartments. The Weaver family later moved to Mattoon. My father met my mother after high school in Mattoon and they were married. Being a young couple with not much money they moved to Gays and lived in the apartment with the 2 story outhouse. My father worked in the ammunition plant in Mattoon during WWII. I can barely remember living in the apartment as a boy of 3 years old. I remember I use to like to run out to the outhouse door and back to the apartment on the second floor walkway. I can remember riding a tricycle on the second floor walkway too. G. Weaver
  • 5/31 Worked for Harry Gidley for 15 years, last of the true gentlemen. Sad the last few years of his life. R. Graley
  • 5/30 I want to purchase a real outhouse for our farm in cochrane alberta. Can you help me? experience a rocky mountain high
  • 5/29 Nothing is so fresh
    Or back to the past
    Where did those lil houses go
    Where I used to wipe my .......
  • 5/23 Can you email regarding your outhouses? Thanks great site.
  • 5/15 Wondering if you could help. I found this bottle about a week ago on a dive trip to South Carolina. The wreck I found it on is commonly referred to as the "Governor" but is believed to be the "Swanee". The ship was a paddle wheel steamer and went down in the 1870s. I have numerous small artifacts from this site, but this is by far the nicest. I found it without the stopper in place but within inches of one another. The substance inside is hard and appears black almost like tar. I dug about 3/4 of an inch of it out which was loose for analysis, but chose to leave the remaining in place. The glass has a texture to it, almost like tiny lines all through it. The bottle appears to have been blown into a mold with a line apparent at the base of the neck and bottom. The substance that I removed appears red when wet and worked in the fingers under running water. Thanks, Gary
    [Answer: The bottle as described, and as I can make out in the photo, would be consistent with the 1870’s date mentioned for the sunken boat. A bottle with a glass stopper usually means that it held something meant to be used over a length of time, and/or refilled. Often the glass stopper and the inside of the bottle neck were both ground to make the fit more perfect. This is still done, particularly in perfume bottles. However, I don’t think this bottle is a perfume…too plain. I assume there is no embossing on it. The lines described are often called ground lines. These were called by the imperfect glass mixture being leached out by moisture along the mixture swirls.
    It would be difficult to say what the bottle held. It is plain and utilitarian, and the nature of its contents is up for conjecture, with no more clued that this. It is however, a genuine 19th century artifact…a piece of a time period preserved in glass. Charlie Cook in Louisiana Bayou Country
  • 5/15 My name is Sue Roberts and I live in the UK in Yorkshire. I came across your website whilst searching for information about Edward Johns & Co Ltd sanitaryware.
    Firstly, please accept my sincere condolences following the loss of 'Kaiser'. We have had German Shepherd Dogs as pets for many years, and each time we lose one it breaks our heart. We always say that we're not having another one as the loss is too great, but always change our minds as living without one is hard too. Our current GSD is 'Cassie', a longhaired female, who is one of the sweetest, gentlest, good natured dogs I ever had the pleasure to meet, let alone have as part of the family. I hope that time eases the loss of Kaiser for you.
    The purpose of my e mail is to ask if you have any further information at all on the 'Dolphin' WC's on your website? We recently moved house and in one of the bathrooms, we have an original Edward John's 'fish' WC and matching wash hand basin. I can honestly say, I've never seen anything like it in my life! It's just so funny, although my 10 year old daughter hates it and wants us to replace it as it's in her bathroom! The information I have so far is that Edward Johns & Co Ltd ceased producing sanitaryware in the 1950's, but I would love to be able to find out the age of the WC and basin, and if it has any value if possible.
    I would appreciate any info or comments you may have.
    Kind regards from a very very wet Yorkshire!
    Sue Roberts
  • 5/13 Hello, Webmaster! I stumbled across your page featuring the 1869 Earth Closet found by Mark Henderson. I'm making a documentary on the history of the toilet (no, really, I am) and wondered if it might be possible to put me in touch with Mr. Henderson. Many thanks in advance...T. Schillinger
  • 5/9 JLO - here is a pal for you - a lady that moves old outhouses to her own property!
  • 5/7 We now have a modern one in the lower part of Michigan and it to has a nice resting spot near White Rock Park just built in 2004. Check it out for the park and nice little paved walk with the Indian names of many trees.
  • 5/7 Dear sir. I'm doing a Grange program on out houses I saw one one on slides about 15 years ago the man since died. If you know of any one ore where I can get a video Please let me Know Sincerley L. Slingerland
  • 4/27 Great Site, for some warped reason I have always looked at toilets, a fascination, why, who knows. From, as a kid, dropping penny bangers into the girls pan at the Horsham swimming hole on the Wimmera River, hosing down the night cart driver when a rusty pan bottom dropped out when carrying it on his shoulder. We could stand well away with the hose. Cobber of mine south of Horsham, where is it, post hole digger would dig a hole, loo then dragged over it because it had skids. Only problem was it was never in the same spot and it was dangerous to walk around looking for it, the holes where never filled. But it still is the best place to read a book. Anton Pallot Melbourne Victoria [it works upside down] Australia.
  • 4/17 Hi, I saw your website on outhouses, it's a pretty cool site. I wanted to tell you that if you are ever planing a trip to Wisconsin, try Door County. (aka the thumb of Wisconsin) Peninsula State Park would be a hotspot for pit toilets, I would know as I camp there every year, and if you venture out of the park, there are a ton of old outhouses to be seen everywhere. If you aren't planning a trip to Wisconsin (which you probably aren't) then I could take pictures of outhouses and send them to you. My cousin and I do a "tour" on out bikes finding outhouses and pit toilets and rating them, much like your site. If I find an interesting one, I'll send it to you.
  • 4/16 Hi there!!
    I happened to stumble into your web-site as I was trying to find additional information on Virginia Sale. She was Chic Sale's sister and was married to Sam Wren. The two of them were apparently well known character actors in their own right. Sam went on to become a successful and busy Stage Director. When I was young, we lived in a "Inn" located in NH. This Inn was previously owned by Sam and Virginia. I've found a large amount of books and such with both Sam's and Virginia's names on them as well as several copies of Chic Sale's books.
    I'd like to find some way to get in touch with the Sale's family to see if they have any interest in the material that I have. If possible, I'd like to leave my e-mail address and see if they contact me.
    Thanks for your time, Dana Donahue
  • 3/30 I'm looking for a crescent moon outdoor light that turns on for about 15 seconds, and the off for a similar amount. Any ideas?
  • 3/28 In my early youth we had an OUTHOUSE and was located about 100 feet from our home in upstate NY. Thanks for the memory.
    One more thought. we lived in Zion until 1936 and just wondering if the Mudgett's who purchased this landmark could be related. Best regards. Ted
  • 3/25 Hi! I like your website. Two weeks ago I started my first outhouse dig. I know enough about the history of the land to know it was started and closed in the last 50-75 years. It had a concrete base and toilet with only three rods left where the seat used to be. Also, it had a wooden outline with anchor points were the walls had been.
    Anyway, after the concrete was moved aside, I had to pick through about 2 feet of nearly solid rockcrete to get to the dirt. I hit "sheist" yesterday. Strangely, the dirt went from its normal orange and brown clay-like stuff to a hard, but more powdery than clay-like, white dirt. Is this lime that has been poured in? If so, would the lime still have its normal acidity level?
    How far down would a modern privy have been dug in a rocky terrain? Also, there is a tear-drop shaped indent a few feet away. Could it have been a previous hole?
    Thanks and Happy Diggin' Nancy
  • 3/23 The double-dumper was originally built behind what use to be GAMMILL’S general store and you could access the top perch from the ground but I never saw a weather event that made this necessary.
  • 3/17 Helllo! I was interested in buying one of these towel racks. Could you possibly e-mail the price of them? Thank you! T. Kramer
  • 3/13 Hi there! I absolutely love your site! Do the folks that send you pictures leave an e-mail address where they can be contacted. I would love to get the dimensions of a particular one that I want my hubby to build for me for storage. (he doesn't know it yet!) Thank you so much and keep up the good work! Happy Dumpings! Diane
  • 3/14 Hi John, Hope the race went well,when will you post the pictures ????? ZIM.
  • 3/2 Speaking of outhouses, I just spent a week at Philmont Boy Scout High Adventure Ranch in New Mexico, and they have a very strange outhouse culture there. The bigger outhouses on the trails have red shingle roofs and are called "Red Roof Inns." Most of them are "pilot to co-pilot" with two holes side by side. The smaller jobs are way out on the trail and are boxes over a pit..."pilot to bombadier" where you sit back to back. My son and I are still laughing about it.
    Cheers, G. Wood
  • 3/1 In my great uncles memoirs of life in Bedford County Va he refers to the outhouse as the "Chick Saler." Can't find out what this means.
    Here's the passage...
    The house was connected to the kitchen by a breezeway. Kitchens in those days were not an integral part of the house. The cook, black Lena King, lived in here boudoir over the top of the kitchen, and reached by and outside staircase. Next to the house and kitchen was the ash house, a lovely place for small boys to play and get dirty, and to find many things that had come from the fireplaces and stoves. The smokehouse and carriage shed were not far away and back of them was the woodpile and the milking yard. The chicken house was next to the ash house, separated by a small vegetable garden. The chicken yard was surrounded by a grape arbor at the end of which were luscious figs. Back of the chicken yard was the Chick Saler, a three-hole job, I remember, which was in use before we put bathrooms in the house.
    Any insight you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
    Cheers, Garland Wood, Williamsburg, VA
  • 2/26 We own a plantation in South Carolina. I have recently become interested in privy digging. The original plantation house was built in 1774 and is still there. I have searched some for the privy but have been unsuccessful. I was wondering what kind of information you could give me to help me find the privy. I was wondering how far the privy may be from the house? Really I would like to know what to look for. Any information you could give to help me I would greatly appreciated. Thanks, Luke
  • 2/26 i have always wondered what the half moon on an outhouse represents. do you know? [Look at our FAQ page]
  • 2/22 I read with interest and enjoyment your input into the 2/19/06 article on Trenary, MI in the Detroit News. Please visit our website, www.outhouseopen.com for a few more laughs and history of our great golf outing which is in its 37th year. If you like, I will U. S. mail you a 2006 invitation as we have not yet entered the new flyer on this website.
    Also, each year I provide participants (150 or so) with a outhouse related item. I have briefly looked at your store and possibly we can “swing a deal”.
    Flushingly Yours, T. J. Rivard, Tournament Director Outhouse Open Golf Tornament
  • 2/22 I have two cement outhouses at my house. They are cement roof sides and floor and were put up in the early 20s. I live in the old Lawrence School house outside Westfield, Wi. A whole bunch of people tell me about the times they often used the outhouses. I would send you pictures if you like.
  • 2/21 The public one-way glass outhouse in Switzerland is really an art project from a local art school. I don't believe it is functional nor meant to be. It appears to be located in the middle of the street, and I don't believe this is a very practical permanent location, with cars passing so close and no guard rails. Of course, the reflections would be distracting to drivers. Another hint as to it's impracticality is nighttime interior lighting. You wouldn't want to groping around in there in the dark, so turning on a light would make you visible from the outside in spite of the reflective glass. Bob
  • 2/21 Love your web site.How did your pet pass-on? We lost our "Goldie " trough a cancer operation a few years back, and it is still hard to talk about it....[bloat-the stomach twisted]
    Your web appeared in an article in the Detroit News Sunday paper, about a Trenary Michigan annual classic outhouse race. There were no details of the race?
    I too am a flying nut...Flew in more home-bulits,and stunt plains, but never had a licenses. allso a photagropher,and many stories about all the above
    IM 76 yrs old guy who would like to watch some crazy people have fun.....B. Zimmerman (Zim)
  • 2/19 having a log cabin on the Muskegon river in Northern lower Michigan and using an outhouse there since age 4. I truly appreciate your page. In fact the cabin is located in Osceola county where one of your newer pictures seems to be taken.
    I have to mention, that some of the picture you have are not true outhouses. A "true outhouse" is one that has a hole in the ground and the "contents" degrade into the ground like a septic system without the tank.
    Some of the pictures you have like that of Yates cider mill, which is located a few mile from my down state home are not "true outhouses" but cement cesspools that are pumped out on a regular basis like permanent porta potty's.
    Matt in Shelby Township, MI
  • 2/18 It's Gotta Go! What if a person has a real out house FOR SALE built about in late 1800's - made of pecky cypress and cedar shingled roof - a real beauty!? It comes from a plantation in south Louisiana. This is a house that will lose it's home due to "progress". I will send pictures if this a place to place the add!! What a "darn tootin" way to go. regards donna and greg
  • 2/17 I found your website, and it's very interesting. I also have a CCC outhouse that has been restored. I'll be glad to tell you about it and send you pix if you're interested. I wouldn't mind having them posted, as long as somebody doesn't decide they need it worse than I do! It is original to my husband's family farm, but we've moved it to the house we live in now, the old house was torn down last year. It has a concrete floor and stool with original wooden seat & lid. The floor has WPA stamped in the concrete. I'd appreciate any information that you may have about it, it's possible value, etc. My husband brought it back to the place and placed it in the backyard for a birthday present for me! I was thrilled to get it! His uncle had it at his place for several years and restored it. I just love it. Thanks, A. Calk Silver Valley, TX
  • 2/14/06 I have it on good authority that the germanic peoples used a pinklebaum as a repository for liquid waste when an outhouse was not readily available. This might make an interesting aside as I can almost imagine a pinklebaum race! Perhaps after several six packs or a large pail of U.P. german style...

    For myself... I can remember one cold December night in Michigan's U.P. The melody of, O pinklebaum, o pinklebaum, wie treu sind deine Blätter!
    Du grünst nicht nur
    zur Sommerzeit,
    Nein auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.
    O pinklebaum, o pinklebaum,
    wie treu sind deine Blätter!

    wafted through my head as I took mental note of its great beauty after trudging a short distance through the snow from the door of the cabin, while clad in night-shirt and slippers... after falling several times, I stood in admiration of the growing yellow ring decorating its base. Looking up with wonder at the surrounding starry sky... I recall thinking; How lovely they twinkle as if fastened to and radiating from its branches!... As a ledge of snow slid from them nearly burying me in a frozen, white, U.P. embrace, hiding every trace of my recent amber adornment and seating me, shoulder deep in its icy, diamond-like, winter splendor.
    I never did find those damn slippers!
    D. Pierce
  • 2/13 I am trying to find a cute poem to put in an outhouse to remind people not to throw paper into the hole but to put it in the trash and remove it before they leave. Do you have any suggestions or places I can visit to find something along these lines? Of do you know of a site where I might find some cute clipart to make my own?
  • 2/10 When I attended girl scout day camp, for some reason, the outhouse was called the teepee.
  • 2/9 Do the Outhouse plans that you sell on your web site include everything you need to build the outhouse pictured, including a materials list? What size is the outhouse? How are the plans sent, by mail or by email? [The plans are plans and they have a materials list but the materials are not included!]
  • 2/6 just wanted to say hi to all and wish i could be home this year for the races instead im on the beach in myrtle beach s.c. - will be missing you - malison
  • 2/3 I was surfing the web looking for photos of outhouses when I found your link to "Norwalk Ohio Outhouses" This caught my attention because I am originally from that area. The outhouse in front of the restaurant looked very familiar. Then I realized that it is my brother-in-law's restaurant, the Bailey Lakes Restaurant. It is actually in Ashland Ohio. What a suprise! DP Syracuse, NY
  • 2/1 I found your site by using a search engine for outhouses. I just sent you an email but not sure if it went. I apologize if you received this 5 or 6 times because it looked like it wasn't actually sending using the email on your website. I make outhouses, life size out of old barnwood. They have a crescent moon on the door. I use 2 x 2's for the bottom framing, they have a floor, no seat but you could add a real toilet, camp toilet, or composting toilet. They are great for storing gardening tools in. They look great for that decorator who has a log cabin and wants to look authentic. I will send you a picture if you would like. This would be an opportunity for you to be able to furnish real outhouses for your customers. They could be shipped directly to them. I am checking on the price of shipping. If you are interested, let me know.
  • 1/30 I was wondering if you would know of anyplace online or otherwise where I could get a quote or appraisal on how much an outhouse from 1918 would be worth? I live in Newark, NY, which is right outside of Rochester, NY. My fiance and I bought our house last year, it was built in 1918, and the original outhouse was still in the backyard. We contacted our local town historical society, and they are very interested in getting the outhouse, but cannot give us any idea of how much it would be worth. It is in pretty good condition, all things considered. Just wondered if you would have any information. Thanks. E. Woerner
  • 1/14/06 We called it the "Necessary". By the way, my father's last name before his parents changed it when they moved to the states was "outhouse". In the original Dutch it meant any building away from the main village. Later it came to mean any building away from the main house but NOT what we now know as the outhouse. That was called the privy, wc, toilet, necessary, loo, etc. There are many "outhouse" family all over the us and canada.
  • 1/1/2006 hey ,love your site.this spot i go digging is not a privy but its on a hilly creekbed in northern california.i think it was an old burn pile/dump.most of the stuff i find is clear but i ve seen evidence of some real old stuff.mostly broken glass in the creek.im just wondering,how deep should i dig?i feel like im just waistin my time cause all i find is screw tops and brown cork top clorox bottles and clear medicines. the area has aqua blue broken glass everywhere but i just cant seem to find the old stuff.seems like they stopped dumping there in the 40's.thanks, glenn


  • More to come
  • 12/29 Congrats on your NPR interview debut. Caught it this AM early on WDET with one eye open..... Am I the dentist of a celebrity now? Too, too funny! HZALD, DDS
  • 12/28 The reason for my contacting you is to see if you or someone you know may be interested in purchasing an outhouse collection? I have pictures of the collection and would be happy to email them to you. There is a number of items in the collection. It is my husbands 72 year old uncle that has been collecting for 30 years or a little longer. He has recently moved from Racine, Wisconsin to Red Bay, Alabama and has had to down size his collection and he has put me in charge of trying to sell his collection. I am not exactly sure of the number of items in his collection, but I am sure that he has at least one and more of some of these items in his collection:
    postcards, banks, salt & pepper shakers (naked lady, hurry, wooden, ceramic shakers,etc.), music boxes, books, snapshot pictures, photo album/scrapbook, Rumph mugs, squirting gag outhouses, black boys, hillbilly wall plaque sets, wall pictures, prints not framed, pig outhouses, Vintage Voices News Paper Fall 1981 news paper and novelty items, etc.
  • 12/27 To whom it may concern, I was just wondering how would I get me team signed for the races in 2006? Thank you for your time. Sincerely, B. Mingori
  • 12/26 I too have photographed the Nahma Junction outhouse. It is a nice one!! My family thought I was off my rocker when I made them stop. It has now become a family joke. I am collecting my own shots now and even have family scouting out locations. I refer to it as Shitter Shooting. Boone Illinois has a good supply so that keeps me busy with the changing seasons. I just enjoy knowing that there are others with my oddball hobby!
  • 12/11 Hi There!
    My Mother was at the Institute for the Blind in Boston many years ago, after losing her eyesight, and the Outhouse song was sung for her. It was such a wonderfully happy part of her life and has been remembered often by her surviving children including me.
    THANKS!! L. Flanders
  • 12/9 [An article about our site] Outhouses of America Tour
    Today we prove that there is a website out there dedicated to everything.
    Surprisingly, there is a lot of great free site content here. Just scroll down past the commercial stuff and we will start our tour with the navigation area. This site is divided into categories: Definitions, Trivia etc., Real Outhouses, Models & Miscellaneous, Drawings and Funny Postcards, and An Exploding Outhouse.
    The Definitions section tells you what an outhouse really is, and other things it can be called, for example, a privy.
    The first thing in the Trivia section really is worth seeing. This poster of the poem The Passing of a Backhouse has all these little characters drawn on it, and they're all saying something. It's really neat. If you want to just read the poem without straining your eyes, just go to the next link in the section and read the illustrated version.
    The History of Thomas Crapper and a Collection of Antique Loos shows old toilet and plumbing fixtures that were designed by Thomas Crapper. I would follow up by reading the section Flushed with Pride the story of Thomas Crapper. This man revolutionized the water closet (W.C.) with his inventions in sanitation, but he did not invent the water closet. His history is a very interesting read. If you want to read more I suggest following the link back to the Thomas Crapper & Co. site.
    Next I'd like to talk about the Outhouse Diggers section. Digging Up the Past was fairly remarkable reading about these men who dig up outhouses and all the things they would find, like antique glass bottles and tools, saws, adzes, cups, plates, tooth brushes, and other odds and ends.
    In the next section, Real Outhouses, there is an entire gallery of pictures of actual outhouses.
    The Models and Miscellaneous section has hand-made models of outhouses, outhouse collectors, and much more. There is just too much to list.
    Drawing and Funny Postcards has drawings, animations, postcards... yep, all of outhouses. I liked the rocket-powered outhouse the best.
    At first I thought the Exploding Outhouse would involve demolitions. Then I found out it was a cleverly crafted toy/model of an outhouse. You put a quarter in it. That sets off the trigger, and the outhouse explodes. It's really neat with great pictures. Check it out!
    ~ Amanda
  • 12/9 My name is Shawn and I'm from a company called WorldStart. Your site was recently featured in our Computer Tips Newsletter as the Cool Site Of The Day. We did a review and recommend it to all of our 215,000 readers.
  • 12/8 I am a student at Florida international university and was asked a very hard question about outhouses perhaps you know the answer. if i needed a scientific instrument called a "left handed quodlibet" where would I go to seek information about a piece of equipment used in locating the proper position of an outhouse?
    [a left handed quodlibet is a probe ]
    lol found out the naswer turns out he likes pranks the real question is hidden inside the other one. the true question he said was if you needed a scientific instrument where would you seek information on it? and the answer is a scientific dictionary
  • 12/3 We are considering a business to build outhouses. Do you sell them? build them, or just use them? Janis
  • 11/29 [Now here is something that really makes me feel great about maintaining this Tour!] I am a Middle School Administrator and during a conversation with one of my 8th grade boys, he ask me if I would like to see something 'cool'. Your site is what he pulled up. He read from top to bottom and ended with emotion that too many of our citizens lack. I asked him what he thought of the site and his comment was.........I am proud to be able to say that I am free and I want to go into military service when I am older to help protect America from evil. He said that it made him angry when people talk or refuse to stand when the Pledge of Allegiance is said. It saddens me to see that a 14 year old has more respect for the country that we call home than the prominent 'leaders' that find so much fault. Thank you for your site and for enlightening a young mind and heart.
  • 11/15 Do you sell any outhouses? We are looking for one as a Christmas gift.
  • 11/12 I have a camp house with no water, no electricity in the swamp near me. It is deep in the Oconee river swamp, and the water goes high most every year. The camp house is 15 feet above the ground (even then the water got about 6 feet deep inside a few years ago). I want to build an outhouse for it, but am wondering the best way to do it. I was going to just build it on the ground, but the river will carry it off. I figure my options are to build it off the ground, or put it on barrels, so it will float, and tie it off. Any advice? [Build a mooring and attach chains and then let it float up. Problem is that water is really powerful so it may not be there when you return.]
  • 11/10 I am interested in learning the costs of the different prefab concrete outhouses you have for sale, as well as whether your price includes set up. Thanks
  • 11/9 I wanted to let you know that we have picked your domain as one of our Strange Domains. I would really like to get more information from you about the site (what was the inspiration, any interesting stories that relate to it, etc..).
  • 11/3 Your awesome you smell like shit. CHRISTINE O'LEARY [Hmmmm, you do too!]
  • 11/3 I have a out house , possilbly for sale. What can I do? The farm house was built in 1877 and is also for sale. Located in N. Ill. Out house is in great shape.
  • 10/27 what is this ? u have facts on thomas crapper at all and i thought i took use this to help me with my report well guess what it won't i think............i probably didn't read all but i read a lot to know this is garage !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [You fail!!!]
  • 10/26 When I was a child in California, my mother - who was from Nevada - had an old 78 record of a partly sung version of 'The Specialist'...which I learned by heart at the time...
    I am approaching 70 now and am trying to reconstruct the song. I have quite a lot of it. I emigrated to New Zealand in 1968 and many rural places still had outhouses as a matter of course. It was here in NZ that I found the BOOK 'I'm a Specialist' that, I assume the song was derived from.
    I'd still like to find all the words to the 'song' version which rhymed. Can you point the way? I can't remember the singer/reciter's name on the record which was probably from the late '20s. Probably on Decca or RCA Victor.
    Cheers from New Zealand, Ms C. Dawson
  • 10/22 I have been to several Caribou Coffee stores. In the men’s restroom they each have a framed photo of three outhouses. Have you seen this photo and would you have any idea where I may purchase this photo? Thank you for your help. R. Perkins
  • 10/20 hi there i'm looking to purchase a full size outhouse in eastern pa lancaster or anywhere nearby as a gag gift for christmas can you help me thanks jim
  • 10/19 Came across your website today. You need to come to Alaska where we still build and use outhouses. Even in parts of Fairbanks (the second largest city in Alaska) there are still outhouses in use. I have several friends that live in not so remote areas that have them. Come on up to Gods Country and see for your self. Bob
  • 10/23 Enjoyed your site!!
    In my younger years I worked with a former WAC. She had been stationed in SE Asia during WWII. All the "facilities" were outhouses, one night after she and another WAC had completed natures call they reported to the MP's that they had heard breathing noises at the facility. After a search the MP's found a Japanese soldier hiding in the pit under the holes to listen for any information that would help the Japanese Army. I wonder how the candidates were picked for that job.
    From The Heart Of Dixie Harold
  • 11/8 I read about you in the Detroit Free Press. I happen to have a little soft-cover book titled Backhouses of the North by Muriel E. Newton-White and published by Highway Biook Shop - Cobalt, Ontario, Canada. 1972 first; 1991 26th.
    I am wondering if you have a copy and, if not, would you like this one? I picked it up for $3 and would like to donate it to your collection. Please let me know! [I didn't have a copy but I do now! Thanks to this person.]
  • 10/16 just a question.. while visiting the store yesterday there was a horrible odor in the air around the area, we were just wondering if this was something from the outhouse or was it a nearby farm?? we thought since you advertise the outhouse we just assumed the odor was coming from the store...
  • 10/16 I enjoyed reading the Free Press article about your "Out-House" hobby. An old aunt of mine (that resided in Colorado Springs), had a similar hobby. She died 20 years ago (at the sge of 97), and left me a very strange item, in her will. It seems in her world travels, she photographed "Out-Houses". Every shape & size----even has a two-storied model. She bound them all in a hand made album, with a hand-painted wooden cover. [Curator's Comment: I did end up picking up this unbelievable photo album. Words cannot describe it. The pictures are all labeled with where the outhouse is along with the year. Each picture also has silver glitter glued around the picture. Priceless!]
  • 10/12 I have a Moule earth closet in my Maine museum, but it is in poor condition, missing the china splash guard and tray. I would be pleased to offer a token small cash contribution for one, as mentioned, in pristine condition. Too bad the earth closet lost out to the water closet. Moule's invention conserved high quality potable water and at the same time returned to the earth the nutrients to whence they had come. (America has lost 6" of topsoil)
  • 10/12 Howdy, I need a deodorant for my outhouse at my mountain cabin that will zap the stink but wont kill the good bugs that eat the dudu. Any suggestions? [Nose plugs]
  • 10/6 Hi, believe it or not, my last name is Outhouse. I married into the wonderful family just over two years ago. A little embarassed at first but now love the name. It's alot of fun. I typed in outhouse to see what would come up and this website appeared. I can't wait to show it to my husband. Our wedding table center pieces where wooden outhouses that we purchased at a craft store here in Oregon and the wedding party decorated and painted them. There is also a family historical society and reunions. Just to let you know, Outhouses go beyond just being Shi--ers.
  • 10/5 I have a modest collection of outhouse related postcards. If you'd like to add them to your postcard section, I'll send you some hi-res scans. I also have a late 1970s photo I took of the outhouse behind our old home in Penryn, California with a "Poisonous Gas" sign affixed to the door! Let me know, and I'll send a scan of that one too.
  • 10/4 Dear John, after reading the article in the Traverse City paper about your hobby, I thought you might be interested in something I have! A very very old outhouse door. What is unique about it is that it has the cresent moon, doorknob, and a bird house. It is about 74 inches tall x 30 inches wide. It is made of 3/4" thick tongue and groove vertical boards and is very heavy. It is very old with weathered whitewashed finish (very little left on it). My husband bought it at an antique store many years ago and was in the living room as a conversation piece! It has never been outside as long as I have had it.
  • 10/3 John - read your Free Press article. I'm a member of the "SOCIETY FOR THE PRESERVATION OF WOODEN TOILET SEATS" an outgrowth of "The International Concatenated Order Of Hoo-Hoo" - a lumber fraternity, whose genesis dates back to 1892. Would like to establish contact with you. Gordon Graham
  • 9/30 How far away from the house was the out house put? Was it different in each century? Thank you Marsha [Don't know exactly. Usually 50 to 100 feet. No, although in later centuries people were taller so for the same steps you could place it farther away!]
  • 9/28 hey, heard you on the radio (97.1 )... interesting site.. lots of funny pics. My in-laws have a place in RoseCity, Michigan that has a two seater outhouse. Its no longer in use but i always thought it was funny. Dont think i would want to sit next to someone doing their business. When i get up there next, i will take pics and forward them on to you! keep up the good work!
  • 9/26 Outhouse SMELLS!!! I just want our hothouse up north to last longer than five years. How do we get the contents down the hole to self compost? [Use a small amount of dirt layered over the top of the crap or use the proper kind of lime (see our FAQ page). Call a pumper to pump it out!]
  • 9/6 I am a volunteer for the Little Loomhouse in Louisville, KY. The Little Loomhouse is a non profit organization dedicated to keeping the art of weaving alive. Anyway, the physical buildings are designated Landmarks- there are 3 cabins and a dilapitated outhouse that we fondly refer to as the 4th Historic Structure. Please click on the link below to view our 4th historic structure.
    Anyway, our outhouse is in need of some major TLC. While surfing the Internet for outhouse restoration information, I came across your website. Since you seem to be the outhouse efficienado, I thought you might be able to tell us if you are aware of any grants or other charitable donations that might be availble for outhouse restoration.
    I appreciate any assistance you can offer and I totally enjoyed your website! [Sorry. Don't know of anything.]
  • 9/5 [From Brazil!] Dear Mr. I´m a student and I´m going a research about: "Belo Horizonte´s bathroom: from Art Deco to contemporary constructions. This research intends to study the layout of bathroons, the characteristics of the design and materials used in metal pieces, ceramics, furnitures, accessories, wall and floor finishing and cielin, identifying contemporary characteristics and, if possible, identifying elements of the past that influence actual design. The knowledges obtained with the research "Belo Horizonte´s bathroom: from Art Deco to contemporary constructions" can subsidy, published, the work of designers and architects as well as the real state market, in addition, it will contribute with the producers of sanitary equipment and finishing. This research, also, intends to provide theoretical support in lectures, techinical publications and specialized magazines. Another aim of this research is to qualify students on this area.
    Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais - Brasil has 107 years.
    I study Interior Design in Universidade do Estado de Minas Gerais - UEMG.
  • 8/29 I am interested in receiving a catalog at my home. I've been all through the web site and I can't find where to sign up for a catalog. If you can't take care of this please let me know who to contact, or how to go about getting one. Thanks!! [Sorry, we don't have one. Internet or Mail Order only]
  • 8/27 t shirts with a clever saying seem to be the rage with kids my daughters ages. 12-18. what better than an outhouse? just a thought.
  • 8/27 I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed this information on outhouses." My Grandmother had an outhouse (a two seater --we were middle class country folks) and also we had real toilet tissue instead of the normal Sears Roebuck catalog. Oh those were the days--I'm just glad they are just a fond memory of my past. Thank you again.
  • 8/24 the out house web site is wonderful...lacks only one thing,...We , too have a WPA built outhouse...cement floor and stool with wood cover...it is a one seater....
    Now it originally had a paper in a frame that the WPA put on the wall...had some sort of instructions on it...alas...my husband does not remember just what it said...all that remains is one half of the frame...I was so hoping someone of your houses had the information as to just what it said....
    keep up the good work....
    Preservationist Virginia in North Carolina
  • 8/23 I collect Judaica bottles and found your email on the web as a bottle collector. I was wondering if you had or knew where I could get bottles with six-pointed Jewish Stars of David or bottles that say Kosher, maybe with Yiddish writing etc... I have seen them in all types from all over the world. Bitters, milk, seltzer/siphon, medicine, ink etc...
    Also, maybe you have Jewish related bottle tops, stoppers, lids, jars, labels etc...
    And just any interesting Judaica generally. [Curator's Comment: Huh? oy vay!]
  • 8/11 I am looking for some historical pictures of outhouses with either Star or Sun on them. Can you help? [Curator's Comment: There are a few on the site with Stars but not sure about the Sun. I don't have time to look for them though. I just know they are there.]
  • 8/10 Just read most of your outhouse site. Very informative, but it makes you wonder how people spend their free time.
    When we were kids growing up near Toronto, Canada, we always referred to the outhouse as a Cybowl (Pron. KAIBOWL). I haven't heard it called this anywhere else. I do recall writing a short story entitled "The Cybowl Monster" and a later sequel called "Kolchak the Night Stalker meets the Cybowl Monster." (This should give you an idea as to how long ago we were kids and for completists, I have unfortunately lost the tale to all eternity. It has been flushed, so to speak.) Thanks Michael Jones, [Curator's Comment: I have no spare time. All I do is maintain this web site!]
  • 8/2 When we were in Alaska, we went to Pike Island. There is one outhouse on this Island. Inside the outhouse was a scoop with some kind of compost. There was absolutely no odor at all, and it is used by many, many tourists each day. Do you have any idea what could have been in this compost? We use lime in ours, and there is definitely an odor. Can you help? Thank you for your time. Trudy [Curator's Comment: Don't know but it sounds like an earth closet where earth is used to cover the crap. End result, no odor.]
  • 7/28 I happened to visit the Gays Illinois 2 story outhouse after viewing a 20 minute segment that featured this on a show called Wild Chicago. around 1994.
    The articles in the glass case should be copied and put on the internet. Basically the building that used to be in front of that outhouse resembled many just like out of the movies like Gunsmoke. Business' on the bottom, and sleeping units on the top.
    The town is not that large and if I remember right the outhouse still shares a U>S> legal post office address and taxes are still paid by someone that owns the place. Im not sure what happens if you send a letter if it will get answered or not.
    The outhouse location: It is 100 feet to close in the summer, and its 100 ft too far in the winter. And always face the door to the EAST, so that the morning sun can warm the wood for the 1sst person in there. The Dickersons Crossville TN
  • 7/24 Hi, I just happened upon your website , which is very fasinating, and had a question that maybe you could answer for me. I was wondering how old an outhouse hole has to be to be safe to dig around in it? We have one that was last used in the late 1950's, I'm not sure how old it is but i know the house is well over 100, when our current bathroom was instaled in the house. And also beside out house is what we call a little "ditch with water" which is also behind the remains of the outhouse. I have dug around in this ditch and found many little bottle and broken items. Do you think that maybe if the privy hole had at one time been emptied that they might have tryed to wash it down that ditch into a nearby creek? [Curator's Comment: In the old days, people had a slop bucket. They took the bucket out and through it into nearby trees and the animals would eat the slop. I don't know if that is where your stuff came from or not. Heed the warning that if you are going to dig a hole, be extremely careful to prevent the sides of the hole from collapsing onto you. If it is from the 50's, have at it. You will find lots of interesting things.]
  • 7/18 You guys do not have the only outhouse races, this year we did our 16th annual outhouse races. Ours are done in the hot summer sun, a team is 4 people, 3 pushers and 1 rider who has to conplete an obsticle course. To see photos go to www.isanticountynews.com and then do a search for outhouse races. Your look they are a lot of fun. See Ya
  • 7/18 Why are toilets called water closets? I work in the Plumbing Inspection section of the Building Department for the Town of Ocean City, MD and no one seems to know. I thought it was because they took an existing closet and plumbed the toilet in there creating a "water closet." [Curator's Comment: Hmmm. You may be correct. Don't know for sure.]
  • 7/13 someone told me you have an exploding outhouse bank pleasesend me the correct web address. [Curator's Comment: It is located here!]
  • 7/9 Just discovered this summary of my research on the "corner privy", a relic of the days when the Milwaukee Railroad operated between Morton and Tacoma, Washington USA. I'm flattered to find it here.


  • 11/29 We loved the feature of our outhouse. Thanks so much for a great job. The following is an email that I received back from the daughter of Howard and Lucy Freeman. She grew up with this outhouse. I sent her the link and here is her response. (Thanks, I received everything and the kids got a kick out of grandpa's house. Christine said she didn't know that they renovated outhouses. I sent it to a niece in Illinois who is doing a family history. Vivian) Lanny and Joyce O
  • 11/29 I am the youngest daughter of the Freeman's. When the folks put a bathroom in the house in 1952, dad moved the outhouse out of the backyard to behind the chicken house. He wouldn't use the indoor one unless it was really cold and snowing. They moved to town in the 1970's and we sold the farm in the late 1990's. Vivian
  • 11/29 How much are the outhouse kleenex boxes do you have any other things related to outhouses? [YES!!!]
  • 11/29 Hello, I am jerry K. I live in Buford, Georgia. I have a name I play under at all the game sights and my playing name is Outhousemouse. People tell me all the time they love the name. Do you have any pictures of a mouse near an outhouse or Illustrations? I would be glad to pay if the price is right. thanks
  • 11/27 I am searching for quilt block patterns of outhouses but having no luck. If you should happen to have any information along this line, I would really appreciate it. thanks.
  • 11/24 So my dad brought me Trenary Toast when he came to visit me in New York, which I shared with my friends at work. They asked me, "Trenary? Where's that?" So I popped on the internet to show them. This brought me eventually to your website. Outhouse Races! That's great! So I showed them to give them a taste of UP culture. And as far as they're concerned, the upper peninsula of Michigan is just a bunch of beer guzzling racists who think it's really funny to dress up in blackface. It's so embarassing.

    I went back to MI to go hunting this year, and I've gone to great lengths defending my pride in Michigan and outdoor sports to them. But mostly in vain now, as your website has pretty much undermined my efforts to convince them that hunting is anything more than a part of a greater culture of rural ignorance.

    I would like to see those two crackers wear those costumes and walk down the street in my neighborhood in Brooklyn. That would be hilarious too, and you could post those photos on your site. Just let me know, and I can make the travel arrangements for them, including the ambulance to the hospital.
  • 11/14 Hi, Live in Indiana on a lake...surrounded by old farms. Started collecting Ball jars, finding them at auctions. Have fallen in love with bottles. Have a great metal detector...thought about looking for outhouses amongst other things. Used to teach history and always taught the kids that garbage dumps were really goldmines. My question is this: is there a way to find an outhouse "depository" without the actual stall sitting above ground? I know this sounds like a really dumb question, but I have friends on farms who wouldn't mind my digging up their yards...but they have no clue where the outhouses were. I NEED to do this. Kids in their 20s and I now have a life! And this is it -- who would have thought?! LOL Hope to hear from you, Karen
  • 11/13 Hello from the Central Indiana, I stumbled onto your website and saw the Outhouse of America Tour, I've lived in lower Michigan all my life but my work transferred me to Indianapolis. I have been looking for something to get my wife back op to God's country and found your wonderful event............... We are even now planning to be there in Feb. to take in the race. Dad and Mom live in Kalkaska and we'll be picking them up on the way. Any good places to stay close by would be helpful. If you could just give me a quick email our family would be so appreciative We just laughed and laughed over the website and we are truly longing' for some good Michigan winter fun!!!! Thank you Donald and Gayle P
  • 11/10 Yes there is another name for the good old reliable OUTHOUSE . The name that we always used for it was The Ruby Room. I am not sure how it came about but it sure seemed to fit.Sometimes when ya had a good case of the turkey trots, your backside got real red. My name is James Tolle and this is just another bit of outhouse lore
  • 11/7 why do outhouse doors have half moons on them?
  • 11/2 Regarding Trenary, Michigan; I Love this I am in the Cener in Farwell.
  • 10/24 Hello, Recently my husband built an old fashioned outhouse (tool storage) in our wildflower garden in the back yard. We've been having a discussion regarding the crescent moon on the door versus a starburst. The moon means ladies only, the starburst for men only. Right? But is the crescent moon typically waxing or waning? We would like to keep it looking as authentic as possible. The wood used for the outhouse was from an old chicken house that was on the property from 1948 and has that rustic appearance. Thanks for your help and I enjoyed your outhouse website. Sincerely, Jill L
  • 10/13 Good Morning, I would like to buy a Amish built "Outhouse" do you have any suggestions where I can get one? Thanks, Fred H
  • 10/12 After looking at your photos and reading the commentary, I couldn't help but notice the repeated reference to the cresent moon cut outs. I myself am from TN and somewhat familar with this structure. The moon and star cutouts were to designate sex. The female being the moon and the male the star. It is said that the men let theirs fall into such disrepair, that many collapsed. This being why we see so many more with the moon cut out.
  • 10/8 Swamp Shit Sitters,I am fortunate to have lived in a town in Northern Michigan, many a cold night with flashlight in hand ,I trod the the long path of sand. I finally reached the 2 holer -so great! ALAS !!!!!!!!!!TOO LATE,to my knee was warm pee.I still remember the treat when I sat on the wood seat of the Squat Pot. Often I think, how I wish those days could return , with all that I yearn. The love of family ,the goal of a good life, the end of sorrow an strife. All the Honored Outhouses in the race, an builders are number #1 an Crowned with Grace .Thank you so much for the all American touch
  • 10/8 i love your site! 1) because you are capturing a piece of early Americana, so quickly dissappearing. 2)because i love a good photo essey. it is like collecting antiques, or a particular item. i collect snow globes from across America, and did several photo essays when i drove across the states 5 years ago. one of abandoned drive-ins, one of delapitated buildings along Rt. 66. keep up the good work! David G, Fla.
  • 10/4 I decorated my bathroom w outhouses-----can not find prints fr curtains . I used this theme as I remember going out with a latern --brick and catalouge in zero degrees to make a daily deposit, marbra
  • 9/29 I am desperatly trying to find a santa in an outhouse. Your site came up in a search. I was hoping you might know where your santa in an outhouse was purchased. It is for my boyfriends stepmom who is a antique dealer that loves outhouses and santa's. Please if you have any information as I said I am desperate. Thank You
  • 9/29 I did not see a sod outhouse on your web site. Visiting in Minnesota some years back,[not that long ago] we stayed at a sod house B & B which also had a two -holer outhouse. Bob M
  • 9/24 We are interested in publishing your outhouse photos in our magazines published and sold in Japan. Please advise if this can be arranged. Thank you.
  • 9/22 I came across your website when looking for the Gays, Illinois official website. I wanted to let you know that I am from Gays, the home of the oldest two-story outhouse in existence. I noted one little falsehood in your write up. You stated that there are no stairs because the second story was not used unless the snow drifted. Amusing, but not true. There are no stairs because it was attached to a building which has since been condemned. The outhouse was detached and moved across the street to the area in the picture on your website. There are no stairs because the second story of the outhouse could be reached from the second story of the building it was attached to. The building was originally a general store on the first level and an inn on the second. The two-story outhouse was built so people staying at the inn would not have to go down to the general store to use the outhouse. Coming from someone who grew up as one of the 250 residents of Gays, that is the story you can believe! - Hillary
  • 9/18 Is there a place that we can get the official rules on building an outhouse. Also, is there an entry form, fee, deadline, etc. for entering an outhouse? We plan to be in the U.P. that weekend this winter and thought it would be fun to give it a shot.
  • 9/17 In your research, have you come across a serpentine stone outhouse? There is one in Birmingham Township, Chester County, PA, and it is a four-holer with a dividing wall, two holes on each side with two entrances. The owners have been told that it is a his & hers outhouse. It echoes the palazzo style of the main house with its gently hipped tin roof, cubicle shape, and cut serpentine stone construction. I perused your website, and didn't find anything similar. I would appreciate any information you might have on this subject. Susan H.
  • 9/14 Enjoyed your site. If you're taking new entries to the tour - I'll send along a snapshot of the outhouse we just built to accommodate guests who prefer things a little less rustic. Since the photo was taken, we've added a clear fibreglas roof, painted the interior trim and added a fake potted plant. The exterior walls are made from cement-board - to keep the porcupines from chewing holes in it. Also note the padded seat. Warms up quickly in the winter. The outhouse is located in Osceola County, Michigan. Keep up the good work! Lou
  • 9/13 there is an outhouse on a church lot in New Carlisle IN and I mentioned to my daughter there that it may be worth something. It has cedar shakes on the outside walls painted white. The hand-made door has a moon on it and I suspect it is quite old. I didn't go inside. Would there be a market for this privy? Any idea who might be interested? Linda H
  • 9/11 Interesting that I have heard yet another local variation of this song:
    Sam, Sam, the lavatory man...
    All time king of the outdoor can
    Issues the tissues and hands out the towels...
    And listens to the rumblings of the human bowels!

    Down, down, underneath the ground...
    Big ones, small ones, floating all around.
    Constipated logs in a yellow sea!

    Sam is the keeper of the can and me!
  • 9/2 Hello: I have heard of a "concoction" that keeps down the odor in outhouses. All I remember is that is contains molasses; I think it was called "Murphy's Solution". Have you heard of it? If so, what are the ingredients and how do you use it. Thanks, Bettyanne H.
  • 8/27 Were you aware that there exists a genuine (old) two story outhouse attached to the old two story hotel in Nevada City, Montana? It still remains in reasonably good condition and is still usable after all these years. Bob H.
  • 8/27 Hi!
    I see you have just one picture of an outhouse in Sussex County, DE - which looks like one that was just described to me in an interview that I did. There is a gentleman in Ocean View, DE, Brent Hurley, who has been collecting & restoring outhouses for about the past 10-12 years - he now has a collection of 6 restored - and 1 in the process - in his yard - on Privy Lane. Going by the description - it looks like the one you have a picture of is the first one he restored.
    Mr. Hurley will be awarded the Crescent Moon Award at the Great Outhouse Blowout in Gravelswitch, KY in October (hence the reason for my interview with him - and about his odd collection)
    Just thought you might be interested. Mari Lou WGMD News Rehoboth Beach, DE
  • 8/25 I was looking for the lyrics to The Little Brown Shack and came caross yours, I was going to make a cute little page for my grand-kids, and was wanting to know if I could use the words to this one.. LaVerne
  • 8/22 Do you know of a web-site that features “how to”instructions for building outhouses and their upkeep? You got some great ones on your site that will be my inspiration. Thanks, Chris [We sell plans on our web site on-line store. Follow the link below.]
  • 8/21 Was the crescent on both male and female outhouses or a crescent on female outhouses and a star on male outhouses? Yours in Caca, Jerry
  • 8/21 I started [Outhouse] digging approx 3 years ago, I had never heard of anyone doing this until I looked it up on the net. Everyone thought I was crazy. I've just recently opened my own buisness (flea market)and I've met crazy people just like me. Can you tell me how do i know if i'm digging in a privy. I live in the city of Breaux Bridge and I've found many things in my backyard everywhere i dig there's marbles, bottles buckles, military items. Why do you think all of this is spread throughout my back yard. If you have time please write back. Thank You, Lynette

    I'll try to answer your query about outhouse digging. One almost never digs into one unless you intend to. We determined diggers use spring steel probes to search for them. There is a "break" in the resistance of the soil, and usually you feel material deeper in the ground than the surrounding area. One can feel the clinks, clunks, and grinding of shells, glass, bricks, metal, etc.

    The pit usually is lined with wood, stone, and brick, in most cases. You must establish the sides and take it down evenly to prevent it from caving in. Privy digging is a team sport. After you get to a certain depth, the fill must be removed with a bucket and shovel.

    I've been asked questions about all this so many times that I created a Microsoft Word Document with some tips. I attach that to this message.

    Tell me more about the items you have found in your yard, particularly the bottles. Do you know how to tell a hand blown bottle from a machine made one?

    Usually a privy needs to be at least one hundred years to be worth digging, and for the “bad stuff” to have decomposed. Charlie Cook in Houma
  • 8/16 One of my recent responses generated by my little corner of your web site was from a Wisconsin lady who is writing a novel in which a murder victim’s body is found in an out house pit. One of her questions was how one could get a body down into the pit. I suggested that many privies had the bench seat, with the holes cut into it, were hinged, so the entire bench top could be opened for dumping. (no pun intended)
  • 8/13 Just about crapped myself when I was researching outhouses for a carving I am making and came across your info on Mickey Lou's.......WOW! I am a former Marinette Marine and my wife is a Menominee Maroon. I an Vic T. class of '59 and my wife is Judy K. class of '60 (I think). My dad was a cop on the Marinette police force. Mickey Lou's Definatly has the best burgers in the world. When we go home for a visit, we eat there at least 5 times...we live in St Paul Park MN now. 6 hour drive. Anyway. send me a note so we can know who you are...small world, ya know. vic
  • 8/10 We are having an outhouse race in honor of our Sesquicentennial - it's next Thurs, Aug 17 - and we wanted to give our winners the "Corn Cob Buckets." Please call me so I know if this is still an option - we'd want about 3.
  • 8/9 John, Yes, an interesting site indeed, and the subject made for an equally interesting sidebar to my own web site. I'm always interested in pictures of dug lamps and parts if you have any. Best regards, Dan
  • 7/28 [Curator's Comment: Here is a FUNNY story!] Hi there outhouse webmaster,
    Great website!!!, There is art work on the lovely detail of shi_ burning in vietnam by Jim nelson of the 22nd INfantry Regiment. i personally had the lovely task on several of those rare occasions that my line infantry company returned to base camp. But most times it was the poop and bury method. One of my army combat buddies, Tyrus O Rourke was doing his "duty' outside our permimeter around 11 pm on the night of July 15,1967 when we had incoming mortar rounds and awaited a VC attack. He did not have his weapon and climbed up a rubber tree(as we thought we had the easy job of road security) Needless to say he was without weapon and scared shi-less. We saddled up and went to the aid of our 1st platoon that was being overrun by VC/NVA and poor Tyrus was left 'behind' . WE did not realize he was missing for about 4 hours and came back to get him still up in the tree with his pants at his ankles and bare behind showing.
    I live out in Oregon and years ago a neighboring community used to hold "Outhouse races" on wheels as we do not get the snow levels you get in Michigan.I do not know if the event is still held but about 10 years ago it was an annual event.If you are interested, i can research it for you in the local newspaper. GARY H
  • 7/27 It was always my understanding that the top story of the outhouse in Gays, Illinois, was accessed from the top story of a railroad hotel that was built next to it.
  • 7/27 I am the proud owner of an outhouse outside my cabin on the Cedar River. It is a "grandfathered in" outhouse that I am not allowed to move. I've been told that if I use a mixture of yeast, sugar and water and add red worms to the top of the heap the decomposing of the deposits will be greatly expedited. Do you know of this and can you give me any insite as to the proportions and how often to do this - etc. Any help would be appreciated. It is kind of a neat 2 holer. Thank you Ted
  • 7/25 [This message is from a person in London, England] I think the earth closet still is the system of the future. If you grow plants on soil, they take up nutritious minerals. If you don't find some way of returning those minerals back to where they came from, the soil will eventually be depleted of minerals. Either the soil won't be able to grow anything, or whatever is grown won't be nutritious.
    I suspect that many mysterious modern diseases, such as Parkinson's Disease (which I have), are basically deficiency diseases caused by mineral depletion of the soil. From Dave W
  • 7/20 I am interested in more information about the outhouse kleenex holder. [Follow the link below and then look in the Outhouses department.]
  • 7/16 Hello...
    I am a postcard collector from the Midwest. I found your most fascinating website via a search of "outhouses".
    I have a postcard depicting a double deck Outhouse constructed of timbers attached to a 2 story building with a 2nd story wooden fenced walkway. It appears there are other log cabin type buildings in the background.
    The postcard was published by Petley Studios, in Phoenix AZ. On the backside, it is identified only by stating: "A remnant of the Old West, this ingenious structure was considered 'real class' in 1800's as it was available for hotel guests ... "
    Although your site offers some double deckers to check out, the one I am seeking is not shown.
    I am seeking information as to where this 2 story outhouse might be located?? I file my postcards by state and by city within the state. This particular postcard has become an obsession with me now. I'm clueless. Can you help me??
    Will look forward to hearing from you, thanks. Carolyn
  • 7/16 My grandmother called the outhouse the "Garden House." It was screened from view by a canebreak through which ran a narrow path.
  • 7/15 My name is Alicia M. and my grandparents live in Oran, Iowa. I also lived in Oran when I was little. Now I live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and I miss the little town where you know everyone. I come back often to visit my grandparents. Its great for riding four wheelers because the cops dont come by very often. Thanks for having Oran on your website. Your smalltown friend, Alicia
  • 7/13 I’m very interested in purchasing the exploding outhouse on your website, http://www.jldr.com/ohnumb1.htm, in the bottom right-hand-side of the pictures. I’ve looked long and hard on the web but have only found either a dead end or a different kind of outhouse that isn’t the one like yours. I would really appreciate it if you told me where I could purchase the exploding outhouse like the one in the picture.
  • 7/11 I am looking for an outhouse theme shower curtain and window curtain or a shower curtain with an outhouse on it. Do you know where I might get one? Thanks, melanie [We have Outhouse crafts in our on-line store:
  • 7/10 Please help me. I do not know much about computers so I really messed up. I was reading Frequently Asked Questions About Outhouses and Other Topics and thought it would be fun to copy and put the copy in our outhouse. I went to File then Print and then printed it. Then I clicked on the right mouse to go back to the previous web page and the information came up about not copying it. I need to know what to do now. Can I pay for it? Thank You for any help you can give me to correct this. Rita
  • 7/8 I couldn't get the song 'Ode To The Little Brown Shack' (from your internet site) to play... Any chance of getting it Emailed to me? Thanks, Tom W
  • 7/5 Believe it or not, we (the outhouse owners) are a dieing breed. We have a cabin on Lake Superoir ,and there are two outhouses left there in that location, one of which is ours, and our next door neighbors. Yet,you can still see abandoned shacks in cabin owners yards, or they have been renovated to storage shacks. We currently have a two seater with two 1/4 moons on the door. My question I have searched several websites for an answer to, is, If some one can help me with, What can we use to keep the smell at bay? Our family has grown quite large, so the outhouse is used constantly. My husband and I have installed a vent pipe last summer, there are screens around the top of the house, my brother and I clean it frequentley, (yes, I'm a girl, and I shovel out the outhouse through a trap door in the back) we use woodstove ashes after every use of house, my mother dumps buckets of water down the hole frequentley (we took the ammonia bottle away from her, she thought it was helping, what she wasnt thinking about was that urine contains ammonia, so you about dropped in your tracks when you opened the door) and we have tried lime or lye for barns. We are still fighting the battle of the obnoxious wafting smell of the infamous outhouse. Any suggestions would help. Thank-you!
  • 7/4 Love your website! Just found it searching for the answer to the question of "why is there a crescent moon on outhouses?" How "custom" can you go with the motorcyle theme. Just wondered if you could do a Honda Ace Shadow Tourer? Also , a breast cancer survivor outhouse? Thanks, JuneBug
  • 7/4 dear sirs, i need to know a little more about how to dig the hole...sizes and dimentions please. also; how far away from a creek or stream do i have to put it? thank you. judy
  • 6/23 Hello, Iam looking for a historic picture of a "bucketman" back in the 20's someone who used to clean out the outhouses.... If you have anything like this or know where i could find it, i would really appreciate it. thanks so much emily
  • 6/17 An old farmer had owned a large farm for several years. He had a large pond in the back, fixed up nice; picnic tables, horseshoe courts, basketball court, etc. When the pond was built it was properly shaped and fixed up nicely for swimming. One evening the old farmer decided to go down to the pond and look it over, since he hadn't been there for a while.

    As he neared the pond, he heard voices shouting and laughing with glee. As he drew closer, he could see a bunch of young women skinny dipping in his pond.

    He politely made his presence be known to the women, and in doing so he watched as they all went shuffling to the deepest end of the pond.

    One of the women shouted out to him, "We're not coming out until you leave!"

    To which the old man replied, "Miss, I didn't come down here to watch you ladies swim in the nude nor did I come here to make each one of you get out of the pond naked. I merely came down to feed the alligator."

    The Moral of the Story:
    Old age and treachery will triumph over youth and skill.
    Always has.
    Always will.
  • 6/15 I just bought a older house (about 53 years old) it has an outhouse in the back of the 1 1/2 acres and its staying there! right now it stores tools but you never know one day it might be used. Min I. Pennsylvania
  • 6/10 Greetings, A while ago, I stumbled onto a fellow's site that had everything to do with the benefits of and construction details for a composting outhouse. One could download his PDF file of the entire text, upon his suggestion and brainlessly, I didn't do it then and can't find his sight or anything now. Part of the beauty of it was that he presented some pretty decent arguments in favor of composting outhouses, some that I would like to present to our county health board for discussion. Do you have any idea or direction I might surf in ? Thanks a lot. Curt W.
  • 6/2 i just found an outhouse that appears to be possibly from the late 1800's to early 1900's. can you possibly help me find out what its worth? or maybe even where to sell it? thanks in advance hope you can help me :) mac
  • 6/1 Someone sent me your site- it is hysterical- there is a picture of an Army soldier burning s**t in VietNam- it looks just like my husband, Lenny, who was a medic in Nam and really did burn the crap as part of his duty. He says he used to love doing it during meal time if the guys in his unit didn't be nice to him! Do you know where this picture came from? Thanks. peace, Ginnie from West Palm Beach, Florida
  • 6/1 I am looking for an outhouse toilet paper storage container (not dispenser). I was directed to your website after a google search, but did not find where to buy it. Please let me know if it is still available and at what price. Cassie J [We have them in our store]
  • 5/31 Gays Two-Story Outhouse - That was a good teaser about the snow having to be high enough to use the second story of the outhouse. I was raised in Windsor, 6 mile from Gays, born in 1948, so I know how people got to the second story. Rich M
  • 5/31 I would like to know if you have plans for an outhouse with a pitched roof----by that I mean a flat roof---lower at the back---higher in the front--above the door. Like the bird feeder.
  • 5/28 "moule" UKTV program "Local Heroes" references this commode.
  • 5/18 I am desperately searching for a granny with curlers in her hair and a nightdress on. She holds a candle in one hand and is walking to the outhouse. There is a grandpa behind her walking with a nightcap on and a candle also in his hand. Have you ever seen a pic such as this? My mother had wall decorations of this when I was a child and am searching for the same thing. Any help that you can give is greatly appreciated. Nancy
  • 5/13 Hi! I found your website on the internet as I"m looking for bathroom accessories for our bathroom. I've decided to decorate it in Outhouses and it's SO HARD to find the shower curtain, rugs, etc. Do you have any suggestions? THanks and can't wait to hear fromyou. Denise L.
  • 5/5 Hello, I am doing a documentary on a man who used to be what I was told was called a BUCKET MAN
    He was a black man who lived in Daytona Bch Florida around the 20's-30's. I am looking for a still of a man leaving or walking to an outhouse which could represent such a living to show behind him while he speaks of his experience. PLease let me know if this is something you have in stock or can possible find for me. Thank you, Emily S.
  • 4/30 I thought you guys sold TP earrings in your store?? If you guys don't, do you know who does and a site? Thanks for all of your help, John! Have a great day- Susan
  • 4/29 I Have a question with reguard to the half moon on the doors of outhouses. Why a moon? and is there any story behind it? Thanks. B. Bode [Check out our FAQ's page for the answer.]
  • 4/29 We are planning our first ever race in honor of this year's Sesquicentennial at the Iowa State Fair. We are seeking port-a-potty companies to sponsor our event. Des Moines only has three companies, two of which declined. Do you guys have any ideas for sponsorship? Know any port-a-potty companies out of state that would love to get involved regardless of where? -Susan Sesquicentennial Assistant Iowa State Fair
  • 4/27 HI! Loved your site. You’ve established that any kind of time is not good to add to an outhouse, but is there any product or pro-biotic that will aid in the breakdown of waste in a pit outhouse? Thanks very much, Scott
    "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."
    It would seem from your website that lime is good as a odor reducer, but actually prevents the breakdown of waste. Do you know of anything that aids in the breakdown of waste? We're facing a situation where our outhouse is filling up, and would like to delay having to scoop it out as long as possible.
  • 4/16 I am a lighting researcher writing an article about privy-dug oil and kerosene lamps and parts. I read on your site about the cobalt whale oil founts and would like to get a picture of them, if possible. Also, if you have other lamps or lamp parts in your collection, or know of anyone else who does, I'd appreciate the information. Also, if you have any interesting stories which relate to the topic, I'd consider publishing it on my web site (link below). Best regards, Dan
  • 4/14 We just purchased a farm in Indiana and it has an old outhouse on it. We were curious if there were people actually interested in purchasing one. Let me know if you get any inquiries. Thanks Elaine
  • 4/14 Here’s a version from the Stanislaus County California YMCA summer camp "Camp Jack Hazard" about 1960…..

    Sam Sam the lavatory man
    Chief engineer of the public can
    He hands out the papers and he hands out the towels
    And he listens to the Rumbles of the other men’s bowels

    Down down in the bottom of the ground
    A big black turd comes rolling down
    Lands in a pile so nice and neat
    And our man Sam sits down to eat

    Not very pleasant but that’s the way we sang it at Y camp
  • 4/4 Hello, I have just begun my first privy dig. The house is circa 1790's, still stands, there was an old barn along the front side. next to the barn I have found a privy I believe, the ground had sunk so I started to dig it. I believe I have found at least 2 sides as they have some sort of brick/cement sides. there is also rock borders, as you move the rocks in the sides you can see how deep it goes, on the surface I have found some pottery shards, and a few broken bottles 1880's-1900's,. My question is this, some large rocks are near the top, is this common that they would fill the hole with large rocks? And how large of a hole do you dig? Do you start in the middle or work the sides? I never knew a #%$#& job could be so much fun. Any help would be appreciated. Also in the woods at the cellar holes, where would they most likely put a privy and how far away would they put them. I am digging in the boston area and digging old sites 1700's-1880's, Any tips you can send my way would be great. Such as tools of the trade etc... Thanks again Pat
  • 4/3 [Curator's Comment: Once in a while you get a gem of a comment. This is one of them!] After looking over your web pages about outhouses and toilets, I knew I had to send you an email about something I did while in college. I was taking a speech class. Most of the speeches people gave were boring. I decided to do one that was a little off beat and called it "Toilets of the World." When I went to the library do some research on the subject, one of the books the librarian suggested was, "Flushed with Pride." During the speech, the students were laughing so hard, tears were streaming down from their eyes. I thought one guy was going to lay down on the floor and start rolling around. Even the professor enjoyed every minute of it. He gave me an "A". I doubt any of the class forgot that speech.
  • 3/29 That Little Brown Shack Out Back! Wonderful, wonderful song! A friend of mine had this on vinyl back in the late 60s, early 70s. It was one of our favorites (we were about 10 and 'potty talk' was extremely funny to us)! While I have no personal outhouse experiences (other than in a school play), I grew up in rural Vermont near my grandfather's boyhood home. His old house was about down to the foundation, but the outhouse (possibly preserved by decades of noxious fumes) still stood proudly out back! Scott P. Vernon, CT
  • 3/28 Hello - I am transcribing a journal from northern Michigan in the year 1900 and on Aug. 9, there is the following entry: "Regulated the chamber dressing room."
    I know this was a small farm house or even a log cabin. Could this refer to some activity related to their outhouse? Thanks in advance. Dave
  • 3/27 I have a few pictures of unusual mich outhouses would you like to see them?
  • 3/25 I have a picture of an outhouse with one door open on the right. There is a dog house in between the two doors with a dog on top of the outhouse. Do you have a picture like that in your collection? My ancestors are from Pa mostly.
    I look forward to hearing back from you. Kathy
  • 3/25 I will be moving to West Virginia soon and will be putting to use an out house. What kind of maintenance do out houses require? What should I know about an out house. My aunts and uncles had them when I was growing up but I never had to maintain one. Thanks. Melody
  • 3/21 I would like to know where to order pictures of outhouses and other decor to decorate my bathroom with. Thanks Donna
    [Curator's Comment: We have 'em here:
  • 3/21 I recently built a outhose and need to put a moon on it. what are the dimensions for one and what is used to get the correct curves of the moon????
    THANKS for ANY info you can supply, Jim
  • 3/19 Sam, Sam, lavatory man, chief inspector of the outhouse clan. The issues, the tissues, the paper and the towels, and listen to the sound of the rumbling bowels. Down, down, down beneath the ground, where all the little poopies are swimming around. There sits Sam, lavatory man, scoopin' up the poopies, scoopin' up the poopies, scoopin' up the poopies in a little tin can.
  • 3/3 it was great to meet you and your brother-in-law. I understand that you busy with the race, it was nice to have someone to make me feel welcome. The weather was terrific. I am planning on going back next year and would like to make an outhouse for the race. I have told everybody how much fun i had. IT WAS GREAT TIME !!!!!! See you next year HAVE A GREAT DAY AND KEEP SMILING TOM
  • 3/1 Did you know that Elk Falls, Elk County, Kansas has a decorate/theme of out houses. They have a contest each fall to select the best. People come from miles just to vote on their favorite out house. Most are "original" but no longer in "use". Kay
  • 2/25 i stumbled onto your site through google images "upper penninsula". it fits my friends and i,type of stuff. we like michigan but like the off the wall stuff much better. we were talking about a michigan trailer living site but never went through with it. you,ve inspired us to proceed. thanks for the entertainment -jim
  • 2/20 Saw the pictures of your Outhouse Kleenex Holder on the web site and I am interested in one. Please send price information and ordering instructions. Thanks, Shirley [Curator's Comment: Follow this link to our store. They are located in the "Outhouses" department in the store:
  • 2/19 I am planning on going to the Outhouse Classic races this year and would like to meet you. I don't know if you recall me but you put my outhouse on your tour. Also i have tried to get the article in the Wall Street Journal and hve been un successful. If your are going let me know of some way i might find you to meet you. Again thanks for putting my outhouse on the tour. HAVE A GREAT DAY AND KEEP SMILING
  • 2/15 I was visiting your site and thought I would write to you and ask if you know of anyone or anyplace that I can get bathroom curtains with outhouses printed on them. I have a bathroom that is done up in outhouses and I am now just missing some sort of window coverings! I look forward to hearing back from you, Jennifer R.
  • 2/14 [regarding names for the Outhouse...] The "Oval Office"
  • 2/9 Hello, My 12-year old daughter is doing a paper for her English class on the evolution of the outhouse! I think the photos on your website are fantastic (not to mention hilarious!). I was wondering if you would consider sending me a few photos either via email or via US Post. She would love to have a photo of any/all of the entries of this year's Outhouse Races. If not, I understand...but thought it wouldn't hurt to ask!
  • 2/8 My mother and I joke about toilets since we both were very aquainted with using them on the farm in Missouri. She sent me a joke about a two storie outhouse with a stairway on the side and was to be from Gay, Iowa. Was there such a toilet and is there a Gay, Iowa? Thanks, David
    PS: If the one using upstairs, where did it go, straight down or special shut to protect the one below?
    [Curator Comment...Yes! We have it on our tour HERE]
  • 2/4 I want to be sure of the date this year.....is it still the last saturday in feb.? [YES]
  • 2/3 hi, i'm from mississippi and i was just seeking some information i hope you can help me with. i am trying to find some information on the web about the history of outhouses. my mother and i own a very unusual outhouse outside a very old home we think dates 106 years old. i'm not sure how old the out house is though. it is built upon a concrete foundation that raises 4 feet high and it is a dual outhouse. there is no opening in the concrete base but up under the seat there is a hole about 4inches in diameter. it looks as though it was made for a hose. that is just my assumption. was there ever a way of cleaning outhouses out? or did they just rebuild? i can not find much online except pictures and such, no history at all. if you know of anything that can help me please write me back at xxx i would greatly appreciate it....... thanks....
  • 2/2 To Whom this may CONCERN or better yet...to all the tioletheads,inc., "it has been a long time , since:* I laughed -- my -- ^s^--o ff* and enjoyed the 'view' with all of you." a grateful montana- c'boy artist,
  • 1/28 Hello-I am looking for a large, decorative print of the poem Ode To The Outhouse by James Whitcomb Riley to frame and hand on my powder room wall. Do you offer such an item or know where I could purchase one? [We have all kinds of Quality Outhouse Prints in our on line store. Follow the link below:
  • 1/27 Looking for the date for the race this year.. please email me back [February 28, 2004 Always the last Saturday of the month in February in Trenary, Michigan USA] Here is the Race Information thank you Jodi
  • 1/17 I knew Haskell Penn and I have used his outhouse. When I was about 20, I stayed in Haskells Trailer ( in exchange for tending his garden and canning the veggies and occasionally filling in at the store where making 1/2 thick baloney sandwiches on white with miracle whip was the special of the day), until I had could buy my own place. Where ever you are Haskell, hope you are well. With Best Regards
  • 1/16 Hello, I just found the site and stumbled across this bit of Americana, "WPA Chapman Family Outhouse" in Milton, WV. I would very much like to contact the owners, as I am also a Chapman living in Fredericksburg, VA. Originally born in Mason County, WV and supposedly, some of my ancesters are from that area. Maybe a family connection. Can you help me out on this? Thanks and I really love this web site!
  • 1/12 Dear Curator, I've enjoyed cruising your website. Thanks for all of your hard work. Since I love reading history and reading about the progression of things, can you tell me where you found the outhouse "legend" ...Probably the most recognizable symbol associated ...crescent moon...I would like to read more about sings and symbols from that source. [Read our FAQ's page. Answers are in there...]
  • 1/10 By any chance, do you happen to have an address, phone number or website to where I can communicate to this [Amish Outhouses for Sale] place that has the outhouses for sale? I'm really interested in getting one.
  • 1/7 So glad thatI found this site and it is so neat. We make an out house that both stores extra rolls of paper and holds the roll that you are using. We make these out of both old rustic wood and new wood. We would be interested in putting these on your website to sell Please let me know what you charge etc. Thanks
  • 1/6 Hello from Lake Cavanaugh, Washington and home of Lake Cavanaugh Brewing Company (specializing in small batch, hand crafted ales) 2ft of snow and good beer! Anyways, we have a specialty beer in "honor" of the outhouse and eventually would like to send you some. Also, have plenty of pix of Lake Cavanaugh outhouses to send if interested. We are talking some seriously "old dumping grounds". No web site as of yet, but soon!
  • 1/5 Do you have, or do you know where I can get, the sheet music for That Little Brown Shack Out Back?
  • 1/4 Hello, My husband and I will be changing our annual UP snowmobiling vacation to the weekend of the outhouse races. Do you know when the scheduled weekend will be? Hope to see you there, and thanks for the wonderful pictures from last year's race.
  • 1/4/2004 Whens the next one and what are requirements? [Here is the Race Information]

    • 2003

    • 12/29 Hallo :), i want to create a link to your website in my directory. Please inform me if you don't want to get linked.
    • 12/29 Thanks for the words [to the Poem The Specialist. We sell a recording of The Specialist on CD and Cassette in our Outhouses of America Tour on line store] I have been looking for years to find them.
    • 12/18 Where may I obtain a recording of Billy Ed Wheeler singing That Little Old Shack Out Back. I can't find the one I had. Thanks Joe
    • 12/17 I love the kleenex box holder. Could you tell me the price of one and what color choices are available? Thanks Fran
    • 12/15 I've lived in Michigan all my life and never knew about that. And the people in my news group have been sticking me in our homepage "outhouse" for months now. :-)
    • 12/14 I saw the gingerbread outhouse on your "burning down the outhouse" page, and was wondering if I could get plans that outhouse. Thank You John [We sell Outhouse plans in our store!]
    • 12/12 Where oh where do we find entry forms for the [Outhouse] race?? [Here is the Race Information. The contact number is towards the bottom] A tie on the website would be nice. We have a party of four intent on competing in this prestigious event, and will need to be legal and all. Please send by reply email or snailmail to me
    • 12/7 I have a pic of an outhouse that I would like have put on your website. How do I do it? [Send digital pictures and give permission for us to put them on the Tour]
    • 12/7 hi my name is s w and is hearing impaired.. i am the new owner of outhouse enterprise.. i would like to join the america outhouse tour memeber.. pls send me some info to my email
    • 12/2 What state has the most Outhouses? Trivia Q - looking for answer.
    • 12/2 Dear Patti, I am wondering what the theme for this yr outhouse 2004 will be [Leap into the 11th Ever...] I would like a early start thinking this yr...... Now that im 50 things are slower .. Happy Holidays J. Elliott
    • 12/1 [This guy is the real deal. They sent me a picture showing lots of items that I know came from Outhouse pits] My dad lives in Westcliffe, CO, a place with a lot of history dating to the mid-nineteenth century. One of his hobbies is looking at old photographs and maps, locating original out-house sites, and digging them up. He's got hundreds of items he's found in the bottom of these old holes. bottles, ivory toothbrushes, tokens, pottery, ceramic dolls, hair-pins, marbles, assay dishes (old mining town of Silver Cliff), etc. etc. It really is amazing what people lost or threw away.
      He asked me to investigate on the internet to see if anyone would be interested in some of the things he's found. He wants to sell off the collection, en masse. If you'd be interested in looking, drop me a mail. I'll send you a list of what he's got and a few photographs.
    • 11/30 I am interested in purchasing this item [Outhouse Kleenex Box Holder]. Could you please respond with price and shipping time?
    • 11/26 We plan to be rookie outhouse racers this year from Grand Rapids. Can you recommend a place to stay? Cheers, JDC
    • 11/23 WE have been looking for information on Charles " Chic" Sale for years. about 50 years. It seems as how we may be some distant relation of Chic Sale. My father Was Clyde W. Sale, his father was John Wilmer Sale and was a cousin to Charles Sale. For some reason the nick name, chic has been applied to John, Clyde and Clyde Jr. ( my brother) age 76, so the chic goes back to about 1847.
    • 11/23 I live in Michigan and I have some property in Kalkaska. Well I have no running water up there, so I was looking to get a outhouse up there. Do you know of anywhere I can buy one??
    • 11/20 Hi John, Thanks for your quick response. I will indeed be exploring more of your website in the future. I just love it!
      I don't have a digital camera to send photographs of my outhouse, but have one or two family members who do. Maybe sometime in the future I can have them take a photograph ot two of it and send it your way. I don't think there are too many 'three-seater's' around.
      Do you know of a way to rid bottles of stains inside or can we try asking Charles Cook? I just think my bottles would look much better if I could clean them up. I have been searching for years for this answer and so far, no luck. I am wondering if maybe the origional owners of this farm (who's decendents I still know), threw all of their garbage into the bank of the creek instead of the outhouse. If so, that is my lucky break as I don't think I could ever climb down into that pit...haha!!!
      Take Care
    • 11/18 I really got a kick out of your site and have listed it on the "O" page at www.michiganbackroads.com [They did!]
    • 11/18 Hi there!! Great web-site!!
      We live on a 30 acre Hobby Farm in Wisc. with lots of animals and a brick-lined 10-15 foot deep outhouse attached to our garage. And.....it's a "Three Seater"!! Two seats for the adults and one lower seat for the kids. It's probably about 80-90 years old. We don't dig in the outhouse because we still sometimes use it, especially on muddy days and times when the electricity and well pump goes out. It's in great condition though, as we keep it up, and I have it decorated with great 'Outhouse' items including the always wonderful, "Outhouse Calendar". I even keep an outhouse book in the formal Parlour. Don't want folks to think we take life too seriously!! But, we also have a creek right next to the house that had been used (to a certain extent) as the household garbage dump many decades ago. When we first moved here 14 years ago my chickens unearthed it. We have discovered broken pottery and other things of little value, but also many wonderful bottles which are often in great shape.
      It was also interesting to read about the French Quarters connection. Been there twice (loved it) and am remotely related to David Livingston. (In fact, that's my dad's name too).
      I will keep your web-site in my favorites and you continue to enjoy your well deserved treasures from all your 'Digging'!! :-)
    • 11/14 Hi! I enjoyed your web site :) I wonder if you can answer a trivia question for me? Which state has the most outhouses? Thanks! Suz
    • 11/11 [Curator's Comment: And of all things, someone wants to work for me!]
      May I kindly ask you to forward my application to the jldr.com's owner?
      My name is xxx. I live in Kharkov, Ukraine. I am looking for a full-time remote job of a secretary, sales manager, support assistant, webmaster, translator, personal language coach, or project manager for $450/month. I am ready to work 6 days a week.
      What I can do for you: I can work with your incoming email, support your customers via Instant Messengers and your website (each site visitor will get individual treatment as at a real shop or office, so you will sell more), update content at your site, search the web (for new customers, for example), compile reports and texts for you, enter data, contact other websites for link exchange, organize a remote personnel agency for you, teach business Russian via the Internet, do something for you in Russia and Ukraine, etc.
      Also, if you have any other type of regular routines that you do not particularly like, I can do that instead of you. I learn new things quickly. It will be just as if you do that yourself. I will be in place of you, while your hands will be free for something more important and interesting.
      You will have the full transparency in my work. I will be sending you daily or weekly reports with time spent, work done, and results achieved.
      I'm 23 y.o. and have a university degree. My specialization is foreign languages, so my English is fluent. I have good PC and Internet user skills. I am hard-working and sociable.
      You will get replies to your emails within a few minutes and I will be online in an Instant Messenger available during all the workday. So, our communication will be almost instant. I will schedule my working time in accordance with your time zone.
      I have an experience of remote work for a USA company. They can recommend me and you may call them to check. I put my resume below. Also, I have a team who will do the work, but I will hold personal responsibility for everything done.
      Please let me know, if I may help your company.
    • 11/7 Hi, I bought a book on the history of outhouses and found your address to join. The address is different from your site, so I hope it gets there. We have a wpa outhouse and still use it, and keep it clean and painted. I'm mailing the check tomorrow and plan on giving it to my husband for a Christmas present. He'll love it, we are proud of the history here. My kids got a kick out of it when I told them what I was planning to do. I said" Just think, In our eulogies you can write, belonged to the VFW and OUTHOUSE PRESERVATION SOCIETY". I can't think of a more proud send off!You should be getting my letter within a week. I've never wrote to Canada before so I'm gonna have to go into town and see if I need more than one stamp. Thanks so much for being there for this very important part of our past! Tammy Dewese
    • 11/7 My husband tells me of a poem about the outhouse saying something about the "tortures of the icy seat" . I have had a wonderful time at your site but did not see any poem with that line in it. Does it ring any bells with you? You also have some neat treasures I will have to come back and acquire after my husband's surgery. Thanks for your help.
    • 11/3 Heres a link to a real flying outhouse
    • 10/31 UNCANNY!
      They made me tear my outhouse down.
      'Twas "inappropriate" in town.
      I sold it to a pal named John(!)
      When he was "flush." He lives upon
      The reservation, whence he grew.
      (Too bad his bride is not named "Loo").
      I said, "I'll help you when I can,"
      For I was privy to his plan.
      His "throne" is now electrified,
      With heat and lights installed inside.
      A catalog down on the floor,
      A crescent-moon upon the door.
      My pal is the pride of the Navajo Nation;
      He wired a head for a great reservation!
    • 10/30 [Curator Comment: My absolute favorite comment or at least near the top of the Top 10 List!]
      Hey I just wanted to thank you for this wonderful page on Thomas Crapper... I had to do a report on him.. because I was in my science class and I almost tripped and fell over a backpack and I said " holy crap! " and So my science teacher told me that I should do a report over Thomas Crapper.. so here I am .. doing this report.. and your website really helped me out!! :) thank you!
      - Jennifer
      Tulsa, Oklahoma ( Freshman )
    • 10/27 Interesting site KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! to bad just about everything up in Ramona & Julian, CA WENT UP IN FLAMES including hundreds of Outhouses in the residential sections not like they have much choice to use them considering there is no sewer system near there nearest one they could possibly hook up to is in Poway, CA. some of which could have qualified to be photographed for your tour have been going up there for years in years past when you went up there you really didn't have any choice throughout the 1980s to early 90's you had to either use an Outhouse or a porta potty & the OUTHOUSES were some of the NICEST LOOKING & CLEAN/MAINTAINED I HAVE EVER SEEN OR USED! same as in IL which I originally hail from + they were also as good as the ones in Wis. most of which remained etc have more than likely been ROASTED by now, the area probably doesn't smell all that great and ONE THING IS FOR CERTAIN there probably doesn't smell all that great and ONE THING IS FOR CERTAIN there won't POSSIBLY be enough septic systems available to replace all the damaged ones cause of course that and most of the companies that first installed them have LONG SINCE PULLED OUT/CLOSED not to mention the fact that the nearest treatment plant around here is in Escondido which CAN'T POSSIBLY START HANDLING WASTE FROM UP THERE!. so it's basically a fact or actually a 99.44% necessity that THEY'LL BE NEEDING THOSE PLANS OF YOURS! well at least maybe now they'll start putting up the SST variety either way just about everybody WILL NEED TO START BUILDING, USING THEM AGAIN!. so you might want to consider sending the blue prints that way just thought I should give you the heads up in case your wondering why your site traffic etc suddenly goes ballistic or into overload
    • 10/25 Hi.......Ive been on about a hand full of digs in dumps and would like to learn more about digging privys. I live in Maine and about this time of the year seems to be the best time to spot old tinware on the ground. I was wondering if a soil test in certain areas would help find old privies. I haven't had any luck probing. I am using a 3/8 steel bar with a point and measures about 4 feet. Any digging tips on old cellars, how to locate privies and dump digging would be great.......Thanks Alot.......Mark
    • 10/25 Can you please send me a book on the different types of outhouses? I'll send you a check also.
    • 10/19 Where can a person buy plastic urinals for outhouses?
    • 10/15 Hi. I happened to know the late Victor Hayes. I have some of his artwork. He was a best friend of my friends in Michigan. I was just surfing and found your site. My son has one of the Outhouses t-shirts. I don't think it is easy to find any of his artwork now though.
    • 9/30 wish I had a picture to send when I was in Korea in 1957 we had an outhouse that had three doors marked : MEN, WOMEN, and OFFICERS
    • 9/23 I am looking for shower curtians with outhouses on them. Could you tell me where I go search for items like this.
    • 9/23 Will be going to a place that had a old mining community. There are some remnants of old cabins. Curious on how one would determine where the old outhouses would have been. Anything that one would look for that would give a clue?
    • 9/21 We are doing our downstairs bathroom in Outhouses, Along with the orders I'm making I'd like to get the sayings & poems for the wall? Is this possible?
    • 9/20 Regarding Privy Digging: I wanted to say thanks for the greatly informative site. I have a few questions: I have loved antique bottles for most of my life but have never really taken digging for them too seriously. The biggest experience was at a dump in Dallas TX where many others were digging ...some holes were 20 feet deep and seemed dangerous to me for the payoff. The dump dated from 1890s to around 1910 ....almost too new. It was neat to find paper products such as newspapers with dates on them still preserved though.
      I have been researching Sanborn maps and such for a few TX cities but obviously none compare with the population that New Orleans had during the mid 19th century. I would like very much to prospect for a hole or two in New Orleans ....is this something that you think would still be viable? That's if I can find one that you * haven't* been to! :) I understand that around 1860 or so that the population was around 170,000 ....this would offer many opportunities for discovery that probably wouldn't be exhausted for many decades to come even with many people scouting for them. I sure new sites come to be as well when construction/demolition takes place. Do you find the Sanborn maps to be extremely useful in your digs? What length of probe do you suggest for this type of investigation? Any suggestions would be very welcome since I missed the great bottle mania of the 60s and 70s. :(
    • 9/12 Attached to the door of our outhouse is the name plate "Audi" from an Audi Fox.
    • 9/9 Well, yer site shore is dif'ernt...I had to sit down and thank a whal...it wiped me out. I enjoyed the hole thang, even the thoughts of all them crawling spiders, bugs, and the snakes didn't bother me much. Y'all are a-doin' a great job, obviously sitting down on the job. Keep up the paperwork and I will visit, rest assured, you two holer soon. Bubba
    • 9/8 Neat site! I enjoyed it. I have been looking for an Outhouse valance/curtains and a shower curtain. Do you know of any other sites that may have this?
    • 8/23 Privy is a name they called the outhouse in Idaho. The Throne is a name I've heard people call it. A Place to go to get out of work.
    • 8/20 I have a cross country ski shop in California. I have been dying to host an outhouse race. Every time I abring it up people think I am nuts. Can you give me some suggestion on how to get started so it could happen this winter.
    • 8/14 I have been doing some research on behalf of my company, which does publicity for the Maine Office of Tourism, and found your Web site most entertaining.
      What I'm hoping you can help me with is determining if a three-story outhouse in Bryant Pond, Maine, is the only one known in America. I have been unable to find proof that any other such three-story privy exists. Could you please let me know if you have heard of any others? If not, we would like to use the outhouse on our Web site. Thank you for your help.
    • 8/8 cool site Hal
    • 7/23 I saw the photos of the East Texas Outhouse. Does the gentleman who built the outhouse sell them completed? If so how might I contact him? [More comments: East Texas Outhouse...Thanks for the reply. I need to mention, I represent a TV show called Texas Country Reporter, which is based in Dallas. We have been on the air for 31 years and are syndicated throughout Texas with an average viewing audience of 1.2 million people each week. Our show is broadcast in 22 separate markets within the state. Texas Country Reporter is an up beat, feel good show, along the lines of Charles Kuralt's Sunday Morning.
      I happened on to your website and discovered the East Texas Outhouses. We feel it has promise as a 4 minute segment on our program. That is why I sent you the e-mail. We are curious to know if your person in East Texas sells his creations. It could be a cute and unusual addition to our show. We look forward to hearing from the Texas connection.]
    • 7/22 I have some property that was passed over to my by my farther. It's part of the ol' Bailey homestead in Newbury Vt. around Jefferson Hill.
      I've contacted the town of Newbury and talked to Dean Monteith who is the zoning commissioner and was told that outhouses are no longer legal in the state of Vermont. Could you verify this and if not you (you seem like a expert in this field as I truly enjoy your pictures) who would be able to give me the documentation to go back and present my case for having one.
    • 7/20 I would like to know if I could buy an outhouse from you? If so please give me a price on the miniature house I saw or a catalog. [Again, follow the link below to our store. You can purchase one there.]
    • 7/16 Dear Sir/Madame, How may one purchase an outhouse? What is the cost? [Curator Comment: The best way is to purchase plans from our website. That way you are assured of top quality and no lingering odors. You can follow the link below to our store. Click on the Outhouses department on the left hand side once you enter the store and then look on the right. The plans link will be over there. They cost $24.95 and are fantastic.]
    • 7/15 Have you ever had an official sponsor of your outhouse races? I am with the marketing company for 2,000 Flushes and we thought it would be fun to do something with outhouse races. Do you get lots of media coverage?
    • 7/13 Love your site. I am looking for a shower curtain with an outhouse on it. I would settle for a barn, barn siding, something with the outhouse style. Thank you for your time.
    • 7/7/03 I have a cottage that still has an outhouse. I would like to know what ingredients should be used to keep it working and odour free. I have heard to put lime into it. What would you suggest. This is a serious question, so please answer ASAP. Thanks
    • 7/7/03 I'm impressed. I want to build. I like the Fremont County Colorado Outhouse, which looks easy enough to build, however, I want to make sure that I get the technical issues right. Like I noticed he has a vent pipe. What is the best way to mitigate smell and keep the fumes away from the user?
    • 7/5/03 I just read with great interest the submission with the words to the song Sam, Sam the lavatory man.
      My father had another verse to this song, which went:
      Sam, Sam the lavatory man
      He's the leader of the outhouse band
      He passes out the paper and he passes out the towels
      And he listens for the movement of another man's bowels
      (Insert farting sounds)
    • 7/2 Is there a number you can be reached at? I'm writing an article about outhouses for the Houston Chronicle, and it would be great to speak to you about it. [We gave them our number but they never called...]
    • 6/11 I have a old wooden chair that was made to be a toilet it has a place for a thundermug under it that is removable. I think it may have come from an hospital or rest home. But would like to get more info about them. thanks [I don't know much about them other than what you have already guessed. I am sure these were used in hospitals, nursing homes, and people's homes at some time or another. We used to have a thunder jug kept under the bed for use at night. It would have been much easier to have it in the chair you spoke about!]
    • 6/11 I have an old outhouse. Recently "decorated" the inside with various colors (tastefully chosen of course) of leftover cans of spray paint. A bit of glitter on the floor. and the walls adorned with Western art (read Leaning Tree western cards). J Fisher

      One of my bygone recollections,
      As I recall the days of yore
      Is the little house, behind the house,
      With the crescent over the door.

      'Twas a place to sit and ponder
      With your head bowed down low;
      Knowing that you wouldn't be there,
      If you didn't have to go.

      Ours was a three-holer,
      With a size for every one.
      You left there feeling better,
      After your usual job was done.

      You had to make these frequent trips
      Whether snow, rain, sleet, or fog-
      To the little house where you usually
      Found the Sears-Roebuck catalog.

      Oft times in dead of winter,
      The seat was covered with snow.
      'Twas then with much reluctance,
      To the little house you'd go.

      With a swish you'd clear the seat,
      Bend low, with dreadful fear
      You'd blink your eyes and grit your teeth
      As you settled on your rear.

      I recall the day Granddad,
      Who stayed with us one summer,
      Made a trip to the shanty
      Which proved to be a hummer.

      'Twas the same day my Dad
      Finished painting the kitchen green.
      He'd just cleaned up the mess he'd made
      With rags and gasoline.

      He tossed the rags in the shanty hole
      And went on his usual way
      Not knowing that by doing so
      He would eventually rue the day.
      Now Granddad had an urgent call,
      I never will forget!
      This trip he made to the little house
      Lingers in my memory yet.

      He sat down on the shanty seat,
      With both feet on the floor.
      Then filled his pipe with tobacco
      And struck a match on the outhouse door.

      After the Tobacco began to glow,
      He slowly raised his rear
      And tossed the flaming match in the open hole below,
      With not a sign of fear.

      The blast that followed, I am sure
      Was heard for miles around;
      And there was poor ol' Granddad
      Just sitting on the ground.

      The smoldering pipe, still in his mouth,
      His suspenders he held tight;
      The celebrated three-holer
      Was blown clear out of sight.

      When we asked him what had happened,
      His answer I'll never forget.
      He thought it must be something
      That he had recently et!

      Next day we had a new one
      Which my Dad built with ease.
      With a sign on the entrance door
      Which read: No Smoking, Please!

      Now that's the end of the story,
      With memories of long ago,
      Of the little house, behind the house
      Where we went cause we had to go!
    • 6/7 do you have the beginning verses to this poem (Ode to the Outhouse)...i'v long since lost the copy i had...could you email it to me...thank you...j manning [They are in the Outhouses of America Tour HERE] HOW EMBARASSING...FOUND IT IN THE LIST...NEXT TIME I'LL TRY TO FOLLOW DIRECTIONS....GOOD INFO RE THE AUTHOR...JWR IS STILL TURNING OVER IN HIS GRAVE...THANKS...JIM MANNING
    • 6/4 What is the origin of the word "biffy?" I've seen portable toilets provided by BFI Corp & assumed that biffy was a corruption (perhaps a bad word considering the product) of BFI. On the other hand, when I told my theory to someone, he told me that if you Google up "biffy you'll find nearly all hits are wrapped in the Canadian flag. I believe the word "biffy" has been around a lot longer than the potty purveyor BFI. [It is an old term used by farmers in the 1950's and carried forward til now.]
    • 6/4 I redid my powder room in a border with country style outhouses. I was wondering if you had any small decorative outhouses that I could put on a shelf for sale. [Yes we do in our On Line Store. Follow the link below to enter the store]
    • 6/3 Thanks for the website. I have been trying to find a recorded version of the song for 35 years.  Your site dates the song to c. 1964.  Seems that is about right as I think I heard the song that year for the first time while working at the bottom of the Grand Canyon that year.  I was introduced to Luke the Drifter and other county singers at that time.  Several of the wranglers who worked the GC mule train kept guitars at Phantom Ranch at the bottom to increase their tips. Two brothers wrote several songs about the mule ride that stuck in my memory too.  The dudes always loved that little brown shack out back…where a man could get inside without a dime. Thanks for the memories. Tom
    • 5/30/03 Similar to the concept of using lime in outhouses, I have heard that dumping (cooled off) wood ashes from the fireplace or stove into the outhouse will aid in decomposition. Good idea or old wives tale? Thanks. [Curator's Comment: My Mary, You would create quite a stir doing as you suggested. Ashes take a LONG time to be completely out and if there was even one tiny ember, one of 2 things could happen: Either the Outhouse would blow up OR burn down! I recommend the lime method myself.] thanks for the reply, but you didn't answer the question about the decomposition of wood ashes. I am afraid you will have to trust me when I say I have enough sense not to use ashes that are not dead. Your web site debunks the lime method, so why do you recommend it? [The answer is in the FAQ section]
    • 5/22/03 Interesting site you have!
      Perhaps you have the answer somehwere on your site, but there's so much detail I might have read past it: Do you know the origin of the crescent moon design that came to be the icon of the outhouse door?
    • 5/22/03 Nice web site...the only problem is that you missed one of the most famous outhouses in Michigan, if not the U.S.! Its located in Iron River, Michigan about 4 hours west from the bridge. As the sign reads it was one of the first roadside stops ever created, if I remember correctly it claims to be the first! It is on U.S. 2 coming into Iron River from Crystal Falls. It would make a great addition to your collection. Take care eh!
    • 5/19/03 Just found your website and really liked it. I'd like to build an outhouse for a garden shed. Do you know where I can get any plans for building one? [Curator's Comment: We sell plans to build a beautiful Garden Outhouse. Just go to our Outhouses of America Online Store and once inside, go to the Outhouses department. The plans are very reasonably priced.]
    • 5/15/03 Hi i'm looking for a cartoon style outhouse you see my first name is john just like an outhouse my last name is Huskey my idea is i'm going to have a sleddog pulling an outhouse I plan on making an iron on with this picture saying guess my name if you have the right picture, I want to buy!! By the way I was born in the hills of south missouri and am very familiar with yea ole outhouse. [Curator's Comment: We are working on it, John]
    • 5/15/03 Hey dude! I am planning to put up a two holer in the back yard, by the pool. I'll send you some pictyres when I am done. Don
    • 5/8/03 Do you know of any other places that sell outhouses. Thank you. Brad
    • 5/8/03 My wife and I recently purchased some land in the woods. This property along with a camp has an outhouse. This is our first experience with an outhouse. My wife says we should have a container in the outhouse to place our use toilet paper instead of throwing it down the hole. She says that this is the way that the rest of the world does it. Paper does not break down quickly and only fills the hole sooner. I told her that I thought she was wrong and she might be thinking of septic systems. I need your advice.




    • 4/29/03 Why was there a half moon carved into all the outhouse doors???
    • 4/28/03 Has anyone sent you a picture of that outhouse you mentioned a few years ago, the one designed to look like a corn crib if my memory serves. I think it was somewhere near Washington D.C., in a park of some kind. I'm taking a trip there in a few weeks and would be more then happy to see about getting you some shots of said facility.
    • 4/28/03 Here in England we had a ,until recently, common phemomenom where we had a water closet seperate from the house but only a few feet away from the back kitchen door, it was enclosed in a small brick building. So we used to cook in the house and shit in the back yard. Now with modern improvements toilets are inside and with prosperity most have a barbecue, so now we shit in the house and cook in the yard, now that`s progress.
    • 4/24/03 Please provide pricing for a single vault toilet, concrete with liner, ADA approved, unisex, wall vent, schlage deadbolt locks with marine package. Please also provide transportation costs from your location to Montana.
    • 4/24/03 I have just redon my fancy indoor bathroom with out house wall paper and am hunting for a cross stitch pattern for an out house, do you know where I might find one? My great grandmother raised 17 children and many of her grand and great grandchildren, she had a three holer!
    • 4/21/03 What state has the most outhouses?
    • 4/19/03 Now I have seen it all. We have gone from the sublime (the pix I sent you this am) to the ridiculous. There are some interesting FAQ's there though.
    • 4/15/03 In rural Tennessee, the outhouse was called the "la-la". Don't ask me why. mason for the wire donkey bike zine
    • 4/15/03 As President of the local Sandbaggers club in Longview, WA....we are toying with the idea of establishing an annual Outhouse Race in our City Center. Any information that you could send me to help in our planning would be gratefully appreciated! We could even bestow an honorary "Sandbagger" upon you!!! (If so desired)
    • 4/15/03 This was one of the most interesting web sites that I've ever visited. Great job! My girl and I are trying to purchase a fairly large lot which previously had an outhouse. It had two holes placed right next to each other, which could be explained by the different sizes. We found a small bottle with a US patent #110034 while looking over this property. Would you have any idea when this patent was issued. Another interesting note, this property is fairly close to an area that had many of people panning for gold. Your web site just makes this purchase more exciting. Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks,
    • 4/13/03 My husband and I are purchasing a farmette here in Bedford, PA. It has one of the original "WPA Outhouses". We are located in Bedford County. Just thought you'd be interested in knowing where some of these originals are still located. Ours in in great shape, painted white for now, though I have some ideas for it.
    • 4/9/03 Please solve a big wager bet: Why did they cut moons into outhouse doors? I promise you we are not crazy! THANKS for the help!
    • 4/8/03 Hello and thanks for your great web site! My name is Bruce and the board of directors of the Forestville Youth Park in Forestville California have named me the Head PooPoo of the Northern California Xtreme Outhouse Race. I would very much like to be linked to your site in order to invite all interested racers and spectators to our event. All funds raised go back into the park for maintainance and up grades Our race date for 2003 is Sept. 20th Thanks for your consederation!
    • 4/3/03 In my backyard there are two outhouses that are raised above the ground. They are right next to one another. The strucuture is no longer standing. What can I expect to find. Hi I have one more question. I think the outhouse is made out of cement or cement blocks do you know how old these types of outhouses are? Do you also think it would be sanitary to dig in an outhouse like this one? When I went down to the outhouse I saw slop pots they were metal with a white base of paint and the edges were red is that a clue that bottles or other items could be found there?
    • 3/20/03 We bought a property with an outhouse behind the house. We discovered it had three seats side by side with the center one lower for a child. I was recently told either the state of Pennsylvania or the local counties had funded their installation in the early 1900's but I am unable to find any other information. Can you help? Thanx, KFB
    • 3/17/03 I'm in Indianapolis and have a wonderful 1930's Org. Outhouse for sale. Know anyone who might be interested? Know a good way/place to sell it?
    • 3/16/03 That was so neat, we have a running joke about outhouses as you can tell by my e-mail address .I enjoyed your pictures. We vacation 25 miles west of Cadillac every year at friends cabin, outhouse and all, so thanks for sharing.
    • 3/15/03 Hello On the Thrown: I really enjoyed your site.. There is a saying out here in Ol' Hangtown, CA that you can be so poor you are picking shit with the chickens.. in reference to keeping the cluckers out of the way so they don't get a brown bonnet.. My doughtier sent me this scan of a few house's she tore out of a magazine..Thank you for a Enjoyable time.
    • 3/13/03 I currently have an auction going on e-Bay for a Dry Earth Commode made in CT by Houle's, Patent 1869. I have had it for about 40 years and never really new anything about it. Thanks for the info you have provided. I was wondering if you had any idea what this Commode might be worth. Mine is not as pristine as the one that you have on your site, but none the less, it is in very good condition. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
    • 3/1/03 And I thought I'd seen everything! Great site! Do you know that Fort Laramie National Historic Site has an original two holer behind a set of quarters on Officers Row? When I worked there in the summer of 1979 I never looked in the structure, but it still stands in good condition. I have also gone into the ANNUAL REPORTS OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR in the late 1880's and early 1890's, under the Surgeon General's annual reports and found detailed reports about the disposal of night soil at army posts. You certainly did not want to be a prisoner on a fatigue detail chipping out the overflowing boxes at -20F! Or, removing the overflowing boxes at other times.
    • 3/1/03 I have some friends who have a 4-person musical group who have recorded their first CD Under the Crescent Moon. Here's a blurb from their album notes: "Steeped in the music traditions of the rural southern Appalachian Mountains, the Privy Tippers have continued the spirit of the tradition by providing bright and lively music for dances and social gatherings. They have delighted audiences and dancers around the Southwest since 1995." They're based in Tucson, Arizona.
      I'm a quilter, and I want to make a quilt for my friends on the theme of privies. (sh! it's a surprise!) I knew that some outhouses had moons, while others had stars, but didn't know why, so I "asked Jeeves" and he sent me to your website, which I enjoyed immensely.
      Time to get stitchin'!
    • 3/1/03 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, and mountains are composed. However, slaked lime is also used in agriculture as part of an insecticide mixture called "lime 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 widesprea ay the "chloride of lime" was correctly used was the same way as for the animal sanitation and the way household bleach is used nowadays in modern bathrooms. That is, a tablespoon in a gallon of water with which the outhouse seats, lids, fixtures, walls, and floors were washed to keep them very clean and free of germs.
      Richard Allen, chemist and farmer
    • 2/22/03 were can I purchase the.An Outhouse Towel Rack
    • 2/19/03 How much would it cost to make a restroom or outhouse?
      By Storm
      While I was attending a outdoor function in Eastern WA.last summer I suddenly realized the outhouse is still with us.Its now called a Port - A-Potty .
      I had arrived early and was setting in my R.V. when a truck came pulling in with a load of these new version's of the outhouse [ a grandson so to speak].They look a little like grandpappy,but are now made of plastic and have their very own built in hole,however the ones I saw still had the half moon on the door.I thought I would go inspect one and see just how close they really were.
      .Just like grandpappy it leaned a little to one side [ un level ground] but when I opened the door I got that old familiar odor and saw that grandson only has one seat.Didn't have the catalog's either ,now they have a four roller tube that holds the paper,so when one roll is gone another slides down in its place.
      Another improvement over grandpappy is the stand up urinal for the gents.Otherwise they have the same function ole grandpappy had.I sat my R.V. so I could see them and done a little study to see if they are as popular as grandpa was.
      Well it was quite entertaining when the crowds got there. The facial expressions of those using grandson hardly can be told.The guys [depending on their age] would boldly enter and do what they came to do and go on their way.
      The lady's however would look like they were sneaking up on grandson and would slowly open the door and peek inside then they normally would jerk their head back with a disgusted look and glance around to see if there might be some where else to go.
      But it seems nature has some built in chemical that [depending on how bad you have to go] kicks in and blurs the vision ,and suddenly stuffs up your nose.Now the lady's that snuck up on grandson,left with different attitude,they would come out fast slamming the door and looking straight ahead and moved quickly by the line waiting to go inside.
      All in all my study showed that old grandpappy outhouse could be proud,his grandsons are carrying on the family tradition with as much dignity as they possibly can and are just a popular as grandpappy was in yesteryear.In fact they maybe even more popular,on my way home I saw them in ever field and the road crews has them with wheels.I think the major improvement is you don't have to dig a hole.
      So as a conclusion to my study I say to grandpappy outhouse ,stand tall your grandbabys are doing a great job of take'n care of natures call.
    • 2/9/03 When one of our kids was very young, she called an outhouse the Judge House.. We have no idea where she came up with this name, but considered it very apt!!. We have used the term Judge House ever since.
    • 2/8/03 Surfed your site with a great sense of pleasure. You have a wonderful collection, and we fell "in love" with a particular privy.
      any way to get in touch with the owner of this one?? we want a set of the plans or sketches for this one because we need to build a hen-house and this is exactly what we want . A home for the 'girls', our chickens. [Curator's Comment: We do sell this one in our online store now. Go to the Outhouses department and you will find it there. ]
    • 2/1/03 We have an old outhouse at our summer home at Lake Dauphin. It is very old but still sturdy. We recently rebuilt our home and would like to refurbish and preserve our outhouse. Do you have any suggestions? Also, I would like to join the Outhouse Preservation Society. Can you help with this also?
    • 1/16/03 I've been looking up Phelps, New York - it is the home of my hometown's founder - John Larkin - son of Bradford Larkin.. John, as a youth, worked on the canal.. Dharmananda dasa.
    • 1/16/03 Is there anyway I could get in touch with P Johnson to order one of the outhouse towel holders? I am in the process of redoing my powder room and the wallpaper border is outhouses.
    • 1/12/03 hi. I have been looking at your sight...VERY nice. I also love that towel holder. Do you sell them? Also IM looking for things to decorate our bathroom in outhouses. Any idea where I might find things?
    • 1/11/03 The Outhouse Tie: where can I get one...I have 3 brothers thatr are plumbers... good gift.
    • 1/6/03 My name is Bruce Harshman and I am a member of the Chama Valley Chamber of Commerce in Chama, New Mexico. We are looking for new events for our town and the Outhouse Races may be the ticket. Would you mind sending me the rules and regulations to be able to set this up for Chama. Alos feel free to pass on any pertinent information that you deem important to keep us from tripping over our feet the first time.
    • 1/6/03 How do I add an outhouse to your killer site. We have one on the farm, and it would be a hoot to see it on here. We have digital pictures and everything. Im looking forward to your reply. Thanks


    • 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. Mountain Jim
    • 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 indoor facilities.
      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!!
      [Curator's Comment:
      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 fertilizer, anyway)?
    • 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 subject)
    • 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 Nooshnik.
      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!
      -Steve Alexander
      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.
      Good luck!
    • 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 earth.
      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.
      Newport, ME
    • 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 Regards, misty
    • 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 mbokie@swbell.net. 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 possible.
    • 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 mile trail!
    • 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!]
    • 1/11/02 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.
    • 1/3/02 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.
    • 11/16/01 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 traditions.
      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?
    • 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 surrounding Outhouses.

      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 Tabb.
      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 your site!
    • 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 answer.....
        but for the saying on the towel rack...with all the outhouses there......
          "no waiting"
          "your choice"
          "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 for.
      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 unreal!
    • 8/13/01 I was recently told I could have a double wide mobile home if I could figure out where to put it. I thought I might could come up with a couple thousand for an acre in the mountains (Sierras) So I called a mobile home place. I asked how much did it cost to put something like that back together on my own land. They said $10,000!!! Why? they said to hook it up to sewer and electric, etc. I said I don't want sewer and electric, he said the county usually won't let you just put a home there without anything. I couldn't believe what he was saying, there's too many self-sufficient people out there that MUST have outhouses. So I put the word "out house" in and found you! I was much "relieved!" What can you tell me? Is permission usually necessary to build an out house?? I went to a girl's camp in Michigan (Huron Forest) from age 7 to 18 that had outhouses, how big of a deal can it be???? Can it be that the local government can tell me "no outhouse"?? Educate me! ..Thanks!
    • 8/10/01 I see that most of the new outhouses do not have a half-moon cut in the door. Hot do the boulder expect the use to know whether it is nit or Day???
    • 8/10/01 Regarding Outhouse names...I can remember my Aunt calling it the Ice-House. Your site just keeps getting better and better. Keep up the good work.
    • 8/9/01 I am 30 years old and until 1982 (12 years of age) we did not have plumbing. We had a cistern to draw water and an outhouse to...well, you know. I love your site. Even though I don't think I would ever go back to having an outhouse I have to smile when I think of growing up like that. (My brothers and I were all potty trained in an outhouse!) Most people don't believe me when I say that...it is incredulous to most. I just wanted you to know how your site made me smile! Chantal
    • 8/1/01 This is fantastic. Is there any way you can change this on the internet so that I can forward it to friends?? I tried "Forward" but the person I sent it to couldn't open it. I think it's worth sharing with friends and family.
    • 7/31/01 We are going to build an outhouse--will send you the picture when complete. But we have questions and you seem to have experience in this matter.
      We dig a hole for the refuse--how wide and how deep? [No wider than the structure. 4-6' deep.]
      What do people do when the hole fills up? [Move the outhouse or pump it]
      How do you keep the smell down--a bag of lime? [yes]
      Does the hole ever cave in? [yes]
      Can you line the hole? [yes, with concrete]
      My Victorian period grandmother used to tell me about the man in town whose job it was to clean outhouses. Why did he clean the hole--to empty it out? [yes]
    • 7/31/01 I take part in Seprio's Historical Search Group and I'm writing a book on the evolution of the toilet, with particular attention to our country - Varese province, Lombardy, Italy.
      In our districts, there's the old potteries manufacture Ceramiche di Laveno, with a little musuem of sanitaryware. As the spirit of our Group is to support these private museums and keep the memory of our traditions, we decided to write this book. I gathered news from all the World - and some photos of ancient and modern toilet.
      So, we ask you the permission to insert in our book some photos of outhousde from your web pages -of course we have to quote the source. I shall be much obliged to you for this.
    • 7/30/01 My cabin (and outhouse) are located in northern MN. I was wondering what can be used to keep the outhouse smelling fresh. Is there something that can be placed in the hole? It seems that some of the port-a-potties and some outhouses in some parks smell fresh and was wondering if you might know of something that can be used. Appreciate any info you are able to provide!! [Use lots of fresh air pumped into the hole and vented through a vent stack. You can use lime and other things. The best way is not to use it but that doesn't make sense! Porta potties use CHEMICALS (blue death).]
    • 7/30/01 Some people can come up with the Craziest* ways to spent the winter! I sure did enjoy the creativity of this contest. I was born and raised in Central Michigan. Just outside of Flint, Michigan. . I have never been to, or through your Town. But my Parents moved up North to Onaway, when they retired. Nothing much going on there, either.
      I left Michigan, and now live in Southwest, Florida. The cold was more than I can take. But, I was sent these photos of the outhouses, by someone here in Florida,and sure did enjoy, them. Looks like, y'all, have a ball.
    • 7/29/01 Do you offer plans or blueprints?? I'm building next weekend.
    • 7/28/01 I have not seen an outhouse in a while, but recently i had a call from a gentleman who wants to dig where the throne used to stand. he said he finds lots of old artifacts coins,bottles, jewlery,ect. i will let you know if he finds any treasure!
    • 7/27/01 How's it goin', eh?
      We're flatlanders down here in Illinois and we don't get up there to Michigan too often, but it looks like you folks are havin a real good time playin with yer shitters. I didn't see any on skis, but I know it can get real slippery running behind a moving shithouse.
      I remember my grampa moving our shitter one day while I was down at the high school. I didn't get home until way after dark and I sure did need to go. Well, I got out there where the shithouse USED to be and lo and behold! He'd moved the sucker! So, trying to guess where it was safe to walk, I made my way to the New, Improved location, which just happend to be in the path of the Old location. SPLASH! Damn that grampa! He forgot to fill the damn hole!
      I finally climbed outta the damn hole and tried to figure out what to do with my good school clothes, not to mention what to do with ME. Sure was slippery, too. Must've been all that cod liver oil grandma took for her rhumatism.
      Well, grampa had heard all the cussin' and screamin' and came out with his spotlight he used for deer huntin and there I was, naked as the day I was born and covered with shit. He just shook his head and said, "What in Hell are you doing out here naked? Do you want people to SEE you like this?" Uh, no grampa, but with that SPOTLIGHT I'm sure they will, thanks. So..where was I? Oh, yeah. My grandson told me to tell you "great pics of the races, Dude". :) Stephanie
    • 7/25/01 Keep my mom on your mailing list. She knows a lot (everything) about outhouses than she does (nothing) about computers. thanks
    • 7/16/01 Is thre an outhouse club or organization in America or Canada?
    • 7/23/01 Are there any websites or companies that have building kits that are ready-made and can be put together by the buyer? If so, do you have a name or list of such companies? [Nope! No such animal that I know of...]
    • 7/21/01 Sir, if you really want to see some unusual outhouses, take a trip to Nova Scotia, and on Route 366 on the Northumberland Strait in East Linden, and Northport you'll see more than you can count. I know, because I use to live there.
    • 7/11/01 I have a picture of a two story outhouse that was build about 1921 in Mirando City, Texas -- an oil boom town in south Texas.
    • 7/18/01 In 1953, I was a 14 year old teenager working (grass cutting, dishwashing, etc.) at a YMCA camp in Southern Maryland. Myself and 9 other similar age boys lived in "Lodge 13" close to the dining hall and we had our own "facility". This house was rather old and rickety and the house had rotted away from the wood base so it was moveable.
      One evening, we decided to rotate the house 90 degrees so the door was now on the side. Our supervisor, the camp business manager, was working late that evening and when he returned he had to use same. Needless to say, he couldn't find the door and we were treated to new words to our vocabulary.
      Another time, one of our fellows was using the facility, we got some rope and ran it around the house tying him inside. We got some newspaper, lit same, and stuffed in down the hole in the back. Boy, did that smell! It was also surprising the words we heard from our coworker.
      The last stunt was to tie the door shut and lean the house back and prop it up with a log. It's a wonder someone didn't fall in.
      I've often admired teachers who put up with boys of this age. But it sure beat computer camp the kids have today.
    • 7/15/01 The two and three holers are now being used in decorating. I have see, at recent antiques shows, coffee tables and hanging mirrors made out of the old seats! I am also seeing them at auction.
    • 7/15/01 I read the history of the "earth closet" on your website, and it got me to thinking about the outhouse that was situated on my property. I live in an 1870's Victorian home in Chicago. Of course there was no indoor plumbing when the house was built, and the survey showed a few out buildings. In one section of my back yard I'm constantly digging up big pieces of cinder and ashy pieces. Do you think an earth closet may have been in place there? It's can be very diffiecult to plant anything there due to the condition of the soil on that spot. Hope you can respond, and thanks for the great website!
      [Curator's Comment: Most likely, you are digging up an area where the fireplace remains were buried. Houses back then had multiple fireplaces for heat and cooking. The ashes needed to be cleaned out and were dumped into holes or an area that would not burn.
      Earth closets used earth to do their work and did not really use cinders. There is one exception. I still haven't posted the picture but a guy who was in Viet Nam sent me a picture of what they did there. They used 55 gallon drums under their "outhouses" and when it became somewhat full, the drum would be carried out somehow and the contents would be burned to a crisp. He said it was a good thing they were behind the lines. You could see the smoke for a long ways (and smell it!).]
    • 7/1/01 Great looking outhouse!
      My neighbours and I want to build them for the bon fire nights. Looking for plans that work. Can you help us?
      ps. nothing like the smell of good outhouse on a warm summer night!!!!!!!!!
    • 6/27/01 The Wayne County Historical Society (in Lyons, New York) is flushed with pride that we have produced a 15-month calendar that features colored photographs of 16 outhouses and outhouse trivia. This fundraising event has been a lot of fun to work on and if your readers are interested in ordering a calendar they can go to our website address and print off an order form http://members.aol.com.wchs4943.
      We also are having an outhouse exhibit that will be open from July 13-December 2. The focal point is a 4'x4'x8' two-hole outhouse made of hemlock and topped with a shake shingle roof. The outhouse has been built so that it can be taken apart, for relocating purposes, and then put back together.
      Directions to the Museum are also available on the website.
      Thank you for providing this fun site!
    • 6/26/01 In the town of Buffalo, KS there used to be a brick factory many years ago and bricks were cheap and plentiful. As a result, there are a few outhouses that are built like....well actually they are, brick sh thouses! If I am ever in the town again, I'll try to get you a few pictures, but you might find somebody else who could get them quicker. A must-have for your collection.....
    • 6/25/01 Out outhouse (at our summer cottage) is connected to the tool shed. To get to both we go through a 12 foot long arbor covered with climbing roses. So when anyone has to use the outhouse they might say, "I'm going out the smell the roses." One or out guests called it the "rose room".
    • 6/23/01 Is there a website that has Outhouse designs from years past? thanks.
    • 6/21/01 fantastic site, i read an article a few years back outlining the odditie & success of an outhouse digger. never forgot my interest in the field. i since purchased a small farm in sherrard, illinios. the 1876 italianate house was built by a very wealthy man who's name was james macdonald. i found this out after i purchased the house. my name is paul macdonald. the small town where he is buried had a lot of imigration from massachusetts in the early 1800's. somewhere in the 1800's my name was changed from "mc" to "mac" and i grew up in boston.WOW. im still researching his roots. anyway someday soon i will be probing by the lillacs outback on my first dig. keep up the good work . the best to ya,mac
    • 6/18/01 Saw a poem on an outhouse at the Museum of the Adirondacks by Riley----didn't stop to copy it---where could I find the poem? Does anybody happen to know it? [Curator's comment: Sure. There are two poems that I have. One is called Ode to the Outhouse and the other is called The Passing of the Backhouse (a REAL CLASSIC!!!) Hope you enjoy'em.]
    • 6/20/01 I'm from Minneapolis, MN. My dad has about three thousand bottles in his bottle collection in Northern, Minnesota. He is trying to find a buyer if one exists for sun colored glass. Do you have any helpful hints of where to search for prospective buyers?
    • 6/19/01 Were outhouses used by wealthy and famous in the mid-1800s? Were they the plain little shack variety or fancy? What would a "fancy" outhouse be like? [For the answer, go to the FAQ's page!]
    • 6/18/01 Have trouble going in the night? JONNY GLOW™ is uniquely designed to "help you see where you are going" in the middle of the night. Once applied to your toilet, the glow-in-the-dark strips of JONNY GLOW™ will help you to accurately use the facilities without missing and creating an unwanted mess. With only a fifteen minute charge from normal bathroom light, this industrial strength material will glow for TEN FULL HOURS. You can see this product at http://www.crogan.com/jonnyglow.htm.
    • 6/20/01 great site. I am looking to decorate the inside of the only male washroom in the house with interesting photos of outhouses.
    • 6/18/01 I want to know where the term 'biffy' came from. Who coined the phrase and when? What terms are used in other countries such as England where an "outhouse" is really a tool shed there?
    • 6/17/01 My son-in-law just built for me a little garden outhouse that he made from old barnwood. We have yet figured out what to use as a door handle. Can you give us any suggestions as to what type of handles were used to open and close the door??
      [Curator's Comment: Hi Mary,
      Lots of people took a small block of wood and cut the wood at a 45 degree angle on both sides. To visualize, Top and bottom surface is flat. Size might be 1" x 4" and 1" in depth. Cut angles so surface closest to you is wider than surface touching the door. That way you can grab hold of the handle. Mount it vertically so handle goes top to bottom.
      Paint or water treat the handle.
      P.S. Ever consider purchasing one of our books or an outhouse sign like we have for sale in our store? Go to the store now!
    • 6/14/01 Before indoor plumbing, which in some towns included poorer homes as late as 1930, there wasn't sufficient room on the lot to move the privy over a new hole. In our town of 5000 population in the mid-west, during the 1920s, I remember some less-affluent homes on the outskirts still without indoor plumbing. There were two brothers, named "Ott and Henry," with a one-horse wagon who "honey-dipped" these privies when full. The wagon had their long-handled shovels and two large wooden barrels for hauling the waste away. I still remember seeing the two, dressed in dark (dirty?) clothes with slouch hats, sitting on a high spring seat with one holding the reins. Either on their way to a job, or on their way home with a "load." They luved on a small patch at the edge on town. I wonder if they emptied their barrels on their field? Every kid in town knew what "honey-dipping" was and the dippers first names.
      In those days, the new Sears Roebuck and "Monkey Ward" catalogs couldn't come too soon. Cut up sheets of old newspapers sometimes showed up.
    • 6/7/01 All Y'all fail to mention the wonderful facilities we military guys were supplied with in Vietnam.. We had 55 gallon drums where the pit should have been and these were pulled out daily and MoGas ( gasoline diesel mix ) was added to the "mixture". This was then set afire and the columns were visible for miles if the winds were calm. Needless to say these were only used on teh basecamps .. in the field it was the poop and cover.
    • 6/5/01 thank you there is never enough said about our(heritage) in humor and we do need more of it love it
    • 5/29/01 Do you know of anywhere where I could get plans for an outhouse. We are replacing an old 2 holer and will probably go for a 1 holer but would appreciate any leads on plans.
    • 5/29/01 While I feel sorry for the owner's plight, the house in its present condition cannot be worth the pricetag. Are there other images of the house available online? The picture on the web page was a bit like the air brushed pictures of hollywood stars which make them appear much younger.
    • 5/20/01 I am looking for designs or plans to build (or possible just to purchase) an outhouse for our hunting cabin in the woods. Any web site suggestions?
    • 5/13/01 i would like to know the exact measurments, or see a plan or blueprint of the WPA goverment sponsered outhouses of the Rosevelt administration. can anyone help me? thank you in advance for your help.
    • 5/25/01 Visiting your "collection" has certainly been a privy ledge
    • 5/24/01 Can you tell me what the value of a mint condition Earth Closet with perfectly readable directions still attached to the inside cover, manufactured by Chas.Wakefield in Pittsfield, MA in 1870 would be? Thank you!!
    • 5/24/01 Do you know of a good site to post "wanted" ads for rustic outhouse doors with a half moon? [ If anyone has some to "sell" send the Curator an Email from any of my pages.]
    • 5/16/01 Hi, we have a portable restroom business, so, of course when on the computer I always take a few minutes to lookup pages on outhouses and so on. I really enjoyed your web site. Sure am glad to see some people can still have fun the ole fashion way, it's more fun to build something like these outhouses, be able to race, laugh and have a good time. Good luck at your next race. I will keep watching for another race. By the way #3 was one of our favorites too. I liked the idea of having the kids involved as well, I would definitely say, you know how to be with your families and have a good time, family is so important. Keep up the good work, designs and fun.
    • 5/16/01 For the passed two years, I wanted an outhouse for my Birthday, well this year I got one. Needless to say I was so excited I still can not belive it, this is my Summer project, as a young girl had to use these when we would go visit our family. Bings back many memories. Would you have a web site that you could send me, that I could order a T-Shirt, is there souch a place? Well I hope I get to enjoy my "OUTHOUSE" as much as you most enjoy yours.
    • 5/16/01 Finally am able to send and explain the 2-storey outhouse in Crested Butte Colorado. The snow got high enough here that a path could not always be shoveled from the house to the facilities. This was solved by offsetting holes and covering a walkway from the upper floor of the residence. this is a rogue landmark and many of the locals will when asked act as if they have no idea where it is. To keep with tradition neither will I but Crested Butte is not a large town. searching for this landmark is a good way to see the town. [ Curator's Comment: I will post these pictures in the future. They look great! ]
    • 5/15/01 Interesting. My sister, who loves outhouses, sent to me. I've taken quite a few pictures of outhouses. Most are in Bodie. I am surprised to not see any of Bodie's many, many outhouses. Do you post other people's outhouse pictures?
    • 4/23/01 I have 4 watercolors of various outhouses painted by Laurine Kimmel. They have been in my grandmother's bathroom ever since I can remember. Do you know anyone that would be interested in these for purchase or could tell me if there have any value. Your site is extremely interesting. I loved the urban outhouse pictures.
    • 4/23/01 I grew up in Upstate N.Y. with an outhouse and somehow the topic of whether or not there was ever a two-story one came up (At the Easter Dinner Table)..Well, my friend, Janet, went in on the interenet to see if there was such a thing and low and behold, she found this history. I am amazed. This started out as a joke and wound up with all this history on outhouses. Truly amazing!!!
    • 4/17/01 Do you know where I could find a guest registry for my outhouse? I liked your "guest book", you stated it hung from a chain and guests could register. Could I order this book from you, or where might I find this article?
    • 4/17/01 See, I knew I wasn't crazy!!?? There are other outhouse lovers out there!! My Dad obtained an outhouse for me in Pike County, Illinois. I'm going to pick it up this weekend. My husband and I pushed and lifted and crawled and injured ourselves but we freed our outhouse from the ramblings of the land around it. It's in great shape, quite fancy, really. I cannot wait to strap it to my 10 foot "wagon" and carry it home!! The conversations that will arise on the highway as people blow past me and my privvy, I can't wait! When I get it home, I do plan on digging a pit, setting it on a block foundation, and using it. I don't know if I will paint it, I like it's history, the look of it's life. What do you think? Should I restore it, like I said earlier, it's really in great shape, and weighs over 400 pounds, not an easy tipper. Love your site, keep up the good work!!
    • 4/14/01 When was the flushing toilet invented? [Curator's Comment: Mid 1860's in England. Credit Thomas Crapper and company.]
    • 4/12/01 As you're aware outhouses can have exterior round holes or Crescent shaped ones with the crescent going in a CW or CCW pattern or direction.
      Q.1--Does the CW or CCW direction have any significance, or is it a matter of choice.
      Q.2 Are Crescents & round holes for decorative purposes only; or do they vent?
    • 4/10/01 I'm looking for the poem about the T.Crapper. I am an outhouse enthusiats and collect photos and stories.
    • 4/7/01 Do you have any outhouse plans. Deepth of hole needed etcetera
    • 4/7/01 Hi - just thought you ought to know, that the former Governor of Maryland, Gov. Shaffer, got mad at the Eastern Shore representatives and said that they all came from well, the "outhouse" side of Maryland. There are many outhouses on the Shore, many of them in the poor minority sections are still in daily use. And the former Gov. helped to keep them in use by denying funds to update water and sewer conditions! So if you know someone that lives in the area or will be visiting, have them get you some photos. Unfortunately, I don't live there anymore.
    • 4/7/01 Are you familiar with the all time classic outhouse story told by the late Jackie Vernon? When I was a kid I heard him tell this story on tv...maybe Ed Sullivan..and never forgot it: Jackie was traveling through a rural area and stopped to use the outhouse. As Jackie was sitting in this two seater privy, a farmer came in and prepared himself for taking care of business. As he lowered his overalls a quarter fell out of his pocket and rolled around and around and around in circles until it plopped right down the toilet hole. The farmer nonchalantly takes out his wallet and throws a twenty dollar bill down the hole....Jackie says, "What'dya do that for?" The farmer replies, "You don't think I am going down there for a quarter do you?"
      Good site..lots of good laffs..
    • [Regarding the Wall Drug card] Doesn't look like there's a a hole big enought for that big hipped girl Wow! what a butt!
    • 4/7/01 How can we take care of the strong smell in our outhouse at our hunting shack. It has such a strong ammonia smell that it takes the breath away especially in warmer weather. Is there anything that can be dumped or poured down the hole that would help? I could use and answer ASAP. Please! Thank you in advance for your help. [Curator's Comment: Stop drinking bad beer!
      No, really...buy some lime at your local hardware store. Get a scoop and throw a couple scoops of it down the hole at least once a week. Your pee will help to get it working on the crap down below. If that doesn't help, you can install a vent pipe in the back of the outhouse. Use PVC and paint it black. Have it extend down into the pit about 3-6 inches below the seat height. That will draw out some smell.]
    • 4/7/01 why do some out houses have poles in the top of them and others don't. I figure it to "air" them out, but if that was the case, why don't all of them have one? [Curator's Comment: That would be a more modern vent stack. Paint it black and the sun will heat it and draw the smell out of the pit!]
    • 4/6/01 I read your question on a message board about the, "There's grandma swinging on the outhouse door" song and I wondered if you ever found the lyrics. We have laughed about that song since I was a kid but I don't know the words.
    • 4/6/01 Back in Racine Wisconsin I knew A. Big feller named Art down the road who tried to put some class in his outhouse, He had one of those vinyl covered seats that were popular back in the mid 60's, any way the vinyl cracked and instead of throwing it out He though since he worked at a plating shop he would just take the vinyl off and chrome plate the seat! It looked real nice especially with the lid up and as long as someone did not leave the door open in the sun it was quite comfy. Come winter I was talking to another feller and said I had not seen Art for a few days and was wandering if he was ill, Well I was told yes! He was on delicate rest, seams he spent a rough night stuck to the frozen toilet seat! By the time his wife realized he was missing and went to investigate he had burned his bottom pretty good, We had a lot of fun at Arts expense over that one.
    • 4/5/01 No one seems to be commenting on the "other images." Either my eyes deceive me, my mind's in the gutter, or the disappearing man won't be dismounting that hole without a hardy hoist for his massive manliness. DOWN ROVER!
    • 4/1/01 When I went to Girl Scout camp, I learned many new songs, and my favorite one, to my mother's dismay was the following about our outhouses:

      Stan, Stan, the lavatory man,
      Chief inspector of the outhouse clan
      Issues the tissues, the paper and the towels
      Listens to the rhythms of the various bowels

      Deep, down, under the ground
      Where all the little poopies go
      Swimming around
      Stan, Stan, the lavatory man,
      Scoops up the poopies in his little tin can.

      Nice, isn't it? And who says Girl Scouts are pure and innocent?
    • 4/1/01 Outhouse for Sale in Florida!!! hi ... so glad i found your page and the outhouses of america tour on the web!
      we're about to take title to someland in west central florida that sports a 1970s-era outhouse... do you think anyone would be interested in buying / removing it? or shall i just figure out how to get rid of it on my own?
      i'm quite new to the outhouse-groupy thing and can't gauge the intensity level of aficionados yet ... thought you might give some advice thx
    • 3/29/01 We are also the proud owners of an "outhouse" It is now sitting where our garage will someday set. So we are going to have to move it. We live in a converted barn and the outhouse was built to match the barn. We had a church picnic out here once. One of the guys wanted to know if it (the outhouse) still worked.
    • 3/29/01 I grew up in Mississippi and have made use of an outhouse. Believe me, modern bathrooms are a Godsend! Not only were spiders a hazard, but wasps loved the protection from the elements, so rolled up newspapers were always kept on the back porch for burning out the varmits. Oh, and air fresheners should have been thought of back then, especially in the hot sweltering summers. This site was very neat. Rebecca, North Carolina
    • 3/26/01 My son has to do a wood working project and he would like to build a real life size out house. Where can I get plans?
    • 3/25/01 I can't seem to get the page for the free plans and instructions to open. Does it still work? Is there another addresss I can try? Any help appreciated. [Go to http://www.jldr.com/faqs.html for the information.]
    • 3/21/01 Just saw the page with the prefab outhouse located in Michigan's UP. Does Mr. Liebermann have plans for this outhouse? I want to build one on my property in Ohio this summer and I think his design would be perfect for my site. I would appreciate any info you could pass along to me.
    • 3/17/01 I grew up with one [outhouse].
      I have a copy of The Specialist. Unfortunately it was not in book form. My boss found it and we turned it into an extension publication for give away including a couple of illustrations because we did not know where it came from or who wrote it. It was passed on to us. I was delighted to know it was published in 1929 and by Chic Sale. Now I have an origin for the publication.
      I too have fond memories of the old out houses. Ours was a two holer although none of us ever wanted the pleasure of sharing unless ill. Moving the thing was a misery but necessary and a very elaborate process of making sure we prepared a deep enough new hole and limed the old one and covered it well. If it was not deep enough you could not fill it without creating a bog. There was a serious method to maintaining a proper privy in my Alabama hills.
      We had the Sears catalog and corn cobs, honest to God, we had the cobs, white ones and pinks ones. The paper was slick and did not absorb, the cobs did.
      We had the slop jars but I was too small to ever carry those out, luckily. We installed a proper indoor toilet before I reached the statue required to lug one up the hill to the privy.
    • 3/15/01 Do you have an actual store website?
    • 3/6/01 I was wondering since you had the address to the Outhouse Preservation Society, if by any chance you had their phone number. [No, only an address]
    • 3/6/01 I am a member of the Library of Alexandria Trenary Branch Library team. Had a GREAT time at this years Outhouse Classic race. This was my first time there. We are already talking about some design changes for next year. Our team will definitely be there next year and for years to come!!!! Great job everyone.
    • 3/5/01 I am looking for a poem that my grandfather had in his outhouse. When we sold my grandpa's cabin, I never jotted down the poem and I'd like to have it. It went something like this:
      Welcome folks the bathroom's yours,
      But don't forget to lock the doors

      Pull down the shades if you should scrub,
      Then be polite, scrub out the tub

      You can trim yer corns or wash yer feet,
      Or simply occupy the seat

      Just relax til someone else starts makin tracks

      Then git out quick and don't be slow
      But stop to flush before ya go!
      Does anyone out there have this poem?
    • 3/4/01 Being raised in the Ozark Mountains during the 30's, I know what an outhouse looks like. When my four grandsons were 1,2,3,4 years old, we visited those hills. We stayed at a park on the Buffalo River where there was a pit toilet, complete with separators between holes. My 4-year old had to use the john, so I took him to this communal outhouse. His remark... "Grandpa, somebody didn't flush it!"
      And a chicken switch is just that, a switch to scare the chickens away. Ever get pecked on the p - - - by one of those Baptist Preacher's dinners?
    • 2/28/01 Hello I have a large collection of illustrated patents on WCs 19th century any interest Crapper and all
    • 2/27/01 I am a leader of 12 girl scouts, which for the first time experienced the thrill of outhouses last summer. I'd love to hear the music to this song. It would be a great Girl Scout campfire song! Do you know how to find the music?
    • 2/26/01 Hi there! My mom collects outhouse stuff, and I was wondering if you could tell me how much your things cost or do yo have a catalog? Thanks for your help.
    • 2/26/01 We are trying to redo our bathroom with the outhouse theme. Please help with places to find stuff to decorate our can.
    • 2/25/01 [Regarding the Little Brown Shack] I am in England, I have a recording of this ode, with the identical lyrics as written at he end of this web page.
      I have to say that they are brilliant lyrics, I can relate to the long gone pleasures of these out houses.
    • 2/24/01 life must be very boring. i've heard of people facinated with entertainment, bridges, planes, autos but outhouses..my condolences.
    • 2/24/01 A Branch of the Government Dept I work for is moving into temporary office accommodation. A ballot was held and by an overwhelming majority we have named the edifice "The Outhouse" It would be absolutely superb for the "Foundation Members" to have bestowed upon them a distinguishing symbol or badge of honour. What a symbol the "Outhouse Curators Tie" would be. Could you please let me know where I can order 25 of them for delivery to Australia by May of this year at the latest. I would also be interested other similar apparel or memorabilia which we could use as awards, presentations, etc. Great web site - it appeals to the Australian sense of humor.
    • 2/17/01 Please help me find some plans for building an outhouse - I do a lot of activities for underpriviledged children and I want to create a real counrty atmosphere. We want to build a latrine.
    • 2/14/01 I am the fourth generation to live on this farm. This is the third outhouse that has been on this farm. We (when I was about 3 yrs old) started out with a two seater, then we moved it and it was just a one holer. That area was then filled in and the outhouse moved again to the spot where it is still sitting. No longer used after my parents finally got indoor plumbing. I can remember the days as a child going to the outhouse with a flashlight and trying to talk someone to go with me in the dark. I love your pictures and descriptions of the outhouses. They are truly a thing of the past. My husband wanted to take it down, but I wouldn't let him. It's an icon and it will stand until I move, or it does.
    • 2/16/01 Have you ever heard the term Biffy (Biffie?, Biphie? who knows?) or Bifaloreum (Biphaloreum?Biffaloreum, who knows?) for an outhouse. My mother and her family lived in northern Minnesota, and have used that term for years, and say that "everyone" up there called it a biffy (sp?). Help. She swears it's a legitimate term. Could there have been a person with that name, so that it became generic for an outhouse (e.g. Kleenex for all tissues)? Would love any information you might find. Thank you.
    • 2/12/01 Hello, my name is Rob Outhouse, I visited your site today. I just wanted to tell you that I loved it. I would really like to have some of the Bumper Stickers that you show on your site. I see the Outhouse every morning, hehe.
      Maybe some members of my family will be interested in a vacation to PA. in the summer. We can see for ourselves. Thanks.
    • 2/9/01 Can't remember having such fun looking at this site! The one brought to my attention I will call double decker, on vacation out west and stopped at ghost town, or abandoned, there was a double decker! How much fun to visualize. Thanx for making my evening with this "outhouse site"
    • 2/9/01 http://www.jldr.com/ohbevel.html is a real fine photograph. If it were mine id crop it 1 inch on the right and tack an inspiring message on the footer [Your wish has been granted!]
    • 2/6/01 I have found copies of The Specialist by Chic Sale but have not found his book "I'll Tell You Why" Do you have copies available?
      In the book by Chic Sale "The Specialist" there is a mention of another book titled "I'll Tell You Why" which is the line used in the Specialist to explain to his customer why he preferred certain ways of building a privy...I located a book seller in California that sold copies of "The Specialist" but unfortunately, I gave all my copies away so I do not have that book dealer's address...
      As you probably know, "The specialist" was first released in l929,,,I was eight years old at the time and wee always got a big kick out of it....When Judge Frank Johnson, our most famous citizen here in Montgomery, Al was retiring I found "The Specialist" and gave it to him as a reminder of his early days of building privies while working on a WPA project in north Alabama... Again, Thanks. and I hope I have not bored you with my idle chatter...We oldtimers are prone to do that...
    • 2/4/01 I am trying to find the words to a poem or rhyme that starts: "The little red outhouse with the newspaper on the wall-------". Thank you very much. [Anyone know the answer? Email your answer to the Curator!]
    • 1/30/01 I was on the net and came across your outhouse it is great.
    • 1/29/01 Do you know where I might find a quilt block pattern for an outhouse? [Anyone know the answer? Email your answer to the Curator!]
    • 1/26/01 I just got through visiting your "Outhouses" site and I thought it was pretty interesting.
      I never knew that there was someone else involved in such artifacts?
      I started pencil sketching outhouses back about five year's ago, when my family and I were living in Wildwood,NJ, a few people thought it was "cute" the way I drew them.
      On our return to Houlton, ME, approximately three year's later, I thought, wouldn't it be something if I could 'build' outhouse's? First of all I wasn't really sure if I could do it or not? Then I went to a local 'Hobby store' and purchased some balsa and bass wood and began tinkering them together on a pine wood base. I even 'dug' a hole for under the outhouse. Then I built the 'house' the way I thought they might have been built.
      I even added 'grass' and 'dirt' and made a path to the 'house.' I was amazed that I did a fairly good job of it. Later on I built another one!
      Unfortunately, my local Hobby store dealer decided it was time to get out of the business. Consequently I no longer have a supply of 'wood' to work with in the scale that I was building. (Approximately 1/4" = 1 foot.)
      My eldest son is a plastic model builder and receive's "Scale Auto" magazine's from a friend who also build's plastic model's and in the magazine there is a business that sell's balsa wood among other material's and I just might be back building once again.
      Your site has encouraged me to start once again!
      My family and I use to live in Westfield,ME back in '87 and next to our house we had an 'outhouse,' which was built as one unit together with a tool shed.
      It took us awhile to get use to it, when on several occassion's we had no alternative but to utilize it. Especially when the power went out! Which happened once in awhile. Our 'flush' (as we call it here in Maine) ran off of our well, which was powered by electricity.
      I use to have to put shovel full's of LIME on top to help it along, and through the single holer. Although, I was told that if I added a can of 'Red Lye' it would increase the performance. (I could never locate any, so I had to rely on the lime.)
      Now a days one is still permitted to have an outhouse, but it has to have a cement liner and act like a septic tank with a leech field.
      I thought you might also be interested in this little piece of information.
    • 1/25/01 why are you so interested in outhouses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    • 1/23/01 Hi ...just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed your site....remembering the "outhouses" far more than I want to admit. I had a friend in Ky who had one of the "exploding" varieties you have pictured, and I spent my 25 cents to see how it worked too....sure scared me. Thanks for the memories....Pat
    • 1/22/01 Why did the moon on the front of the outhouse face different directions sometimes?
    • 1/19/01 I loved all your outhouse stuff! Having grown up in the northwoods of Minnesota and my husband in Northern Michigan, we have a fondness for those cute little buildings that used to dot the countryside. I too collect them and would like to know where I could aquire more...like the shirt you showed. Any ideas..I just found this site so perhaps when I explore further my question will be answered.
    • 1/19/01 I am interested in putting one in the garden to use as a tool shed. Any ideas on finding an antique? How about blueprints? No, this is not meant to be a dumb question.
    • 1/13/01 Could you please tell me what the significance of the moon on the outhouse door was? [Check out my faq's page]
    • 1/12/01 At hunting camp should i be the second one out to avoid a COLD seat or be second, to appreciate a warm seat but the "scent" of the previous occupant.
    • 1/10/01 Enjoyed your Outhouse web page very much. You have an interesting collection ofphotos, drawings, etc. But, not much in the line of the written word.
      Are you aware of the famous poem: "Passing of the Backhouse" ? It is attributed to James Whitcomb Riley, but exact authorship is not know for sure. Regardless of who wrote it, it is fun.
      [Curator's Comment: That story and many others can be found HERE!]
    • 1/9/01 I restored my grandmother and grandfather's outhouse a few years ago (for aesthetic purpose only), and use it as a changing room for the pool. I inherited the property in southeastern Pennsylvania and just couldn't let it rot away. My mother tells me my grandfather built the privy, and I do remember running out to use it in the cold winter nights as a kid. I am now 46 years of age. Anyway, having Amish neighbors, outhouses are a fairly common sight, for us, but I enjoy mine quite a bit.
    • 1/8/01 I'm decorating my powder room in outhouses. Do you sell accessories with outhouses on them (such as hand towels, possibly a toilet seat with an outhouse painted on it)?
    • 1/8/01 Our new outhouse is an a-frame with double-dutch doors. We are building an A-frame house and thought that an outhouse that was similiar to the house would be appropiate.
    • 1/6/01 Do you know where I could get some framed prints of Martha Hinson's outhouses. I would like to decorate my bathroom with them and have not been able to find but one. I would like a variety. I remember growing up. We had an outhouse that had two adult holes and one child hole. When I tell people this they cant believe there was more than one hole. I saw lots of outhouses with more than one hole on you site. I'll have to refer those non-belivers to your place. LOL
    • 1/5/01 Greetings! I was born in 1949 (Chicago). I remember my parents having a soft-cover, "wood-grain" finish book called "Rural Landmarks"...I believe it was published by a company in Chicago. Contained within was the poem titled "The Passing of the Backhouse" (your title)... The remainder of the book was a collection of humor (quite extensive) and drawings, all centered upon the outhouse. It was a classic. I noticed it mentioned in your website. In fact, I found your website while looking for the book. If you come across any info regarding how I could obtain another copy, please inform! Great website! [Curator's Comment: I have one of the only remaining copies!]
    • 1/5/01 Is this event [Outhouse Races] still going on? I haven't been able to find anything about it except for the 1999 Web Page. Please let me know. [Hello, Here is a link to the information on the 2001 Outhouse Classic Outhouse Races in Trenary, MI]
    • [This comment in in reference to the Tour of Outhouses in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.]Wausau is not in Minnesota off Highway 29 in your article. It is in Wisconsin. I have memories of using the outhouse as a little girl and am enjoying all this on outhouses. I received this from a good friend in Warrangul, Australia.


    • 12/14/00 LOVE your site! Do you have any idea where your sister got the outhouse bank? Can you tell me the name of the manufacturer? It would make such a perfect gift for a dear relative. [Curator's Comment: Check out the updated information on the Outhouse Bank page.]
    • 12/12/00 What a scream, whilst researching for some Diversional Therapy for my care-recipients about what Australians call "Dunnies" and into reminiscing mode I came upon this page, just love it and the instructins, i will feature this in my next newsletter to all the folk at our respite.
    • 12/9/00 thanks for such a great site...
      i needed a break from the regular serious stuff on the net...
      maybe al gore should look up your site and give america a break...
    • 12/2/00 I grew up in Appalachia and I am an avid student of Appalachian culture. Over the years, I noticed that all the older outhouses (circa 1940) had gooseberry bushes planted somewhere in the vicinity, usually on either or both sides. Can you tell me why? This is a huge cultural void in my studies! Please include this question on your FAQ page. [Check out the FAQ's page for the answer]
    • 11/23/00 Sir: I know you take this subject very seriously and I will also. We are currently restoring an 1859 historic home to be used on the National Register of Historic Places as a living history plantation. We are searching for an outhouse plan that might have been used by an affluent family on an 1860 plantation in Kentucky along with its historical use and accessories. I have used many an outhouse but most were constructed in the 1960's. Example, would corn cobs been prevalent due to the scarcity of paper. Any information from your historical background would be immensely appreciated. Director Kentucky Confederate Studies [Curator's Comment: If you buy the book for sale on this web site, you will have a taste and review of the history of outhouses and quite possibly some of your answers. You could actually use pages from it in a display about outhouses at your site.
      Since I wasn't really there in 1860, I don't know for sure the answers to your questions. I don't think Sears and Roebuck was around either so there wouldn't have been that source of paper. We can only safely assume that corn cobs would have been the prevalent means of wiping at that time. I would think the local watering hole or pond would have been frequented to rinse off with a nice swim in the summer.
      As far as plans, again I don't know of any original plans from way back then. Moules Earth Closet was invented around that time so they may have been used. In fact, if they were affluent, they probably did have one. Someone who visited my site found one and wanted to sell it. If you are interested in giving an offer for it, let me know and I'll relay your message to him.
      I'm reasonably confident that outhouses were pretty much standard one or two holers back then and the carpenters of the time could probably put one up in a very short time since they were a necessity. If you take a look at construction sites, you will see the outhouse is the first thing on the job site! I do have some sources for plans on the FAQ's page. The link is shown below.
      Thank you for taking the time to visit my site and please do come back often to see what's new.]
    • 11/21/00 An elderly friend is looking for a book called "My Folks Back to the Basics, A Treasury of Outhouse Stories" which she thought was printed by Capers in 1994.
    • 11/19/00 I was doing a search on outhouses when I came across your website. I was wondering if you can give me a few sites to go to that I would be able to order outhouses pictures and other outhouse stuff I can put on a shelf. Any info you can give me would be very appreciated.
    • 11/15/00 I go to a summer camp every summer. At this camp they do not have real bathrooms just outhouses. Actually, we call them the biffy (Bathroom In Forest For You.) Well, a few summers ago we were having a cook out. My friend and I took this big jug and filled it w/ bubbles. Then, we covered ourselves in the bubbles and walked over to the biffys. We started screaming!! Everyone ran over with worried looks on their faces asking "Whats wrong?!"
      "She fell in the biffy!" my friend said. While I was hidden in out of the biffys my friend was pretending to pull me out of it!! I flew out saying "Wow, you would not believe how bubbly it is down there!"
      After I cleaned all the bubbles off we told every camper that passed by that I had fallen in the biffy. Amazingly, everyone believed us.
      The next summer everyone knew me as Bif. And to this day there are still people that believe that I truly did fall into the Biffy.
    • 11/16/00 I had a poster that was my father's before he died. It was a picture of a two story outhouse with the Management on top and employee on the bottom. When I changed jobs the poster disappeared to my dismay. It is an older style outhouse with no visible means to get to the 2nd floor. It was a commercially available poster. I have seen other similar type posters that just are not the same. Can you point me to a place to look for the poster?
    • 11/13/00 What a gas! My father has had a fettish for old outhouses and I and my siblings would like to look at designs to construct one for my parents for a Christmas gift. They will probbably use it to plant flowers in. Where might I look for this type of info.?
    • 11/9/00 I am desperately trying to find original specifications for a WPA outhouse. My father has an original WPA outhouse and it was damaged (pretty bad) in a storm and he would like to restore it to original specifications. ANY information you can give me would be GREATLY appreciated.
    • 11/8/00 I am looking for a shower curtain with outhouses on it. I have my entire bathroom done in the outhouse theme, but I cannot find a shower curtain with them on it anywhere. If you can help, let me know!
    • 11/3/00 could you kind fokes tell how to make prope. [Huh?]
    • 11/1/00 I would deeply appreciate your providing the full citation to the Edward Pound article from USA Today. "Glacier's $1,000,000 Outhouse." For some reason it no longer appears on their search engine. I would like the date of the article, and the page, please. Thanks. I used your version for a speech I gave last month. By the way--Is that the actual title of his article?
    • 11/1/00 Hello! My name is Maggie and I was wondering when outhouses were invented.
    • 10/27/00 Where can an outhouse bank be purchased ?
    • 10/26/00 I have every Billy Ed Wheeler record released in England and can state that BEW recorded different versions of 'Litle Brown Shack' (some live). The other lyrics are from 'The Interstate is coming through our outhouse' also by BEW. If you'r interested & I have more time I can send an MP3 version - just ask.
    • 10/26/00 I have to tell you that yours is one of the best sites i've come across in my web surfing, however i did not see any pics of hawaii outhouses. i live on maui in the jungle with a very primitive outhouse of my own and a little nicer one of the neighbors. i will be back there in a few weeks and could take some pics if you are interested. as i have no modern convienences (electricity, running water, computers, or digital cameras) i would have to send prints via snail mail.
    • 10/24/00 " wow, cool." a surprise indeed. haha made me smile today.
    • 10/21/00 I am a 5th grade techer in Gary, IN. I have decided that constructing an outhouse in my classroom may be a way to teach measurements to my students. I would like for the outhouse to be as close to the "real" thing as possible (meaning the size). I would like to know if there is anyplace I can get the directions on how to construct an outhouse. I need this info in simple terms and a project that will not take a licensed contractor to build. My email address will be changing shortly. If I don't hear from you before that happens I will resend my request. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    • 10/21/00 Hi there. My name is Mike. I live in Koshkonong Missouri. I started the Koshkonong Heritage Day Outhouse Races in September of `93. Our races are a bit different than yours. We have two wheels and are pulled like riksha (chinese taxi). Each entry has one male and one female to pull the outhouses, and both take turns riding and pulling. We race around a path designated by two barrels on each end, on our mainstreet (which is blocked off for traffic). There are lots of potholes and some of the outhouses tip over (accidentally). The age group is from High School and up. Everyone has fun and gets a big kick out of it every year. The racers also receive free t-shirts and plaques to thank them for racing.
    • 10/19/00 What a fun site! I am remodeling my bathroom in a rustic style. I'm stenciling bears & pinetrees around the edge. I wanted to take some old barn wood and make an outhouse with a little man inside (who looks surprised and covering his private areas sitting on the pot) to go above the toilet, but didn't know exactly how they looked. Your site gave me lots of fun ideas. I needed one for a towel rack too and you helped me with that.
    • 10/18/00 Hey, i was looking for a website on The Outhouse and not only was yours the only site i found dedicated to that fun store, but i loved what i saw...Good 'n' plenty has great food. I have to agree with that! The pictures are really good too, but i dont think anyone realizes what a great place it is, until they have actually visited it and seen everything for themselves...Thanks for making the site!
    • 10/17/00 We have an outhouse that we use in the wintertime at our cabin in northern Minnesota. I'd really like to spruce it up (half log siding to match the cabin, a regulated portable heater, insulate it, and decorate it). What I'm looking for is either a crescent moon stencil for the door or a (wood) crescent moon I can hang on the door. Can you help me?
    • 10/17/00 Great page! I was in Lancaster earlier this year, but I missed your store somehow. Hopefully, I will get back down that way real soon so I can look around. In the mean time, do you have a mail order catalog for items in your store? I'm doing a bathroom over and planning to decorate in outhouses. Please let me know if catalogs are available. Thanks!
    • 10/17/00 I looked at P Johnson's towel rack and noticed she has likely used the border paper that I just bought in a small Cow Town west of Calgary.. The same town that held the Outhouse race on Sept. 20/00. The have three rolls of this border paper... it's 8" x 15 ft... It comes in three different background colours.
    • 10/16/00 i am a member of the rotary club of delaware, oh. is there anyone in our area that could give a presentation to the members at a luncheon meeting on the history, style, humor and preservation of outhouses.
    • 10/16/00 "Ode to the Outhouse": A friend of mine was looking for this poem (James Whitcomb Riley). [You'll find it here!] 10/17/00 I Did find the poem on your website as well. Just not in it's entirety. From what I can tell the poem has several additional versus, not included on yours. Just thought that you might want to take a look and see what you think. The title is also different on yours, than on the other. According to my friend, who asked me to look it up. "Path to the backhouse". Is the correct title. She had memorized it as a child (if you can believe that) Anyway, I enjoyed your site very much, and found it to be very entertaining. I just wanted to pass on some info that you might be interested in. Thanks Kristi
    • 10/15/00 Do you have an index of web site for "Outhouse" things??? John Thomson.. "still lookng for a tie with an OUTHOUSE on it!!!"
    • 10/12/00 I don't exactly know why i'm attracted to outhouses but i am and so much that i was compelled to build one. I have enclosed a picture of my creation and you may put it on your site if you wish and include my e-mail address dratomic76@aol.com so anyone else with the same interest can contact me. I'm 41 years old a tattooed biker and love antiques, the 70's music and outhouses and they call me big daddy.
    • 10/12/00 Do you have any photos of outhouses that I could purchase? If not, do you know where I can find a few to buy? I am in the process of decorating a bathroom and the decor is going to be old outhouses. I want to do a collage of several different photos however, I am having trouble finding the pictures.
    • 10/10/00 I'm desperately looking to buy an old outhouse, or in lieu of that, having one built. Can you help me locate an old outhouse, or do you know where I can find plans to build one? Thank you.
    • 10/10/00 Just wanted to know where I could buy one of the outhouse CD holders. I have an extensive outhouse collection but nothing like this. Thanks.
    • 9/9/00 I grew up in a small Midwestern town in the 1920s. At that time only the wealthiest homes (3 or 4) had indoor plumbing. For the underprivileged, the outhouse was situated at the back of the property, at the alleyway. When cleaning became necessary, arrangements were made with the local entrepreneurs who performed this task. They would show up in the dark of night, turn the outhouse on its side, and set to work with their scoops. When the job was finished they would right the structure and carry away the collected -- . I have no idea what they did with it. These men were called "honeydippers."
    • 10/4/00 Thanks much for the excellent coverage of our store in Lancaster. I also found your web site to be extremely interesting (what a lot of work) If you go to Pa. again let me know. Lunch is on me!!!
    • 10/3/00 A friend of mine has a jigsaw puzzle of outhouses, there's about 10 different kinds....she had it framed and it's in her bathroom....really looks cute. I have been looking for this jigsaw puzzle for the pass couple of years....could you please tell me if you have ever seen one like it and if so...where I could buy one? [Curator's Comment: I have it! It's called Nature Calls, has 550 pieces and it has 14 different outhouses in it. The address to contact is:
      Nature Calls
      6 Mildred Lane
      Ambler, PA 19002
      Good Luck!]
    • 10/3/00 My sister told me about your website and we both think you have one of the greatest senses of humors both of us have ever had the fortune of getting hit with!
    • 10/3/00 I would love to do my bathroom in Outhouses. I once saw a catalog that had all kinds of cool outhouse stuff, but it got lost before I could order. Do you know of any good resources for outhouse items. My kids pediatrician has a really cool poster of outhouses in their office bathroom. I am still trying to get that also.
    • 10/3/00 What a cool site!!!!
    • 9/29/00 looking for a pattern to cut out an outhouse for a wall decoration for a wedding gift. Using a scroll saw. Prefer a two holer so can cut out newlywed's names over the doors. Do you know where I might find such a pattern? thanks
    • 9/29/00 I was born in Rosie, Ar. and would have been 7 years old at the time this outhouse was built. It looks so familiar, and I know the location, but can recall the people. The lady mentioned her mother remembering it. If possible I would love to hear from this lady and find out who her mother was.
    • 9/29/00 I was born in Rosie, Ar. and would have been 7 years old at the time this outhouse was built. It looks so familiar, and I know the location, but can recall the people. The lady mentioned her mother remembering it. If possible I would love to hear from this lady and find out who her mother was.
    • 9/27/00 Houdy, Looked at your page to get some fresh pixs of outhouses. Was I surprised to see so many outhouse fans. I got my pixs so thanks. Now the John will have some "class"
    • 9/20/00 How did the outhouse get the name johnny house?
    • i am searching for some plans i had but lost for an ordorless outhouse. i got them about eleven years ago while on a bicycle trip at a national or state park i do not remember which. my nephew's industrial ed class would like to build some... and i would be their first customer. i just found your web site thru ask jeeves, it is late and i need to sleep, but i am sending it to my nephew and bookmark it for myself.i have a few good outhouse pictures and stories myself and have always found them interesting, practical and entertaining. i know i will enjoy viewing this site. thank you for your time and effort regarding this question and provideing this web site.
    • 9/23/00 I am looking for cross stitch patterns of Outhouses. Do you have any ideas?
    • 9/17/00 Hi, I'm sending you this picture of an outhouse that was once an attractive and fancy one. But, alas, once while playing hookie from gradeschool, I hiked out to the "Old Summer Home" where I grew up in the sumertime. At 16 years of age, and just receiving my first social security card in the year 1943 I stopped amidst the deserted surroundings and opened the door. As a fancy outhouse when you opened the door, the lid would raise up and it [Unable to display image]popped my purse right out of my hand and into the big hole! It had $6 and my social security card. I was about to retrieve my purse but "changed my mind!" That was 57 years ago and it is still down there. Anyone got a scooba suit? I know you can't use this story, but I wanted to share it! I loved your outhouse photos and stories! They were great!
    • 9/16/00 To reduce the waste, we would throw lime into the holes (a two-seater) after we were done using the house for the weekend. One weekend a cousin, not knowing there was a difference, threw down 'agricultural lime'. The next person to sit down got quite a surprise as weeds had grown to great heights in all the 'manure' and tickled his bottom.
    • 9/15/00 Dear Sir,
      My hat goes off to you! This is a great site--bursting with a wealth of interesting information, that I just couldn't stop reading! I think it's so amazing--just chock-full of truly incredible material.
      Keep up the good work--I really appreciate it.
    • 9/14/00 Hi ! My neighbor wants to build an outhouse next to his pond behind his home. Can you direct me to some detailed building plans ? I've told him to skip the plans and let "necessity be the mother" of his invention... however he insists on some basic "plans" for his "beer recycler"!!!!! The hole is dug and a large diameter by 4 foot long concrete pipe has been installed to shore up the walls. Help please!!
    • 9/14/00 You have a nice site
    • 9/13/00 After reviewing your website, I decided to submit pictures of our outhouse located on property we own in Eagle River, Wisconsin. The resort was built in 1896, although, I think this outhouse was rebuilt at some point. After talking to my artist/daughter-in-law about the outhouse, we decided it would be a great novelty if she were to paint it in psychedelic colors and install wall-to-wall shag carpeting in a two-tone orange/lime. I think it would be perfect for someone's garden. Anyone interested in bidding on it?
    • 9/12/00 you may be interested to know that,on a few days off from work I built an outhouse, inside my house with moon on the door and all, but inside it is several shelves, with a computer, my father came over while I had the saw going and I didnt hear him, of course he thought, and still thinks that I have completely lost my senses.but in the meantime he still brings all his friens over to see it.
    • 9/11/00 I am looking for hand towels with an outhouse design any suggestions?
    • 9/8/00 Years ago I had a wonderful poem (actually had it professionally framed) named "Thomas Crapper", and started out something like Thomas Crapper, plumbers mentor.......etc. Hung in the bathroom above the t-paper. True story- I lost it in a divorce, not cause he wanted it, but he didn't want me to have it! Talk about spoil sport. Today I heard, like everyone else, I heard there is doubt about T.Crapper being the first inventor- But I say BOOOOOO, What good is a Chinese who invents a pot and then buries it?? I say NONE I like a guy who invents something he is so proud of that he shares it with the world. ( Is that what a public toilet is-hummmmm) yada yada yada
      I would like to locate a source for this poem again, my bath has not been the same since I gave mine up. Can you help? June
      [Curator's Comment: If anyone out there can help with this, please Email the lyrics to me.]
    • 9/7/00 That little brown house out back...
      Had one on the farm where i was raised (west of Sylvania OH). The indoor facility was off the kitchen, and God help anyone who tracked mud across Grandma's waxed linoleum to get to it; hence the outhouse got much use during the wet season. With all those picturesque shots, how about a screensaver, after the fashion of the lighthouse ones?
    • 9/7/00 If you can, please tell me what the "Moon" Cutout is supposed to represent?
    • 9/7/00 My Uncle sent me this page, and I think that you did a great job of getting these pictures on the web. You had to have had a blast at the races. And at the local pubs. We are a NASCAR racing family, and your page made it to Southern California. Nice job. Renee
    • 9/5/00 Another memory was the outhouse at one of my friend's farm. The outhouse was named, "Lena", and so we had to go to "Lena". A two-holer.
    • 9/4/00 Hello, we have enjoyed viewing the pictures of the many outhouses in your website. Our problem is we own 10 acres of land with a lake and a pavilion. We have a lot of family picnics at our lake and we have rented portable toilets on occasion for a big family reunion. We have built an outhouse from some of our old fencing that we removed from the property. But we are interested in putting in a pumpable toilet inside the outhouse. What we have right now is just the main outside frame and roof. No insides. Can you help us find a pumbable unit for inside the outhouse.
      [Curator's Comment: If you want a true outhouse, build a cemented hole under it and you can then build an access hole from the outside for a honey truck to pump out periodically.
      If you have a forced water supply, you could install a real toilet inside and then the waste could go into a hole the size of a garbage can. In there, you could install a special pump from Home Depot which would pump the waste up and out into a holding tank located nearby. The honey truck could pump out from that tank. Now you are needing a water supply and electricity. There is no easy solution to your question.
    • 9/3/00 I like your web site. I have been trying to find some Tshirts with outhouse themes. Do you know of any online sources?
    • 8/31/00 Love your site!
      Was wondering... has anyone ever submitted a picture of the wooden outhouses provided for campers on the islands of Lake George, NY? If not, I'd be glad to email you one... Even for die-hard campers, they're the source of much conversation!
    • 8/25/00 Hello, My name is Carol and I have enjoyed your outhouse line it took me along to time to find it. I don't know if you are familar with the grange or not but this will be shared for my program tomorrow night. I sat watching TV and thought this would make a funny subject so I searched and this is were I landed. Again Thakyou you've put alot of time and work into this project. And many Thanks for sharing it with the public.
    • 8/25/00 The Victorian Manor with the His and Hers Outhouses has been sold. Visit my page on this to read about it.
    • 8/25/00 I didn't know if this is the right web site but i am dire need of knowing what the 1/2 moon on a old stly outhouse represents? hopefully you can help me out. WIL
    • 8/25/00 Imagine my surprise to see an internet link referring to a church near where my grandmother was raised. I never imagined that the Rosendale Church, near St. James, Minnesota, my hometown would gain notoriety because of it's classic plumbing. Thanks for the amusement,
    • 8/24/00 Hey curator, Do you know where I can find Bathroom Accessories in Outhouse Motif. There was a catalog from The Country House in Salisbury, Md but they now longer carry and items. Just thought maybe you had a lead?
      [Curator's Comment] Hey Kathy! Sure, check out my FAQ's page for some places to purchase things. Don't forget to check out the brand new information on Thomas Crapper on the FAQ's page with a brand new link to a complete page on Thomas Crapper. There is now a link to a source of Crapper toilets and accessories in England on that page.]
    • 8/24/00 Very interesting website. I grew up in a semi-rural town in Pennsylvania--used two seater outhouses regularly. I am presently researching underground toliets, constructed at the turn or the century. Could any of your readers provide me with information on this topic? Any information--regardless of how seemingly trival-- would be appreciated. Pat
    • 8/24/00 Amoungst the humor, there is quite a lot of good information about how to build a good outhouse in "The Specialist". If I were going to build one, I'd use it as a reference. I go to a farm ocassionally, in mid Missouri, that has a working outhouse and has for more than 100 years.
    • 8/23/00 I was searching the web for outhouses, because I need to make a construction paper outhouse to be used as a bathroom pass in an elementary school. I was very surprised to see this sight. I though that I would let you know the wherabouts of another old outhouse. It is located in Rabbit Hash Kentucky. Rabbit Hash is about 40 miles southwest of Cincinnati Ohio. It is on the Ohio river. Rabbit Hash is just a few old log cabins and an old general store. The general store is still in operation. It has been there since 1831. There will be a Labor Day celebration on September 2.
    • 8/23/00 I am a distant relative of Chic Sale and I wanted to point out another book that he wrote concerning outhouses. It is titled "I'll Tell You Why". It can be accessed at www.amc-ny.org/braley/outhouse/tellwhy.htm. All I know about Chic was what I read on the web and what I have heard from older people who had heard of him. We was a standup comic during the 20's, 30's and 40's. The bits about outhouses were his most requested material and he put them in book form. I have a copy of "The Specialist" and knew of the other one but had never seen a copy prior to yesterday. He was also in 3 movies: 1923 - The New Schoolteacher in which he starred. 1934 -Treasure Island in which he appeared. 1935- Rocky Mountain Mystery in which he starred with Randolph Scott.
    • 8/22/00 hi, i was hoping to find out of you guys was incharge of a outhouse calender and if i can send in pictures of my out house in to you? thank you for your time
    • 8/22/00 It's funny what you run in to while trying to find information on the Mackinac Bridge walk on Labor Day. The best part of it that I have stopped at a couple of them and yes the one in Wisconsin really is bad smelling. Nice job! I think!
    • 8/21/00 i want some actual plans to build my own outhouse for hunting.can you help?
    • 8/18/00 Good Morning, John. I hope that you can help me with my search. I know that I am a Gator! I have a friend that grew-up in Tennessee. She was relaying her childhood and started talking about the "little outhouse out back." She plays the guitar and would love to be able to play and sing this song for her children. Thank-you, for the lyrics. I have searched the webs looking for the chords, to no avail. My friend is going into the hospital on Monday for surgery. If I can find the music to this song, I would give it to her that day. Funny little song about an outhouse, but it would make her smile. Thank-you, again. Annie
    • 8/17/00 I have enjoyed your site and was curious if you could give me any suggestions on where to find outhouse decor. I am using a outhouse border in a bathroom and would love to have accesories to add. (pictures, small outhouses) I would appreciate any help that I can get. Thank you
    • 8/12/00 We are in a desparate search for a black and white poster size (preferably) of an outhouse with character for a gift. Can you help?
    • 8/12/00 My sister-in-law collects outhouse items and has a bathroom decorated in "outhouse art"...she has been unable to find a wastebasket--odd oxymoron!!
    • 8/11/00 With my name I can empathize with Mr. Crapper. [His name is Tickel]
    • 8/10/00 Do you have any suggestions on a source(s) for building plans for an outhouse? Thanks...your is lovely.
    • 8/10/00 I love your outhouse web page. I found it while trying to discover the origin of the term "Chick Sales" for an outhouse. I know there was an actor in vaudeville and early movies with that name, but I don't know the origin of the term for an outdoor privy. Can you help me?
    • 8/10/00 I read in the Comments to the Curator that there are folks looking for outhouse related things to decorate their outhouse (bathroom). The Country House catalog at www.thecountryhouse.com has outhouse stuff. The address is 805 E Main St., Salisbury, MD 21804. They have wallpaper borders, soap dishes, etc with outhouses on them. [Tell them the Outhouses of America Tour sent you from www.jldr.com]
    • 8/6/00 I am looking to buy a victorian manor to fix up. I would apreciate it very much if you would please send me a price on the manor pictured at your webpage.
    • 8/6/00 My fondest memories of outhouses were gathered each Halloween, when all the school boys in our small town, won't mention names, as I reckon some gentle folk would still like to hang the bunch of us, would run around in the dark,whooping like Indians, tipping over as many outhouses as we could find, generally checking first to see if there was anyone inside.
      Then, we'd go 'round next morning to help those unfortunate families to "right up" their outhouses again, while decrying those uncouth "vandals" who would do such a thing!! Forgot to mention we were 9 or 10 years old at the time -- during WW II --
    • 8/1/00 I'm quite an outhouse enthusiast myself. July 4th, my mother, father and I drove around Wabash County in Southern Illinois and photographed outhouses. There are still some great ones out there. I enjoy your website. Stan
    • 7/26/00 I would like to dig a new outhouse back in my woods near our campfire. I can't seem to locate any sort of directions for this endeavor. Where should I go to find the info?
    • 7/24/00 The reason I got started looking these up in the first place is I planned for some time to remodel my bathroom. I just did not know what theme I should have. (It started out as a seascape and I had purchased some related items to that effect.) Then, I happened to find some really cute ceramic outhouses with cowboy kids inside and out of them. I don't have any in pictures yet, but when I do, I will send them to you.
      Ever since then, I have been finding some framed pictures to go with my nick-knacks, but there are not as many as you might think and I have looked everywhere (so to speak).
      If I may, I would like your permission to print some of your pictures to frame and use in my newly remodeled "outhouse." And your "Ode to the Outhouse" is perfect reading while we sit on our one-holer. I would like to use that one, also.
      Keep adding to your website, they are really nice.
    • 7/23/00 Hi! I found your site to be very interesting. I recently returned from Lancaster and also visited the Outhouse, which was my son's favorite spot during our tours. We got to see the performing pigs across the street which was very humorous. We are looking forward to our visit next year at the Outhouse.
    • 7/23/00 My mom -- who grew up with outhouses -- mentioned that it'd be cute to build a miniature (5 or 6 footer) to place in her garden in the backyard just for show. I've scoured the Web and cannot find blueprints. I know building an outhouse is not "rocket science" as they say, but I'm no wood craftsman. Can you recommend any places to get some blueprints?
    • 7/18/00 Hi- saw your web page and thought it was just great! I too am looking for outhouse decorations and misc. items. Could you direct me? Thank you for any info and for lots of chuckles.
    • 7/17/00 How would I go about finding an outhouse to buy? thanks for your help.........hope you had a nice vacation! [Curator's Comment: Send Email to this person if you have an outhouse for sale]
    • 7/17/00 [Curator's Comment: This is what this web site does to people. It brings back memories that are hidden way back in their brain but then WHOOMP! it comes back and for a fleeting moment, they are suspended in the time machine and back in the "good old days"...]
    • 7/15/00 I was looking for info about an outhouse I saw in nantahala national park in bryson city north carolina. The guide on our rafting trip told us it was on the register of national places. You might want to add it to your collection.
    • 7/15/00 My name is Ben. I am approaching 19 and my last visit to The Outhouse was approximately 4 years ago. It was at The Outhouse that I bought my favorite article of clothing ever, a shirt with the phrase "ME BOSS YOU NOT" superimposed on dark blue. I am currently wearing it. Since my previous visit, I have lost over 100 pounds and the extra large is a bit humongous on me. I would like to purchase the same shirt in a large. Could you possibly send me a catalog so that my lifelong dream of having 2 shirts that say exactly the same thing can come true? Thankyou.
    • 7/12/00 I am in the process of designing a outhouse for my sister. Are there any designs available? Does someone sell a kit? Or am I shit out of luck and should not investigate this crap any further and get building. Looking for a easier "softer way"
    • 7/11/00 We live in the progressive and fast lane state of California. Who would imagine that this day and age there are out house's that are still in normal usage. My sister and her former husband bought some property outside a large northern city and until he made improvements there was no plumbing, no electricity, nothing. They had to haul the water. They used lanterns and candles to see at night and a wood stove to cook on....the shower was either cold or solar heated as it was a small open closet with a container for the water above it that had to be filled. And the famous or infamous house out back. This was with the little path and snakes, spiders, and other creatures that did not mind sharing the solitude of the little house. It was a hard thing for 4 females to get used to as they had just moved from a large city in the south of California. going from luxury including a phone in the bath with several bathrooms in the home to just one little wooden structure well it was something that needed getting used to. It just shows tho that even as the west is getting civilized, the people still are hardy stock. There is still hope for the people of America if they can just draw on this part of their makeup. WOOHOO for the little house.
    • 7/11/00 I have to replace the outhouse on my property in the UP of Michigan. I was hoping to build it at home and trailer it up north. Are there any building plans you know of to construct one.
    • 7/10/00 I would like to use one of your outhouse pictures on my web site. I am trying to put together some illustrations to show my early life, when we lived in several houses with outhouses.
    • 7/9/00 I'm building an outhouse on some property that we use for camping. Is there something that you can dump in the hole to help break down the waste to prevent it from filling up?
    • 7/8/00 I was wondering if you had any idea on how to purchase an old outhouse.........are they for sale anywhere? I would love to have one in my garden....... thank you.
    • 7/6/00 Do you have a catalog available.
    • 7/4/00 My brother recently bought a dairy farm in Fallon, NV. There is an old outhouse on the property still sitting on the original hole. It is in good condition. He is doing some rebuilding and may want to try and sell the outhouse. I would have to guess it to be over 100 years old. Do you have any idea how much there worth?
    • 6/28/00 Would you happen to know where I could find pictures of outhouses for use as wallpaper for my computer? I would surely appreciate it..
    • 6/26/00 Is the outhouse classic for 2001 Feb 24th? Thanks. [Yes, it should be the last weekend in February.]
    • 6/25/00 Hey , just loved you website on "outhouses" kind of sounds like we are from the same area. Thanks for all the work you put into it, it was fun looking.
    • 6/24/00 hi...i am decorating a bathroom in outhouses...i've been searching the internet for decorations or home accents of outhouses and can't find any...do you have any suggestions?
    • 6/23/00 I could swear I see a face in the photo on the right,onthe piece that has the slot for the quarter.I have web-tv and the picture is not really good, so I am sending it to the computer downstairs for a better look.
    • 6/23/00 Just stumbled across your site.. interesting!
      You reminded me of two outhouses I used when I was a kid.. they were at my family's old cabin and the one at my grandpa's cabin.
      The one at our old cabin was on a hillside and it got quite a bit of use as that cabin did not have any plumbing beyond the kitchen sink... that outhouse is now gone as the new owners own a lumberyard and therefore were able to go the whole nine yards.
      The one at my grandpa's cabin is still standing and in fairly good shape for not being used in 15+ years. However, this one's days are numbered too as my dad as much as said he's gonna get it hauled away.
    • 6/21/00 Glad to hear that you're still around. Too much good reading at your site to lose you.
    • 6/18/00 Do you know where we might get some instructions (plans) for building an outhouse?
      Your Web page is great! We never realized there was so much i Thanks
    • 6/18/00 Funny, when I was a kid (I am 32 now) I had this morbid curiosity with out door toilets. It's affected me to the point now I won't stop at a gas station (with modern bathrooms) with that fear of the unknown beyond the door.
      I think its why now I have an obsession with horror movies. And it is rare yet, theres been a couple movies with outhouse related scenes (Sleep Away Camp pt 3 I believe) and of course that one particular X-Files episode.
      My family would make fun because I would 'have to check out' all the outhouses. I remember even in younger teen years seeing them at the local parks buried in the trees. Like a forboding evil luring me to take one last look inside.
      I always thought they were evil... like something was down there (of course the unique aroma didn't help)... even today at local carnivals.. when you simply can't hold it any longer... the 'Port-a-pots' are beckening me... luring me into their darkness...
      Then I see online people have web pages dedicated to these... see I am not the only one that hears them calling....
      Was a interesting site (the 2 story one scares me some though)
    • 6/19/00 Is there anywhere I can get plans for an outhouse to use for tool storage in my garden?
    • 6/19/00 I need to know two things, one, how do i get one of those too cool outhouse jackets i saw in outhouse race photos and two, i would like all and any outhouse plans for construction of, around here if you go out to buy one , they start at around the $400.00 price mark, crazy huh, well thanks much....
    • 6/19/00 Hello, I've been looking hi and lo for some prints of old outhouses of different styles to hand in the bathroom of our home. Can you PLEASE help me out since you seem to know so much on the subject. We have a country home, and outhouses were deffinately part of country life, right? I'd like to add a little country flair to our restroom!! Any help you can give would be much appreciated. Thanks!
    • 6/14/00 Do you happen to have a catalog to order outhouse items from? Please let me know! I love them and can hardly find them anywhere!
    • 6/14/00

      Outhouse Available in Northeast Wisconsin

      My fiancée and I are wrapping up buying a house in northeastern Wisconsin (the deal is almost finalized), and we want to remove the old privy from the property (after we move in July). Recognizing the potential for historical value, I searched the WWW for information on outhouse preservation societies and found your informative webpage. Do you know of any such societies or individuals who might be interested in taking this outhouse? We were just going to knock it down and fill in the hole, but since that would destroy a part of history, we want to offer the outhouse for preservation in case someone is interested. I can provide more information on the outhouse if there is an interest (it currently appears to be unused, except as a bat roost; I'll check it out more next time I'm on the property). Inquire with scotnik@ezwebtech.com
    • 6/6/00 [This was sent to me by someone that must have donw a search on the word Skycrapper. It makes for interesting reading.]
      This an interview with some kind of 3-D video game Level developer:
      "At night, I often dream about some weird places. Most of these are too "unreal" or "weird" to do a good level, but sometimes there are really great ideas coming like that. That's funny, right now I just woke up and I remember this crazy dream were I was chased by a group of hysteric japanese girls (no kidding they really wanted to kill me for some reason) and this took place in a weeeeeeeird place. It was some kind of gothic cathedral built on top of a skycrapper, supported by these huge pillars. The place was in Germany for some reason since all the writings and all the people spoke german. Anyways that was too strange it's not a good example."

      Some Indian Movie Production Company talks about this interesting film.. Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho A summons for Mohan Joshi 1984/130 mins/Col/Hindi/EST Dir: Saeed Mirza Principal Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Dipti Naval, Bhishma Sahni, Dina Pathak
      Living in a dilapidated chawl, Mohan Joshi pleads with the landlord to get the building repaired. But the landlord wanted every tenant to quit so that he could build a skycrapper there and make lot of money. Frustrated, Joshi goes to the court of law. But it wasn't so easy to get justice as he had idealistically thought. Nothing happens to the culprits. Finally he sees the hollowness of the system. He is left with nothing but a raging anger.
      Festival Participation/Awards:
      Indian Panorama, International Film Festival of India."

      A reference from the Chamber of Commerce in Penang......
      Skycrappers, Shopping Complexes
      There are many distinguished shopping complexes in Penang which offers a variety of products. There are mainly five main shopping complexes and many supermarkets.
      One of the main five shopping complexes is KOMTAR, which is one of the earliest skycrapper in Penang, and still is the tallest building in Penang. There are four levels of shops inside the podium offer for bargain. And there are two supermarket in adjacent with the podium, that is Lifestyle and Super Komtar. The other four are One-Stop, Bukit Jambul Complex, Island Plaza and Bahagia Complex. There are variety of shops in each shopping complex offers a variety of high quality products
      I thought Mr. Freakes might enjoy these references.....LOL.
    • 6/8/00 Which state has the most outhouses? [Curator's Comment: I don't really know the answer to that since I have not been to all 50 states. There are a lot in Michigan, out West and in the South. I can't get more specific than that!] GREAT GUESS!!!!!..............................sorry it's wrong :)
    • I own an late 1800's farmhouse that had an outhouse still standing, when I discovered it my wife and I were thrilled. it was in poor shape but not that old "maybe rebuilt 20 years ago, so I decided to build a new one , I am in the process of building it now, with rough cut lumber for the exterior and decking for the floor for good drainage "if you know what I mean"...we are keeping it as rustic as possible and I'm sure we will get use out of it especially during parties...a great conversation piece!!! J D Belchertown Ma. PS Love your tour !!!
    • 6/1/00 I am a writer looking to do a whimsical travel piece on outhouses in Southern California. Any resources I should see or thoughts on where to start my quest?
    • 5/28/00 My family and I are about to embark on a little vacation. I coolect outhouses and ran across your outhouse tour and would like very much to visit the shops in Pennsylvania. Could you please send some directions for this place and other interesting areas of the same interest..
    • Hello! I am looking for some place where I can get plans to build an outhouse. Can you help me? If so please advise.
    • 5/27/00 i was wondering if any of ur outshouses were for sale please email me back soon :0)
    • 5/27/00 Hello! I am looking for some place where I can get plans to build an outhouse. Can you help me? If so please advise.
    • 5/23/00 [More proof that this site is THE place to go on the Internet for Outhouse information.] My San Jose Mercury News morning paper Monday 5/15/00 had an article on outhouses which steered me to your page. I have not explored it fully so I will return for many more enjoyable visits and have passed the URL on to my cousin Dick in New York State since we both grew up on a farm and appreciate the humor. I thought I'd blow a gut laughing at the Pome about Grandpa in the exploding outhouse. Thanks and Take Care,
    • 5/23/00 I have enjoyed the site and sent the URL to several friends.
    • 5/21/00 I just visited your Outhouse Tour web site and I love it! I've bookmarked it so I can return often to read the stories and see the great pictures. I found my way to your site by a search I did for outhouses. I'm looking for ideas for mine. I'm not actually building an outhouse but my husband and I are re-modeling our bathroom to resemble the inside of an outhouse. It's a lot of fun finding things to go in it and trying to disguise the things that shouldn't be in it, (but have to be). Thanks for all the great ideas! One question...do you know where I can find a (cheap) reproduction of a Sears & Roebuck catalog? I really need one for the final touch. You can't have an outhouse without a Sears & Roebuck catalog!!
    • 5/15/00 We three modern day people were trying to find out the reason why most of the outhouses have a crescent moon on the door, and who was responsible for the first one. [Curator's Answer: Hi, Check out my faqs page at "http://www.jldr.com/faqs.html" for the answer to the moon. The first one was created after the guy missed the hole in the dark and the wife went in after and sat down. The next night a frying pan flew through the door and thus a moon appeared in the door!]
    • 5/13/00 Do you have any information about the use of the words chic sale (spell?) for an outhouse? [Yes, try this link: http://www.jldr.com/specialist.htm
    • 5/11/00 Hi... I really like your Toilet paper holder. You wouldn't happen to know where I might get the directions to build such a thing, would you? Thanks for your time.... Norm
    • Are there an outhouse diggers club in the Las Vegas, Nevada area???
    • What was the name of the person who cleaned out the outhouse [shitmeister - aka owner]
    • Hi there my name is Lisa I live in British Columbia, Canada. My mother and my mother in law have a thing for out houses they are looking for real wild ideas for there outhouses they both have cabins in the interior .My mother inlaw wants to do her outhouse in a scene of the pink panther. My mom wants to do hers in real old pictures of outhouse ,I am wondering if you sell a or have a calender or some old pictures I can print off my computer and I can put them in old rustic frames to put in her out house for a gag Christmas gift she has a real thing for outhouse’s I would greatly appreciate it if you could get back to me or if you can give me some decorating ideas for my mother ,that I can do for her for Christmas that has to do about outhouses. Thank you sincerely Lisa
    • I was looking for the famous ,Pa. federaly funded outhouse when I came across this site. It is MARVELOUS. Am sending it to my sons. They will enjoy it. I grew up with a 3 holer myself. Was I ever scared when I had to go out there in the dark. BUT it was a good place to get out of doing the dishes.
      Keep up the good work. mona
    • 5/4/00 This is my second visit to your site. It is wonderful, full of information.
      I am a student of folklore at Indiana University-Kokomo.
      I am trying to complete a project on outhouses- early american architecture. I am looking for further information. Do you know of anyone in Indiana that collects outhouse buildings. I need to interview someone within the state to complete the project. The pictures from your site have helped tremendously toward making my project unique.
    • 5/1/00 I read (with great interest and admiration, don't know if I could go down in some of those pits!) his writing on the subject of outhouse digging. Thanks, by the way, for including it in your web. I'm a writer, working on a piece about this very thing, digging. The who, what, when, where, how and most importantly, the why of it all. As you well know, there is no listing in the phonebook for folks who do this. (Can't imagine why.) So my research has been rather slow. I would love to quote Mr. Cook and anyone else, for that matter, who would care to talk with me. The piece will be included in a book of short essays focusing on the little town in which I live, Conesus, New York. The people, events, the interesting and the overlooked. Outhouse digging certainly ranks right up there in the Interesting category. (no pun intended with the word rank) We have our own local digger whom I will inform about your site. I know he will enjoy it too.
    • 5/1/00 Do you have or know where I could get some plans to build an outhouse?
    • 4/30/00 hi I recently got the outhouse"bug" and decorated my bathroom with an outhouse border and some pictures. Do you know where I can get outhouse stuff? Thanks. Na I enjoyed your website. Paula
    • 4/29/00 [Stand by for some pictures of this one!] 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.
    • 4/27/00 Love your site, can't believe I spent 4 1/2 hours here ! (new record for me) Thought I would let you know about an outhouse museum in Huntington, IN...... They have actual outhouses collected from all over. None have a hole underneath them, for they have been moved for show. Next time I get down near there, I will try to take a few pictures and send them.
    • 4/24/00 I would love to see catigories on your site about where we can purchase some of the outhouse decorations. I live in Wisconsin and outhouse decore is very hard to find.
    • 4/23/00 I love it?
    • 4/23/00 A long time ago you made an entry in my Oran Iowa guestbook with a built-in link to your Famous Outhouse Tour. And then one day someone told me it didn't work anymore.
      So I did all kinds of searches looking to see if you had a new home and I never found it. I also had made a link to your site on my 2-story outhouse page which I then removed.
      But now in my log files I saw where someone had linked here from your new site! So I nabbed the new URL, fixed your old guestbook entry, and put our link back on the 2-story page.
      Obviously you have continued the outhouse project somewhere because it is now bigger and better than ever! Where have you been?
      Keep up the good work!
    • 4/20/00 Greetings......
      I remember them well......some were still in use in Kansas in the '50's when I was growing up.
      The song lyrics from the last comment seem to be the most accurate. I actually have a recording of that song......it is a tape of a very scratchy record, but is acceptable.
      I have laughed everytime I heard it and have had to explain some of the finer points of Outhouse etiquette to certain city folks that have not had the pleasure. Especially about yellowjackets and how you truly hate to hear the MUTED buzz after you have sat down and the 'performance' has started, especially in a one-holer with no other escape hatch for them. It is also not acceptable to tip one over when occupied. A lesson we learned on Halloween (it was a tradition to tip outhouses on Halloween).
      Enjoyed your site. Thanks for the memories...
    • 4/19/00 Hope the critters don't take over for a home.
    • 4/17/00 2 days late!!!!!!!!!!!! Built this heer privy on my own. Dang proud of it too! Tnat got kno piks, buttttt wright proud of it. Tkanks four da replayyyyyyyy. RICK
    • 4/16/00 The best site I have seen on this subject. Keep up the good work.
    • 4/16/00 Love your outhouse web site! Do you know where to look for outhouse wallpaper and borders?
    • 4/10/00 Loved your website. It made me laugh so had I almost peed myself. BTW: I assume that you know of:
      Newton-White, Muriel E., BACKHOUSES OF THE NORTH, Cobalt,
      Ont.: Highway BookShop, 1985 (19th printing Illus., 39p.).
      If you haven't seen it, I heartily recommend it.
    • 4/9/00 I also remember hearing Billy Edd Wheeler's remake of "Ode to the Little Brown Shack".
      As your other reader recalled, some of it went something like this: The slight variations I recall are in parenthesis...
      Oh, the Interstate is coming through (my) outhouse,
      They (tell me) it's on their right-of-way,
      They'll (bring) a big steam roller, and flatten my two-holer,
      I'm making my last visit there today.
      I recall a bit more, something like
      Those engineers made 47 surveys
      They said to put it there and that was that
      They'll bring a big steamroller and flatten my two-holer
      But I'll keep right on voting democrat
      There was also a verse about strolling out on a moonlit night and waking up in a freeway interchange.
      I'm willing to bet you'll find all the lyrics in this book:
    • 4/9/00 [Speaking about the Rosendale, Minnesota Outhouse] Having been born and raised within a mile of this church, It brought back memories of our outhouse on the farm. I don't know who designed or built it. But they had to be either very tall or not much thought was put into the design. The two holler was so tall no one in our family could set there and have their feet touch the floor. As kids we had an apple box to climb up on then turn around and sit down. In the winter in Minnesota, after brushing snow off the seats, climbing up on the apple box, holding your trousers a flashlight and mittens was not an easy task. Many mittens and flashlights were dropped in the hole.
    • 4/3/00 i am searching for some plans i had but lost for an ordorless outhouse. i got them about eleven years ago while on a bicycle trip at a national or state park i do not remember which. my nephew's industrial ed class would like to build some... and i would be their first customer. i just found your web site thru ask jeeves, it is late and i need to sleep, but i am sending it to my nephew and bookmark it for myself.i have a few good outhouse pictures and stories myself and have always found them interesting, practical and entertaining. i know i will enjoy viewing this site. thank you for your time and effort regarding this question and provideing this web site. - judith
    • 4/2/00 ya got any plans for an outhouse?
    • 4/3/00 And I really need an honest answer.....My step daughter wants to know why there is a crescent moon on the door of an outhouse and not another shape. I know I have read the answer somewhere.....just can't for the life of me remember the answer. Thanks!!
    • 3/31/00 I can't believe this !!!! I have never laughed so hard in all my life !!!!
      I just bought a house on the Chesapeake Bay and it has an old outhouse in the back. I want to restore it, so I came on the Internet to get some ideas how it should look. I have never had so much fun looking at poopers. This site is the GREATEST!!!! my friends and I will be at the outhouse classics next year. This is great !!!! you have made my weekend. I will have to take pictures of my outhouse before and after.
      Keep up the good work !!!!
      A fellow pooper!!!!!
    • 3/27/00 I found your website quite by accident. I was looking up hillbilly restaurants and the search engine brought up the outhouse website. LOL!!! Anyway, I have truly enjoyed viewing the outhouse race pictures. I never knew anything like this existed. Thank you for the narrations of the pictures also. My vote would be the White House with Bill, Monica and Linda.
    • 3/00 I am desperately in search of the prints by Martha Hinson listed on your web site and have to no avail had any luck. Can you please help me locate someone who carries these or knows how to contact Martha Hinson. (Look in stores where framed prints are sold).
    • 3/00 Are there not several verses missing from Riley's poem. If memory serves me correctly, It began something like this: " When memory keeps me company and moves me to smile or tears
      A weather beaten object looms through the mist of years.
      Behind the house and barn it stood........"
    • 3/00 Can't tell you how much I enjoyed your web-site. I get a real funny look from folks when I tell them I am interested in outhouses. I am relieved to know I am not alone. I did not know there were so many people interested in outhouse lore. I only have 4 books on the subject and one ceramic figurine posing as a coin bank but I continue to look. The outhouse is a fading commodity and part of our heritage. No two are exactly alike. Every now and then I am fortunate enough to get a snapshot of one, but they are few and far between.
      Many moons ago when I was around 6 years old my Granny and I took a trip to Ada, W. Va. Her sister had an outhouse down a narrow path from the back of the house. Being a city kid from Cinti. Ohio I hated that little shed. Especially when a very large snake crossed the path in front of me. Being older and wiser now I regard my visits to the two-holer as a touch with nostalgia. Snake and all.
    • 3/00 I am decorating my bathroom in the Outhouse theme and was wondering where you have been able to locate all the outhouses in your collection. I would love to find some to decorate with. I you wouldn't mind you could send me an E-mail with some help in finding some Outhouses.
    • 3/00 I think your site is very well done. I needed an outhouse image for my juno site nuclearouthouseI like your pictures
    • 3/00 hey what a site i have a camp site next to texas motor speedway in fort worth texas......i have to order about 18 out houses for the big nascar race, at $75.00 a pop i could build a few nice cans....do you have any plans to build a outhouse.......one year we had 1 outhouse during a big rock fest .we parked 1600 cars on my place... that can looked bad real bad........
    • 3/00 Why do outhouses have a crescent moon on the door?
    • 3/00 We have just visited your homepage and we thought that you may be the expert that we have been looking for. My sister and I are doing a social studies project on outhouses. We live in West Virginia and hear our parents talking about building an outhouse at our camp. We became interested when we lost our battle for a bathroom at the camp. We need more information on the history of the outhouse and when they were replaced with indoor plumbing. Thanks in advance for your help.
    • 3/00 [A very funny joke!] The old hillbilly was sitting on the porch whittling, when his wife walked up and informed him the outhouse needed repaired. He walked out and took a look. Went inside and looked around. He saw a few holes in the roof. He went out to the garbage dump and found some old cans and went to his shop to cut them open and heat up some tar. He found some nails and fixed the roof. The next day his wife yelled at him and said, "I told you to fix the outhouse, now get to it". Again, he walked out to the outhouse and checked it out. This time he seen some cracks in the walls. Walking out to the barn he found some scrapes of lumber and some old nails he had to straighten out, but he boarded up all the cracks and hung some more cardboard on the inside to cut down on the wind. The next day his wife yelled at him to get off his lazy ass and fix the outhouse and to make sure you do it right this time. Again, he wandered down to the outhouse. this time he took his time checking it out. He looked the roof over again and didn't see any holes. He checked out all the walls and didn't find any cracks. He even checked the door hinges and lock and couldn't find anything wrong. He stood there for a little while pulling on his beard trying to think of what else he needed to check. Then he thought he would check out the hole and see if was getting filled up or if there was enough lime down there. He stuck his head down in the hole and was looking around. His wife came up from behind him and said, "Did you find the problem yet?" It scared the old boy and he jerked his head out of the hole and got his beard caught in a crack in the front of the hole. "ouch", he yelled holding on to his beard. His old lady started laughing and said, "Now you know first hand what I was asking you to do all along".
    • 3/00 HEY ! I was just made aware of your website this morning when a neighbor who's daughter now livingin International Falls stubled across a picture of the Rosendale Church out house right by where I live. In fact I think the design of that church may have came over from Askvol Norway in 1867 when my great grandfather immgrated to the farm I'm on . Theres a church exactly like it named the rosendale church in Askvol in fact my great great grandfather's brother Anders Askvold who lived between 1834-1900 painted a alter painting in it.He was a starving poor painter all his life now he's a famous dead one with over 1000 paintings to his credit....Anyway seeing a picture of this outhouse is a little bit of a surprise and I like your web page layouts they look good.
    • 3/00 Whats Sir Harington's birthday? [If anyone knows this one, Email the curator.]
    • 3/00 would like to get plans how to build one. just for decoration for yard a conversation piece i guess. do you know of one? please reply thank you R. Stewart
    • 3/2/00 I really enjoyed your site! I have just purchased an old log cabin in central Michigan and would like to add an outhouse (no plumbing there now!). I looked for an actual construction design, but found only pictures of finished products. Maybe it is just too simple to need a plan--I mean to build one? But, for example, how deep should the hole be? How far from a well should one be placed? Are there any companies/folks that still build them for commercial sale?
      Another possibility is a plumbable outhouse. One of your links talks about plans to market such a beast; apparently such a think is not yet available?
      Any links and/or other suggestions for my project would be much appreciated!
    • 2/29/00 Hi!!!!!!
      I saw your site way back when in Yahoo. WOW!!!!! Has the site come a long way. My sister is here visiting from CA and she is very computer illerate and does not know how to or where to get info on a great site. She will crack up when I show her your site in the morning. Thank you!!!!
    • 2/29/00 I found your site while researching a quetion. I found my exact question in your comments page. Please advise, Why the cresent moon on the door and what does it mean? Thanks, Tim
    • 2/29/00 I thoroughly enjoyed your site.. who could imagine outhouse races? I do have one problem with it, though. On your 'Ode to the Backhouse' by James Whitcomb Riley, I could only find half of it... Do you have the rest of it out here somewhere and I just can't find it? If not, I would be glad to send it to you. I always knew it as 'The Passing of the Old Backhouse'. My dad, who was born in 1900 and grew up using 'backhouses', recited the entire work from memory. He also told many stories about happenings concerning backhouses during his younger years. Great site!
    • 2/26/00 One of my fondest childhood memories is visiting my cousins in Metropolis, Il in the 40s. The outhouse was a great place! One of my happiest times is when my girl cousin and I would go into their "double seater" (a luxury) and we'd sit side by side and look at the thick catalog used for wiping paper (another luxury for some people had corn cobs...ouch!). We loved looking at the very thick colorful catalog. We'd talk about what we would buy when we became rich.. We'd tear out and keep the pages of toys, pretty clothes but would choose hunting equipment, men's work shoes, etc for wiping on. We would sit in there for a long time knowing that it had a smell but we did not care for it was one place the boys could not follow us and we had privacy. It's funny how we both had to go at the same time or one would go just to keep the other company. The boys would get mad at us for our advantage and go tell an adult that they had to go and then we'd have to leave but we would hang around outside to figure out if they lied or really had to use it. I remember there was not a wall below the seats. Under each seat was a straw basket that was reused after a man with a horse and wagon came and carried away the human waste. I always wondered why anyone in their sane mind would do such a thing. Now I know it was for manure. The outhouse was located some distance from the house (because of the smell). It was most unpleasant on winter days and I'd hold off as long as I could and keeping my coat above my waist was a problem. When anyone was taking pictures, they always said, "stand away from the outhouse, don't want the outhouse in the picture". One of my favorite pictures is of the family standing in front of the outhouse but you would not know it because there are so many of us that we covered its view. That backyard was our play area. I remember the Billy goat butting me across the yard, pass the outhouse. The horse always knew where to find us for he liked to play too. I was always so glad to be back home for we had real plumbing.....in doors! Sorry to get so carried away. Neva-Jane
    • 2/22/00 I am searching for the funny story called the talking outhouse. Have you ever heard of it? I believe the artists last name was Daniels and I heard it on the radio a few times in the late '70's. Please let me know it you know where I can fine it. Thanks Jen
    • 2/22/00 A couple of years ago I used a USFS outhouse in Michigan's Northern Peninsula. It was located by the Sturgeon Falls, North of Sidnaw and South of Baraga. The pit an it's cover was actually have a recording of that song......it is a tape of a very scratchy record, but is acceptable.
      I have laughed everytime I heard it and have had to explain some of the finer points of Outhouse etiquette to certain city folks that have not had the pleasure. Especially about yellowjackets and how you truly hate to hear the MUTED buzz after you have sat down and the 'performance' has started, especially in a one-holer with no other escape hatch for them. It is also not acceptable to tip one over when occupied. A lesson we learned on Halloween (it was a tradition to tip outhouses on Halloween).
      Enjoyed your site. Thanks for the memories...
    • 4/19/00 Hope the critters don't take over for a home.
    • 4/17/00 2 days late!!!!!!!!!!!! Built this heer privy on my own. Dang proud of it too! Tnat got kno piks, buttttt wright proud of it. Tkanks four da replayyyyyyyy. RICK
    • 4/16/00 The best site I have seen on this subject. Keep up the good work.
    • 4/16/00 Love your outhouse web site! Do you know where to look for outhouse wallpaper and borders?
    • 4/10/00 Loved your website. It made me laugh so had I almost peed myself. BTW: I assume that you know of:
      Newton-White, Muriel E., BACKHOUSES OF THE NORTH, Cobalt,
      Ont.: Highway BookShop, 1985 (19th printing Illus., 39p.).
      If you haven't seen it, I heartily recommend it.
    • 4/9/00 I also remember hearing Billy Edd Wheeler's remake of "Ode to the Little Brown Shack".
      As your other reader recalled, some of it went something like this: The slight variations I recall are in parenthesis...
      Oh, the Interstate is coming through (my) outhouse,
      They (tell me) it's on their right-of-way,
      They'll (bring) a big steam roller, and flatten my two-holer,
      I'm making my last visit there today.
      I recall a bit more, something like
      Those engineers made 47 surveys
      They said to put it there and that was that
      They'll bring a big steamroller and flatten my two-holer
      But I'll keep right on voting democrat
      There was also a verse about strolling out on a moonlit night and waking up in a freeway interchange.
      I'm willing to bet you'll find all the lyrics in this book:
    • 4/9/00 [Speaking about the Rosendale, Minnesota Outhouse] Having been born and raised within a mile of this church, It brought back memories of our outhouse on the farm. I don't know who designed or built it. But they had to be either very tall or not much thought was put into the design. The two holler was so tall no one in our family could set there and have their feet touch the floor. As kids we had an apple box to climb up on then turn around and sit down. In the winter in Minnesota, after brushing snow off the seats, climbing up on the apple box, holding your trousers a flashlight and mittens was not an easy task. Many mittens and flashlights were dropped in the hole.
    • 4/3/00 i am searching for some plans i had but lost for an ordorless outhouse. i got them about eleven years ago while on a bicycle trip at a national or state park i do not remember which. my nephew's industrial ed class would like to build some... and i would be their first customer. i just found your web site thru ask jeeves, it is late and i need to sleep, but i am sending it to my nephew and bookmark it for myself.i have a few good outhouse pictures and stories myself and have always found them interesting, practical and entertaining. i know i will enjoy viewing this site. thank you for your time and effort regarding this question and provideing this web site. - judith
    • 4/2/00 ya got any plans for an outhouse?
    • 4/3/00 And I really need an honest answer.....My step daughter wants to know why there is a crescent moon on the door of an outhouse and not another shape. I know I have read the answer somewhere.....just can't for the life of me remember the answer. Thanks!!
    • 3/31/00 I can't believe this !!!! I have never laughed so hard in all my life !!!!
      I just bought a house on the Chesapeake Bay and it has an old outhouse in the back. I want to restore it, so I came on the Internet to get some ideas how it should look. I have never had so much fun looking at poopers. This site is the GREATEST!!!! my friends and I will be at the outhouse classics next year. This is great !!!! you have made my weekend. I will have to take pictures of my outhouse before and after.
      Keep up the good work !!!!
      A fellow pooper!!!!!
    • 3/27/00 I found your website quite by accident. I was looking up hillbilly restaurants and the search engine brought up the outhouse website. LOL!!! Anyway, I have truly enjoyed viewing the outhouse race pictures. I never knew anything like this existed. Thank you for the narrations of the pictures also. My vote would be the White House with Bill, Monica and Linda.
    • 3/00 I am desperately in search of the prints by Martha Hinson listed on your web site and have to no avail had any luck. Can you please help me locate someone who carries these or knows how to contact Martha Hinson. (Look in stores where framed prints are sold).
    • 3/00 Are there not several verses missing from Riley's poem. If memory serves me correctly, It began something like this: " When memory keeps me company and moves me to smile or tears
      A weather beaten object looms through the mist of years.
      Behind the house and barn it stood........"
    • 3/00 Can't tell you how much I enjoyed your web-site. I get a real funny look from folks when I tell them I am interested in outhouses. I am relieved to know I am not alone. I did not know there were so many people interested in outhouse lore. I only have 4 books on the subject and one ceramic figurine posing as a coin bank but I continue to look. The outhouse is a fading commodity and part of our heritage. No two are exactly alike. Every now and then I am fortunate enough to get a snapshot of one, but they are few and far between.
      Many moons ago when I was around 6 years old my Granny and I took a trip to Ada, W. Va. Her sister had an outhouse down a narrow path from the back of the house. Being a city kid from Cinti. Ohio I hated that little shed. Especially when a very large snake crossed the path in front of me. Being older and wiser now I regard my visits to the two-holer as a touch with nostalgia. Snake and all.
    • 3/00 I am decorating my bathroom in the Outhouse theme and was wondering where you have been able to locate all the outhouses in your collection. I would love to find some to decorate with. I you wouldn't mind you could send me an E-mail with some help in finding some Outhouses.
    • 3/00 I think your site is very well done. I needed an outhouse image for my juno site nuclearouthouseI like your pictures
    • 3/00 hey what a site i have a camp site next to texas motor speedway in fort worth texas......i have to order about 18 out houses for the big nascar race, at $75.00 a pop i could build a few nice cans....do you have any plans to build a outhouse.......one year we had 1 outhouse during a big rock fest .we parked 1600 cars on my place... that can looked bad real bad........
    • 3/00 Why do outhouses have a crescent moon on the door?
    • 3/00 We have just visited your homepage and we thought that you may be the expert that we have been looking for. My sister and I are doing a social studies project on outhouses. We live in West Virginia and hear our parents talking about building an outhouse at our camp. We became interested when we lost our battle for a bathroom at the camp. We need more information on the history of the outhouse and when they were replaced with indoor plumbing. Thanks in advance for your help.
    • 3/00 [A very funny joke!] The old hillbilly was sitting on the porch whittling, when his wife walked up and informed him the outhouse needed repaired. He walked out and took a look. Went inside and looked around. He saw a few holes in the roof. He went out to the garbage dump and found some old cans and went to his shop to cut them open and heat up some tar. He found some nails and fixed the roof. The next day his wife yelled at him and said, "I told you to fix the outhouse, now get to it". Again, he walked out to the outhouse and checked it out. This time he seen some cracks in the walls. Walking out to the barn he found some scrapes of lumber and some old nails he had to straighten out, but he boarded up all the cracks and hung some more cardboard on the inside to cut down on the wind. The next day his wife yelled at him to get off his lazy ass and fix the outhouse and to make sure you do it right this time. Again, he wandered down to the outhouse. this time he took his time checking it out. He looked the roof over again and didn't see any holes. He checked out all the walls and didn't find any cracks. He even checked the door hinges and lock and couldn't find anything wrong. He stood there for a little while pulling on his beard trying to think of what else he needed to check. Then he thought he would check out the hole and see if was getting filled up or if there was enough lime down there. He stuck his head down in the hole and was looking around. His wife came up from behind him and said, "Did you find the problem yet?" It scared the old boy and he jerked his head out of the hole and got his beard caught in a crack in the front of the hole. "ouch", he yelled holding on to his beard. His old lady started laughing and said, "Now you know first hand what I was asking you to do all along".
    • 3/00 HEY ! I was just made aware of your website this morning when a neighbor who's daughter now livingin International Falls stubled across a picture of the Rosendale Church out house right by where I live. In fact I think the design of that church may have came over from Askvol Norway in 1867 when my great grandfather immgrated to the farm I'm on . Theres a church exactly like it named the rosendale church in Askvol in fact my great great grandfather's brother Anders Askvold who lived between 1834-1900 painted a alter painting in it.He was a starving poor painter all his life now he's a famous dead one with over 1000 paintings to his credit....Anyway seeing a picture of this outhouse is a little bit of a surprise and I like your web page layouts they look good.
    • 3/00 Whats Sir Harington's birthday? [If anyone knows this one, Email the curator.]
    • 3/00 would like to get plans how to build one. just for decoration for yard a conversation piece i guess. do you know of one? please reply thank you R. Stewart
    • 3/2/00 I really enjoyed your site! I have just purchased an old log cabin in central Michigan and would like to add an outhouse (no plumbing there now!). I looked for an actual construction design, but found only pictures of finished products. Maybe it is just too simple to need a plan--I mean to build one? But, for example, how deep should the hole be? How far from a well should one be placed? Are there any companies/folks that still build them for commercial sale?
      Another possibility is a plumbable outhouse. One of your links talks about plans to market such a beast; apparently such a think is not yet available?
      Any links and/or other suggestions for my project would be much appreciated!
    • 2/29/00 Hi!!!!!!
      I saw your site way back when in Yahoo. WOW!!!!! Has the site come a long way. My sister is here visiting from CA and she is very computer illerate and does not know how to or where to get info on a great site. She will crack up when I show her your site in the morning. Thank you!!!!
    • 2/29/00 I found your site while researching a quetion. I found my exact question in your comments page. Please advise, Why the cresent moon on the door and what does it mean? Thanks, Tim
    • 2/29/00 I thoroughly enjoyed your site.. who could imagine outhouse races? I do have one problem with it, though. On your 'Ode to the Backhouse' by James Whitcomb Riley, I could only find half of it... Do you have the rest of it out here somewhere and I just can't find it? If not, I would be glad to send it to you. I always knew it as 'The Passing of the Old Backhouse'. My dad, who was born in 1900 and grew up using 'backhouses', recited the entire work from memory. He also told many stories about happenings concerning backhouses during his younger years. Great site!
    • 2/26/00 One of my fondest childhood memories is visiting my cousins in Metropolis, Il in the 40s. The outhouse was a great place! One of my happiest times is when my girl cousin and I would go into their "double seater" (a luxury) and we'd sit side by side and look at the thick catalog used for wiping paper (another luxury for some people had corn cobs...ouch!). We loved looking at the very thick colorful catalog. We'd talk about what we would buy when we became rich.. We'd tear out and keep the pages of toys, pretty clothes but would choose hunting equipment, men's work shoes, etc for wiping on. We would sit in there for a long time knowing that it had a smell but we did not care for it was one place the boys could not follow us and we had privacy. It's funny how we both had to go at the same time or one would go just to keep the other company. The boys would get mad at us for our advantage and go tell an adult that they had to go and then we'd have to leave but we would hang around outside to figure out if they lied or really had to use it. I remember there was not a wall below the seats. Under each seat was a straw basket that was reused after a man with a horse and wagon came and carried away the human waste. I always wondered why anyone in their sane mind would do such a thing. Now I know it was for manure. The outhouse was located some distance from the house (because of the smell). It was most unpleasant on winter days and I'd hold off as long as I could and keeping my coat above my waist was a problem. When anyone was taking pictures, they always said, "stand away from the outhouse, don't want the outhouse in the picture". One of my favorite pictures is of the family standing in front of the outhouse but you would not know it because there are so many of us that we covered its view. That backyard was our play area. I remember the Billy goat butting me across the yard, pass the outhouse. The horse always knew where to find us for he liked to play too. I was always so glad to be back home for we had real plumbing.....in doors! Sorry to get so carried away. Neva-Jane
    • 2/22/00 I am searching for the funny story called the talking outhouse. Have you ever heard of it? I believe the artists last name was Daniels and I heard it on the radio a few times in the late '70's. Please let me know it you know where I can fine it. Thanks Jen
    • 2/22/00 A couple of years ago I used a USFS outhouse in Michigan's Northern Peninsula. It was located by the Sturgeon Falls, North of Sidnaw and South of Baraga. The pit an it's cover was actually have a recording of that song......it is a tape of a very scratchy record, but is acceptable.
      I have laughed everytime I heard it and have had to explain some of the finer points of Outhouse etiquette to certain city folks that have not had the pleasure. Especially about yellowjackets and how you truly hate to hear the MUTED buzz after you have sat down and the 'performance' has started, especially in a one-holer with no other escape hatch for them. It is also not acceptable to tip one over when occupied. A lesson we learned on Halloween (it was a tradition to tip outhouses on Halloween).
      Enjoyed your site. Thanks for the memories...
    • 4/19/00 Hope the critters don't take over for a home.
    • 4/17/00 2 days late!!!!!!!!!!!! Built this heer privy on my own. Dang proud of it too! Tnat got kno piks, buttttt wright proud of it. Tkanks four da replayyyyyyyy. RICK
    • 4/16/00 The best site I have seen on this subject. Keep up the good work.
    • 4/16/00 Love your outhouse web site! Do you know where to look for outhouse wallpaper and borders?
    • 4/10/00 Loved your website. It made me laugh so had I almost peed myself. BTW: I assume that you know of:
      Newton-White, Muriel E., BACKHOUSES OF THE NORTH, Cobalt,
      Ont.: Highway BookShop, 1985 (19th printing Illus., 39p.).
      If you haven't seen it, I heartily recommend it.
    • 4/9/00 I also remember hearing Billy Edd Wheeler's remake of "Ode to the Little Brown Shack".
      As your other reader recalled, some of it went something like this: The slight variations I recall are in parenthesis...
      Oh, the Interstate is coming through (my) outhouse,
      They (tell me) it's on their right-of-way,
      They'll (bring) a big steam roller, and flatten my two-holer,
      I'm making my last visit there today.
      I recall a bit more, something like
      Those engineers made 47 surveys
      They said to put it there and that was that
      They'll bring a big steamroller and flatten my two-holer
      But I'll keep right on voting democrat
      There was also a verse about strolling out on a moonlit night and waking up in a freeway interchange.
      I'm willing to bet you'll find all the lyrics in this book:
    • 4/9/00 [Speaking about the Rosendale, Minnesota Outhouse] Having been born and raised within a mile of this church, It brought back memories of our outhouse on the farm. I don't know who designed or built it. But they had to be either very tall or not much thought was put into the design. The two holler was so tall no one in our family could set there and have their feet touch the floor. As kids we had an apple box to climb up on then turn around and sit down. In the winter in Minnesota, after brushing snow off the seats, climbing up on the apple box, holding your trousers a flashlight and mittens was not an easy task. Many mittens and flashlights were dropped in the hole.
    • 4/3/00 i am searching for some plans i had but lost for an ordorless outhouse. i got them about eleven years ago while on a bicycle trip at a national or state park i do not remember which. my nephew's industrial ed class would like to build some... and i would be their first customer. i just found your web site thru ask jeeves, it is late and i need to sleep, but i am sending it to my nephew and bookmark it for myself.i have a few good outhouse pictures and stories myself and have always found them interesting, practical and entertaining. i know i will enjoy viewing this site. thank you for your time and effort regarding this question and provideing this web site. - judith
    • 4/2/00 ya got any plans for an outhouse?
    • 4/3/00 And I really need an honest answer.....My step daughter wants to know why there is a crescent moon on the door of an outhouse and not another shape. I know I have read the answer somewhere.....just can't for the life of me remember the answer. Thanks!!
    • 3/31/00 I can't believe this !!!! I have never laughed so hard in all my life !!!!
      I just bought a house on the Chesapeake Bay and it has an old outhouse in the back. I want to restore it, so I came on the Internet to get some ideas how it should look. I have never had so much fun looking at poopers. This site is the GREATEST!!!! my friends and I will be at the outhouse classics next year. This is great !!!! you have made my weekend. I will have to take pictures of my outhouse before and after.
      Keep up the good work !!!!
      A fellow pooper!!!!!
    • 3/27/00 I found your website quite by accident. I was looking up hillbilly restaurants and the search engine brought up the outhouse website. LOL!!! Anyway, I have truly enjoyed viewing the outhouse race pictures. I never knew anything like this existed. Thank you for the narrations of the pictures also. My vote would be the White House with Bill, Monica and Linda.
    • 3/00 I am desperately in search of the prints by Martha Hinson listed on your web site and have to no avail had any luck. Can you please help me locate someone who carries these or knows how to contact Martha Hinson. (Look in stores where framed prints are sold).
    • 3/00 Are there not several verses missing from Riley's poem. If memory serves me correctly, It began something like this: " When memory keeps me company and moves me to smile or tears
      A weather beaten object looms through the mist of years.
      Behind the house and barn it stood........"
    • 3/00 Can't tell you how much I enjoyed your web-site. I get a real funny look from folks when I tell them I am interested in outhouses. I am relieved to know I am not alone. I did not know there were so many people interested in outhouse lore. I only have 4 books on the subject and one ceramic figurine posing as a coin bank but I continue to look. The outhouse is a fading commodity and part of our heritage. No two are exactly alike. Every now and then I am fortunate enough to get a snapshot of one, but they are few and far between.
      Many moons ago when I was around 6 years old my Granny and I took a trip to Ada, W. Va. Her sister had an outhouse down a narrow path from the back of the house. Being a city kid from Cinti. Ohio I hated that little shed. Especially when a very large snake crossed the path in front of me. Being older and wiser now I regard my visits to the two-holer as a touch with nostalgia. Snake and all.
    • 3/00 I am decorating my bathroom in the Outhouse theme and was wondering where you have been able to locate all the outhouses in your collection. I would love to find some to decorate with. I you wouldn't mind you could send me an E-mail with some help in finding some Outhouses.
    • 3/00 I think your site is very well done. I needed an outhouse image for my juno site nuclearouthouseI like your pictures
    • 3/00 hey what a site i have a camp site next to texas motor speedway in fort worth texas......i have to order about 18 out houses for the big nascar race, at $75.00 a pop i could build a few nice cans....do you have any plans to build a outhouse.......one year we had 1 outhouse during a big rock fest .we parked 1600 cars on my place... that can looked bad real bad........
    • 3/00 Why do outhouses have a crescent moon on the door?
    • 3/00 We have just visited your homepage and we thought that you may be the expert that we have been looking for. My sister and I are doing a social studies project on outhouses. We live in West Virginia and hear our parents talking about building an outhouse at our camp. We became interested when we lost our battle for a bathroom at the camp. We need more information on the history of the outhouse and when they were replaced with indoor plumbing. Thanks in advance for your help.
    • 3/00 [A very funny joke!] The old hillbilly was sitting on the porch whittling, when his wife walked up and informed him the outhouse needed repaired. He walked out and took a look. Went inside and looked around. He saw a few holes in the roof. He went out to the garbage dump and found some old cans and went to his shop to cut them open and heat up some tar. He found some nails and fixed the roof. The next day his wife yelled at him and said, "I told you to fix the outhouse, now get to it". Again, he walked out to the outhouse and checked it out. This time he seen some cracks in the walls. Walking out to the barn he found some scrapes of lumber and some old nails he had to straighten out, but he boarded up all the cracks and hung some more cardboard on the inside to cut down on the wind. The next day his wife yelled at him to get off his lazy ass and fix the outhouse and to make sure you do it right this time. Again, he wandered down to the outhouse. this time he took his time checking it out. He looked the roof over again and didn't see any holes. He checked out all the walls and didn't find any cracks. He even checked the door hinges and lock and couldn't find anything wrong. He stood there for a little while pulling on his beard trying to think of what else he needed to check. Then he thought he would check out the hole and see if was getting filled up or if there was enough lime down there. He stuck his head down in the hole and was looking around. His wife came up from behind him and said, "Did you find the problem yet?" It scared the old boy and he jerked his head out of the hole and got his beard caught in a crack in the front of the hole. "ouch", he yelled holding on to his beard. His old lady started laughing and said, "Now you know first hand what I was asking you to do all along".
    • 3/00 HEY ! I was just made aware of your website this morning when a neighbor who's daughter now livingin International Falls stubled across a picture of the Rosendale Church out house right by where I live. In fact I think the design of that church may have came over from Askvol Norway in 1867 when my great grandfather immgrated to the farm I'm on . Theres a church exactly like it named the rosendale church in Askvol in fact my great great grandfather's brother Anders Askvold who lived between 1834-1900 painted a alter painting in it.He was a starving poor painter all his life now he's a famous dead one with over 1000 paintings to his credit....Anyway seeing a picture of this outhouse is a little bit of a surprise and I like your web page layouts they look good.
    • 3/00 Whats Sir Harington's birthday? [If anyone knows this one, Email the curator.]
    • 3/00 would like to get plans how to build one. just for decoration for yard a conversation piece i guess. do you know of one? please reply thank you R. Stewart
    • 3/2/00 I really enjoyed your site! I have just purchased an old log cabin in central Michigan and would like to add an outhouse (no plumbing there now!). I looked for an actual construction design, but found only pictures of finished products. Maybe it is just too simple to need a plan--I mean to build one? But, for example, how deep should the hole be? How far from a well should one be placed? Are there any companies/folks that still build them for commercial sale?
      Another possibility is a plumbable outhouse. One of your links talks about plans to market such a beast; apparently such a think is not yet available?
      Any links and/or other suggestions for my project would be much appreciated!
    • 2/29/00 Hi!!!!!!
      I saw your site way back when in Yahoo. WOW!!!!! Has the site come a long way. My sister is here visiting from CA and she is very computer illerate and does not know how to or where to get info on a great site. She will crack up when I show her your site in the morning. Thank you!!!!
    • 2/29/00 I found your site while researching a quetion. I found my exact question in your comments page. Please advise, Why the cresent moon on the door and what does it mean? Thanks, Tim
    • 2/29/00 I thoroughly enjoyed your site.. who could imagine outhouse races? I do have one problem with it, though. On your 'Ode to the Backhouse' by James Whitcomb Riley, I could only find half of it... Do you have the rest of it out here somewhere and I just can't find it? If not, I would be glad to send it to you. I always knew it as 'The Passing of the Old Backhouse'. My dad, who was born in 1900 and grew up using 'backhouses', recited the entire work from memory. He also told many stories about happenings concerning backhouses during his younger years. Great site!
    • 2/26/00 One of my fondest childhood memories is visiting my cousins in Metropolis, Il in the 40s. The outhouse was a great place! One of my happiest times is when my girl cousin and I would go into their "double seater" (a luxury) and we'd sit side by side and look at the thick catalog used for wiping paper (another luxury for some people had corn cobs...ouch!). We loved looking at the very thick colorful catalog. We'd talk about what we would buy when we became rich.. We'd tear out and keep the pages of toys, pretty clothes but would choose hunting equipment, men's work shoes, etc for wiping on. We would sit in there for a long time knowing that it had a smell but we did not care for it was one place the boys could not follow us and we had privacy. It's funny how we both had to go at the same time or one would go just to keep the other company. The boys would get mad at us for our advantage and go tell an adult that they had to go and then we'd have to leave but we would hang around outside to figure out if they lied or really had to use it. I remember there was not a wall below the seats. Under each seat was a straw basket that was reused after a man with a horse and wagon came and carried away the human waste. I always wondered why anyone in their sane mind would do such a thing. Now I know it was for manure. The outhouse was located some distance from the house (because of the smell). It was most unpleasant on winter days and I'd hold off as long as I could and keeping my coat above my waist was a problem. When anyone was taking pictures, they always said, "stand away from the outhouse, don't want the outhouse in the picture". One of my favorite pictures is of the family standing in front of the outhouse but you would not know it because there are so many of us that we covered its view. That backyard was our play area. I remember the Billy goat butting me across the yard, pass the outhouse. The horse always knew where to find us for he liked to play too. I was always so glad to be back home for we had real plumbing.....in doors! Sorry to get so carried away. Neva-Jane
    • 2/22/00 I am searching for the funny story called the talking outhouse. Have you ever heard of it? I believe the artists last name was Daniels and I heard it on the radio a few times in the late '70's. Please let me know it you know where I can fine it. Thanks Jen
    • 2/22/00 A couple of years ago I used a USFS outhouse in Michigan's Northern Peninsula. It was located by the Sturgeon Falls, North of Sidnaw and South of Baraga. The pit an it's cover was concrete and the building was wood. It had a vent through the roof. I presume this design is all over the place, but it was new to me. The part that impressed me most was the portion between the seat and the concrete floor! It was made out of aluminum or stainless steel. It looked like it was aviation quality, flush riveted, and had compound curves. I pointed it out to my brother and told him how impressed I was. This outhouse was brand new.
      Upon leaving, I noticed something shiny out in the woods. I was another one of these flush riveted wonders from the old outhouse that the new one had replaced, I presume. It was in perfect condition, no dents etc. and even clean. I tossed it in the back of the truck and still have it in the wood shed of our camp near Sidnaw. I was checking out the web for outhouse design ideas when I found your site. Like the guy you showed with his prefab outhouse, I cannot spend much time up there. I live and work in Texas and my wife is not interested in going up there. The place has been in the family since about 1932 and no longer has an outhouse. We use a chemical toilet on the order of a sick room toilet with a 5 gallon plastic bucket and stuff from a port-a-potty. This thing is decades old and had a metal buck that rusted out.
      I have only seen one plan to build an outhouse so far. It is from the State of Texas, from the early 1940s. Perhaps there could be some detailed plans submitted for people that want to build a new outhouse.
      Thanks for the great site on such a rare subject.
    • 2/21/00 I belong to Pekin, ILL. Bottle and Collectors club. and we have some Out house diggers in our group. The next meeting I will be telling them about your site. I was born in the age of outhouses. I lived on a farm NW of a small town (Tremont, Ill.) and we had an Out house. with a vine arbor over it. The vine was a Trumpet Vine. The first School I went Had Boys and Girls outhouses. I remember how cold they were in the winter. You had to be brave to plant your butt on those cold boards. For years it was tradition in our town for a group of teenagers to steal an outhouse and set it afire on the Main drag. on Halloween. Being a volunteer fireman , I got called out every Halloween. F.H. Tremont, Ill.
    • 2/20/00 Hello, My name is Linda, RN. I told my new patient yesterday that I would be his Case Manager. I explained that the role entails overseeing his care and playing the part of liaison to other members of the health care team. I told him if he had any questions about anything he could come to me with them; if I didn't know the answer, I would do my best to find it. This was his question: Why do outhouses have crescent moons cut into their doors? He has been seeking the answer to this question for 11 years. Please help.
    • 2/20/00 Love your site. I have always had a fascination to out houses. Why I do not know? I am currently looking at different pisctures of outhouses. I want to paint some and place, of course in my bathroom. I have an old outhouse in the back yard that covers our pump to our well. So thanks for the site. Terry
    • 2/20/00 Very informative and funny at the same time! I chanced upon your site in a search for my relatives on my father's side. I live in Manitoba, Canada where my grandfather George Feakes raised his family of 17 children, hense to say I have many relatives. My father moved to Alberta, Canada in 1969 when I was in my early teens and I have only moved back 18 months ago. Most of my 65 1st cousins I have not seen in almost 30 years. Any relation?
    • 2/20/00 I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your Outhouse information! I have a new Outhouse webpage.
      It is called Outhouse Moon, and includes all kinds of information on outhouses. I didn't want to duplicate what you already have, so I have a few links to your pages, but beyond that I didn't borrow anything.
      I've been an outhouse collector since I was a child, and my entire bathroom is done in outhouses. If you have any ideas, suggestions, etc., please feel free to let me know!
    • 2/19/00 Why is there always a half moon on the door of an outhouse? I have always wondered that.
    • 2/13/00 Please register me.
    • 2/12/00 While growing up in the 30s and 40s i was really impressed by any of our neighbors who were rich enough to own a WPA outhouse. I am disapointed that you do not have any pictures of these outhouses. I thought the woman that I married was rich when I was growing up because her father had enough money to have one of these outhouses. Ted
    • 2/11/00 I am interested in outhouse design because I intend to build one on my camp in upper Michigan. I wanted to do more than just go build it. I wanted to know any science to it and what features could make a better design. I see an outhouse as a direct feed septic tank. I want to build something strong and permanent. So far I have learned about using a tube or chimney and the need for natural light and ventilation. Most of what I see on this site is more art that science. I find myself more and more interested in the art of outhouses. When I finish mine I will send in pictures and the story. This will take a couple of years as I live and work in Texas and cannot get up there very often.
    • 2/10/00 Great site!
      I just bought a home circa 1842 in CT and found this "earth closet" in the attic. It is an oak "Moule's Patent Earth Commode" Pat. 1869. It still has the directions and I thought you might enjoy reading them. Thanks for the history lesson....I just don't know what to do with the "closet" Mark
    • 2/6/00 I am looking for some ideas for building a outhouse in my wooded lot.
    • 2/6/00 My husband and I collect minature outhouses and related stuff. Always enjoy your wet site.
      One suggestion, put dates on the comments so we can tell how far back to go to get to where we left off reading. [Great idea! Starting with this comment]
      My husband recently found a minature radio AM only that was an outhouse. I always wonder why they ever made so many minature outhouse items.
      There was recently a brief announcement in a Dallas paper (sent to me by a relative) that there is now an outhouse museum in Hutchinson, Kansas.
    • I would love to know where your sister purchased the outhouse bank. My husband loves outhouses, and I've been looking for a source of neat gift ideas. Thanks.
    • 2/1/00 have you ever seen a 2 seater? yep thats what i typed a two seater i've actually got pics of this. If I had a scanner, I would post thme somewhere on the web but until then you will have to wonder.
      [Most outhouses have 2 holes and some have as many as 5 to 20!!! The larger ones were located near churches or schools. I even have a few on my web site. The only difference between them and today's modern bathrooms are the stalls in today's. Back them, I guess people were not quite so hung up about shooting the breeze while "shitting"!]
    • Hello! I just found your site, and I love it!!! I thought it was the perfect accompanyment for the following that was forwarded to me:
      "Eighteen Bottles of Whiskey" - Rated PG
      I had eighteen bottles of whiskey in the cellar, and my wife insisted I empty the contents of each bottle down the sink, or else.
      After careful consideration, I reluctantly agreed and finally proceeded with the unpleasant task.
      I withdrew the cork from the first bottle and poured the contents down the sink with the exception of one glass, which I drank.
      Then, I withdrew the cork from the second bottle and did likewise with it, with the exception of one glass, which I drank.
      I then withdrew the cork from the third bottle and poured the whiskey down the sink, which I drank.
      I pulled the cork from the fourth bottle down the sink and poured the bottle down the glass, which I drank.
      I pulled the bottle from the cork of the next and drank one sink out of it, and threw the rest down the glass.
      I pulled the sink out of the next glass and poured the cork down the bottle. Then, I corked the sink with the glass, bottled the drink and drank the pour.
      When I had everything emptied, I steadied the house with one hand, counted the glasses, corks, bottles, and sinks with the other, which were twenty-nine, and as the houses came by I counted them again, and finally I had all the houses in one bottle, which I drank.
      I'm not under the affluence of incohol as some tinkle peep I am. I'm not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don't know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.
    • Could you please tell me where I can purchase outhouse items .?
      We are doing our bathroom with an outhouse theme and I would like to know where I can purchase some outhouse items? (paper holders, toothbrush holders etc.) [Check out my page on The Outhouse in Lancaster, PA]
    • Book by Billy Edd Wheeler "Outhouse Humor" Song title "Ode to the Little Brown Shack Out Back. I have this little booklet in my hand. A collection of jokes, stories, songs and poems!! August House Publishers, Inc. 1-800-284-8784. Might want to look into it. My favorite photo that I took a few years ago was leaving the small town of Oatman AZ, looking at the mountains I saw an outhouse out there all alone. My hobby is taking photos of those little houses. They are hard to find even in KY Letha
    • [Anyone know the answer to this one? Send me the answer via Email now] Hello! I am looking for lyrics to a song called, "Then there's grandma, swinging on the outhouse door...." Do you have any idea where I might find the lyrics?
    • "Thank God someone put a porta-potty out here in the middle of the woods."
    • [Some people sure know how to spoil the fun of others] John, while taking my family on a vacation away from Menominee in the early 70's I found that my kids would not sit on an "Open Hole Toilet" and decieded to do something about it as I hated those as well, but not because I thought that I would fall in but because of the smell and well you know.... and where I did not take pictures of them, they were recorded by city and location. And were reported to the city and state officials as health hazards, as well as safety violations by state law in Michigan, it took a lot of lobbying, but soon after a law was enacted that prohibited these in parks in most of the state, there are some that remain but very few, butt seems there was loop HOLE in the law that allowed some to remain, I'll tell ya some democrats have a lot of SHIT or used to..............
    • Hi, I just want to let you know how much I enjoyed your site. I, too, enjoy old outhouses and buildings. I have just refurbished my grandparent outhouse that sat on their homestead for years. My uncle wanted to tear is down but we moved it to my home and it serves as a major accent in my backyard landscaping. It is a two-holer and I'm proud as pie to have it.
    • I'm looking to decorate my bathroom with outhouses!!! Help!!!! Can't seem to find anything, maybe you know of some links that may be useful????
    • While looking for information on Menominee I ran across your site of outhouses, I have been using the web from its very birth in the world and have never found a site quite like yours, I have a lot of strange hoobies/interests but not quite like yours, I'm quite sure why I stayed at your site as long as I did, I guess I hate to leave a site that has not quite finished loading, Nice quality pictures though the content a strange, Keep up the good work
    • Dear sir, years ago an old friend loaned a small book to me that was about building privies, it went on about different styles and some of the humorous experiences in the life & times of the builder. the book was old, the size; (smaller than a TV guide 10 to 15 pages? ) any direction or ideas where i can find a copy? thanks
    • I really enjoyed the tour! I live in a log cabin, and decided a while back to re-decorate the two bathrooms in a stule becoming to my cabin. You have offered me the solution to the problem! Yes, photos of outhouses. Too bad, I just changed the toliet seats from wooden laminate to sheer white ones! It would have been a real watch with the photos! Oh well, my sister-in-law promised me a crocheted lid cover for the decor! I also recently located some very cute prints (framed) of "cute" outhouses in Wal-mart. Check around, you too might find them interesting. Thanks for the tour! Househouseds and flamingoes are still humor getters in my family. Perhaps someday I shall create a website for the "Pinkeys" that I have collected over the years. Keep up the good work!
    • I live in Zanesvile Ohio. I'm 15 years old and I'm a freshmen in High School. And I just got done reading your page about outhouses!! and it was very interesting. I'm doing a class assignment for school, but your webpage didnt give me the information I was looking for, all thought I enjoyed it!!!! I'm not sure if you know the answer to my question, but if you do, could you please reply as soon as you get this and tell me if you do. My question is,, How did they clean them out back then???? I know its a really gross question, but I really need to know!
    • [Curator's Comment: There are many references in my web site to a quarter moon. Here is one person's comment regarding that and he is accurate] A quarter moon, however, is a half lit moon where the terminator is half-way between each side of the disk. It would be more accurate to refer to the moon as a crescent moon in all cases. And if you wanted to be pedantic about it you could go so far as to call it a waxing or waning crescent moon depending on which side is lit.
    • I'd like to know more about making waste "disapeer" faster and to make the outhouse smell better at the same time! any help is greatly appreciated!
      [Curator's answer: Check out my faq page at "www.jldr.com/faqs.html".
      Also, most people use lime. They keep a bag of lime in the outhouse and throw a scoop or two down the hole from time to time.
      You can also rig up a metal "chute" which extends down below the hole. The chute would be about a foot in length. You then install a black pvc exhaust pipe at the back. The exhaust pipe only extends a few inches down below the hole behind the metal chute. The stinky fume rise around the metal chute and exhaust out the black pipe. The sun causes convection. Got it?
    • You say the answer to my question is easy-- I still don't know the orgin of Outhouses--Still in the dark--thanks
    • what is a poop deck really? in nautical terms? thanks....ps....great pictures! debbie
    • Maybe the holiday season got to me!!! Here it is the day after Christmas and I am exploring the INTERNET to find info about the outhouse!!!!
      A sister and I have collected post cards and greeting cards over the years - which we exchange on our birthdays. We have so many now that it costs over $3.00 to mail them!!! Some postcards date back to the 1940s and are really quite good!!!!
      Yes, I grew up with one of these awful things!!!!! Makes one appreciate indoor plumbing more since I now have a basis for comparison - the "good life versus the bad."
      Happy New Year!
    • Do you know of anyone doing theatre or after-dinner speaking on the history (or humor) of the outhouse?
    • This is just a funny line I read somewhere.
      He who stands on toilet, is high on pot.
    • Hi I am in process of getting ready to build an outhouse for my hunting camp. Do you have any simple plans or should I just design my own?
    • I heard that many people in the old South who were really poor used corn cobs instead of toilet paper for wiping. have you heard this ? [It wasn't only the South. On every farm in the midwest that grew corn, the cobs were used for heat in the winter and for wiping year round. They used dark cobs and light cobs. Thank God the Sears catalogue finally sent their catalogue to the farms. The cobs took a back seat to the magazine!]
    • Where and When did outhouses develope? [I don't know. I would say some time after 1776 but wait! When Columbus discovered America, I'm sure they made the first outhouses back then. Actually I don't know of a reference to a date. Sorry...]
    • Your site is out of site and a lot of fun to look at. Do you by some chance know of a book on how to build outhouses? While on a trip in the western Ohio area I saw one and did not get it and yes you guessed it now I can't find one.
    • Dear sir,
      Rumor has it that you may have access to the text of a book I remember seeing in the late 1930's while living in Winner, South Dakota where most homes still had outhouses. I don't know the name of the book, but I remember it had sketches and clever dialogue and captions of and about outhouses, and the words "Chick Sales" have stuck in my mind for all the succeeding 60-odd years. I used the term in conversation with to a 40-ish old colleague today, and he had never heard the term. Hence the query. One web site had the name Charles "Chick" Sales as the author of a book on the subject published in 1929, but that's about all I could find.
      Any leads you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
      [Curator's Comment: First check out the following pages of mine:
      The Specialist
      Ode to the Outhouse
      A Great Story about the Outhouse
      Now check out the book:
      Gems of American Architecture by William Royal Greer It was published by American Life Foundation. Yorker yankee Preservation Projects at Old Irelandville. P.O. Watkins Glen, NY
      It contains all kinds of pictures of outhouses with funny descriptions and prices.]
    • Question. Does the Crescent moon play any part in outhouses. I heard that it determines if the outhouse is for males or females. Not sure on this can you help me out? [Of Course!!! Check out the answer here]
    • What a collection........great site.....keep up the good work.........and most of all don't let anyone dump on you.......haha.
      I collect old postcards of outhouses and have a book on them I purchased this summer in Halifax, NovaScotia. I believe they are quite unique and a part of our past we do not appreciate as much as we should.
      I enjoyed visiting all your sites and once again please continue to provide the great entertainment for all of us die hard outhouse fans.
    • WHAT A SUPER DOOPER POOPER SCOOPER..........Great picture.
      In a world of ins and outs, I am grateful you decided to take your outhouses and share them with us.......
    • [From time to time, I get some unusual questions. This is one of them...There is no proof to answer this person's question. Below this comment is another comment from another visitor, which appears to blow the following theory out of the water] I heard somewhere that some archaeologists did a dig of an outhouse in Utah at one of Joseph Smiths residences, and found several glass syringes and vials that may have contained opium. This has some big implications, if Smith was using drugs or associated with drugs. Have you heard of this "myth"? Thanks [Here is a comment from another visitor answering this] There is proof to the answer to this question. There could not possibly have been a dig in Joseph Smith's house in Utah. He never lived long enough to crap in Utah. He was murdered (martyred?) and never made it to Utah.
      Could they be mistaking this for Brigham Young? He is rumored to have been quite a drinker in his day, although very few self respecting LDS members would admit this.
    • A friend sent me your site. I thought I was nuts.
    • Hi! My Mom just loves outhouses and I would like to get her started on a collection of outhouses. If you could let me know some places where I can get ahold of stuff that has to do with outhouses that would be great!
    • I was wondering if you could tell me where you got those models of the outhouses. Also, could you please tell me where you can purchase "Outhouse" items.
    • Excellent Site!!!
      A group of friends just bought a cabin in California "off the grid" and want to build ourselves an outhouse. Have you seen any plans for outhouses in your travels? I'd be much obliged if you have a source or recommendation. Wishing you all good things. Christina
    • When did you move your page???
      I have a link to it cause I have quite a few Trenarians that check my page out...And when I checked over my links tonight EEEEKKK! your page wasn't there and I had to find it again! You KNOW I love your page right?! (specially the "Trenary" part!!) I just wondered how many people clicked a bad link and never even told me!
      (case you don't remember...I e-mail you with a "Trenary" comment at least once a year!)
    • Greetings from Syracuse NY,
      I have a special request concerning outhouses. I am in the process of building a camp and would like to know of you know of any plans available for building an outhouse. I can certainly build one, but there must be specific demensions to make it "just right" shall we say! If you have any info, please pass it along.
    • I'm looking to find outhouses to photograph for a project. Do you have a list of addresses or any material so I can actually visit these sights?
    • Looking for the 2 story outhouse where the upper is for management and the lower is for workers. Any idea where I can find it? I had seen it about a year ago. Thanks,
    • I am doing a project, for a graphic design company....and a new business/Bar and tavern....Named...."The Outhouse" And I was wondering if there was any type of information that you could give me on outhouses in general. ie... The signifigance of the moon, the history, etc... It would be greatly appreciated
    • How did the crescent shape moon get on the door? What does it mean? Troy
    • Just wanted you to know I enjoyed the tour.....Was looking for a good photo for a joke at work.....You know....sort of a Y2K Compliant thing......Thanks for the laughs.....brenda
    • While browsing the web I was amazed to find your pictures of the Rosendale outhouses. I grew up just a short ways from the Rosendale church and attended it until it's closing in 1975. Some of my older siblings attended the Rosendale school. I was curious as who your mother was,as you mention she taught there. I attended an outdoor service there this summer and believe me, it's the outhouse thats leaning, not the pole.
    • When you visited Lancaster Pa., did you by chance visit President Buchanans home on the west side of the city?. There stands one of the most beautiful muti-seat units I've ever laid eyes on. I have pictures of it, if you would like, I think it would make a wonderful edition to your web page.
    • I really enjoyed your website . You have done a fine job. Can not wait to see what you will have next. Thank You for letting me visit.
    • I am a reporter for the New Jersey sefction of the New York Times. I am working on a story about outhouses becoming popular to collectors and decorators in New Jersey. Do you have any photos or information about Jersey outhouses.
    • Could you tell me where you can buy some of these models and pictures?
    • Where can you find the towel rack? [In Jackson Hole, WY]
    • Where can you find the bank??????????????
    • I live in Southern New Hampshire. For some time now I have wanted to find an outhouse, in which I could take a picture of it and hang it in my bathroom. I don't even know where to begin looking for one. I have come across pictures of outhouses for sale but I really want to take the picture myself in order for it to have some meaning to me. I love the pictures that you have taken and I am wondering if you can help me to locate one. I saw the one that you photographed in Northern New Hampshire but that is not exactly what I had in mind. I really love the one you photographed in Stowe, VT. That is more of what I was thinking. I realize though that the one in VT. may not be original. I especially like the outhouse with the beveled window - what a great piece of history. If you could help me in any way I would be very grateful.
      Also, where can I attain some of Victor Hayes drawings? I love his drawings that you have on your opening page. Again, any help would be appreciated.
    • webby, as i all'ys figgered...'tween boss's an' 'ployees crap all'ys be fer comin' down from the top!!!
      lil ole me
    • Hi Doug and Mickey - Congrats on your wonderful Sky Crapper - wonder what sort of deposit I'd need to construct one over here in England - that's Ipswich, Suffolk, England.
      Being something of a rookie at surfing the net I've been trying to trace my family tree without success but suddenly, oh shit, there it was, my name flashing up in lights! What the hell was it I wondered, this Feakes Sky Crapper?
      I logged on to the website and just like a pair of breeches rolling down to one's ankles, it revealed this delightful little crapper, side view and full frontal too.
      Now I reckon I've crapped in a few places in my fifty odd years on this old planet but I must confess I've never crapped in the sky - guess I'm no good at head and handstands but that's another story.
      The scariest crapper I've ever used, and over here it was called a bumbee, was when I was about five years old and I was on holiday in Cornwall. I lifted the seat and sat my young rear over the hole, felt a draught and heard water splashing about then looked between my legs in sheer horror. It wasn't me at all, but directly beneath me, some forty or fifty feet below, the English Channel really was crashing against the rocks. Shucks! That sure scared the crap out of me!
      Like they say over here, if you want to get your own back, piss against the wind. That could never happen in the luxury of your Sky Crapper.
      Just one other thing, my grandfather's name was Doug Feakes too.......
      Nice talking to you, Dave Feakes.
    • It never ceases to amaze me how many of us computer geeks do other things. Like you, I also have a Comm. SEL/MEL/SES Inst. Rating and a ham ticket, KG6N. And I brew beer, using my swimming pool to chill the wort after the boil; I mainly brew in winter for this reason. A bunch of us DBA's brew beer! Anyway, love the page!!!
    • There seems to be some confusion as to whether James Whitcomb Riley actually wrote "Passing of the Backhouse".....it is not in any of his collections I've seen.... T. H. Batt [Curator's Comment: The general consensus is that he did. You know; Folklore and all...]
    • Any idea how I could get an official Outhouse Races T-Shirt or Jacket? [Curator's Comment: If anyone wants to order the latest, Email the Curator from one of the Outhouses of America web pages and I'll forward it to the appropriate person.]
    • Hello, I have recently put up a brand new outhouse that I am very proud of. It is located near Grand Marais, MI on Lake Superior. Your site was very helpful in the research and design of this project. THANK YOU!
    • Do you possibly know where I can order a replica of any outhouse? It's an old family joke - long story - between my uncle and me and he is dying I am getting married Oct 30th, he is walking me down the aisle and I would like to give him an outhouse replica or a picture of an outhouse as a wedding present
    • Interesting tour. Definitely "Americana" Any idea where I might find plans for building an outhouse?
    • Having used an out door privy many times in years past, I feel that succeeding generations have been robbed of one of the more meaningful life experiences. Thank you. C. K. Andrews
    • If you're ever in north central Arkansas you must stop in Booger Holler (Pop. 3, plus 1 coon dog) and take a look at the double-decker outhouse which sits alongside a little tourist trap on the highway. It's a two-story affair with the second floor entrance located directly above the first floor entrance. A stairway/balcony delivers patrons to the second floor. It's not yet available for use as they've been unable to "figure-out the plumbing." I would have sent a picture but mine is recorded on videotape.
      Enjoyed your site!
    • I am looking for fancy outhouse to duplicate for garden potting sheds. Is there any chance that I can get a book or pictures of any outhouses to use. please contact me at this address. Minamyer1 it would be greatly appreciated. thank you
    • The bathroom my two children use is also the one the guests use. I was redecorating and wanted something the kids would enjoy, but didn't want the adult to have winnie the pooh watching them pooh. I have printed alot of your outhouse photos, and put them in small frames. The bathroom is great, I think guests go in there even when they don't have to GO in there. Thanks for the decor. Tracey
    • A friend of mine that lives at Piedmont Lake in Ohio, wants to construct an outhouse for his wife. Any idea where we can get some drawings for one? [Check out
    • [Speaking of the Outhouse Races]...great to visit your dumpster it was very timlely , i was at the race a few years ago on my sled, i'll try to make it again this year.
    • Good, found you again, Webtv crashed some time ago and am now using daughter's computer. I live 10 minutes from your mom in Sinking Spring, PA....maybe that would jog your memory. She saw my collection in Shoemakersville I believe. You've done a GREAT job with your website!!! Keep up the good work....I've retired with 150 different houses...no more room in my house for anymore... Had a HOOT collecting them....JAY
    • I know you must be very busy so thank you for your time and the great site you have provided the world with.
    • Glad I found this site! I am a crafter and have looked everywhere for a saying to go on my outhouse plaque. I glue a picture of an outhouse that has been burned around the edges on a piece of old old barn wood and I want a saying to go at the bottom of the plaque. Do you have any good ideas?? Here's a few I have found so far--
      "Two holer-------no waiting"
      "Too far from the back door in winter.....too close in summer"
      Most people hang these on their bathroom door or in the bathroom--outhouse decorating is hot now! Wouldn't our ancesors roll over in their graves!!! Thanks for any help you can give me--or links you can refer me too Peggy
    • I am modeling Virginia City and Gold Hill Nev. for an "N" scale railroad and was looking at old pictures of residential areas. What I did not find were many outhouses. Do you know when indoor plumbing came about? Did they have indoor facilities in the late 1800's? Maybe they were well-hidden from view and the photographer worked to keep them out of the pictures. I want to be authentic so any info. you can afford me will be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Bruce Dougherty
    • What a hoot! I loved your webpage. One of these years we'll have to have a family reunion at the Outhouse races. Wanna know our name? Outhouse, of course. We have a Outhouse Family Historical Society which meets (usually in July, not February) for an international reunion. A couple of our members have large collections of miniature outhouses. The name is originally Dutch and was spelled Uythuysen. One of my great, great uncles, Horace Outhouse, had a furniture and coffin shop in Escanaba. But anyway, I think your pictures were great and I'll pass your URL around to the rest of the family.
      Take care, Lynne
    • Absolutely the very best of outhouses- we just banished the use of outhouses only a few yrs.ago, here we called them Honey Pitts,and the trucks that came to clean them were Honey Wagons thanks for th tour and the laughs a lot of work went her. Much fun and appreciated David I am from St Thomas V.I. in the tropics
    • As I was surfing, I saw your site. I am looking for a good set of outhouse plans. Do you have a source? Thanks in advance. [Check out the FAQ page for references regarding plans.]
    • I am a miniature house (doll house to some) and while making a few OHs for our club's show in October, I wondered if there were other plans. Found your site!! Outstanding!!
    • I'm hoping you can answer something re: outhouses for me. what exactly is the crescent moon on the front of the outhouse for?!
    • I am looking to photograph outhouses. Any site to help map them out? thank you Wow! What a collection! I began perusing this site because I want to build an outhose that's wheelchair accessible at my cottage. The cottage has indoor plumbing, but it's upstairs... and my best friend is confined to a wheelchair. So, I'm gathering ideas for my state-of-the-art outhouse that won't look like an outhouse. When it's finished, I'll send you a picture of it.
      I wouldn't mind finding one of those "outhouse banks." Users could help me pay off this project, which, while it won't cost as much as the one in Glacier National park, will still put a dent in my cottage upkeep budget. Thanks again for the site. regis
    • the reason for the nail in the holes was to draw the circle for the man to cut out the hole,a string was tied to the nail and a pencil or another nail to draw the circle
    • We thats me and my mate andy are doing some research on Thomas Crapper and were wondering if you could E-mail me any info at Ollie_b40@hotmail.com , any thing would help.
      Thanks Ollie
    • I find it really strange that someone would travel around to see shithouses!!!!
    • Can we ever see any picturs of the inside? [Sometimes...I do have the insides on some of them.]
    • To whoever needs more info. on outhouses: I have a book called "the Vanishing American Outhouse" by Ronald S. Barlow. In it are privy plans, photographs, poems and folklore. I think anyone that loves their outhouse . . . or wishes they had one MUST have this book. It's quite a conversation piece! [You can read about it Here. Look at the 2nd question; How do I build an Outhouse?]
    • hi der, thanks for all da great pichers, i can now show my internet friends da true spirit of da Yoop. ( Trenary Outhouse Races) Snoweaver, Marquette Mi
    • [Regarding the Outhouse Races in Trenary, MI] It seems we are missing a lot down here in Georgia! Karen
    • I am looking for the manufacturer of fiberglass outhouses. I know this isn't what your site is about, but thought you might have run across them in your travels.
    • We own a property in a small town in PA that has an outhouse. The property is for sale and so far has not been desireable location due to a major road extremely close to the porch but the outhouse seems to be what everyone wants. How do we find out how much it is worth. It looks just like Kansas style and northeast PA camp outhouse. It has a slate roof and I beleive a one seater. The previous owners turned it into a shed for garden tools but latrine and toilet paper holder is still in tact. Can you verify value, I have heard $500-$700.
    • Do you have or do you know where I can find a shower curtain with outhouses on it? I am decorating my bathroom with outhouses. Thanks Denise
    • When building an outhouse, what kind of container do you construct below the seat? Thanks, G. Broz
      [Curator's Comment: That depends. A standard outhouse had just a hole dug in the ground. Modern outhouses can have a container or cement septic tank to pump out periodically. I have seen some with a 5 gallon plastic pail which is removed from the back and emptied.]
    • I went to an auction A few days ago at an olde farm lot. The barn and the outhouse were auctioned off and the barn went for $1 but the outhouse went for $5. Who would believe that an outhouse would ever outsell a barn?
    • Hi...I know this may seem a little strange but I've been trying to find out when indoor plumbing became the norm in small towns. I was hoping since you actually have a page for outhouses, you might at least point me in the right direction. My mother remembers having an outhouse in the early 50's but says most of her friends had indoor bathrooms. I'm doing some research for a book I'm writing and would like to be as factual as possible.
    • I understand that there are organizations that are looking to preserve some of the outhouses as part of the American heritage - do you where I might contact them? Thank you for any help you can give -
    • Enjoyed the outhouse tour very much.
    • Thank you a GOOD laugh goes a long long way.
    • Please mail me any info that would help me add to my outhouse collection. I will soon have a computer at home, til then, I'm stuck with one I can sometimes use at work. THANK YOU!! Wes
    • Fairbanks has had outhouse races for years. I assume that like them, these folks do this to blow off steam at the end of a long winter.
    • To whom it may concern,
      I want to build one!!! That's right. I have 55 acres of hunting land in the middle of no where and at times leaning up next to a tree is not fun. I can't seem to find any construction info or modern designs. would you have any connections?? Thanks Larry
    • Where you aware of outhouse calendars? I was so taken by them I plan on revamping a bath to hang pictures of these infamous places. And where else would these pictures be most suited.----------
    • When was lime first used in the U.S. for military latrines? [Don't know!]
    • dude why is there a cresent moon on every outhouse. [I gave the answer and here is his reply to that...] thanx a lot i needed it for a project on farms thanx a lot man
    • I just looked at the outhouse races. I am blown away. What a hoot! Certainly a worthy addition. 'Nother excuse to drink beer? If'n I can figure out a way, there will be a Looosiana entry some day, with diggin', Cajun, Southern flavor. There was more Winter in those photos than I've seen down here in a half century.
    • I was talking to an 86 year old friend of the family. In conversation he noted that outhouses are suppose to face south. Have you heard this? Do you know why? [Curator's Comment: The sun in the winter is at a low angle. If the outhouse is facing South, the sun will provide much warmth and lighting in the winter.]
    • I want to thank you for the poem by James Whitcomb Riley regards "Grandpa's hole." The last time I heared it recited was about sixty years ago.I was guessing who the author might be.
    • Regarding Outhouse Digging 101, maybe a nail was driven into the center of an outhouse 'hole' - and left standing - to remind patrons to remove the cover before sitting down. What an educational page! Loved it.
    • Does there exist a poem that captures the flavor of the remembered "outhouse?" It may have been written by James Whitcomb Riley.If one can be located,I'd apreciate your forwarding it. I am obliged.
    • why do they put moons on the outhouses?
    • I just started collecting outhouses about six months ago, and my collection is pretty slim. It all started with two sets of pictures I thought were cute at Wal-Mart. Then I received for Christmas 6 small ceramic figures. I also have a calendar, "Ma and Pa" outhouse salt and pepper shakers, two small pictures, a ceramic man in a night dress and cap with a lantern running to a outhouse. One unique thing I have received is an outhouse on top of a set of coasters. It is a music box that plays "Deep In The Heart of Texas" and has a frog in cowboy hat and boots standing inside (pulling up his drawers). There are cute sayings written on the door. That is the extent of my collection. I found your site for the first time yesterday (5/31) and I never realized there were so many cute novelties out there! My husband and I were out in our shed last night trying our hands at creating a couple to add to my collection. I live in Indiana, and I have a hard time finding things. You mention quite often a store your sister purchases a lot of your gifts from - Do you know if they are on the Net? I would love to check them out. Thank you for taking the time to share your love with the world! L. Kindler
    • [This came in from someone in an Email] request for newsletter [That's it!]
    • My name is Rob Outhouse. I love your website. I love to see pictures of all my relatives. hahaha. Anyway, my family name has been around since the 1700's. I caught alot of crap when I was a kid. hahaha. But you have to have a sense of humor about it. Take care. Rob O.
    • In 1997 I met this American young woman travelling in the Asian archepelago (wrong spelling). As I'm writing school books for the Greenlandic school kids (and making illustrations and layouts as well) and Kathy also makes illustrations we came up with the idea of making a user's guide for Asian toilets. Maybe you know, that when making reviews on restaurants you can give from 1-5 chef's hats. OK, we planned on giving from 1-5 'poohs' standing like a dog shit! And of course the one with five would be the WORST! The print paper should be toilet paper, so after trying out the mentioned loo, you actually could tear out the page and use it for cleaning your butt! In that way you: 1) always had paper at hand and 2) would know which loos to avoid and 3) would travel more light as the book gets thinner!
    • I have been trying to find a copy of The Specialist by Charles Sales for 40 years. I read a copy in a library in the '50's and have been looking ever since. Do you have any clues as to where to find one? [Sure - Look HERE for the best representation of the story found anywhere! - Curator John]
    • hey john: on Halloween the outhouses got plenty attention. In those days it was the tradition to see that no outhouse was left in an upright position. some were uprighted with the owners inside. it was considered great sport. next to duck hunting . besides you needed no duck stamps or hunting license to partake ,but you had to be carful not to get to close to the excavation lest you fall in.
    • As an old man who grew up in a rural area in Cornwall, England, I have a first-hand experience of outhouses. We lived in town, a very small place, so we had a water-closet (W.C.) whereas my aunt who lived a mile or two away had an unadorned closet "down the garden". Its wooden seat and clumsy cover with a large handle were white from constant scrubbing, there was always a more-or-less characteristic odour, depending on the weather, stronger in summer when the place buzzed with large flies. A bucket of ashes and an old fire-shovel that had seen long service in the kitchen before being retired stood in a corner below the nail from which hung suspended a sheaf of carefully torn old newspaper pieces threaded on a loop of string. The door was kept shut by means of another nail and loop of string which let it hang a good four or six inches ajar on its leather 'hinges'. In summer, adventurous souls might hold the door half-open with a handy stone, though we small boys were much too fearful to do that. We were sometimes (often?) guilty of not putting the cover back on for which we got a sharp reprimand. I can recall the rough feeling of the grainy wooden seat and the uneven contours of the hole that framed one's bottom, though when I was very little there was some feeling of fear of falling into the dark and nauseous netherworld. Also, I didn't like the large spiders lurking in dark corners under the seat. (Kids are curious!) All this was in the time of the Depression.There was no money for paint for anything so humble as a closet, and its planks, generally salvaged from something long demolished, were parti-coloured and full of chinks. At least we had a mild climate and no long, hard frosts. Even so we did get a lot of gales with bitterly cold winds and rain which sometimes discouraged a visit down the garden until sheer necessity drove us out into the weather. I look forward to visiting your site (when I have a week or two to spare?) How do you manage to put together so much detail? It must take an awful lot of research and organisation. Thanks for getting in touch. Cordially, Glyn
    • There are some very nice and clean outhouses on the Appalachian Trail in North GA. Worth checking out if you haven't yet. They are stainless steel and appear to have a "flush" pedal which opens a trap at the bottom of the bowl and sends a shot of some chemicals along with it. Pretty dark when its overcast though.
    • I really liked your page. It was fun. As I live in Japan, out houses are definitely different here. There is a sign that is often displayed in outhouses, and it translates something like this. "Please wash chopsticks after use...thankyou!"
    • Is there some reference source that will tell me which State has the most Outhouses? This is a trivia question that has me stumped.
    • Here's another term used for an outhouse. My husband's family called it the "Sunshine Mission". Like all well placed privies, it faced the east so that you could get the full effect of the morning sunshine on those cold, winter mornings. Just open the door and "let the sunshine in". The latest "Sunshine Mission" still stands on the home place, yet not used much now-a-days since we got flush toilets in the house. It is a modern one built in the mid to late 1960's. By modern I mean that it really used a "store-bought" toilet seat rather that a sawn hole in the bench. This modern "Sunshine Mission" was a "one-holer" rather than a "two-holer" like its predecessor. The "two-holer" had a smaller hole for the youngsters and women and a larger one for the "men-folks". For helping keep the odor down, ashes from the fireplace were used rather than straight lime. The main reason that ashes was because they were always available and cost Gramma & Grampa nothing except the energy to fill the bucket and pack it out to the "Sunshine Mission".
    • Looks like a lot of money just going in a hole to me.
    • We spend a week at Oskosh Wisconsin and the EAA Fly In every year and they install the MODERN out house. The Metros are offen lined up in rows and people line up to visit them. Our Campers have some very funny songs, stories, and esperiences in the. They are usually white and have doors that bang if you do not hang on to the door when entering or leaving. Cute Web site.
    • When I lived in Tennessee (besides having two little shacks of our own growning up) you could watch outhouse racing on the Ralph Emery show on the NBC affiliate station (WSM) in Nashville as a yearly event (along with the chalk throwing contest...long history in that one...you had to be there) Jerry
    • Regarding the page on "The Little shack out back song", I have a tape with the first set of lyrics on it so I guess those are the "correct ones"
    • That was cool.Where is this anyway? Well when you wright back and give some facts if you do and please do wright in the subject:"popular toilet" please other wise i will think it is junk mail thank you. I am now one of your fans and i hope to see you around here thank you alot and good luck in the futher. -maryanne
    • Your exploding outhouse is not the same as the ones my cousin Alan used to make. During the late eighties, Alan was making outhouse almost like your with mouse and rat traps. The difference was that Alan's outhouse had an opened door. Not all the way open, mind you, just barely cracked open. There was a small sign on the outhouse saying "Do Not Open". Of course, nobody paid any attention to that sign. When you opened the door, BANG!, the outhouse flew apart. When you opened the door on the outhouse made with the rat trap, and it went Bang, your heart would almost stop. We had a lot of fun with those things and I even sent one to a former pen pal in Australia. I don't think she really knew what to do with it. Alan came up with a safety wire for the door. This was in case the outhouse had to ride in a car or be carried while loaded. Enjoyed visiting you site and thinking about carrying around exploding outhouses. Sincerely, Brenda
    • bueno
    • I have extensively toured your site. Laughed a lot. I wish we had real outhouses now, instead of those nasty portapotties you see at all sizable outdoor functions - the things have no esthetic value whatsoever. My Dad must have made a couple hundred of those exploding outhouses, I was glad to see it on your site. I should really have that thing sitting out on the coffee table! By the way, Howie is gorgeous. Of course, you already know that. Beth
    • How could you forget the most famous event in the history of outhouses? I refer to the Canadian Centennial project of Bowsman, Manitoba in which, at midnight on January 1, 1967, as the first of hundreds of centennial projects across Canada, to celebrate Cnaada's 110th birthday, all outhouses in the town went up in a blaze of glory! See Pierre Burton, "1967 - Canada's Turning Point" Doubleday Canada Limited, 1997, page 1. Happily, the book has a photo of this historical event. Charles Phelan Winnipeg Canada
    • Any suggestions for where to purchase outhouse novelties? Thanks. [Check out this page]
    • [Curator's Comment: This comment in about my story dealing with why I started this whole web site in the first place!]
      Dear Curator of USAPrivies,
      As the son of the man what built this yer privy I just hev to set you right bout this whole shebang: what your voiyours are lookin at is not the little shackroom on the end which was meant to confirn that durn racoon, but the BIG buildin with the big doors. Now the big doors is becos in my ole dad's day the locals was gettin kinda lazy and liked to drive to the privy in their buggies, see. Another thing is, when you left in such a tearin hurry, wot you didn' see was that that there racoon was up in the rafters only on account of the anaconda coiled about his middle. Yew can just thank your lucky stars the bright eyes of that lil ole racoon got you the heck outa there before that big ole snake gotcha. And I must tellya, we local fellas don't call it a privey, but the thunderbox on account uv the BIG BANG.
    • I have been looking for plans to build an outhouse...noone seems to know where i can get plans...do you have access to the actual building diagrams for different styles..would like to build something that we can also use for storage..thanks
    • I have searched high and low , no one knows what the moon signifies. Does anyone out here have any real ideas? I seriously want to know. THANK YOU....
    • What a wonderful site! You settled my contention that there is at least one 2-story outhouse in this country. It all started with a discussion of Wisconsin's requirement to remove approximately 1,000 square feet of forest in order to install a septic system. Up here in the Northwoods, trees seem to have become the enemy. Everybody, except their dog, is looking for an excuse to uproot them.
      Thank you for publishing The Specialist. I had not seen nor thought of it in *years*. I had a large collection of neat things like that - including An Ode to the Throne Phone - which disappeared from my desk the day before I retired. Keep up the good work.
    • I'm looking for outhouse pictures etc. I'm remodeling the bathrm. and would like some outhouse "stuff" to go with the wallpaper border (all outhouses) >LI>I just got to ask - is there any way in the world to get rid of the smell other than lime. What about construction plans for a new outhouse? We have a cabin in the Allegheny National forest in Pennsylvania, an I need a breather.
    • What do you know about outhouse design? I am planning to build one and want to aviod pitfalls.
    • brings back memories. some of the things other people did in the outhouse(sic) reading etc. when we (bro and i) visited G'mas& G'pas home in the country when nature called at night we were able to take a candle out in the DARK and sit by it's light until all was done. WINDY NIGHTS were great and spooky. Great site ... Thanks pz
      [Curator's Comment: Ha! No explosions eh? You know the old tale of the outhouse blowing up when someone lit a cigarette! I remember at my Grandmas, we had a pail to use for night duty (liquid only). If you had to poop, you were on your own!]
    • My wife and I have a house which has 3 guesthouses. We have some colorful names for each dwelling, but my mother-in-law objected because now of the structures mentioned her family name, which is Wood. We named our workshop The Wood Shed, but that wasn't enough. Therefore we have decided to build an outhouse, which we intend to name Wood's Hole.
    • I'm rebuilding an outhouse with a concrete seat base in the corner, identical to the one shown on your "corner seat" page. It is in easter Pennsylvania and was recently burned down by vandals. My father-in-law, who ownes and uses it while working the farm field near which it stands, says he moved it to the current site from an old, depression-era work camp. CCP or WPA or something similar? The four foot square, concrete base, corner seat design was standard government issue.
    • I read on another site that you were at the Trenary Outhouse Race this year too... Did you put up pictures anywhere??? I would love to see them! Linda Lee from Trenary twenty years ago (from Indianapolis now)
    • I have a little bit of a predictament and I was hoping that you could help me. I am on my way of becoming an Eagle scout, the highest award that a Boy Scout can get. Although I have most of my project already in the planning stages, I cannot seem to find a blueprint for an old fashioned outhouse. I was hoping that you could e-mail me to tell me some info about outhouses.
    • I enjoyed your webpage. Concerning your "outhouses" part of your page, I know of a concrete outhouse bomb shelter found just outside of Salt Lake City at one of my favorite hang gliding places...Point of the Mountain. I am quite certain that this outhouse could survive a nuclear bomb.
    • I was wondering if you could tell me where on the Internet I can find a good how-to on building your own outhouse. Thanks for your time.
    • I am decorating my bathroom in outhouses and have been looking everywhere for things to put in there.
      Any ideas, or where can I buy those items. Thanks,
    • This site is awesome. I read about it in Yahoo! Magazine. Most excellent!!!!!!!
    • Hi, I need to build a outhouse on a small lot in south alabama, too small for a septic system. It's a little fish camp, for weekend , don't want to dig a hole, but beable to take out solid wast. So any suggestions well be most appreciated thanks Ralph
      Curator's Comment: Well, That limits you doesn't it! You could build an outhouse but design it so you could use a 5 gallon plastic container under an outhouse hole and use chemicals from a camping supply place. Mix a little water into it and you have a porta-john on your camp! John]
    • Do you or any of your subscribers have the working plans to construct an out house that is economical, efficient, to withstand the test of time in the harsh Catskill winters, yet has character. Tom
    • I am in the T-Shirt business and have a request for a shirt with a picture of an outhouse on it. Do you happen to have a picture of one of your outhouses, hopefully with a half moon on the door that I could use? It's for one-shirt only. Imagine my surprise when I found an outhouse collector. Thanks. C. Free
    • I recently bought a small piece of property in Southern Illinois and found a strange piece of concrete near where I am planning to build my house. A friend of mine and I were walking around the property and he commented that I had myself an old WPA Crapper, referring to the Works Progress Administration. This concrete mass which I had mistaken for an odd old well cover looks just like the base of the outhouse in your photos. I would like to find plans for the original if there was some sort of standard design. Thought you might be interested in this.
      [Curator's Comment: Without a picture, it's hard to say what you have. You might want to check out the U.S. Public Health Service's Bulletin Supplement No. 108 for information on this. Also, you can check with the Arkansas Dept of Health in Bentonvielle, AR. They put out a small booklet called "The Sanitary Pit Privy" dated 1950. It was Bulletin No. 10. In it, there are plans to build the Privy with the Concrete Riser to sit on and it looks like a Corner Seat Privy.]
    • I enjoyed your webpage on outhouses. It brought back to memory some 50 years ago when I lived in NE Ohio. We had an outhouse and our small home was right behind a sulphur creek in a rural district. Halloween was a terrible time for us because pranksters would come and tip our outhouse sideways into that sulphur creek. One Halloween dad and the boys thought they would catch the tricksters. They sat up way past Halloween midnight, laughing as they thought about surprising them.Around 1:00 in morn they gave up and went to bed.....Sure enough! In the morning, there it was...our outhouse was in the sulphur creek again. I really don't remember when it quit...guess the kids or whoever moved away or got tired of same old joke every year. Anyhow our outhouse had the prettiest shade of orange on it from that sulphur.
    • Do you happen to have any information on toilet facilities in civil war camps?
    • I enjoyed your pages! Can you imagine, I have met senior citizens here in Calif, that have NEVER seen an out house? I am from Wisconsin & have seen quite a few. Thought you might like some extra trivia. Italian Americans call a bathroom the "baccousa". This realy isn't an Italian word. They heard Americans saying they were going to the "back house" and they thought the said baccousa. Also, Have you read the little classic book, THE SPECIALIST BY CHARLES(CHICK) SALE in 1929. It is the story of a privy maker. Very funny! S. Gagliano
    • Pooperific!
      Hi Mr.Poop! I think that that's a great website, and keep up the good work! One more word: Animation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    • great article.....keep it up
    • I am looking for plans for a wood or block outhouse (privy) that would be suitable for construction in the mountains of rural Nicaragua. Any suggestions will be welcome.
      [A few days later...] I just wanted to thank you for all your help. I wrote to your friend in Arkansas, and was able to find the two books on your FAQ page through Amazon.com.
      Thanks again, L. G. Clark
    • Was there anything in the outhouses to wash their hands with?
    • I'm looking for a book i see in the 50 called the outhouse builder it was about building in the pwa days can you help? I think itwas by chick childs chuck
    • I like it .. very good
    •   I grew up in a house that was built in1812 by my great-great-great grandfather and we used the "three holer" until 1972 when modern plumbing was installed. I still have the seats (the house burned but the outhouse survived) and am trying to figure what to do with them.
        The "three holer" was attached to the back entryway of the house by a long narrow hallway. My uncle was an antique dealer so he had paintings hung the length of the hallway. At the end were three holes. The first was a normal size and was to be used for men standing. The second hole was another adult size that was to be used for women and men sitters. The third hole was a child size for the children of the house. The child's hole even had a small step in front of it. The holes were sanded smooth and varnished. Each hole had a hinged cover that fit perfectly. A wooden box sat at the very end. We used it for spare toilet paper but I often wondered what the original residents had used it for. At the very end of the hall was a window overlooking the river below. The whole outhouse had a cut stone foundation that was at least 10 feet tall and then you sat on the seat so you were quite far from the contents below. We always had a bag of lime in the corner which we used when there was any smell. My mother (born 1909) said someone used to come and clean the poop out of the outhouse when she was a girl but nobody ever did it in my memory. In the winter you could see a pile building up as it froze but come spring the stuff just seemed to sink down somehow. My grandmother would always take a pail of water left from the weekly wash and wipe down the seats and mop the floor. She took an old toilet seat and covered it with flannel. It hung behind her kitchen wood stove and we set it on top of the frigid seat in the "three holer" during the winter. Something that older people did (probably women) was to use a rag for pee instead of toilet paper and wash this out weekly.
        One thing I never have seen mentioned is that if you want your outhouse to last for generations you have to put a piece of tin as a splashboard below the seats both in front and back. It keeps urine from hitting on the boards and rotting them out. This has to be replaced from time to time.
          We own a place where we camp each summer. There is no electricity there so we have built four outhouses around the property to use when nature calls. We have a bag of lime in the corner but have to keep the toilet paper in a large coffee can since mice and chipmunks make a mess if they can get to it. One thing we have discovered is that porcupines like to chew on regular wood or T-11 but the don't seem to bother partical board or the pressure treated wood.
        The little half moon you see in the doors of outhouses are to let in some light. They don't let the rain in and are hard for anyone to see in.
        This is quite long but I may have added a little to your knowledge of outhouses.
      A. Dingman
      The best presents you can give your children are roots and wings.
    • Outhouse Search: I heard a breif story on a local radio station yesterday. All I am able to figure out is that somewhere in Tennessee someone (possibly a municipality) is looking for volunteers to assist in dismantling. Appreciate anything further you may be able to dig up. Wild Bill --
    • I would like to have a magazine sent to my home
    • Great job on the web site. Just found it so I have a lot of reading to do
    • It has been a while since I visited you page, and it sure has grown. It has gotten better, I thought that it was great when you started but little did I know what an outhouse page could become.
    • Hi there! What a marvelous collection you have!!
    • my boyfriend loves to dig in old bottle dumps. He digs for at least 5 hours a day
    • I ordered the "Nature Calls" jig saw puzzle from the Outhouse in PA. Now my sister wants one. Please send me the telephone number. Thanks.
      I've passed along to several others about your web site. My Mom is 92 and really getting a kick out of it. My sister says shes been in the one at Myrtle Creek, Oregon [Curator's Comment: Contact them at (717) 687-9580.]
    • What an interesting website. I found it by accident while looking for the history of toilet paper. My uncle is writing a book on the civil war and for some reason, this is important to him. He is a strange old guy, but I love him. Do you have any info on this or do you know where I can find it? I have spent so much time looking at your site, that I don't have time to look anymore for his stuff!
    • I just got from lunch I had w/ a new friend of ours. He told a storey about a book he has on outhouses of America. The book is probably 5"X7" and not too thick, but has pictures of outhouses for those interested in the subject. It was printed in 1934, and was not a joke book at all. I wish I had the title, and the author, but have neither to share w/ you. Just thought I'd mention it to you. When I got back from lunch today, I thought, "what the heck, I'll surf the internet, they have everything"! And alas! My first visit to your page, searching under, of all things, you got it...OUTHOUSES ! By strange coincidence, have you any clue of the publication I memtioned earlier, written in 1934?
    • I have a friend who has an outhouse collection she is trying to give away.. If anyone is interested, contact me at lundie@compuserve.com
    • I am doing a bathroom in outhouses. Would love photos to use! Any one that can help please email me at snigpan@ptdprolog.net. Thanks!
    • I'm sure you've had this question posed to you a billion times, but where did your sister find the "toilet tie". I would love to be able to buy one for the wastewater techs in our organizations. thanks for any help.
      J. Jordan, PA Rural Water Association
      P.S. I thoroughly enjoyed the site
    • Good morning!
      I had stumbled on to you site while looking for a plan to built a two seat composting outhouse. I now know more about outhouses than I ever planned on! We are looking for a wooden one that has perhaps two metal bins underneath . We plan on building this ourselves with little money and even less skill. If you know of such plans we would be very grateful. Thank you for your time.
      Victoria B.C
    • Nice web page. We recently accuired a very sturdy outhouse that has plumbing fixtures that will allow a full toilet to be installed. However we want to use it primarily as a changing room and urinal. I have not been able to locate any corner urinals like I see in portable outhouses. Could you tell me what types of stores and possibly some national chains of stores that carry corner urinals (that do not require water and septic).
    • I really loved your site. I just spent nearly 2 hour on it and didn't see it all. I really do have a life, but this was fun. Somewhere along the way you must have seen James Whitcomb Riley's "The Passing of the Backhouse". If not I would be glad to email you a copy. My father brought home a copy of it when I was 12. At that time my brain was like a sponge and after a few months of reading it every now and then I had it memorized without trying. I'm now 45 and I can still recite every one of the 526 words. I'm also a calligrapher and lettered the entire thing for my folk's anniversary one year. It's hanging in their bathroom (where else?). Keep up the good work!
    • Several years ago I saw a jigsaw puzzle made up of several different outhouses, maybe 9. It was in a store in Moro Bay California. I often kick myself for not buying it but at the time didn't have the $14 they were asking for it.
      Have you ever seen one or know where I might obtain one?
      Thanks, V. Cochran [I'm looking at it in the box! It is called "Nature Calls" and it has 14 outhouses. You can buy it at "The Outhouse" in Lancaster, PA (see my web page on The Outhouse or the address is:
      Nature Calls
      6 Mildred Lane
      Ambler, PA 19002
    • very exhilerating,I mean to say artistic and inspiring of the competeing edge in the field of decorating ome place that was meant to be comfortable and private.
    • thanks so much for the site
    • I have a record album sung by Billy Ed Wheeler, and he sings the lyrics as printed in lyric set# 1.It would be my guess that as he wrote the song this would be the correct way to sing it? Anyway I love your web site, its fun and Thank you.
    • I don't know if you were previously aware of this but there's a very fine, well preserved two story out house, attached to the rear of the plaza hotel in San Juan Bautista Ca.
    • Our Scout Troop has taken several trips to Philmont Scut Ranch in New Mexico. These trips involve back country backpacking for nearly two weeks. The ranch has a variety of outhouse types, each with a particular "identifiable name" such as "pilot to copilot", "pilot to bombadier" (obviously refering to seating positions) and the creme' de la creme' (these have walls) "the red roof inn". Now, back to the tour.
      D. Jones Bel Air, MD
    • I am looking for a stencil of an outhouse to etch on a mirror. I just redid my bathroom in outhouses. It turned out better than I thought it would. My friends thought I was crazy, but after they see it, they love it. I hope you can help me with finding a stencil of an outhouse. Thank you. Diana
    • This site was just too funny! I forwarded your address to a lot of my friends. Keep up the good work!
    • [Curator's Comment: I try to reply to all Emails to me. Here is what someone thinks about that:]
      Thank you so much for the story. It's great to know there are still nice people in the world. You could have just ignored my mail but you took the time to answer me. I really do appreciate it. I was raised in a small place in Arkansas and this story sounded like stories I have heard around the heater in my Dad's little grocery store. The older people used to come and sit around by the fire and tell stories with my grandparents and my Dad. I think there were more old cane chairs in the store than groceries. It just brought back my childhood. Thank you for making my day. May God bless you. Sherry.
    • Just thought that I'd thank u. I had a history fair project on inventions throughout history. My group and I chose toilets. I really enjoyed going to your page w/all of the outhouses. It will be a great help if we use them. Even if we don't I really appreciate it. Thanks.
    • Management Vs Employees outhouse: Management belongs on top. Management, from the top looking down, see smiling faces. Employees, on the bottom looking up, see nothing but assholes. F. Spice
    • We were enjoying your web site when it occurred to us to ask you... Why do you often see a moon cut out of the door of an outhouse? S B
    • I really enjoyed your web pages.
      We spent three years in Alaska so we became quite familiar with public outhouses.
      There were two I still remember.
      We went fishing in Homer, Alaska one day. It was cold and I rode in the back of the camper for several hours over rough roads on the way there. I was badly in need of facilities by the time we arrived. At the end of the fishing pier was a little shack hanging out over the ocean about 15feet above the water. It even had a seat and of course it didn't stink so it was most welcome. (But it sure did seem exposed.)
      Another time a group of us went winter camping at a little A-Frame by a lake. It was kind of cute everyone sitting around waiting for someone else to "go" first after breakfast. For the record it was 20 below zero out, a bit windy, about 50 yards uphill in the snow to the facilities, we all knew by then it had a metal seat and there was a moose standing next to it. J. Firey
    • Please send some info on your CD outhouse holder product .
    • I am looking for simply plans and instructions of how to build an outhouse. If you have any suggestions please advise. thanks
    • Very nice pictures of outhouses of Northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. I must comment on the poorly shaped holes. Somewhere along the way I learned that this is what happens when you leave the door open. Don't have any in my part of Wisconsin, but about 50 miles north of here is the domain of the porcupine. Seems that porcupines have developed a taste for wood scented with good old fashioned PEE! The dribbles on the front of the hole turn the seat into a delicacy for our prickly friends, and this is why the odd part of the holes is always to the front. Thought you'd like to know. (Besides, I don't know anyone else who'd like to know. --J. Smith
    • Hi, my name is L. Tijerina. I am in a group that is doing a documentary on toilets. We recently won first place and are heading to state, but we need need pictures of Thomas Crapper! If you know of where we can get some, or if you can give us any, we would be very greatful. Thanks!
    • I just have to ask if research into the roots of your family name have anything at all to do with your obsession to be surrounded with outhouses?
      Just a thought!!!!!!
      Have fun-------great pages------Broom
    • I live on a 155-acre slice of heaven. However, the far property definately needs a...er...latrine. The problem is, I can't seem to find instructions on building an outhouse anywhere. All I want to build is a "hole in the ground" and a roof over my head (and maybe four walls for privacy). Can you point me in the right direction?
      [Curator's Comment: Yes. Click HERE for the answer.]
    • Hello, I'm in the portable toilet rental business in Baltimore Maryland and always looking for portable toilet pictures that are usable to be hung on the wall in my office.Any good mail order books or mags would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, R Ramsey
    • My grandmother just said she was going to "see Mrs. Jones."
    • Any idea why outhouses have half moons on the front? Someone asked this today.
    • I'm sure this has been asked/answered many times but why the Crescent Moon on many O.H's? Thanks Jack
    • The best laugh i've hah in months.
    • Hi! I have a nifty outhouse print done by artist John Shaw called "The Longest Mile". This is a numbered print and hangs in my family restaurant ladies room. Seems like most women closely identify with the scene, and tend to drag their husbands/boyfriends into the room to view the print. Needless to say, I could have sold 50 more prints, if I could locate John Shaw.
      With all your outhouse info, have you ever heard of the gentleman? One of our local galleries has done all kinds of research and even contacted the University of Mn to no avail. Would appreciate any direction you might give me. Thanks so much!
    • Enjoyed your American Outhouses Tour Web page, especially since I work as a Sanitarian with the Arkansas Dept. of Health. I'll get you a copy of our Arkansas State Board of Health's Bureau of Community Health Services, Bulletin No. 10 dated 1950 entitled THE SANITARY PIT PRIVY. This document is still in use today, and for certain situations, it is even recommended. (very limited access and no running water available)
      C. G. R.S.
      Registered Sanitarian
      Benton Co. Health Unit, Arkansas Dept. of Health
    • great job om next time im out travling ill take some pix for ya there are some old ones out here in idaho W7LRJ ------73
    • Hello
      I am an 12 year old girl who just happens to be doing a report on Thomas Crapper and I was wondering if there was any possible way that maybe send me some information on him. If it would be at all possible i would like a picture but dont go to any extra trouble.
    • I never knew I was not alone ... I have been collecting out houses for years and I have atleast 150. various and assorted pictures, sculptures and shakers. The largest being.over a foot. I will have take pictures for you! I am so happy to know I am not alone..... Thanks for the great web page. Mary
    • Real neat!! Never seen anything like it .THANKS
    • Hi, we have enjoyed your website. We are in the tree nursery business and are looking for outhouse plans....where can I find some? thank you, cathy [Curator Comment: Check out my FAQ page for Outhouse Plans!]
    • Very Unique!! I have seen a few of the out houses in your Mich. U.P. Tour. Petoskey is 30 min. south of the Macinac Bridge.
    • I started an outhouse business in Mystic, CT because the town folks could not agree on a location and who would furnish supplies and do maintenance for bathrooms for our summer tourist. After three years of studies they think they now have a spot, in the mean time I have started my business and have sold a few. If all goes well this will be my year. By the way my outhouse are (Garden Privy's) for tool storage or what have you. They look exactly like outhouse with a moon or grapes or what ever you want, my specialty is the salt box roof which fits into most yards.
    • Nice work and a censored of a lot of info. When I started building outhouse I didn't have a computer so you know what a job I had getting info.
    • [Here's a poem for all you poets]
      There once was a man named clyde
      Who fell on the Crapper and died
      His unfortunate brother fell in the other
      and they were entered side by side.
    • I do historical F&I re-enactments and REv. War and an occasional Fur Trade event. A friend in our group plays music and sings. We call him "Big Bear" but his name is John Krestel. He wrote a Hilarious ditty he calls " My Favorite Thing, That Ol' Outhouse ( or otherwise known in adult company) In My Back Yard.
    • Just wanted to let you know that I love your site. My name is Rob Outhouse. I have seen many pictures of outhouses, and they all have names. Because most of them are related. Great family pictures.
    • I have heard that there are 3 different styles of outhouses. (architecturally). I was wondering if you knew what they were, as I'm writing a report and can't find information on any of the sites or references I've read. Thanks for your time.
      Sincerely, G. Collinson
    • I have an outhouse for sale. Its an authentic WPA though has since been painted blue rather than the standard white with green trim. I've had one inquiry but that person doesn't know how much its worth and either do I. Is there an outhouse appraiser? Or at least give be a ballpark (there's a pun here I can't locate) figure.
    • Hi I am looking for a picture of a double door outhouse with a cresent moon on one door and the star on the other . I am going to have it drawn on the wall of the bath room in my country home i hope you can help .
    • My grandpa....always said "He was going to the Shitter", this always caused me to laugh hysterically.....for i was young and it was the only "cuss" word that i heard.
    • i enjoyed the web site, interesting. we call outhouses outback dunnies, otback is the name for the hinterland in australia. i have a composting dunny in ahouse i have in wittenoom in the north west, 1000 miles north of perth.
      the local shire(county) councillor was extremely helpful and her father as well, the previous councillor. both visited my house several times to inspect the alternative energy system.
      i live off rainwater, 400mm.16inches per annu, mostly summer monsoonal. even although the tank is only about 1200 gall us. i manage quite well. remember well the time the councillor came and commented on the size of the tank, knew straight away the size.
      also much support from a member of the upper house, mark nevill mlc. contact him for some insights into living in remote regions of western australia. the police in western australia also good in telling me nothing wrong with my alternative energy system.
      another comment on outback dunnies, outhouses. a friend of mine grew up in the bush, backblocks, dirt poor. the house had an outback dunny/outhouse.
      her fiance came to dinner one evening, and anted to smoke, but wasn't allowed to in the house, so he was told to go out the back to the outhouse and smoke in there.
      of course as the poop decomposes it gives off methane gas. no sooner had he lit up when there was an almighty explosion. everyone rushed otside to see what had happened , and there was the hapless victim with his trousers around his ankles wondering what in hell had happened.
      regards, r. oliver
    • your site is great. one can just sit for hours reading it. you have inspired me to go back to my uncles hunting camp in the hills above canisteo.new york(SOUTHERN TIER) and though he has electric the means of unloading is the privy attached to the tool shed about 30 yards from the house. i hope to find a long phone cord and go online from an outhouse!!. i have yet to see an outhouse in l.a. where i now live but they need a lot of them !!! yours j. a. abel
    • We have an outhouse that someone is wanting to buy. It is a 3 holer. 2 larger holes with a shorter and smaller childs seat. Do you have any idea what it would be worth? [Any ideas out there?]
    • nice shit my friend
      Au plaisir
    • The Old Farmers Almanac says that you should put your outhouse out past the wood pile so that you can carry some wood on your way back. Also, your shy guests can say that they are going get wood.
    • What I saw that most people won't see is HOME. The streets of Trenary Michigan!
      I moved away from there 20 years ago and live in Indianapolis now, so this is a cool page to show friends who wouldn't believe it without the pictures!L. Lee (Vrooman when in Trenary)
    • Just wanted to say thanks for giving Trenary, MI (my hometown) a little well-deserved recognition... Nice page too!! C. Aho
    • Re: Employees vs management 2 story outhouse:
      Climbing the management ladder the was the only way employees would not get leaked on. Great incentive!!
    • I am looking for fabric with outhouses on it. Do you have any idea where I might find something like this?
    • Brings back some unbelievable memories!!
    • Howdy,
      Thought you might be interested. Several items that you have listed I found as intriguing gifts for family members. Do yhou know of any online catalogs that feature this type of stuff that I can "unload"? If so, I would appreciate knowing. Thanks, Phil
    • [WOW!] I am very interested in visiting your Outhouse. I would like to know the hours you are open and if you are open Sunday.
      Thank You
    • last summer we happend on a parade in eagle river wis . it was in aug . we dont know if its an annual thing or not ?? but it was lots of fun sorta like the one in trenary mich
    • Having lots offun! I sent my father-in-law a copy of the Canadin poop house. He'll definatly get a kick out of it!!!!!!!! R.
    • Believe it or not my family had the record when I was a kid in the early 70's. It was a family favorite and I still dearly remember the words. Let me help correct some of your lyrics. Remember: these are from the recorded 45, not live (although there was an audience that could be heard on the record laughing). [Want to see the lyrics? Check them out HERE!]
    • When I was a little girl in the 1940's in the North Woods of Wisc., we had a very upscale outhouse. My family owned a tavern, cabins, boats, etc. on the Flambeau River about 6mi. east of Fifield on Hwy 70. We had a handyman named Clem, tall, skinny, and nice as anyone could be. My Grandmother wanted a new outhouse for the "trade". (Tourists, customers, etc.) So Clem dug a big hole and built a his and hers. The ladies side had three holes, a large one for Grandma, (she was WIDE) a normal one for everyone else and a small one with a step up for my little sister. There were lids on hinges to "put the lid down". The mens had a urinal and two holes, no lids. The two were completely separated with a wall and a privacy wall in front. There were screened windows.
      Over time they have disappeared.
      The outhouse before those were was a his/hers one that was very basic. You know about the cold winters up there so my Dad got tired of the heavy frost around the hole. He found a fur toilet seat in Chicago and nailed it on the hole. In the morning the fur was frozen into a million sharp needles! My mother pulled it off and dumped it down the hole and my Dad heard about it until he died.
      I love these stories. We had Sears and Monkey Wards catalogs for paper. It was the worst when nothing was left but the shiny pages.
      Your site was really interesting. We live in Colorado now and there are many old outhouses, especially in the Mountains. I think I might start taking a camera! We have tons of pictures of scenery (spectacular) and maybe we have a new hobby now.
    • this is a great page, I have not had so much fun reading up on all these great things, If you have anything that is so interesting, please let me know [Huh?]
    • Came across your tour during a class on the internet. I got to chuckling so that seven others also signed on and there were chuckles all through the room. The class basically were 60+ years of age. I really do not see how it could be improved. Thank you
    • I visited the site about a year ago, well its still great!!! An OUT- HOUSESTANDING JOB THAT I'M PRIVY you are doing. I am an outhouse collector, retired in 1995 as head of the onsite sewage program in Alabama.
    • I just took your tour of the "Out House Races" and also the tour of "real out houses". I found the address for your web page in a Yahoo magazine today at school. I am a sub. teacher and I was in the library and found the address. I couldn't wait to get home a take your tour. That doesn't worry me so much, what does is that I really enjoyed it. Now that worries me. Slidell, LA
    • Would you happen to know of any sites I could visit for patterns and instructions for making outhouse crafts? I am a crafter and have loved outhouse things since I have fond and not so find memories of tripping through the snow to visit our little brown building out back. Love your site!!!
    • I like your site
    • Regarding the drawing of the Outhouse with a Heart;
      The outhouse is latched from outside, signifying a recent patron was tidy...and the outhouse is wearing a heart smile, amidst its well shingled roof and bluebell grins...welcoming you to step inside. You can almost smell the apple trees nearby, and visulize the hollyhocks and lavendar. Lazy summer days with bumblebees humming...this outhouse has a certain country flair, just waiting for you there!
    • lol funny site
    • We here agree that you are missing a very signifigant outhouse- our famous two-story outhouse in the heart of Crested Butte, Colorado, is a necessary addition to your outhouse photo gallery. It is one of the only- if not THE only- two-story outhouses in this country. Did you know that?
      Sincerely, some crusty butt folks
    • [This comment came from Alaska] There is a book on out houses of Alaska maybe you have seen it?? We also have something here that I doubt that they have on the "outside"(that is what anything not in Alaska is called ) it is a stick with a fork on one end for knocking over the stlagmight that forms in the winter so it doesn't impale some one. There is the most remote outhouse in the world it is on Mt. McKinley over looking the Ruth amphitheater S. Byrne Funny River, Alaska (yes it's a real place)
    • `was very pleased and impressed by your site-i am a historical curator for a historic farm and village complex in livonia michigan-we have a couple of outhouses at present and are looking to obtain one or two more-i am also planning an event with the outhouse as the theme-any info on other such events would help me "flush" mine out! thanks again. dennis
    • On our farm, when the indoor plumbing went in, the outhouse remained, but not used, at least not much. It was enjoyed by the visiting city cousins. Neophyte users seemed always to have to look down the holes and comment on the contents.
      We eventually moved the 'house, threw some dirt on the hole and raised pumpkins there for years. The 'house itself had shelves added and we raised rabbits there.
      I understand that it real cold times the collection of the 'house formed an inverted brown icicle. So every once in the while someone went in with a baseball bat and broke the spike off. I imagine it would be embarrassing to have on your tombstone that you died by being impaled with a spike of s---.
      And did you ever get into the non-human residents of the outhouses. Bees/wasps were very common and liked to build their nests under the seats. That could certainly leave you walking funny. They also like the eaves. Chipmunks seemed to like the ones I remember, but that might be because they had stacked rock foundations. It seemed in my native Western NY that hollyhocks were the decorative flower of choice. This attracted hummingbirds. And snakes liked living under the floor. There were no poisonous snakes in the area so they were usually left alone to control vermin. And I never remember insects to any great degree. Some fall mornings you'd find a few mosquitos who were apparently attracted by the warmth. But I never saw an insulated out house.
      And then there was the trauma when Sears and Montgomery Ward went to glossy paper in their catalogs. Glossy paper didn't work as pleasantly as the former non-glossy.
      The last real outhouse I saw was at a boy scout camp and was the filthiest one I had ever seen by far. The pit was a plastic tub with added chemicals. The old ones I remember either had a pit or a box that was hauled out and dumped regularily.
      Enjoyed your web site, keep up the great historical work.
      D. Anderson, E. Longmeadow, MA
    • I loved the site with the outhouse races, I was born and raised in Trenary and it's great to see it on the internet and hopefully it will bring more people to check it out. Besides that the outhouse races are a really great time!
    • Just came from your outhouse page and it really brought back memories! My grandma had a two-holer (but both holes were the same size!) with the Sears Catalog in place always. My cousins and I would go to the outhouse and sit to talk where the "grown-ups" could not hear us and we could tell our secrets in peace. And, oh the hollyhocks! Grandma had the most beautiful hollyhocks in the county...all growing around our "clubhouse" to hide it. To this day I have not seen more beautiful hollyhocks. Oh the memories.....thank you! Wanda
    • [Speaking of the Outhouse Races...] We especially loved the "Scratch and Sniff" outhouse! We'll try to make it there sometime to see the races. Thanks for the great laughs! Tim and Lisa
    • Betcha you haven't seen one like I built for a hunting camp in Pennsylvania. It was made out of 12ga. steel and "Hot Dip Galvanized" to last for many years. It's a two hole, one for a partner or spitting, electric lights and heat lamps for taking the chill off. All you do is switch on the lights as you leave the main camp and by the time you get to the "Library" it's toasty warm. It can be found just off of Rt. 555 So. West of Driftwood, Pa. The camp is owned by a group out of Buffalo, NY. They call it the Frontier Camp. A few years ago one of the leaders there asked me to build something that would keep out the skunks,porkies and other critters, and also be eaiser to maintain. Well he was very proud of the new one had it insulated and everything else aforementioned. It was pretty much bullet proof too, another request! The only mistake made was he didn't ask for a hinged roof. So if it fell into the hole you couldn't get out !So the door is all ways open while in use, to give one a way out! It was the talk of the area for a long time, seen more butts than an ashtray too! Later, Wild Bill
    • Looks like the door needs a well placed board or two! Could this be the first roadside rest area! Certainly not worth the $2 mil. cost nowadays! While on tour in the west my wife and I visited a ghost town and the Hotel there was a two story bldg. . It also had a two story outhouse! Yep, one directly above the other! Makes one wonder if it wouldn't be better to reside on the second floor regardless of the view! a little wooden bridge connected the two bldgs. on the second floor with a wooden sidewalk on the ground floor! Looking up one could see tin sheeting used as a shield to protect the lower users. Just can't remember what town it was. If it's important write back maybe my wife will know. first time at your site just moving through!
    • [This is long but worth reading] Way back in ancient history (that's any time before the current bureaucrats term started) the house I am now living in was built. Being on the shoreline of a Minnesota Lake and thus subject to the foibles of the Land of 10,000 laws, 10,000 regulations, 10,000 taxes, 10,000 useless and unneeded bureaucrats: A number which like that of the one displayed on our license plates, the 10,000 number is a gross understatement! But, back to the tale, When I purchased said home, the then current owner, and also the person that 'built the house' informed me the septic tank while legal when installed it was 12 years old, and the genre` of the time was a limited life span was recognized to be 10 - 15 years at which time they would require removal and replacement. True to form, that time came, and it was truly the day the septic contents stood still;(well, except the contents of said tank stood still, and what had so previously flowed into the tank, where what ever dark magic occurred, ceased, and all subsequent 'additions' found a new site...my basement!) Thus being faced or should I say odiferied, even this Noregia...Norwejin...my ancestors came from Norway, came to the conclusion finally something so plain I would have to do something other than opening the walkout basement door. That was OK for the summer, but not ideal in winter (A wrinkle on the saying here, "don't eat yellow snow" became "don't eat brown snow". I hope I warned you not to eat while pursuing this scatological satire). Alas, I digress again. IT was decided, (Healrd of trumpets here) *put in a new septic tank*! Thus competent plumber was called, came, convulsed in cajolery but consented to see thru to consummation of *the project*. He than put in order for parts he needed, contacted electrician for instillation of power to lift pumps and switches, the subcontractor to do the needed backhow work, the sand and gravel company to remove any excess material displaced by the lift station, the holding tank, the septic tank, and the drain field, and of course, after hauling that to an approved dumping site, return with the regulation sand, rock, black dirt, (and perhaps an extra dead body the local bad guys might have lying around some place), I feel I'm missing someone(s). Waiting the weeks to receive from all the subcontractors, as well as his own, proposals for: Minnesota Lake Shore Management, Minnesota EPA (Everybody Pays Astronomically), Shoreline Administration, et.al. Began the arduous task of installation of (what were we talking about? S--t I'm getting forgetful--oh that's it, s--t), said septic system. First and foremost, *timing* after all he had to make an appointment with someone from Lakeshore Management to be *on site at all time* during which *any* work was done. General Ike thought Operation 'Overlord' was a logistical nightmare, his was a piece of cake. (At this point I most truly apologize to anyone offended by above reference when so many men gave their lives, fought and died in WWII). Finally *the day*. All the contractors, subcontractors, supplies, equipment arrive promptly at starting time, had coffee for an hour or two;then waited for the bureaucrats to show up, find him a chair in the shade, make him comfortable, insuring he was situated so he could see anything and everything going on if he should glance up from the comic books he was reading, or and up wind In case anybody working decided to have a cigarette (Cigarettes only please, no pipes nor cigars. We must take pride in Minnesota's Clean Air Act and certainly observe it to the letter. OOPS, almost forgot, had to find an ashtray for the bureaucrats!) Fortunately I was totally and blissfully unaware of just what this project was all about until I came home at noon time and saw my adjacent lot beginning to take on a look that would put the Misabbi Iron Ore Pits to shame. Naturally I was a bit curious as to what was going on, an especially who was that chap up in the lounge chair drinking coffee, smoking his cigar, reading comic books; and why did he have a camera there beside him. When I heard his title, I understood all except the camera but to be glad, *the State* was giving us a break, only one...usually they send two, one to write on a 'blackboard' that listed site, project, time, and what was being done. Virtually every step of the way, this poor chap had to get up, make up his own sign put it by site, take picture, then that part of work could start. Luck was with us, because after 3 pictures the *bureaucrat* (small slip there, sorry) he decided to forgo any but the *most important* portions. Thus saving enough time the job would be completed in one day instead of the usually two! He limited pictures to putting in lift station, holding tank, septic tank, and the drainfield, saying he was able to get all in one picture, Quite a feat when distance start (at house) to end (last part of drain field) was 120 feet! However, credit where credit due, *he* did take multiple pictures of the entire process of locating, removal of old septic tank, the sealing of the drain pipe to it, and then the proper fill. First large gravel, then pea-gravel, then sand, black top, and the resodding of the original site. Alas, the end of the day, the completion of a two day project in one day, all topped off with a beautiful Minnesota Sunset over the lake! True, a bit of a gulp when presented the bill for all this. But it was over! Ya, you bet! Approximately 2 - 3 months later I got my mail, and enclosed was a large envelope labeled to 'Do not Bend' 'Hand Cancel' reinforced inside were 2 pieces of cardboard between which rested what at first looked like a stock certificate, engraved boarders stating: "CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE SEWAGE SYSTEM then the body: This certificate has been issued this 3rd day of January, 1984 to certify compliance with the regulations of Shoreland Management, Otter Tail County, Minnesota. The premises covered by this certificate are legally described as: Lake No. 56-239 Sec. 26 Twp 133 Range 40 Twp. Name Everts Separate line in middle of *document* Tr. called Lots 39 & 40 of Beverly Beach in GL 2.
      Without a moments wasted, I dashed across the street, got a picture frame, and it hangs right in the entry way to let anyone know should they need to go # 1 or # 2, rest assured...They are using a compliant system (as of 1984). Keeping my fingers crossed as just got the yearly letter of the people owning property around West Battle Lake warning of upcoming inspections next summer, Lake Shore Management will be going house to house, around the whole 27miles of shoreline and *personally* talk with owner, and then 'inspect their system'. Should they not be in compliance, may the Force of the Sewage Gods be with them, they (we) are sitting ducks. So: Montana, you are not the only ones plagued by the inept, empowered with tomes of regulations, subregulations, and should that be inadequate, the County has the State of Minnesota, to fall back for more rules and regulations, and they in turn have the Government of the People, By the People, and Of the People of these United State of America; it's various departments to help such as EPA, OSHA, FDA, FBI, (well we are 40 miles to a State border) CIA (400 miles to a foreign nation: Canada) BNDD and ATF (they always seem to come along for the ride, who knows they might run into a place that does NOT have at least half a dozen firearms in plain site; because like you Montana *everybody* has to have a shotgun, rifle, a few 22's for the kids in place. The main difference: We use them to hunt with, target shoot, and know, follow, and 99.9999% use responsibly and safely. Not because of some legislative law, or worse yet a bureaucratic *official* reading it into the Federal Register, thus make sense or not, *that is the law*. Right now I'm wondering: Just how are they going to 'inspect a installed septic system'? J. H. Myhre
    • There is a fine two story outhouse behind the old hotel in San Juan Batiste, CA The top story was used by the ladies so that they would not have to pass through the bar downstairs.
      Interesting story about my older brother. My dad sent him to the grocery store to pick up a package of meat. For some reason, unknown to me, my brother was mad with dad so on the way home he threw the package of meat down one of the holes in our outhouse. When my dad found out what he had done he took him out to the outhouse and held him by his ankles while he retrieved the meat from the mess below. This took place in Minnesota. P. Young, Castroville, CA
    • Hey, great site! I've been an outhouse-ologist for many years. (It's genetic--my Mom sent me your URL!)
      I used to own an outhouse in the Cascade Mountains--it had the best view I've ever owned. AND! I once saw a bear from my seat there! Cliches come to life!
      Also I have many, many outhouse postcards, including some real photo.
      AND, I am the person who wrote the "Why do outhouses have half-moons on their doors?" question in More of the Straight Dope.
      My family is so laden with outhouse stories that I won't even start.....!
    • What did I find interesting?" REALLY, not much! I am/was a city boy........
    • Interesting site on Outhouses. I don't know about you but I am sure glad they are not what we normally have to use these days.
      I grew up in town so grew up with indoor plumbing. Yet, I had plenty exposure to outhouses. That's ALL there was to do your duty in at campgrounds back in the 50's. Oh, how I hated them - and the smell!! I learned how to "turn my smeller off" without holding my nose. Many times I'd back up a tree out away from the backhouse rather than go in those smelly buildings.
      When I was young and would go visit my grandparents, they did have indoor plumbing but still had an outhouse "out back". I remember my grandfather preferred to go out there instead of using that fancy contraption in the bathroom in the house! Sometimes when the bathroom was busy, I'd have to go outside and use the "house with a path".
      When I was married in the early 1960's, we moved into a house with no indoor plumbing. (We still live in the same house!) Here we are, a couple of town kids, newly married, and living in an old farm house with no bathroom. I felt like I was camping the first year of our marriage. We found a thunderin' mug in the junk pile here and quickly pressed it into it's original use. We'd keep it in a screened in back porch and use it at night and inclimate weather.
      I remember several mornings of needing to "go real bad", going out to the outhouse only to find the door frozen shut with ice and snow. My husband had to take an ax to break up the ice so I could go. Many other mornings, especially in the winter, if it was a day I had to go to work in town, I'd just hold it until I got to work so I could do it in comfort and WARM.
      My mother-in-law was born in this house. She would come out here to the country to visit us that first year and of course, she had to use the little house hidden behind the lilac bush. She had lived in town since she was a teen ager so I don't think she much liked having to go out there either, especially in the winter.
      Lo and behold, that next spring she had a contractor convert part of our back porch into a full fledged bathroom, had a new well drilled, water piped into the house and the kitchen modernized with running water and a modern sink.
      We only "endured" the necessity of the outhouse for one year and that was going on 40 years ago now, but I shall never forget it.
      One interesting side note. When we moved here, there were two outhouses. The newer one - which is still standing and we use for garden hoes, rakes, etc and an older one. The older one was in disrepair so we tore it down one weekend and burned it. To this day, I wish that we had kept the 3 holer seat that was in that little house. Yes, it had THREE holes - and to make it more interesting, they were heart shaped holes!
    • Yahoo. this is the funniest site I have seen in a very long time. I write a web newsletter and you are one of the sites I am listing for this week.
      K. Carter Atlanta,Georgia
    • enjoyed the webpage and thought you might enjoy a coffee table book about outhouses: THE VANISHING AMERICAN OUTHOUSE, by Ronald S. Barlow [I've already put in many plugs for this book]
      Content includes history, architecture, pictures(past and present) postcards and diagrams. It is a large paperback book which we have enjoyed reviewing at various times and places. keep up the good work . charley and ruth
    • I came across your website via a special "worst-of- the- web" feature and could not resist checking it out. I have had a "working" outhouse for almost 22 years now. I live in rural WV (yes, this state does have indoor plumbing), but never got around to installing it. Started out as a back-to-nature thing and just got used to it. It's not fancy...just an 'A' frame with a tin roof, a door, and plastic sheathing on the front and back( it also has a small deck in front because it's situated on an incline).
      One thing I learned a long time ago was that the seat tends to get rather cold in the winter. The first seat cover was knitted right on to the seat.
      That lasted for 16 years. Then a friend ordered (I don't know where from) a wool pile seat cover and matching lid cover. Have you ever gotten stuck to a frosted seat? NOT funny!
      Have to admit that with all of today's modern conveniences that people wonder at my lifestyle. When it's a beautiful morning, the deer are in the fields and the birds are singing all around, my thoughts turn to the person perched on porcelain staring at a wall or tub (neither of which has any character) and appreciate the REAL world that I am a part of. I believe that when I do install indoor plumbing that I will still use the "library" for its connectivity...probably on warmer days. Just wanted to drop you a note and let your readers know that there are "privies" located all over this country and when the need arises and I happen upon one it is usually my preferred choice.
      Thanks, Greg
    • I once bid a job for a women is Hudson, Ohio who owned an old farm, (as I recall it was almost two hundred years old) and it had an INDOOR outhouse....Was this common...and do you know anything about these....These people had very carefully restored this home and had left the "outhouse" in tack...I've always been curious. maybe you can give me some answers...Thanks Peggy
    • `was very pleased and impressed by your site-i am a historical curator for a historic farm and village complex in livonia michigan-we have a couple of outhouses at present and are looking to obtain one or two more-i am also planning an event with the outhouse as the theme-any info on other such events would help me "flush" mine out! thanks again. dennis
    • Dear Sir:
      I'm 75 Years Old,and Still not Constipated! If You ever had to go Out and Brush the Snow off of the Seat and use a cold Sheet of an Out dated Catalog as A substitute for CHARMIN.When the temp. Was about to get to the zero Mark.I have to say this was the Best treatment For Constipation I Know Of. I would certainly hate to try The newer Catalogs Now-a-days With them Slick Pages!
      D. Mason Plainville KS. 67663
    • back in about 1937 we lived in a small house on the shore of ham lake in northern wisconsin. some rich people from chicago came up to the lake and built both a cabin and a high quality outhouse. they painted a name on the outhouse " Pee Pee TeePee". my parents thought that was so gross that they did not want to let me visit there..............leo
    • On our return from Denali National Park, in Alaska, we stopped at a roadside tourist spot and a friend who was traveling with us bought for us an exploding outhouse. There were lots there, and we supposed he had a corner on the market. This one is a little different in that it isn't a pay toilet.. I suppose you'd be shot if you tried to charge someone to use it up there. It has a sign on the door which says you shouldn't open it.. You would be amazed at the number of cultured, intelligent human beings that just have to see what is inside. Inevitably, each time we have guests there is a loud bang and someone looks up with a sheepish grin.. caught I suppose in the act.. If you like, i'll try to remember to send a picture for your collection when we get home.. Dave MacPherson. Friend sent your way.. don't get me started on toilets!
    • Came across the web site while visitng a message about outhouse racing in Trenary, Michigan. I'm a traveling TV reporter that focuses on the unusual stories of people, places and things. I ran across a double decker outhouse northwest of Alma, Michigan. Don't know if you are interested but I will look up the story I did on it about six years ago if you don't already have it listed. I'm heading up north into the U.P. and Canada for a couple of weeks and will be back around the 3rd of Feb. I will keep your web site in my files as I'm sure I'll be looking for some unusual ones to visit with my cam in the coming months. Thanks, Art Wainwright Rt. 10 - Tv 10 - Lansing, Michigan
    • [This is one of the best books I have seen on the subject, besides my future book. If you order one, tell the company you saw it on the Outhouses of America web site and I would like my cut!] The Vanishing American Outhouse by Ronald S. Barlow holds pride of place among my outhouse collectibles. It sits in a rectangular shaped graniteware bedpan and makes perfect bathroom reading for family and friends alike. Subtitled A History of Country Plumbing, the 144 page book contains about 200 photos and plan drawings of American privies constructed between 1820 and 1940, folklore and anecdotes, and even plans to build your very own round brick outhouse.
      To order, send $15.95 plus $3 postage to Windmill Publishing Company, 2147 Windmill View Road, Dept. MK, El Cajon, CA 92020.
    • God keep up the good work
    • My mother often told us this story
      Sam, Sam the lavatory man
      Chief inspector of the outhouse can
      He issues the tissues and isses the towels
      as he listens to the rumble of the human bowels
      Way down deep under 'neth the ground big brown turds are floatin' around squish, squash all over his shoes as he listens to the rythem of the outhouse blues C. Thomas
    • Hard work is good for you;-),but fertilizer is expensive! I read an series of articles on the net about the History of Plumbing, Roman plumbing - history Plumbing Products fr... and they STILL never quite go into HOW to "sanitize" what they move outta the house....
      The ONLY viable way to make a toilet that SOLVES the problem,is re-use of the end-product...
    • I enjoyed the tour very much,and when reading the articles,said to myself many times,been there,done that. I read the poem,The Passing of the Outhouse about 50 years ago,and have looked for it to read again but never found it until now. I have printed copies to give to my friends.
      I should tell you of one story about the famous WPA toilet. About 1937,in north east Arkansas,in the little town of Dyess,the WPA sent several crews out to build the toilets for every house. The foreman of the crew that came to our house was a likeable fellow,and bragged on his crew every time we were near the site of the new privy. He even called my Father off to one side and said that he had the best crew,and they were very proud of the quality of their work. He repeatedly told my Father that when he build a toilet,it didn't stink.
      N ow the job was over,the crew left,and we began to use the new facility. In two days time,it began to stink, in fact it reeked even worse than the old one. A few days later,my Father saw the builder in town,called him off to one side,and told him about the stink. With a straight face,the man said he was so sorry to hear about that,and would come back and check it if needed. As my Father started to leave,,the man called him back,and said that he had been studying the problem,and thought there was one possible explanation. My Dad asked for it,and the foreman said that there might be a possibility that some one went out there and POOPED IN IT. Years later I worked with a woman that had had the same story told to her Father,and she had been living at least 200 miles from us.
      If you can stand another privy story here goes. In the beginning of World War II,I heard of the soldier who came home on furlough,aand had smuggled a hand grenade from his base. He visited with his family a few minutes,then told them to come with him into the back yard to see a wonderful sight. He removed the pin,gave the grenade a migjhty heave,and hit the old toilet dead center. His Mother said,Son,you should not have done that. Your GrandPa was in there. Now in a few minutes,the boards began to rattle and move and GrandPa crawled out pulling his suspenders and laughing. He said,"It's a good thing that I didn't let that one go in THE HOUSE.
      I have put your site on my list of favorites,so keep up the good work. Will visit often,and tell all my E-Mail buddies about your site.
      Thanks, M. Gordey
    • I really liked browsing. I'm only 10 and I never used an outhouse, but I think its funny.
    • I enjoyed my visit to your site. I sometimes use the outhouses which are still standard behind Michigan's rural township halls. I used one last Summer on a bicycle ride. It is located behind a town hall south of Alma, Michigan.
      Years ago, when I was in Montana, I acquired a book about outhouses. It is called "Muddled Meanderings in an Outhouse, Number 2". It has some cute pictures of Western outhouses, some of which are real wrecks. Below each outhouse picture is a poem about the outhouse. The book was written by Bob Ross and published in Bozeman, MT. If you don't have it, keep an eye out for it. It's worth reading.
      Thanks again for the tour.
      T. Martin
    • Interesting URL. The name "Outhouses of America" turned out to be somewhat misleading. To most people, the name "outhouse" usually refers to an outside toilet. However, it did turn out to be interesting, nonetheless.
    • I haven't taken the tour yet, but I intend to. The reason for my e-mail is message is simple. I am the director of the Reno County Museum in Hutchinson, Kansas. We are doing a small exhibit on outhouses in Kansas and I am amazed at the way people have responded. Some laugh, but for the most part, people seem to really like the idea. I just typed outhouses into my web search on a lark and stumbled on to this site.
      Any pointers, tips, reference materials, etc. you might bring to my attention would be greatly appreciated.
    • [Regarding the church outhouse that had 5 holes and the church seats accross from them...] ]Had a though... wondered if the outhouse was for children... and the mommy's sat across from them... :) Just a thought
    • Hi, I was looking at your page and I was pretty surprised that you didn't mention the two-story outhouse in Gays Illinois. If you would like more information, e-mail me, if not, then don't worry about it... I won't be hurt! :) Thank you for your time, K. Ross [Many people have mentioned this and I have two newspaper articles about it which will eventually end up on the tour.]
    • I was surfing around and found your site! What a cool site.... I did notice that you did a trip in the UP of Michigan... Are you from Michigan? I live in a little town near Traverse City called Lake Ann... I will get my digital camera out and take some pictures of our local outhouses for you and send them along...
      Thanks for providing a little humor and info that is worth reading!!!
    • The metal roofing on the Million Dollar Outhouse would probably date it to the later 1930's or early 1940's I think. My father installed a new roof on the barn in the early 1940's and used that type of material. My first 15 years were on a farm in S. Dak. and we had an outhouse. I'll have to admit though, in the winter I didn't use it much as the barn, with all the livestock was much warmer.
      Enjoyed your site though, it brought back some memories. K. Pank
    • Thank you !!! This Earth Closet is something entirely new to my experience, but WOW! What a FABULOUS IDEA! I am Soooooo glad this site is here!
      I LOVE to garden, and I live on the edge of a largish city, so it isn't always easy for me to get manure for my gardens, and now, in one fell swoop (poop? lol) you have answered a great many of my problems! Not to mention saving me TONS of municipality costs! I have two boys, and they tend to use WAY too much TP,and flush WAY too many times, wasting a great deal of water (which I have to PAY FOR),so this is GRAND news!
      Also, this MAY come in handy in leaflet form, IF the Y2K issue threatens water shortages...it COULD alleviate major sanitation problems in bigger ares,tho maybe not as much in REALLY big cities? thanks again.
    • Several years ago while working in a museum, a lady told me partial truth of the "outhouses". The moon was meant for the lady's monthly cycle and could not recall what for the stars stood.
      Is there anyone out there who would know the real answer as I work with the public and in an archives and love dearly to pass on little things like this!! Also, I would explain further that if a gentleman did not see where he was going and walked into where the lady was, he would not hear the end of it through the town gossip nor from his wife!! These two signs also were a universal sign as there were millions of non-speaking English people moving into the U.S. ever since Columbus' Days.
      I enjoyed sections of the bit of history on what people used to call the outhouses and the various descriptive pictures of them.
      Thank you very much. Sincerely, S. Twiss-Griggs
    • I go to Michigan several times a year--will have to give those U.P. outhouses a second look!!! My aunt has two on her property in the U.P.and stores her grandkids' bikes there....
    • I'm looking for outhouse items that I can use in a bathroom, like a soap dish, toothbrush holder anything along that line. Wallpaper and or border also. If you know of any sources please let me know. I like your sight. Thank you!
    • I am a real estate appraiser in NW Ohio and have seen my share of outhouses....
      We have found a really old book that showcases outhouses that were actually for sale. This book is like a catalog. Let me tell you, It is WIERD. If you are interested, let me know, I could probably scan some of the images. I don't believe the manufacturer is still in business (HA HA), so I don't forsee any problems with it.
      I personally like the Brick Shithouse......
      D. R. Marihugh [Curator's Comment: I have a copy of this book.]
    • I have a lead for you on a Very unusuall outhouse in fairbanks alaska!! It was featured in the alaska magazine a few years back. They did a large artical on them. You can email Ron for more info and see about a picture. His email is rmeier@alaska.net. I think your collection is really lacking without this one!!! C Hudson
    • I was explaining to my youngest son about my childhood. The year was 1967 that I first moved to Georgia from Florida. I was my sons age of 11. He needed to visualize what an Outhouse looked like. And also to better understand why the "Slop Jar" stayed under the bed for night time calls of nature. I went to the web so he could see a real Outhouse. I appreciate the wonderful collection of the fine exhibits of American History. We reside in south Georgia close to "General Coffee State Park" in Douglas, Georgia. We've visited this state park on many occasions but never visited the "Meeks Cabin". We will on next visit in the spring. I'd like to comment on your statement about the seats with the two diamond shape holes in the last photograph. In south Georgia this was a common "outhouse design". I've personally sat on a few. I always figured they were always too lazy to cut a round hole. It's always quicker to cut a straight line than a round one. People from Georgia are not really lazy just very conservative of their energy.
      My grandfather prided himself on the outhouse made of cypress lumber. They took the weather better and lasted longer. So long, that the land field under them became uninhabitable. Family got together sometimes and moved the outhouse somewhere else. Cypress is a wonder wood. Be back to visit your site again.
    • We are buying some recreational property, about 20 acres. For now we would just like to put in an outhouse, or after being on your site, maybe an earth closet would be better. Really, my question is, how? How deep of a hole, how often do we cover it and so on. There are 5 of us and we may be there for the summer. We are taking up our travel trailer so we could use that bathroom if we had a dumo site. Would that be the same as an outhouse or earth closet as far as the ground and hole are concerned? Basically, we need to know how to do this right. thanks Brenda
    • Hi! Loved this website. But I think it's unfair that in the race, the powers-that-be disqualified the outhouse pulled by mules. I mean, what's an outhouse without an ass?
      J. T. [They are speaking of the annual outhouse races web page]
    • I enjoyed your tribute to outhouses, having been around them in my youth. They are indeed fascinating little pieces of history. I lived in Japan for two years in the early 80s and found by far that their outhouses are definitely worth the time to seek out and photograph.
    • My aunt asked me to get on the net and find out about outhouses. She wants to decorate her downstairs bathroom like one, and she asked me to get some information from the web on what to use. So I went to the web and found your page....I'm still looking through everything. If you could direct me to find what I need I'd be grateful. If you have any specific pictures "on the inside" of outhouses, it would be very helpful. Thanks! Kim
    • ....assume you've heard "ode." "the interstate is coming through my outhouse" is on the '69 lp 'nashville zodiac' dial up www.allmusic.com and put in billy edd wheeler as artist, and you'll get a discography, etc. along with the following bio: One of the most versatile artists in Nashville, Billy Edd Wheeler was perhaps best known as a songwriter; his most memorable tune, "Jackson," was a major hit for June Carter and Johnny Cash in 1967. Not just a talented writer, though, Wheeler is also a singer, musician, poet and actor. Wheeler was born in Boone County, West Virgina. He attended Warren Wilson College in North Carolina and Berea College, Kentucky, where he earned a B.A in 1955. After college, he worked as a magazine editor and then served two years as a Navy pilot. He taught at Berea College until 1961, when he played several of folk songs at a concert with the Lexington Kentucky Symphony Orchestra. Spurred by the attention, he recorded a few songs on the Monitor label. Wheeler studied at the Yale Drama School for one year and then moved to New York, where he worked as a playwright. He also began writing songs, two of which ("The Reverend Mr. Black" and "Desert Pete") became pop hits for the folk-pop Kingston Trio.
      In 1963, Wheeler began recording folk songs for Kapp Records. The following year, he debuted on the charts with "Ode to the Little Brown Shack Out Back," which hit number three. No more hits were forthcoming, however, though Johnny Cash & June Carter reached number two in 1967 with a tale of unfaithfulness called "Jackson." Wheeler finally found his way back to the charts one year later, though "I Ain't the Worryin' Kind" stalled at number 63. He signed with United Artists in 1969 and had minor success with "West Virgina Woman" and "Fried Chicken and a Country Tune."
      During the '70s, he recorded for RCA Victor and Capitol but charted only occasionally. In 1980, he hit it big as a songwriter when he and Roger Bowling penned Kenny Rogers' smash hit "Coward of the County." It spent three weeks at number one on the country charts.
      Wheeler is also a noted poet and published his first volume, Song of a Woods Colt in 1969. He has also written plays, including Song of the Cumberland Gap. Wheeler also writes comical stories from the Appalachians, continues to perform at festivals, holds workshops and sometimes records for such independent labels as Flying Fish and Saggitarius. -- S. Brennan, All-Music Guide
    • a humorus (humerus?) ending to a day in the dumps.
    • I grew up with outhouses until I was about 12. Between us moving and burning the outhouses down by mistake, (burning the grass was something my parents did once a year, yet I still can't understand the point of that) I have had several different ones. I have had the diamond shaped holes. The reason the back would be left open was so it could be shoveled out to clean it. I also had an aunt that had a comode lide mounted on the hole of her outhouse. We did not call them outhouses they were known as the toilet. I grew up in Georgia. My sister and I would fight over which one was going to get the toilet to play house in. We usually had the sears catalog instead of tissue. It brought back lots of memories when I found your pictures. I have enjoyed it.
    • also noticed upon opening the door, there was no toilet paper. Boo
    • HI THERE.. !
    • Came across your site. I found it very interesting. We have a museum in Burlington, Ontario, Canada called "Ireland House at Oakridge Farm". Ireland House is a farm house built in 1835 which has been restored to three different time periods (1850, 1890 and 1920) representing the generations of Ireland Family who lived in the house. Attached to the house is a summer kitchen, woodshed and indoor, three holed privy which is adjacent to the woodshed.
      Over the years I have never come across an indoor privy, especially one which has three holes. These holes are different sizes and different heights, similiar to the one you highlight on your page. Do you have any or more information regarding an indoor privy/backhouse/outhouse? Thank-you K. Lupal, Curator, Museums of Burlington
    • Your site reminded me of a story my Dad told years ago about my Grandfather who had an outhouse in Alberta Canada with a built in prank. Behind the outhouse was access to a rope which attached to a bale of hay which hovered high, near the back of the seat inside the pit. The bale was not visible from the hole inside. When an unsuspecting guest used the outhouse, they were surprised by a HUGE SPLASH that obviously made them wonder what had "hit the fan" down below in the pit. It was enough to make them glad their pants we off!
    • I sure enjoyed your Website. It made my day and brought back many memories. When I visited my Granny, it was quite an adventure to visit her "outhouse" My dad had installed a bathroom in our houe the year before,and that made us very prestigous. For whatever reason, Granny had a BB gun stored in there. On a side wall there was a very crudely constructed window with a flimsy curtain on it. It looked out on a neighbour's backyard. In those days every house had a clothesline. My frtend and I used to shoot BB.s through the window at Mr.Murray's longjohns, hanging on the line. We considered it "great sport" when we shot a hole through a pair.Have a great year. Ann Arato
    • I've always wondered why such an important piece of history was never taught in school J Hon
    • Durand IL was once known as the outhouse capital of the world. pins, bumper stickers and other memorablea was printed and distrubed. thank you
    • ya really need to rig that site up with audio, and plug everybody in to "the interstate is coming through my outhouse" by billy edd wheeler, buddy. -g.
    • Am curious if you have access to building plans for interesting outhouses. It is time to rebuild our old two seater in Lake Wentworth, Wolfeboro New Hampshire. The great beauty of outhouses is that they leave so much room for improvisation. However, since I'm a poor draftsman, and we do not have easy power tool accesss (no elec on the island) I would like to work from plans.
    • Hey, tell me which way is the correct way the half moon is suppose to be turned?? I put it ) in order that it doesn't look like the letter C ( . An I wrong?? Thanks, "Kitty"
      [ When I look at the front door, I prefer to see the moon as a (. There you go!]
    • I find it hard to believe you merely placed a few outhouses/privys on a webpage. Good Lord, what if someone is in there? What about privy-crickets?
    • In the 23 years I was a freelance photographer for several racing newspapers I used many modern outhouses at the tracks. They are called Port-A-Johns in this neck of the country. When I was growing up my grandmother in the county had a outhouse that we used when ew visited her. In the summer we usally shared it with a hornet's nest.
    • Congratulations! That's Right!
      Your site is being featured on the cable television program "INTERNET TONIGHT" [Let's see; This site has been featured in magazines, radio programs and now television!]
    • I really enjoyed your outhouses. We have an outhouse up at our cabin in Minnesota that my husband built when he was 15. He's 38 now. It has been wallpapered & we have a telephone in there now. (it isn't hooked up, but looks good). Do you accept submitted photos of outhouses? We just had to have it inspected this year. You'll be happy to know that it passed inspection!! Imagine having that job?!
      Thanks again for your great website. Deb
    • Would you be interested in a photo of an Amish out house factory? It's really neat. From the road you can see a row of finished outhouses ready to sell. Let me know. It's all up here in central northern Mich. You should come up some time and I'll show you around. It's on U.S. 27 north of Clare Mich. Your internet friend,,, D Maul
    • We were looking through your website to find out why a moon shape is cut out on the door of traditional outhouses? If you could let us know the answer to this mind boggling question we would really appreciate it.
      [Check out my web page on FAQ's on outhouses. ]
    • Please tell me why Girl's Outhouses last longer than guy's Outhouses. I have had a friend ask me this question. I just figured it was because guy's aren't always accurate with their aim, my friend says That's not the answer. Sheila [Haven't got a clue...]
    • Hi, I am a avid outhouse collector, any info you would like to send to me would be great.I just got my computer and I just got on line. My first site just had to be about outhouse. I will be looking to hear from you. THANKS
    • Enjoyed your site immensely and will definitely be back to dig around s'more. Was particularly pleased to find the Robert Service poem there, as I'm a big fan of his but hadn't seen that one before (still has periodically exploding with giggles. :)
      Keep up the good educational efforts!
      Best regards, Mary
    • I'm trying to find a reliable source that will tell me the origin of putting a Crescent moon on outhouse doors. I would highly appreciate any info you might have. Thanks in advance!
      D Denney, Kansas City, Missouri USA
    • Do you know anyone who builds privy probes for sale? Thanks. Bob [This answer came from my Outhouse Digging specialist]
      Since I've not dug for a few years, I'm out of the loop these days. I browsed out one address for probes.
      S/H R.L. Wilcox...7422 Park Dr., Mechanicsville, Va 23111 Ph. 804/746/9854
      These seem to be about right...3/8 diameter, T handle, 48 to 55" spring steel shaft, welded tip with collar. $35.00 These can sometimes be found at local plumbing supply companies. Plumbers, and public gas and water employees use them for finding underground pipes. Often the ones I've seen them using seem to be too large in diameter, which would make it more difficult to push and pull.
    • Hello there.
      I have certaintly enjoyed your site and the visits to all the outhouses!!!
      We are doing an exhibit next year called "Sitting Pretty" The History of the Toilet. Components of the exhibit include an outhouse, chamber pots, history of toilet paper, interactive toilet seat answer & question seciton, an interior c. 1920 bathroom and of course the history of the toilet. We are looking for a plexi glass toilet tank that shows how a toilet flushes.
      Have you ever come across something like this in your travels? If you have could you let me know.
      Thanks so much
      Yours truly, Bev Dietrich
      Curator; Guelph Museums; Guelph, Ontario; Canada
    • [This message came from a desparate outhouse owner in a very cold climate...] I have a serious problem!!!! A long story, I'll make it short! Outhouse, no plumbing, no running water.
      Outhouse is FULL. Can you thaw it and pump it? How soon can this be done!
      How the heck did this happen: My landlord absolutely INSISTED that HE would dig the new hole.....'just wait until the ground thaws'.... last spring. All summer I bugged him about it. He INSISTED that HE do this. On four different occasions I had the opportunity to get a new hole dug, HE wanted me to wait, "I am the property owner, I'LL take care of this."
      A week ago, my landlord left for Australia, and will not be back until March 99..... all along, I have bugged him about this.... all along he maintained he'd take care of it...... He notified me by email that he was leaving, about an hour before he walked out the door with a lame apology about the hole. I cannot find anyone to dig me a new one.... the outhouse is so full,
      I shouldn't even be using it now....
      This is my last option.
      CAN your company do this??????
      I'll let you know what ends up happening!!!!!
      [This is a followup message to the above message:]
      Sorry!...This is the woman near Fairbanks, Alaska that originally asked you about how to build an outhouse, including the underground part...you referred her to me. This was her recent reply when I asked if she ever got it done. The ground is already frozen there, and the hole is FULL.
      She turned out to be interesting, and very unusual. Working at establishing a web design business, while being a hermit...we exchanged several e-mails. I just sent it on to you as another "interesting" out house incident.
    • [Regarding the Outhouse Races web page] The web page is great!! You have many pictures that I had never seen and I was there...I guess!! It really is nice and your quotes with the pictures are funny. Good Job! Joni
    • [Message One] I am a living great-great-great granddaughter of Thomas Crapper, and was happy be reconfirmed in my belief that the total mortification of being in a hushed Westminster Abbey, age twelve and embarrased to be looked at, with my loud American family, down on hands and knees getting a brass rubbing of a Crapper manhole, was eventually to become well worth it's momentary horror in providing a lifetime of scatalogical brag-worthiness and credible "indie" pedigree. H.Wilson, Los Angeles
      [Message Two] Regarding my heritage: you caught me, though I was truthful in saying I was the great-great-great granddaughter of Thomas Crapper- a middle class landowner/farmer, of Stores House Farm in Sheffield, England, and second cousin of the inventor. He had thirteen children, one of which was my great-great-grandmother Lydia, who eloped with a man who came to rebuild Sheffield after a horrible flood in the 1880's or 1890's,(well below her station and very much disapproved of by Crapper) They immigrated to Kansas, and set up a homestead where they farmed -you guessed it- wheat. I don't know much about them after that except the had a son who was my great-grandfather and the poor chap got gored to death by a bull in his own pasture.
      Needless to say, the whole family is exceedingly proud of the Crapper heritage, be it indirect, or not. The part about the brass-rubbing is true, though.
      I did indeed enjoy the site, especially the Outhouses of America tour. I told my folks that Ive finally found a career that will uphold the ancestral craftmanship brought over from England, and satisfies my inerest in archeology, history, and scavenging- Outhouse Digging!! Keep up the good work!
      H. Wilson
    • You have a great web location. I have been thinking about the year 2,000 bug that is supposed to completely shut everything down. Most people are thinking of what to do for the essentials. From a neighbors point of view; what are they going to do with their crap. I have been looking for some instructions for constructing an outhouse that is government approved, or just finding some government specs would be nice. If you know of any would you put me in the right direction?
      Thank you; J.D. Martin
    • I too have a few outhouses.. and books on them as well. Hey, where can a person get a tie like your sister gave you?? Happy New Year 1999.. [Curator's Comment: It is an After Dark screen saver tie and came with a mouse pad too!]
    • 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 graveyards 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 Atlanta, GA
    • I can't believe that I found this on the internet, I am so excited !! I love outhouses!! If fact I am in the midst of planning our new home and have decided to decorate the quest bathroom as an outhouse, even found wallpaper border with outhouses on it. I want to put a faux "half moon" on the door too!! Is that wild! Thanks for your web site now I can rest with ease and know that I am not alone!! "Kitty" :-) LOL
    • How did the Crescent Moon become so famous on outhouses? There must be a reason. I believe it was to let light in, but then so would any other shape, so what is up with the Crescent Moon? >From : A Texan in Lake Jackson, Texas [ Check out my FAQ page for the answers to all your questions!]
    • Copy I think of the origional Sky Crapper built by Wm. S. Berryhill of Chapel Hill NC, which was 12 feet in the air. Mr. Berryhill was also a noted caver who died last in 1997. His was a composter design which never would splash-back due to the 14 foot seat-to-bottom elevation. D. Osgood
    • I absolutely love your web site!
      I didn't see a section for stories about outhouses, but when I was a boy my father owned a Sporting Goods Store in a rural area with indoor water (kind of) but with an outdoor toilet. The boy of the caretaker used the outhouse to get even with a pesky older sister in a big way. Louis [More to come...]
    • I remember my grandpa called the outhuse a "shiver shanty"
    • Love your site!!! We are going to buy a rural Federal house circa 1853. This house has only one bathroom. Originally it had an outhouse and I was thinking that an authentic looking reproduction in the back yard would solve the age old problem of too many people for one commode( picknics etc ) We live in Western PA and the more exact the reproduction, the better. The house sits in the middle of 3 private acres in rural PA. I don' think the Govt. folks should give us too much trouble about this matter. What do you think about that?? Thanks for the great site and the opportunity to exchange information on an unusual subject.. BB
    • When my Mom and Dad first bought a farm with an outhouse out back, my brother, who had never seen one, asked what it was. My dad replied, "It's the elephant house." The name stuck, and that's what it was from then on. It was, of course, too small for an elephant, being a 2-holer.
    • Dear Sir: Stumbled upon your web site-I want to build a real outhouse on our small farm--do you know where I can find guidelines on how far it should be from a dwelling/water source, how deep the pit should be, additives to keep it working (Grandpa would put lime in it I believe to control odors) any info to assist to construct a real outhouse would be appreciated. Thank you in advance for your assistance. Happy Holidays!! Darlene [Check out my FAQ page regarding the lime and as far as guidelines and laws, best to check with your local health authorities and be prepared for your worst nightmare with regulations up the ying yang...]
    • Thought I'd drop a note here to tell you I enjoyed your [Outhouse Digging] story and would like to hear more if you have any or know where I can find more. I have recently been introduced to this hobby and it has since become an obsession for the past year. We are currently digging at a house we believe to be dated back to the late 1700's-early 1800's. We have located one stone lined privy but it turned out to be empty. Not giving up yet though, when I get more time I will be back to keep searching. Anyway, nice to know there are more "crazies" out there, (as my wife calls me). Have a great day. Eric
    • Hi Can you tell me where I can purchase the outhouse talking banks you show pictures of. Would appreciate a speedy response. Thanks JeanRX [No idea...but check with The Outhouse in Lancaster, PA.]
    • This has got to be one of the strangest sites on the web!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    • I'm looking for outhouse art. [Me too!]
    • [Regarding outhouse names] My Dad still calls it the cat box, or sand box.
    • I am a 73 year old semi-retired engineer/real estate broker/political junkie. My daughter, who is a Motorola executive called me last night at 10:30PM with a "weird question". "I was interviewing a foreign-born applicant for a marketing position today and he mentioned that his 11 year old son had asked why Crescents were on doors of outhouses he had seen pictures of in school. I told him I didn't know, but my father knew everything about the Old South and I'd ask." I gave her a general answer, then went to the computer and found your home page and e-mailed her your article on these doors. She was astounded, of course, particularly over the part about gender-oriented cut-outs, that I came up with such detail in just a few minutes (she has a Masters degree from GA Tech and has had a keyboard welded to her fingers (when she isn't flying) for 20 years) but, of course, she is accumtomed to my producing almost anything she wants. Thanks for being available. G. Wise [ Check out my FAQ page for the answers to all your questions!]
    • The moon that is often found on the outhouse door stand for the ancient sign- luna- or womanhood. When the outhouse was first invented people needed these signs to discern which was the men's or women's bathroom-for most people couldn't read. Soon, however, the men's bacame rundown or was very unkept and not maintained. So everybody just used the women's bathroom, and the mens sunburst or sol sign was forgotten. The moon sign was kept and is also used as a vent.
    • Actually, can you tell me my friend, when it [the outhouse] was invented? Or around when the people think the first ones were made-where, who?
    • I would like to thank you for your answer regarding which type of crescent to use on my restored outhouse. The restoration process is going quite well. Thanks again for your assistance! dpm [Top bows from right to left to right at the bottom again]
    • Hello! I am an admirer of your collection of outhouses. I have the most wonderful picture of outhouses with a mirror in the center framed and all hanging in my bathroom......I would like more pictures. Where can I get them. Copies of outhouses??? Thanks for your pictures, they were great. Judy
    • flying rocket outhouse; I take it that the rocket is self powered? -ak-
    • I am in the process of refinishing a (ornamental) outhouse that was recently purchased at a antique shop. I am now working on the door and would like to cut out the crescent moon. What is the most acceptable/desired style (crescent moon)? Is it a morning eastern crescent * ( * or the evening western crescent * ) * ? Thanks, dpm [morning * ( *]
    • Just in time for Christmas shopping, the Friends of the Rye Public Library have produced THE READING ROOMS OF RYE 1999 CALENDAR. This calendar showcases 12 outhouses from the town of Rye, NH. Each photo is in glorious black and white with a dash of red for accent. Along with each photo comes a pithy quote (see if you can guess the origins of some!), plenty of writing space and, at no extra cost, YOUR very own birthday! The calendar makes a great Christmas gift for a friend (or enemy), and the money supports our local library! Hang it in YOUR reading room so people can study it while they sit! To get a calendar, send a check payable to "Friends of the RPL" for $8 ppd to: Friends of the RPL, c/o Rye Public Library, 581 Washington Road, Rye, NH, 03870. Mention our name and they'll save you a good seat! Thanks!
      For more information, click HERE to send Email to Clayton Emery.
      [Curator's Comment: I have found it to be a great calender...I have one!]

    • My uncle turned me on to your outhouse site. Hilarious. Reference: Tipping an outhouse over can be rewarding. Or, The Moon (in the outhouse) Fell Down After the Cow Jumped Over It. Thanks for the laughs.
    • Dear Sir,
      Our names are Lindsay B, Lindsey P, and Kelly J. We are in accelerated Language Arts and doing History Fair on toilets(outhouses). The main topic is Scientific ,inventions in history. We would be very much abliged if you would donate any primary or secondary sources. Please send your information to. Please place my name on the envelope(Lindsay B). Thank You and have a very nice day!
    • Kudos on the exploding outhouse photos. One really gets the sense of action that happens, not to mention one's quarter back.
    • I love your outhouses. I'm under an assuption that you collect outhouses, correct. I was wondering, do you sell any of your paintings of the outhouses and if you do do you have a catalog of some sort.
      I'll tell you why my wife and I are interested in outhouses is because we are doing our bathroom in outhouse pictures, paintings, actual miniture crafted outhouses, etc. and we were wondering if you can provide us with anything that pertains to these outhouses. Actually, we are looking for stenciling of outhouses to paint on our walls. Anything such as toilet paper holders, towel bar rack, etc. just as the way it probably would have been back years ago.
    • We were talking about this book with friends just last evening, and I promised I would try and find if copies could be ordered. Is it out of print? Or are copies still available? Thank you, bj
      Curator's Comment: To search for books, try this link:
    • i am 55 years old and for the last two years i have become interested in outhouses why ill never know. i have built a out house at my cabin in ny for conversation onley.i use it to store my boat equipment.my wife now wants one built for a garden shed. your web is the best i have found so far. i would like to find info on the constrctiion of other outhouses. i am recovering from heart problems and as you can tell i am new at computer work.
    • Just stumbled onto your Outhouse site - it's great! As a collector of outhouse memorabalia, mostly postcards, I've just spend well over an hour browsing your items. At the present time I have over 300 different outhouse postcards in my collection. Most are comic ones, although a few are real photo types. At the present time I don't have a scanner, but hope to get one in the near future and thus would be able to send some images you might like to include. Thanks for providing an entertaining and enlightening location.
    • Memories-- Memories.....Grandparents' ranch had two... One, a two-holer,was "by the house" for the women, and the other , a 3-holer, was out behind the barn. I often took a book and spent a bit of time there, unbeknownst to my grandmother!!. I was about 10, I think....
    • Love the outhouses; But I am interested in finding out more info about the victorian house with the his and her outhouse. It states your sister and the Patroit-news in PA. What town would that be in. Trying to get a collection of pictures and Victorian homes and this one looks great. If you can give me any more info on this home or someone I could ask question about it would be very helpful.
      [Curator's Comment: I am obtaining additional information on this and as soon as I get it, I'll add it to the web page on the Victorian outhouse.]
    • Have you read the James Whitcomb Riley poem "The Passing of the Backhouse"? It's on the net. Search "The Passing of the Backhouse" I looked for it because my dad memorized it when he was a boy (he's 91) in the manner of the time when families had poetry readings after dinner. He still remembers it. Thanks for your site. Brought back memories of the 4-holer attached to the barn at my grandparents' home in Vermont. Had windows covered with frilly curtains. Very presentable.
      The one we used behind the main house of our fishing camp on Mainitoulin Island was very spartan.
      thanks again.
    • I was raised in King George, Virginia. We lived out in the country and had a lovely little outhouse. Our neighbors, however, were really high class folks. They had a two seater. Their outhouse was built so that a parent could role model for a child, (They had four children.) or if a child had an emergency while Dad was "taking his leisure", there was an available spot.
      My goal when growing up was to someday have a two seater. Alas, career and society have forced me to settle for a single seater (in each bathroom). How I miss the howl of the wind and the "cool" breeze blowing on my tooshie. My memories are good ones, however.
    • Dear Sir, as an American history teacher, I'm interested in the history and folklore of our ancestors. I would appreciate any assisstance in this area. I really enjoy your website for it's entertaining and educational value.
    • I am going to do a documentary on the history of outhouses - esp in Central NY. I'm looking for reference material on the history of outhouses...any suggestions??
    • I cannot find information on the net or anywhere else for outhouses in the city of Philadelphia for the late 1940's up to the mid-1950's. I lived as a small child in a part of the city with a neighborhood name of "Pig's Alley" because we lived near the meat yards. do you have any information and/or leads as to where I can find information about these "father, son and holy ghost" homes? Philadelphia tore those old small row homes down a long time ago and evidently failed to document their existance. Everybody thinks I'm making up outhouses in the "big city". Can you help?
      D. Tosta [Curator's Comment: If anyone knows more about this, please Email the curator and I'll include it here.
    • Greetings, just visited your site again for third time. I was prompted to put in search for outhouses after Ray and I went out and bought one, and trucked it home to our property. Imagine my surprise to fine you here.
      Loved your site! Our new/old outhouse looks like outhouse with beveled glass, you have in your site, but ours is a one seater. We bought it from people who are clearing their property. They discovered it sitting back there surrounded by 6" to 7" high swamp grass. They thought of us because we are the only people they had ever met that salvage old wood and other interesting remnants of the past. We are going to maintain the nice old gray wood look, but definately have work to do on it. We live in a town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Rock Hall, and salvaged outhouse from another part of our town, which is very remote. Our entire town sort of juts out into the Chesapeake bay and is surrounded by water.
      Thanks for having such a great site!
      Regards, C. Knight
    • Your feature of an Old Victorian Style Home with a Victorian His/Hers Outhouse is just gorgeous. I love old victorian homes but unfortunately their availability where I am located is practically nill. I am very interested in the home and all of its details. I would greatly appreciate it if you could send any information on this house via E-mail. Thank you so much for your time.
    • Hi, I just got through looking over your web page on outhouses. I found it very useful and informative. I am a student at a private, non-traditional liberal arts college in San Francsico. I am taking a course in Psychohistory (the psychology of history) and have decided to write my final paper on matters relating to human waste elimination, the facilities provided for such endeavors, the social and psychological hang-ups associated with shitting and pissing, and well I'm having a hard time finding any info concerning social and psychological aspects. Every site I've visited seems primarily concerned with the actual accomodations provided for individuals. Any how, maybe you have some good ideas or could point me in the right direction. Keep up the good work! J. Means
    • Help! I'm a city slicker, Chicago, who has been going to northern Ontario for 28+ years to a beautiful lakeside home owned by my in-laws. I've learned a lot over the years - how to dig up a telephone pole, how to dig up and move a 500 lb. + boulder and slooowly roll it downhill, how to constantly jack up and level buildings because of shifting quicksand, etc., etc., etc. Well, the one thing I didn't do was to observe my father-in-law (alone) over the years move the heavy, old two-holer up and down the small hills and how big he dug the outhouse holes.
      Unfortunately, he passed away about three years ago, but before he did, he passed the shovel on to me, so to speak. This is a job I've got to tackle next summer (I discovered a full hole last summer and a little rot in the floor). I know this isn't exactly rocket science, (maybe be it is -- saw, but haven't read your article yet on exploding outhouses) but is there any "Outhouse Bible" on moving, digging, repairing, etc., the family heirloom? If not, maybe I'll write one next fall! One way or the other, it'll get done as millions of others have in the past. Thanks in advance for any help you can give me (even if you can't come lend me a hand)!
      [Curator's Comment: Take my advice with a grain of salt...
      Measure base of outhouse.
      Dig hole smaller than the base and only under the back portion which would be under the holes.
      Hole can be 4 to 6 feet deep.
      That's about it. Not rocket science.
    • A million bucks for a crapper.......get real!!!!!!!!!!
    • We moved here 4 years ago from Michigan and had never heard about the Outhouse until my husband typed the word "redneck" into the netfind box for the web. This came UP!!! We laughed so HARD!!!! We are "foreigners" here in this county, so to us, IT'S FUNNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Thanks for the humor! Mt. Joy, PA
    • when was the first outhouse made? [don't know...]
      who invented it? [someone in need of a relief and privacy]
    • I grew up in the catskill mountains of New York, in a place too far away from town to get power. As A result, we also had an outhouse, that was the only place to go with nay privacy. I now live in Alaska, where outhouses are still common, and still being built often. I will try to get you some pics of the outhouses of Alaska. My favorite outhouse though has to have been the one just outside of Whithorse Canada, that was designed for wheelchair use. You backed in with the chair, and then slid on the provided slide board over to the privy on either side of the outhouse. 2 people could use that house at once, but only one in a chair. I enjoyed your site very much. I thought at first that if anyone found out I plugged outhouses into the search engine they would think I was nuts. hehehe Glad to see that I'm not the only person who likes outhouses. Your page is now marked as a favorite of mine, and I plan to return often, thanks for the smiles. Paulee Whitehorse. Yes folks it's still me. hehehe. Proud owner of a new system, so watch out for changes here and there as I get settled in okay????? Keep the jokes coming, smiles spread like wildfire's, and no one wants to put them out!
    • My wife and I have a similar [esoteric] obsession (right word?). We have taken photographs of graveyards from all around the world. By knowing a little of the history of an area and looking at the inscriptions on, age, condition, location, etc. of the tombstones you can gain a 'reality check' insight to the people themselves. (e.g. While the Churchill family is Old Line Peers, have one of the most beautiful Manors, and are very well-to-do, the family [as in lineage] gravesite is at the end of a one-lane dirt road in an obscure village about 50 miles NW of London.)
      Anyhow - your site is excellent, classic, superlative, super, champion, tops, tiptop, topnotch, topflight, first-rate, first-class, Grade A, A-1, 5-star, front-rank, premium, and (last but not least) the very best.
    • Your site is fantastic. Not only is it irreverent it is also irrelevant. Love it. Joel
    • I am interested in finding plans to build an unusual outhouse. Is there such a thing? Have an answer? Email the questioner.
    • My father's cabin has a forest service design outhouse which has a mechanism to either lower or raise the seat, or both. The mechanism is broken and he would like to fix it. Can you give me a an idea where to look for plans or a diagram? Have an answer? Email the questioner.
    • I was sitting here at 2:00 this morning reading some of the replies to your OUT-HOUSES...... It seems unbelievable that people could even think to use this as a topic of discussion. I come from the "old school" of thought. I grew up during the fifties and we had a kerosene lantern, cooked on a kerosene stove in Florida. We had one of those OUTHOUSES. A TWO HOLER. For those that have an idea it doesn't get cold in Florida. Well, it does. This was in Daytona Beach. Well, at 2:00 AM I, at the ripe ole age of eight, would unlock the hook on the back screen door, scoot out off the porch (in my underwear) and hurry the 15 or 20 feet to the necessary room.
      Times have changed!! I am in Texas, Arlington, and have airconditioning and more than one toilet. W. Allard
    • While I never saw it (Grandpa got electricity and running water in 1929 before I was born and the first thing to go was the outhouse) my mother described the outhouse on Hawthorne Farm, Colfax Iowa where she grew up.
      It was a two room affair about 10X14 feet with a "sitting room" in which to wait your turn to the real sitting room. The whole thing was whitewashed inside and the waiting room was carpeted, had a round Oak table with a lace cloth and 2-3 chairs and a glass oil lamp that they kept lit all night for the convenience of users. Also had a small coal fired stove in the corner that was kept going all the time in winter. A pump bringing water from a nearby cistern was also in the waiting room and baths were taken in a portable tin tub with water heated on the coal stove. Pretty plush, huh?
    • wearing a Sony Walkman ,on the throne.
      Heard the announcer say what is that smell ?
      Smell 's like Shoeford 's smoke house !
      Would not want to " eat there "
    • I am looking for a barbed wire toilet seat. I seen one a long time ago and would love to have one. It had a ring of barbed wire around the part where you sit (it was a wooden seat with real barbed wire) and was covered with a clear coating (fairly thick) so that you could still sit on it and use it. Any ideas where to find this? Last hear maybe Arizona or Texas? Help is appreciated. Thanks, Trinity email: sgdavie@telusplanet.net
    • Re the Delaware water Gap crapper. I lived and worked in the park area for over 20 years. About 15 miles South of Raymondskill falls is the Smithfield beach area in the park. I don't have the exact dates and figures but about seven years ago our beloved park service spent close to a million dollars to build a high tec temporary outhouse for the beach. About one year later the area was closed down for an entire year while the beach area was "improved". The results included a brand new high tec crapper located within 50 feet of the original new crapper. The replacement came in at something over a million bucks. I no longer live in Pa. but on a return trip last year a visit to a twin beach facility within the park at Milford I saw extensive deterioration of the walls and walkways around the facility. I wish 20/20 had picked up on this when researching their story on the Raymondskill outhouse. Ken Fisher
    • some come to sit and think
      others to shit and stink
    • My wife and I have been "INTO" outhouses for some time now. It's great to see that we are not the only ones. There is a great book that you might want to read. "The Vanishing American Outhouse" by Ronald S. Barlow it's printed by Windmill Publishing Company, El Cajon, Ca. 92020 It makes a wonderful coffee table book. The book Includes- Privy Plans, Photographs, Poems and Folklore. I re-read it every so often to refresh my memory of things. After you've read it, let me know what you think of it. A friend who's into it, Leo Lowell
    • I listened this a.m. to your interview on CBC Radio. I certainly had a few chuckles during the interview and then when they told me your web site I had to go to it. I certainly enjoyed the articles. Thanks!
    • I had a buddy when I was a kid, that was playing in an outhouse and accidentally fell in. His mama had to get some men to get him out. Needless to say he was covered from head to toe.Not a pretty sight, but quite odorous. First, his mama made him strip in the yard, next showered him off with a hose, then made him get in a bathtub and poured all kinds of perfume in the bath water. He never got close to that outhouse again.
    • I have braved the angry bumblebee ..
      ...spiders, flies, and all the rest.
      You reminded me of long ago and far away,
      ...and made me smile :)
      Yet you didn't mention the worst scheduling..
      ...that of being in the 'house' ..
      ...when the practical jokers were about,
      especially on Halloween.
      (Yes, I tipped a few, my cousin in one the most memorable)
      I was lucky, always checking the 'area' before comitting myself :)
      -Gray Eagle
    • Re: Roadside Outhouses; just a city girl, I suppose!
    • There is a two story outhouse in Crested Butte, Colorado; I think tht it is on the web page.
      It is part of a church; the area was settled by Serbs and Croatians, I think. I have not been there since 1970. Wm Waugh Turner, III
    • Do you have any information on the outhouse festival Oct 3-4 in Gravelswitch, KY? Specifically looking for festival times and info on author from Montana. [Curator's comment: Please Email the curator if you know about this.]
    • in 1971 I was surprised and apalled to find the only park in town, in Gilbert, West Virginia (owned by the Lions Club), had outhouses... one for men, one for women... the women's was a 2 holer... cantilevered over the Guyandotte River!
    • I have an outhouse that I want to sell. Will you buy? Do you know anyone that will? Please reply. [Curator's Comment: If you are interested, send Email to "image@raex.com" and tell them they owe me a commission if you buy it!]
    • Hi, just ran across your very interesting homepage. The topic of "outhouses" caught my attention. I don't know whether you can help me or not, but I reasoned that with your topic of outhouses, you might have heard of a poem called, "Ode to the Outhouse". Many years ago, my father being a plumber by trade, was given a little book by his plumbing supply warehouse; its title was "Ode to the Outhouse". It was a very amusing little book with a very witty and funny poem written about the old outhouse. I can't be sure, but it may have been written by either Edgar A. Guest or James Whitcomb Riley; it was surely their style of writing. We loaned it to my Aunt to read, and never got it back; they were in the process of moving and lost it somewhere in the shuffle. We have never been able to locate another copy of the book, poem, etc. I was hoping that you might have run across this poem, might have heard it yourself, or maybe someone who has visited your homepage on the intenet may have mentioned something about it. Any light you might be able to shed on this poem would be greatly appreciated. We would very much love to read this very funny and witty little poem once again. Thanks for your time. Sincerely, Richard A. Cauldwell
      Check out this link. I think this is what you are referring to.
    • best site on the web. used to have an outhouse in vermont rental for 15 years. one day i was siting on the one holer with my camera. the door was alwys left open when in use because it looked out over a field. i took 2 pics from my seat. everyone who was ever at the house knows what the view is and laughs.
    • We had, believe it or not, an outhouse when I was a small child. Ours, and most I've seen have a half moon cut out in the door. Can you tell me why this is so? I started wondering this as I was writing an article about growing up a Redneck in Georgia. Any help you could give me would be appreciated. By the way, ours was a two seater, but we did have a toilet paper holder in it.Talk about classy!:)
      I really enjoyed your web site, and will visit it again. It brought back memories.Thank you. Wendy
    • just looking for any tips on maintaining an outhouse, thanks don
      [Curator's Comment: Difficult to answer. I need a specific question. Yours is too general. In summary, you need to keep the thing painted; lime needs to be put down the hole once in a while; it may need to be pumped out if the hole is shallow and you use it all the time; the roof needs to be kept waterproof with shingles or something, otherwise, it will rot. Your imagination can provide other answers...]
    • Just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed this site as I am old enough to have used outhouses. I have noticed the preponderance of outhouses in more inaccessible places than back East where I am from. I assume it's because of less accessibility of 'necessaries' there than here in more populated places. If you are game for a couple or so pics of my 1825 church's long defunct 5-holer, I will be glad to send them to you. By the way, the outhouse is about 60 years old and has a row of old church seats set in front of the area of 'business' as if others sat in front of you to carry on a conversation while you did your thing. Those were different days indeed. B. Kemp
    • Check out www.designerchecks.com They have outhouse checks. Thought you needed to know
    • Hello. My name is Amy, and I recently moved into my first country home. My boyfriend has given me free(almost free) reign on the outbuildings. I would like to paint the outhouse barn red, and decorate with the moon and stars logo I seem to remember hearing was once quite popular on old outhouses. But, I am unable to find a picture of an outhouse with this design any where. I found your site online and thought I'd ask you if you knew what I was talking about. If so, I am interested in finding out if there is a specific way the moon/stars were placed, and a specific location on the outhouse. I thank you for your time, and I enjoyed visiting your site, keep up the good work.
      [Curator's Comment:
      Check out this web page on my site: http://jldr.com/oh1820.htm
      It shows an outhouse with stars. Most had moons cut out on the doors. You can look at many of my outhouse pages and see where they are placed. Some had the moons cut out above the door.
      You can also check out the following quote from this web page on "The Specialist": http://www.jldr.com/specialist.htm
      "Now, about ventilators, or the designs I cut in doors. I can give you stars, diamonds, or crescents --there ain't much choice--all give good service. A lot of people like stars, because they throw a ragged shadder. Others like crescents 'cause they're graceful and simple. Last year we was cuttin' a lot of stars; but this year people are kinda quietin' down and runnin' more to crescents. I do cut twinin' hearts now and then for young married couples, and bunches of grapes for the newly rich. These last two designs come under the head of novelties and I don't very often suggest 'em because it takes time and runs into money.
      You can also check out this fine web page showing a star above the door: http://jldr.com/ohkm.htm ]
    • Hello first let me start by saying that my boyfriend is in a band called the outhouse poets and that is how i ran across your page with the outhouse cd holder on it. I was using a search engine to find any new "info" on the web about his band and well your page came up. I just want to let you know that i love your outhouse cd holder....AND...if there is any way that i can get one (because he collects outhouse stuff) i would love to know how. Thanks for your time, Ashley
    • Do you have any information or know where I can find info on restoring an outhouse I have on some property I recently purchased. The structure is in need of some cosmetic work but I do not know how to take care of a working outhouse e.g. lye use etc. Appreciate any help
      [Curator's Comment: Hi Aubrey, Wellllll, Restore the wood as you would any old wood building. Put as much work and money into it as you see fit. Any rotted would should be replaced. Stain the wood and it will last longer. As far as the hole goes, we used to put a scoop of lye/lime down into the hole when it began to stink bad. I think about once a week. The new ones at the Nat. Parks have a large black tube which comes up the back (usually the South side) which goes down into the hole but is just into the hole. The result is a natural draft created by the sun which sucks the bad smells up the tube during the day. Have fun!]
    • My parents and I are in the process of building an outdoor facality. We will be adding all the humerous touches we can imagine. Thanks for the extra bit of humor.
    • Is there a way to find an old out house location if the out house isnt still sitting on it? [Ask Digger Dick on my Outhouse Digger page. Do a search for "Outhouse Diggers" in the search area of the main page.]
    • Hello, do you by any chance have building plans for outhouses or know where I can aquire some plans. I have just bought some property on Big Lake in Minnesota and I wish to build an outhouse there for when I camp there. Thank you. [Check out the FAQ page on my web site for the answer.]
    • I just had to thank you for the entertaining web site. It was wonderful. I have a small, skinny shed on my small NJ farm that closely resembles an outhouse and have decided to put a cresent moon on it for decoration. Thanks again. And keep up the great work.
    • hi my name is jeanette i needed some information about MR. THOMAS CRAPPER I am working on History Fair at my middle school and we have heard many different things that prove that Thomas Crapper did invent the toilet but I have a paper from the internet saying a Mr. Harrington invented the toilet... and we are very confused it would help me out a ton and my whole History Fair class if we could find out who was the real person to invent the toilet? and if Mr. Crapper is even a real person or if he is just a myth? thanx e-mail me back! A.S.A.P! thanx! jeanette! and the AMS 8th grade History Fair program [Curator's Comment: Dear Jeanette,
      Did you ever see the movie "Miracle on 34th Street"? Well, just as Kris Kringle lived on 34th Street, Mr. Crapper lived a very full life. You can read a bit about him on my web page at the following URL:
      On that page, you will see the covers of a book about him. I have the book and if you know of an exceptional library, they may have a copy of the book too.
      Myth? Bah, humbug!]
    • I am enjoying your web page of delightful outhouse collections, photos, stories, etc.
      I have been interested in this subject for a number of years and have photographed between two and three hundred outhouses (200-300). I would love to do a book and a video on the subject however I really don't know where to start. It would also be fun to start my own home page and perhaps I will if I can get a little assistance somewhere. [I found a] little gem [of an outhouse] on the property of one of our still prominent hotels in Sullivan County, NY. What I thought most interesting was, the condemnation notice attched to the front of the building by the towns code enforcement officer and which read "This building is not safe for use!" . . .
      I love the ones that lean and twist as though ready to fall over. I would enjoy hearing from you. . .
    • We have a family next door with an outhouse in their garden. On the door is a waxing crescent moon. I guess, in the past it was a common symbol for outhouse doors. Do you know the meaning of that symbol? Jim
      Curator's Comment: Check out the FAQ page for the answers.
    • Great site. I was very suprised when I typed in outhouse in the find ,only to have a site come up.
      My husband and I have opened a bar that we named The Outhouse " no splinters in our seats" . So I was looking for posters and information on outhouses , things to hang up around the place . Thanks Donna
    • Life wouldn't have been the same without "The Passing of the Backhouse." I am 80 years old and remember our outhouses well.
    • Do you know where I can purchase outhouse items to decorate "inside?? [Curator's Comment: Check out the following web page: http://jldr.com/ohstore.html
    • What's the connection between outhouses and shoo-fly pies? Do the latter make you go to the former? Just wondering.
    • I love your site!!
    • Just stumbled onto your site. It has left me speechless..........
      But we once had a rather fancy outhouse in Michigan. I couldn't stand the thought of using a dirty, smelly old outhouse, so upgraded ours a little. It was a two holer you know, so I put in a pink toilet seat and a blue toilet seat. Fancy toilet paper holders on each side (with the appropriate color paper of course). Insulated and dry walled the walls and ceiling, papered and wainscoated the walls, tiled the floor and seat area, installed little windows and hung ruffled curtains, scented candles and a little plaque that said "If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie". That was good, but a midnight trip was a little inconvenient, so installed electricity and a little heater for cold weather. On the way out the door, just throw the switch by the back door, lights on in the privy. Company hated the thought of using an outhouse, until they went inside of course, then they came back laughing. Alas, no pictures, just fond memories.
      Keep up the good work.
    • On one of the sites I found "The Vanishing American Outhouse" by R. Barlow. It lists it with plans and building instructions and I will see if I can find in at the bookstores today. Sue.
    • Great page(s)
    • keeewwlll place to go!!!!!!!
    • Loved your site dude.
    • Thank you kindly! Am enjoying the outhouse tour!
    • We live in a rural area of upstate NY. We dug and built our own outhouse in 1979 (meeting zoning specifications).
      It is a containment facility approximately 6' x 6' x 6' [the building housing it is approx. 6'x 6'x 10']; has accommodations for 2 occupants at a time, should the need arise; and have had it cleaned twice since it has been constructed.
      We chose this method of waste controle as there is no running water on the property (except for the creek running by, which empties into Seneca Lake). It was a lot cheaper to build the privy than to drill a well and put in a septic system. We have no water bills to pay and the taxes are less when there is no septic system or well on the land.
      It is sometimes inconvenient in the winter, but we do have a back-up system of a hospital commode chair we use when a storm keeps us confined to the house. Liked your site! Sharolyn Chicoine
    • ...have exchanged with a young woman on how to build the underground part of a new outhouse near Fairbanks, AK, in permafrost.
    • Would you know of anyone that has PLANS to build an outhouse? I want an authentic looking 2-holer.
    • stephen
      I'm a walking taking outhouse and a artist from n.s canada and you can never forget my name.
    • I remember that my grandfather called it a shithouse.
    • Greetings....
      in a small town about 45 minutes from here there is a 2 story outhouse behind the old hotel.....
    • There`s a family joke at our picnics and your site has given me some ideas.
    • What is this tour about?
    • I am new to the internet. I find it just fasanating. Hope I spelled that word correctly. It is 1:00 AM and I am in my little office room, my wife asleep and would't you know I stumbled upon "outhouses" It is quite interesting. I printed the one with the heart in the door.
      I am not an artist, so I cannot draw one. Howeve,r I do think it is great that you have taken the time to put this on the internet. W. Allard
    • Hi, I'm Patty the Painter. Here in Michigan's Upper Penninsula we race outhouses. Enjoyed your story.
    • I have so enjoyed your web site on outhouses. For such a long time I thought I was the only one who collected them. My bathroom is about to run out room. I have ones made out of candlewax, Occupied Japan(my son said Mom I don't know where you will put this with your occupied japan or your outhouse collection), ones made of coal, etc. I visit your site often to see if you have added anything new. My late mother-in-law would never give up her outhouse, it would be painted and fixed up every year just in case someone needed to use it. One year a storm took care of the problem, a tree fell on it. She said I guess I'll have to give it up now. If I can find the picture I'll send it to you. Last Christmas my daughter-inlaw painted one for me in ceramics class. The instructor said "you want a what?"
      Thank you again for a very interesting site.
      P.S. You asked what I meant about Occupied Japan--I collect figurines made during the US occupation of Japan. Actually all things made during that period of time. And my son just happened to find an outhouse that was marked occupied japan on the bottom. Have you read the book OUTHOUSE HUMOR By Billy Ed Wheeler? Found it while visiting DOLLYWOOD in Pigeon Forge, TN.
      Each year I make Christmas ornament for my family, this past Christmas I made Out houses out of brown paper sacks. I told my brother that he would have to explain to his Grandchildren what they were. Even my boys don't believe me when I tell them I watched movies on sides of buildings.
    • I was told by a friend at work that back in the 1930's when his dad worked for the WPA , they called them Roosevelt Toilets . The ones the WPA built had a vent and a limestone or cement foundation .
    • Having nothing better to do this sunday afternoon,and being born and raised in the Virgin Islands,which up until the late 60's had magnificent outhouses,where every nite a public works truck--known as the Honey-Wagon would arrive with a brigade of men and kerosene lanterns -ropes,and buckets and clean them out and haul away the stufff.I collect pictures of outhouses,but haven't learned to scan them ito computer as yet.
      Now-Your site is the best-biggest and funniest I have ever encountered on out-houses,anywhere,and it is beautifully documented with pictures ,storeies etc.I congratulate you and thank you for the tour,I laughed all the way and really enjoyed seeing what my Mother referred to many times as "the good old days" thanks alot David A Puritz
    • July 21, 1998: Am new on the Internet and don't know how to e-mail. Have an outhouse for sale in Chicagoland, Illinois area. Call me at (847) 838-2830 for more info.
    • my favorite [outhouse]...Last Chance, Colorado...population less than 20 between Brush and Limon in the city park..classic...1/4 Moon on the door...next time you are out that way....
    • You have a comprehensive site on outhouses - the only thing missing is practical guidelines for building and setting up a new one. We live in the country, and our water pump quits working when the electricity is out, so we've decided to build an outhouse. Do you know where we can find information on how to do it right? [See the FAQ section on the main page for the answer]
    • This was indeed a unique experiance. I , for one would never have even considered creating a sight of this nature....however it may be used as refrence material to my employees. After stumbeling upon this sight my imagination is steadily churning ! I will be sure to post this to the "PDL" (Plumbers Discussion LIST) and perhaps request our list-owner to post a hyperlink on the PDL web sight, as my peers are sure to visit. History is a vital part of the plumbing trade , for as one regresses back in time , he can acquire a better appreciation for the commodities of today , as well as those who install ; maintain and often update these "comode-ities" as well as the sanitary systems that follow , in accordance with the plumbing codes "to protect the health and welfare of our nation"
      Thanks for the enlightenment ...and keep up the good work !
      -Darrell Cole-TX-Licensed Commercial Plumber
      E-Mail:DarCole529@aol.com Dallas, Texas
    • I am looking for a painting/Picture of an Outhouse. The one I have in mind is-A young boy trudging through the snow to the Outhouse. I have seen this picture somewhere, but I am unable to locate it. I thought it was a Norman Rockwell. It could be by another artist that paints in that similar style (caricature. I would appreciate ANY help locating something like what I have described or similar. Thank You. Carol Mitchell
    • Hi, a friend of mine that lives in Iowa sent me your site, it is great!! Really enjoyed reading the articles and looking at the pictures of outhouses. I live in Western North Carolina, we had a log home built 2 yrs ago, and downstairs I just wanted a toilet put in so I had them make it look kind of like an outhouse. It has a slanted ceiling inside and yes you guessed it, a quarter moon cut out of door. I will look around this area and if I find an outhouse to photograph I will send it to you. C. McKinney
    • I just heard on the news about the $330,000.00 pennsylvania outhouse. So I looked it up on the net and find your site. In fact that outhouse didn't cost the tax payers the $330,000.00 as you have shown, but the total cost was $750,000.00. I could buy several beautiful homes for that price and turn each room into its own private privy with running water,and sinks and showers to boot. Whats going on here? [Your tax dollars hard at work!]
    • I have a racoon that is 14 months old i was wondering if you have information on how to potty train a racoon
    • I have enjoyed your site. I have been writing a booklet entitled "Herb Lake Outhouses" which will be published shortly. It describes the outhouses of a ghost town in Northern Manitoba, Canada. It will consist of 56 pages and includes a short history of the area as well as outhouse stories. There are also sketches of various outhouses, some of which are still being used today. When the booklet is published I'll mail you a copy. L.C. Butler
    • Very interesting. I had only ever seen wood structured outhouse. I,m sure there are a lot of outhouses in use today in areas that would surprise us all. Peace to you--Bobbi
    • I thought that this was a joke when a guy at work told me to look your site up but I thoroly enjoyed it Thanks
    • Hi, I saw lots of requests for outhouse plans, but no replies -- is there any such thing? Michelle; kslak@apk.net [Plans can be found in the book mentioned on the main page of jldr.com]
    • Hay, cuzin, yer outhos is purtyern' mine was. Mine had no heart. (Seriously, enjoyed your outhouse tour. The things one finds on the world wide web!)
    • My wife and I just spent 2 hours reading and sightseeing on your website .. This has to be the most informative , entertaining and certainly the funniest website I have visitted to date . It is easy to access , laid out perfectly and just plain "well done". Thanks for putting your page together and making it accessible to all .May I add it as a link on our chatroom homepage ? Our page is at http://panther.golden.net/nebulus . Thanks again for the excellent webpage . Brenda and Ron Pallister (freight & gammie)
    • Would you know why there is often a crescent moon on an outhouse door? We are building a bathroom door with a crescent moon and wondered about the origin of the custom. We enjoyed your site. Thanks. Doug & Marlin
      [Check out the Trivia and Folklore section of the Outhouses of America Tour for at least one answer. Many other answers can be found be reading through the Comments to the Curator section of the Outhouse Tour.
    • I am looking for a blue print on how to build an outhouse, but haven't been able to find anything on the internet. Would you be able to help me? Thank You, John Baun [Plans can be found in the book mentioned on the main page of jldr.com]
    • we had a really fun time looking at your outhouses. Thank you for the laughs. We are going to try to poop in every out house here. Mark and Ben
    • Could you send us some info on stone mountain park cause were gonna be comin there in August. [Check out my web page on Georgia's Stone Mountain State Park]
    • There is an old book that is no longer in print that is an excellent source of old outhouse pictures, it is called "Backyard Classics".....
    • I just did a search on the web for outhouse and your page was the first I came to. I was looking for some pictures so I use them to put the moon and star in the door of my new authentic out house. It is 4' X 4' and built out of old 1" barn lumber. It looks real nice and when you inter it to your surprise it is modern. Cement floor, small sink, and a real toilet with a wooden seat. I used old lumber for the mirror frame, old lumber that was in the ground for years for the toilet paper dispenser and used a sycamore limb for the roll holder, and the same old lumber for the towel holder. I installed electricity and used old lumber for the light switch cover and the ground fault receptacle. My camp that this out house is built on is in the town of Alton West Virginia. ( The home of the headless horseman ). Nice trout fishing here too... I've wanted to build one of these for years and finally did it. Now all I need to finish the outhouse is cut out a moon and star. I hope you find this interesting to read. If you can help me with the moon and star please let me know. Thanks,,, Jeff Furner
    • Your Page is the Best. I've been collecting out houses all my life and I have never seen a better page in all my life then this one. Alyson Power
    • I tapped into your website while searching on "outhouses". My sister collects outhouses. We have been looking for a shower curtain with pictures of outhouses on it. Can you offer us any help as to where we might come across such a shower curtain?
    • Hi! I was just wandering around the Internet looking for outhouse facts and stumbled upon the wealth of outhouse knowledge your page offers. I own a rubber stamp company and our new line features 6 gorgeous (sounds weird, but true!) outhouse designs. We sell these to people who make greeting cards using rubber stamps and we also sell individual and boxed greeting cards with our outhouse designs on them. Our artist has a quirky sense of humor and some of these drawings are really funny if you notice the detail. If anyone is interested, write us at Impression Obsession, 120 Winter East, Williamsburg, VA 23188 or email: MitraP@aol.com. Again, thanks for a GREAT site! [Curator's Comment: Mention this web site and request they send me a stipend ($$) since they were referred by the Outhouses of America site!]
    • great web site send me more
    • Recently I found a 8ft. handled shovel type thing. It's been a guessing game ever since as to what this was used for! One guy thinks it was used to scoop out outhouses, Know anything about that? Got any pictures of anything like this? I only have webtv, no computer, so I can't send you one. [Curator's Comment: Sounds Interesting. I don't know what this is but I'm sure there were plenty of contractions to clean out the hole by the more adventurous owners.]
    • Why did some outhouses have quarter moons in the doors and why were they turned in different directions . This question came up during my 25 year high school reunion picnic in a state park in Indiana where I live. I hope you can answer this so I can forward the answer to the others. And no , talking about outhouses is not all we had to do , we were just admiring the NEW ones at the park when I said that I still have a two holer behind my house here on the farm where I live !! *JIM*
    • I attended the Terlingua Chili Festival in 1973 ?, and used the outhouse behind the main office building in the old town. It was an old mercury mine, and was several hundred feet deep. You could hardly hear the bottom. Can't remember a catcher [in case someone fell into the hole]. I have no pictures, and its 275 miles away from here. It is in Texas. I'll see if the building is in a book somewhere. I bet it is. The outhouse was the size of a living room, with a bench with holes in one side.
      D. Voorhees
      El Paso, Texas
    • We would appreciate any written information on your Outhouses Tour for the Tourism Resource Unit which has been established in the Development Study Center Library. Many thanks,
      Devoira Auerbach,
      Library Director,
      Development Study Center,
      POB 2355,
    • According to one of your definitions:
      n. 1. An enclosed structure having a seat with one or two holes over a pit and serving as an outdoor toilet.
      Just thought I'd mention that the outhouse at Lincoln's home in Springfield, IL is a "three-holer".
    • I love the storys about out house.Being from West Virginia myself,and having an out house.It brings back momories of the past.Please keep sending storys about out houses and hillybilly's. Karen
      [Curator's Comment: It is located at a trailhead in a remote ravine 300 yards from the Raymondskill Falls. These falls are in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
      Appropriately, the last exit off Interstate Route 80 in western New Jersey (map) places late model automobiles on the oldest commercial highway in the United States. In fact the Old Mine Road, which winds its way in various present day forms from New England to Philadelphia, follows an aboriginal trail along the Delaware River believed to be 8,000 years old. In American Colonial times dating from 1652, Dutch settlers carried copper ore from rich mines located near the Delaware Water Gap to Kingston, New York along the route. Houses along the road became vital refuges and forts for settlers during the French and Indian War. George Washington's soldiers used the road and John Adams and Ben Franklin were frequent travelers. During the mid 19th Century part of the Old Mine Road became links in the Underground Railroad. The highway's saga before 1850 back to 1612 and before recorded history is an incredibly rich legacy.
      Today, visitors entering the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DWGNRA) on the Old Mine Road pass over a wealth of aboriginal and pre-Colonial archaeological resources. They pass beneath hills containing the remnants of copper mines that were productive during the 1750's, 1860's and the early 1900's. They pass the Abraham Van Campen house, built in 1725 and reputed to be the oldest in Warren County - once used as one of the forts on Ben Franklin's Philadelphia frontier in the French and Indian War. They pass cemeteries from the Revolutionary & Civil Wars overrun by weeds. In fact there are 90 sites in the DWGNRA that are on or eligible for the National Register being stabilized and restored for a wide variety of uses.]
    • help!!! I want to find plans to build an outhouse that will match my tabacco barn. Beth, Indiana
    • Just finished reading about "digging" and found it interesting and funny. Charles Cook is a second cousin of my husband's so that makes it twice as interesting to me. I am sure that I wouldn't want to join him on any of his hunts, I don't think I could discount what the "outhouses" had been used for even if it was many years ago. Thanks for an interesting web site. I also checked some of your sounds and they came over loud and clear.
    • I don't know if you have been e-mailed about this one or not, but years ago, I was in the ghost town of Virginia City, Montana, and there is an outhouse there that may be unique...It was a DOUBLE DECKER outhouse outside of an old hotel there in the town...It was built so that the people on the upstairs floor of the hotel didn't have to go downstairs to use the ground floor one..Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of it, but it is a sight to see... Fenton
    • Are you aware of this one located at the Lincoln Home in Springfield, Illinios? Little city kids on the tour are dumbfounded with this little building as most have never seen an outhouse before. It's quite funny to watch them. Also, do you know whether their are any "peeing dogs" sites on the internet? A friend has a great collection of these curios. Nice site. Jim Schlueter
    • International Thomas Crapper Society:
      Any thoughts in re:
      1. Is there such a thing?
      2. If so, how does one contact it?
      3. "Dr. Andy Gibbons" is supposed to the Historian of the Society. How do you contact him?
      If you have Email addresses on any of the above, I would appreciate them.
      Thanx, Bruce Penner
      [Curator's Comment: If any of you out there know the answer to these questions, please leave me Email and I'll include the answers here.]
    • Your "outhouse" page is very cute and have had a lot of fun with it. Have passed it on to my friends. Something, you don't have is an "icon outhouse", to use as a recycle bin. When its empty the door is open, when the recycle bin has trash in it, it has the door closed with the crescent moon. I downloaded it last summer from a site at the Mississippi State University. It was in something that had Jeff Foxworthy, and the download was guaranteed by him, that it was safe and cute. Since I had my computer upgraded the icon was lost and have had no luck in finding it again. Maybe you might have run across this cutie, if you know where I can get it, please let me know. Thanks very much, blujay1@swbell.net
    • Recently I was visiting with my Dad, who is 92 years young, about an old building that was near his cabin at Jose Lake, in Michigan. He said it had been an outhouse, and didn't I remember "Chick Sales" (I'm not sure of the spelling)? I asked him what he meant by "Chick Sales", and he said he thought it an old reference to an outhouse. After quizzing him further, he said he didn't recall where the term came from, but thought it was a well know term as he had used it. Can you shed any light as to whether there is such a term as "Chick Sales" in reference to the outhouse? Thanks for you reply, M. T. Ross
      [Curator's Comment: Check out the following web page about Chic Sales.]
    • Found your outhouse site through yahoo! Great stuff! I was researching trivia for a calendar our Friends of the Rye Public Library is creating, featuring town outhouses with the title, "Reading Rooms of Rye" (New Hampshire).
      In researching, I've found that in Colonial times, a privy was also called a necessary, bog house, vault, depository, a house of office, and a "shit house" (not considered a vulgar word back then).
      Thanks for the great site! C. Emery
    • My friend Earl wants to know why cescent moons are the design of choice for door decoration. He finds suns, stars, and comets just as appealing but knows that the crescent moon is a runaway winner in popularity. Is there any known reason why? Thanks!
    • Please don't think this is a trivial question given just to take up your time. It is an actual "stump the librarian" question from a few years ago for which we never found the answer. I work in a public library in North Carolina and have been curious about the answer to the question ever since it was first posed to me. The question is this: How did the half-moon come to designate a building as an outhouse (usually seen in drawing)? What is the origin of the half-moon having a connection to the outhouse.
      These are not earth-shattering questions, but they are some that will give us the "scoop" in case this question comes up later. Of course I haven't been losing sleep over this, but I would like to know if there IS an answer to this question. Thank you for you assistance. [Curator's Comments: Search this page for "moon" and you will find scores of answers.]
    • You really do have some neat pages. Lefty
    • Thanks for putting together this great site. It was a lot of fun to look through it. There truly is something on the internet for everyone!
      By the way, have you seen the ôFuture Restroom Ideasö web site? There is a lot of restroom-related stuff there that you wonÆt find anyplace else.
      - D. L.
    • I stumbled upon your website of outhouses and was highly amused. We live in the Sisikyou Mountains of Southern Oregon and the forest service has installed some pretty fancy outhouses in the national forest around here. I will try and get some pictures for you. They were installed on our new bike path between our town and another. Laural
    • Nice to see a New Zealand outhouse on your site. We don't see them very often these days although there is one on our local golf course, corrugated iron shed with a longdrop (If I get around to it I'll take a photo). My grandmother lived in a small village (I live in a small town... big difference) and had an outside toilet, not an outhouse but a toilet built on the side of the house when they got rid of the outhouse. I remember staying with her as a kid and every night before bed my brother and I would go out to the loo. One of us would go and the other would wait outside and talk to the one inside and then we would swap places. I guess it worked quite well because it would scare the crap out of us.
    • I'm trying to do a report on the history of bathrooms, so I was ondering if you could help me out by giving me some information. I'm in 8th grade and this is a hard subject. There isn't much history in an encyclopedia about bathrooms!
      Thanks, Cluelesk
      Curator's Comment: Sorry, I don't have time to go through the history cause I don't know all the history. If you go through my Trivia and Folklore section, you will be well versed about how outhouses came to be and how they fit in to all this. Thomas Crapper was the inventor of the modern day flush toilet. Read a bit about him by selecting the above link.
      You will do your self proud to go to a good library and request a copy of this book on him. Good luck!
    • I am looking for pictures of outhouse, duh. Old and weathered boards with brightly colored flowers.
    • you have a great page. i,m always looking for old privys on my drives through the country. keep up the good work and do'nt forget the catalog
    • I got one.... one of the phone cards that is. I gotta admit that my experience with outhouses was pretty unpleasant -- man , those suckers stank in the summer. So much shit........ so really rank in a humid climate when the air isn't moving ---agh.. gak!#8/%
      But I love your concept and tour -- thanks
    • why is a john called a john? please hurry...urgent! Arthur
    • Interesting pages, I stumbled upon thru reaseaching metal detectors. Well I know of a two story out house affecionatly called "The Sky Crapper". It is on private property of a homesteader I personally know in a place east of Kansas City Missouri.
      Our group of "Cavers" spelunkers is invited to Dougs property often for camp outings.
      Doug is a real live modernday homesteader, horse shoer, silversmith, and more. He built the sky crapper himself. The double wide stair case is carpeted with red carpet and the lower lever contains barrels for the refuse. He uses bacterial agents that eat up the refuse as well.
      This is their only means of a good dump.
      Next time im on the property I will snap a couple of photos for you to place on your web page and eternally imortalize his crapper.
      The one thing that surprised me was the lack of a place to sit up there. He only has hand hewn tree limbs for support as one squats to do his business. I asked about this and he informed me that spider bites were very very common to those using outhouses on a regular basis.
      He also built a single unit using natural trees and a barrel burried and cemented into the ground. This one is in arkansas on a property we all go to to cave on. The cave has five miles of mapped passages.
      This outhouse has a sign on the front. "Beware those who cave here" and " Vandals Enterance" Well nuf said.... P. Green
    • [Curators Comment: This is one of the most interesting concepts I have seen in a long time for a, er, uh, toilet that requires no toilet paper. Environmentalists, here you go! Hi there,
      love your outhouse page, checkout mine: http://www.plumbum.com
      -- Greetings, Horst Moller
    • Writing to say I've enjoyed scanning through your outhouses website. Having lived in northern Minnesota for a few years without electricity or running water, I had an outhouse, in full use. ;D
      Rather liked that idea of a 2-storey outhouse. Figured it'd save some shovelling in the winter trying to get the door clear to get in. Maybe not a bad idea, eh? Okay, okay, I'm teasing. :D
      Thanks for your pages, and the chuckles. I'm not sure I'll thank you for the memories... ;)
    • AWSOME PICTURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    • Compared to outhouses in swaziland, that thing is a mansion!
    • I too collect outhouses and am always defending myself to the curious. They just don't understand how cool they are. I am interested in finding out where you purchased some of the ones you have. Do you have a list of places you have found. I would also be interested in the location of the Pennsylvania collection. I live in New jersey. I also noticed your sister I believe, found a store that specializes in selling them. Hoping to hear from you with info. [Curator's Comment: Look in the Real Outhouses section for the page devoted to The Outhouse Store in Lancaster, PA]
    • Hi: I lov you website! :) We just moved into a log cabin house 6 months ago and I would like to decorate our upstairs bathroom all in "outhouse" collectables". Could you help to steer me in the right direction to some places I could send for catalogs that have things in them that I could purchase for my decorating? I would appreciate anything that you could do to help me out. Keep on with your "cool" website. It's a "gas"! Oops! "It's great"!
    • Hi this may sound like a silly question, but a friend of ours has always wondered why there is a quarter moon carved into the door of almost all out houses you see, if you know of the history involved in this custom could you let me know? Thank You, Tammy [Curator's Comment: Search this web page for "moon" and you'll find lots of answers as well as in the Trivia and Folklore section on the tour.]
    • do you know what state has the most outhouses? Write back with the anwser. [Curator's Comment: Are you kidding? I'm not that good!]
    • Here in North Dakota people just started getting away from the Outhouse in the '50s and '60s. On farms they stand like slowly eroding icons of the past. In towns and cities instead of being torn down, they are decorated by the season.
      We have an unusual, fully electric outhouse that will be full Internet ready after the thaw (April) equipped with lap top. Internet access and cell-phone. You must see our Electric Outhouse (in renovation). Thanks, JOHN HUBERTY
    • Note that you can see clear through the out house. No doubt removable windows to provide air conditioning during those hot summer month's. Also note chimney protruding from the roof. Central heat what a great iedal. I can still remember those cold winter days and the oronious task one was in a hurry to complet.
    • out of sight/out of smell. loved your outhouses
    • well i decided to take some time to "surf" today and for the heck of it typed in the word outhouse and got a link to your site. i must say - well done ! i enjoyed myself.
      We live on 7 acres in Eastern Plains of Colorado - get our snail mail out of Ramah, zip 80832
      Outhouse Ranch is our offical registered trade name - mainly cause we liked the name, and our property needed a name.
      there were a couple items you got for Christmas ect that were really great!
    • This was a nostagic trip for me having grown up with an outhouse {on the farm in Manitoba, Canada} until I was age 10 when we got indoor plumbing. Our outhouse was along side an amazingly healthy lilac hedge {I love these flowers to this day} and was moved forward at least once that I recall. I am amazed that my mother raised 4 children through those incredibly cold winters for 12 years before not having to bundle up to use the toilet. My father used to love to tell his Hallowe'en stories of moving the outhouses a few feet behind where they stood the day before...people in the 1930's learned not to use the outhouse until daylight on Hallowe'en. The local boys would also get together to lift the outhouse of the local school teacher {a 1 room school that had graduated to 2 rooms by the 1960's when I attended} to the roof of the school... that story amazed me then as it does now because the school was a pretty tall {one story} building with a slanted roof but the story was confirmed many times over so it must be true. Because I now live on a few acres in Hawaii and have Girl Scout camps in our "lower 40", my husband & I helped a group of 10 to 12 year olds build an outhouse of sorts... a large wall to block eyes, a hole on the edge of a slope, and a rope to hang on to to steady yourself. The only trouble was that it proved too difficult to hang from the rope and wipe at the same time so we had to make adjustments. I'd send a picture but only the wall remains, sort of {wood deteriorates very quickly in this wet climate}. Your web sight makes me want to build a better outhouse!! Aloha, from the transplanted farmer's daughter.
    • when I was little . about 6 in 1951 a farmer who was a good friend of my grandfathers. [ my grandparents raised me] came to see us.
      he had two daughters. one was named Cora, they had a outhouse that was next to the chicken coop. about 8 ft away from it.
      mr youngs had a new team of mules. they were what they called green. meaning not broken to behave yet. well , cora was in the outhouse and Frank had hitched the mules up to a wagon. he was doing getting ready to get in when something spooked the team. they took off and ran between the chicken coop and the outhouse. the hub from the wagon cought the corner of the outhouse. the wagon was going pretty fast so when it went by it really got the outhouse to spin pretty fast. it tipped the outhouse over after it did about 3 revolutions and landed face or door side down., Mr Youngs said when he got up there. there was cora looking out through the hole in the bottom. [ now the end or side . only way she could see out.
      he was laughing so hard he could hardly tell my grandfather the story. I remember it well. that was 40 years ago... I believe cora is still alive. going to hunt her up and ask if it was really true. I kinda think it is. thought I would share thiswith you. found you by surfing. www.dogpile.com my page is www.coxx.com or www.luthermich.com tks.
    • is there a market for old outhouses? i live in missouri and have a old one on my property that is still in good shape but not used. it is built out of cypress. e. ervin
    • Since finding your outhouse pages and links I have told just about EVERYONE I know about it!!! Especially since I collect them. Yes, you know me by my collection that I've taken all around Berks County Pennsylvania. Not too many of my personal friends are connected to the web, but people I work with are and they said they have or will find your sites, i told them they are informative, fun and very different!!! Good luck adding more stuff. I enjoy them alot!! Jay
    • i got dem ol outhouse blues, mama. your site was a shot in the tush. good medicine.
    • When I was but a wee, wee tot
      Dad would take me from my warm, warm cot
      And make me wee wee,
      Whether I could or not!
    • This is for my mother, Marie (she does not have an internet address) but is an outhouse fanatic. Fanatic Marie lives in a barn and has 2 outhouses outside and also 2 1/2 baths inside (one of which looks like an outhouse).
      Very curious, when did outhouses originate? Do you know how she might obtain yet another outhouse for in the woods (Missouri or Kansas)? By the way Marie spent the first 18 years of her life in Iowa using an outhouse.
      [Curator's Comment: Don't know exactly when Outhouses came to be. I just read something recently which might have your answer but can't remember where...You might find some answers in the Outhouse Digging web page on this site. I'm sure you will find an answer somewhere in this comments page. If anyone knows where this person can get an outhouse in Missouri or Kansas, send them Email from HERE.]
    • Hi Just two let you know, we use are two holler daily. I bought a depression era farm house in the western North Carolina mountains; that has never had indoor plumbing. The man and wife whole built the house used the outhouse until going into a nursing home. The house only had cold running water in the kitchen; we will have septic system in the next 30 days. North Carolina is pushing to stop the use of outhouse and straight pipes. The two holes have a certain rhythm to it we switch holes with daylight saving time, liming the hole and closing lid on the whole gives the pile on that side a chance to settle. Their is a real beauty two sitting on the hole on a moon lit nit with door open looking down on the pasture below. That's my outhouse; which I intend to keep using after the new bathroom goes in the house. Thanks. M. Arnold, NC
    • They passed an ordinance in our town
      They said we'd have to tear it down
      That little shack behind the old hound dog
      These are a few of the lines that I remember from a song we sang in collage during the late 50's and early 60's. We called it Ode to the little brown shack out back. If you could find the complete song, it would be a big addition to your site. I found your site while we were on vacation. When I get home, I will try to find the words to this song and get them to you. Enjoyed your site. ---Bill---
    • My daughter is doing a report on Thomas Crapper for her fifth grade project and we can find no information about his life. ie. where he was born, where he went to school, about his family. Can you help me?
    • i need a pic of an outhouse on wheels. we have an outhouse race for our poke sallad fes[ival] if u have one please send it to me
    • We think that your page is super cool but we all agree that you need more pict. of the inside of these wonderful outhouses. Thanks.
    • Great! A web-site on outhouses, or as we refer to them here in the heartland, shithouses. This brings back memories of a sacred Halloween pastime, tipping over outhouses. We would travel around the countryside of rural Indiana, scouting outhouses in good locations that weren't guarded by vicious dogs, and far enough from the house that we could sneak up without alerting anyone. Then on Halloween night, we would make our rounds with surreptitious glee at the mayhem we were about to wreak. We would not tip one over on the door, in case an elderly person should happen to be inside, and become entrapped in the tipped outhouse. But beware! Some people learned faster than others, and after several years of having their outhouses overturned, would prepare traps for the vandals and hooligans. They would nail large wire loops to each side of the outhouse, and as it slowly tipped over, the loop would ensnare the unwary prankster about the ankles and drag him feet-first into the hole.
      Alas, tipping outhouses is a thrill that youngsters that youngsters of today will never enjoy.
    • I was shocked and thrilled to learn that there are others out there...... I have been collecting outhouse's for uh,, 20 years.... I only have 120 or so now, but it has been fun collecting them. I have an aunt in Virginia that sends one every year. The largest being a foot and a half tall, hand crafted from, with a picture of Hadam in it.We take family photo's in front of them, everychance we can.. Any how I was tickled pink to learn of this site, thanks for starting it... Mary----from PA
    • Hi, I am a reference librarian at the University of Georgia. I have a questions from someone asking why the crescent moon was used for outhouse doors. Do you know? Thanks, John Wilcox
    • I have been researching various plans and designs for outhouses that I want to build for use on my farm near Urbana, Ohio. I want one in a water front or fishing motif for construction and use near my pond and another to be placed near the barn, for the convenience of those in that area. It can be of a more generic design.
    • I have heard many suggestions about the half moon and the stars, but I am not at all sure they can be documented. I do know the half moon was used as a ventilation device. In later years, (say, around the 1940s) talk went around that the half moon indicated the boys' toilet behind elementary and high schools, and the star indicated the girls' facilitaties. Somehow, I doubt that. I think that is something somebody made up.
    • G'day - I am after an indepth explaination to the existence of the "Cresent Moon". Why is it on outhouse doors? My own theory dates back to the days when closed stools and chamber pots were thrown out windows onto the streets of Europe, thus being out late at night was not only for one's personal safety - unless you consider getting 'dumped' on a threat to your personal safety, which I guess is reasonable. If you can shed any light on the subject, I would be very appreciative - fine works as the Compleat Loo and Ajax have not been very helpful. Thanks for your time, Eran Foreman
    • In the early years of this country's settlement, fireplaces were built inside the outhouses of affluent families. In the cold of predawn, slaves were required to build fires in the privies to warm their masters' bottoms.
      Outhouses have been carpeted (on the floor, on the seat, and even on the walls). They have been wallpapered (no doubt to keep them warmer and make them more attractive to look at), had pictures hung in them, and have even been outfitted with windowboxes. Some have had tiny little widow walks erected on top.
      Ever hear of a modesty fence. People planted honeysuckle and other flowering vines in front of their privies so that members of the family could go to the bathroom with modesty.
      Some even planted oak trees in front of the privy door for the same reason. Imagine how the oak tree dwarfed the little shanty in later years.
      What else do you want to know? I am your privy expert from way back. Half moons were really placed in privies for ventilation--later for sex identification. There were many other forms of ventilation also.
    • We need to have our bathroom renovated. Now I am terrified to get an estimate! K. Schutty
    • I think this web page is so funny.. I liked the exploding outhouse!
    • Love the info on the outhouses. My grandfather had one in NW PA when I was growing up and got to use it a few times. One day he was burning off his fields and went in to eat dinner. When he came back out side the outhouse was in flames and burned to the ground. Dave, Gastonia, NC
    • Cartoons are a must for your page.
      [Curator's Comment: Sure! I agree. Take a look at the section called Drawings and funny post cards. There are some cartoons there which are pretty funny!]
    • I love your site....You probably have heard this term before but up towards New England old immigrants used to call them "backhouses".
    • I used to stay in an old farmhouse in Eastern NC during deer season. It had no running water and had an outhouse. One frosty morning shortly after sunrise, I responded to the call of nature and was distressed to find the last evening visitor had left the door wide open. I fully expected the seat to be covered in frost. To my pleasure, the seat was warm and cozy. The builder many years ago, must have planned the orientation of the outhouse so that the winter sun would warm the seat. The outhouse was constructed at an unusual angle to the dwelling and other outdoor buildings, thus its orientation was likely by design.
    • outhouses, privies,latrines, cabinets d'aisance etc.
      Enjoyed the site. Actually, I work with low cost "toilets" (politically correct) professionally..or at least with sanitation in the poorer parts of the world (including rural Alabama). Have a small photograph collection of diverse models from Hanoi, to Suva, to Zaire and SW Alabama (plus notable plans on different units and research on "sanitation." We have just completed one unit, on of all places WPA Raod in Wilcox County, AL. The WPA built so many down here in the 30's that it is a bit ironic to have a group of public health and sociology students repeating the process on one of their roads 60 years later. Time marches on, albeit slowly in some places. Look forward to getting through your virtual collection. Saw some familiar folks among the site visitors... You seem to have caught some professionals in the web as well. What would Chic Sales think!
    • Back in the depression the goverment (I think) made available or sold to rural families a prefab seat assembly around which they built an outhouse - are these still available? I need to build 3 outhouses - 1 on my property and two on my adjacent gun club and would like to do a good, clean, attractive, tamper-proof job - any resources you could point me to would be appreciated.
    • Shortly after the time you were developing the idea of what has become your web site, a friend and I were discussing a Sierra Vista Museum of Outhouse History.
      We have some property here that has been "saved" by a federal government program to identify land that may some day be flooded. No thanks to the federal government, the property became almost impossible to sell. Oh, yes. The county still collected property taxes. I think the approach we had to the idea of an outhouse museum came up in causal conversation. I had most recently moved to Sierra Vista from a job in Fauquier County, Virginia. I told my friend something about having seen more outhouses in Fauquier County than I had ever seen anywhere else. The significance of that to me was that Fauquier County was supposedly one of the wealthiest per capita counties in the U.S. He had seen a book on outhouse design and we began to talk. Some much for the spark to set off the train of thought.
      Sierra Vista is about 70 miles southeast of Tucson and twenty or so miles west of Tombstone and Bisbee, Arizona. Its only claim to fame could be that Fort Huachuca is located here. Fort Huachuca was established in something like 1877 to chase Apache Indians up and down the San Pedro Valley, as I understand it. You might imagine how much success the Army had in catching the Indians when you visualize a Calvary soldier with all of his clanking equipment. Of course, once an unmounted Indian was in sight that may have been a different thing.
      What if...we developed a Museum of Outhouse History and put it on the land that was now in the flood plain? Set up a tour through the trees to replicas of outhouses from around the U.S. All non-functional to avoid daily maintenance chores. Figure out a functional outhouse for those who might wish to experience a true bit of nostalgia. We would have a gift shop selling a full-range of outhouse memorabilia and souvenirs. The property would lend itself very nicely to such a design. Plenty of room for parking.
      Advertising for the Sierra Vista Museum of Outhouse History could include a catalog offer so that those interested could purchase outhouse memorabilia through the mail. Toilet paper with printed cartoons, slogans, or whatever creative thought came to mind. Outhouse model kits. T-shirts. Caps. Photos. Books. Maps. It boggles the mind at the possibilities.
      Talk about fun! Can you imagine the flack we would have received had we gone ahead with the idea? The local powers would have been up in arms. Those locals with absolutely no sense of humor would probably been perfectly willing to deny us our civil rights and any other rights they thought they could cut off.
      You web site is an absolute delight! Thanks for bringing a lot of humor to what, sometimes, seems like a pretty grim world. (Mr. Clinton, what did you...?)
      Best Wishes, Dick
    • I'd like to pass on a story that we found after my mom died, and we were going through her stuff. I can't scan it, because it is old and very stained. So I am going to type it. It is four and a half pages long. You might want to print it, before reading. I thought it was funny. The names inserted replaced other ones, I'm sure. THE SPECIALIST. [Curator's Comment: I already had the story on the web site. I included a link to The Specialist here so you could go directly to it from this page.]
    • Fantastic! There is a thought that I would like to share with you but I gotta GO!
    • I still have my keen memory of the outhouse my parents had on the farm in Oregon. I had to use pages torn from the Sears Catalogue for the wiping. My ancester family came from Berlin Germany- at that time it was called Teutonic - 12th century
    • During a trip to Poland to visit long lost relatives in July. We discovered that their house had no heat, running water or bathroom. We had to use their " Wychodek " ( pronounced: Vee hoe deck )
      It's quite crude and was built in the 20's, right after WWI. ( they're extremely poor but wonderfully warm and generous ).
    • Hi, In 1951 on a trip to Alaska we stopped in Whitehorse Yukon and stayed in the 2 story log hotel there. The toilet was an outhouse on the side of the hotel. We stayed on the 2nd floor and the outhouse was 2 stories high. There were post cards of this available as I sent some to friends. I expect that the Chamber of Commerce there will have more info and maybe copies of this wonderful outhouse. Keep bundled up in the outhouse when it is cold. Dan
    • I'm trying to locate a booke titled "The Vanishing American Outhouses" - any > help with this is greatly appreciated.
      [Curator's Comment: At least one copy is available as shown below:
      Barlow, ronald S. THE VANISHING OUTHOUSE Privy Plans, Photographs, Poems and folklore 1992 Windmill Pub. Co., CA, soft cover illus cover. Illus with drawings, photos, and comics, some in color. 137 pgs 9"x12" ]
    • Another word for outhouse "Sunshine". I obtained a road sign and took it to by dad's hunting lease. Needless to say the road sign of 'Sunshine' was nailed to the outhouse.
    • There is a two story outhouse located in Nevada City, MT. They sell postcards of it. To get more info ...try the Virginia City, MT website.
    • Enjoyed your page on outhouses. I built an outhouse on my property in Lancaster,NH in 1994. I am going to wire it for electricity this year and I hope to finish the interior to rival its plumbed counterparts.
      Several friends have camps in the northeast kingdom of Vermont and Northern New Hampshire. We all appreciate our outhouses !!
      One of my friends keeps his toilet seat hung by the woodstove so as not to "stick" to it in the winter. When you make the trip to the outhouse the seat is nice and warm.
      Another friend and I devised a mousetrap out of a 5 gallon pail, filled halfway with water and anti-freeze, and covered with paper from a paperbag. slits were cut into the paper similar to pizza slices, then the paper was smeared with peanut-butter. needless to say it catches mice. (they walk right up the wooden ramp we lean on the bucket).
      Anyways, keep up the good work. Daan
    • Greetings' Don`t know why it took so long to find this here ole page but its a special area and brings back many memories to this ole 'Raggie' growing and loving the backwoods of Salisbury Connecticut. T. Brazee
    • As an ex Minnesotan, I love your sense of humor. I remember (not fondly) of trips to the two-seater in 41 below frigid North Dakota - also the stiff Sears catalog paper. Brrrrrr. The outhouse stories are fabulous. Ok if I forward some to friends??? K. Hauge
    • I saw a book Outhouses Revisited in Wireless Catalog and wondered if there might be a website of outhouses. Sure enough, found yours. I tell my sons that everything that exists in the world also exists on the WWW. So far have not been wrong.
      When I was young (1940s),I would visit my grandparents on the "farm" in Flesherton, Ontario, Canada. They had a well, no electricity, and an outhouse behind the drive shed.
      Granny had a big ceramic bowl under the bed, and being naturally curious I ask my grandfather what it was for. His answer was; "The queen has a canopy over the bed, your grandmother has a can o' pee under the bed". Thanks for a great page.
    • Your site brought back memories of childhood summers spent at my grandparents' farm in Kansas.A visit to the outhouse was always called visiting Mrs. Murphy.It was a two holer, one of those fancy,cement lined jobs from the 1930's.Going out there in the dark was an adventure! Keep up the good work.
    • I am from Eagle River, Wisconsin and in conjunction with the State's Sesquicentennial (150 years) our town is going to celebrate the entire week of August 8 thru 15. One of the events that we will be staging is a "privy and old car" parade in which businesses, organizations and graduating classes have been invited to participate with a float. When I couldn't sleep this morning I decided to get on the web and see what I could find on outhouses. Of course, I am delighted to find this site. I have been taking a lot of kidding about my obsession with outhouses, but excitement is escalating for the parade. I have the book The Outhouses of America, but your site will help give me ideas to pass along for entries in the parade. I have been encouraging locals to submit poems and/or stories on outhouses and a few of the oldtimers have already come through. Thank you for providing this site.
    • As a youngster, I lived in southern Wisconsin with my parents. At that time we had a cottage in northern Wisconsin and we spent many summer vacations there. Our property had an outhouse which siding matched that of the cottage. My mother referred to the outhouse as a "hootnanny".
      Eagle River, Wisconsin (where the cottage was, and still is) eventually became my year around home and I live across the lake from this property which brings many childhood memories to mind.
    • I saw your site on outhouses. It said that you would have information on how to build a outhouse soon. If you could tell me about other sites that have info. on outhouses or just give some advise on how to build one.
      [Curator's Comment: pick up a copy of
      "WOODLANDS FOR PROFIT AND PLEASURE" by Reginald D. Forbes,
      The American Forestry Associat.
      Take a look at page 142, Figure 20 for some plans on how to build a 2-holer!]
    • I have a collection of 150 outhouses, hand crafted, of course. i have packed each of them up, drove to various senior citizen and nursing homes and church activities to show, packed them back up and displayed them proudly around my house. I have a calendar from someone in Japan! I have candles, exploding ones, water squirting ones, light bulb night light one, musical and a planter amoung them.
      People have send me numerous articles, cards and jokes about them. I also have tee shirts, note cards and sweatshirts!
      I thought I was about the only one who was interested in them. Thanks for the support. Jay
      My email address: jayk8142webtv.com
    • Why do some outhouses have quarter moons on the door? Do they serve a purpose?
    • Thanks for a great site- used to build outhouses & oarhouses. I could tell you stories...
    • I hesitate to even relate this story as it still brings forth pangs of guilt. Oh well, here goes.
      It was back in the late '40's and the place was a Boy Scout camp, Camp Ingawanis in northern Iowa. For some reason the outhouses at the camp were called kaibos (kai as in "sky" and bo as in "beaux").
      There was a young man that we all picked on, as young kids do. Thinking about what we did to this poor kid makes me feel very ashamed and wondering if we damaged him forever, poor soul. We called him Chief Kaibo.
      One evening, Chief Kaibo had to go to the kaibo and we followed. This particular outhouse had a knothole at the rear just under to seat level but above ground-level. This knothole was just about the same size as a cherry bomb. After the Chief had ample time to get settled in, a lit cherry bomb was pushed through the hole. We all ran to our tents and awaited the inevitable. The cherry bomb exploded with a THWUMPF and a horrible scream emerged from the outhouse just ahead of Chief Kaibo who came running out the door with his pants at his ankles and his backside covered in the most unspeakable filth.
      God we were awful. Chief, I don't remember your real name, I'm so sorry!
    • We feel so much better knowing that there is truly evidence that Mr. Crapper really existed. Thank you, you've taken a load off of us.
      Pinching off, Jacob and Austin
    • Growing up in the Caribbean, outhouses were called Latrines (La-trines)
    • My father came from the hill of Scott Co. Virginia. They had a large family, 4 boys & 3 girls. There were 2 outhouses, one with a star, and one with a moon. This was because they couldn't read. The star was for the girls, the moon was for the boys. They were located down passed the woodshed so on the way back who ever went to the privy brought back some wood for the stove. Robert Wheatley
      [Curator's Comment: There is at least one story or poem about this on the tour. Check out one at the following URL: "http://www.jldr.com/specialist.htm" You'll like it!]
    • cool web page
    • I grew up with a outhouse in my backyard that was constructed by WPA during the depression and wondered if you have any information on the number and different kinds that this group built also possibly the location of any that are still around? Thanks LJ James
    • Hi ..Love your site! I am a volunteer firefighter in suburban Louisville Ky area., and our firehouse is nicknamed "The Outhouse" We have a patch that indicates the name that we wear on our uniforms, and some screenprinted tshirt/sweatshirts that have artwork of an outhouse also..We wear them proudly!
    • Good stuff!
      Hope to send you a pic of *mine* some time. Nothing funny about O.H. though; I *had* to use one when we lived in Bow Island, Alberta, 1953.
      Had hoped to find the cartoon, my favourite of all time; of Santa and sleigh/reindeer, tangled all over the outhouse, presents flying all over the place, sled hanging down one side, reindeer on the other, with Santa screaming, "NO, Rudolph, you idiot, I said the SCHMIDT house!!"
      Would love to see that one again!
    • You are a man after my own heart. I have been enamored with outhouses for years. As a youth they were a dreaded necessity when we visited my rural relatives along the Oklahoma? Kansas line. However some thirty years ago I became interested in collection antique bottles. Do you know that excavating the site of old outhouses is one of the best ways to acquire old bottles. Of course, seldom is the structure still standing. Most of my digging was done in south Louisiana, predominately in New Orleans. There were something like a quarter million people there at the time of the Civil War...and no garbage pick up. They often threw it down the outhouse hole. They were usually lined with wood or brick and were "dipped" and reused sometimes. However, if you find one that wasn't, it is a virtual time line as you dig down. I've excavated some as old as 1800. Of course we do old wells also.
      Some years ago, here in Houma, Louisiana, with two partners, I opened an antique bottle shop, named "THE OUTHOUSE". Later while I was on a vacation trip, my "partners" found an old cypress outhouse, talked the owners into giving it to them, and transported it to the front of the little building the shop was housed in. It was "quaint" along with our sign. There was, however, one problem. The shop building was rented from an elderly couple, whose home was located back behind it. They had no sense of humor at all. By them time I returned, my partners had to remove the outhouse from the premises. I wish they had taken a photo before moving it.
      For the squeamish, after a hundred years, or more, the outhouse pit is little worse than the surrounding soil. In New Orleans the water table is often 3 or 4 feet below the surface anyway.
      Once in Elko, Nevada, far up a slope from the main road, I found an outhouse that was triangular in shape, the doors were open, and the holes were triangular. It makes one wonder about the anatomy of the early inhabitants.
      Incidentally, with intuition, and knowledge from past experience, we find these sites with spring steel probes, 5' and up. Actually, my poor old aching back no longer allows me to do this. I guess it pulled too many five gallon bucket of slush, stones, brick and hopefully bottles from as deep as 15'. :-)
      I am also the only person I have heard of that has a collection of 19th century outhouse holes. When the building was built over the pit, the very last thing done was to go in and cut the holes in the bench. Often these fell to the bottom of the hole. When I began to discover these and realize what they were I began to save them. In some cases, nearly two hundred years after one fell to the bottom, Charlie Cook was retrieving it. I wonder what the look on the face of the builder would look like if some one had told him that. I plan, eventually to put a finish on some of them and make wall hangings, perhaps with a little brass plaque stating what it is. Conversation piece??
    • [Curator's Comment: Once in a while I get an exceptional comment. This is one of the most interesting I think I have received. It's not for the faint of heart...]
      I am a bottle digger originally from Calif. Been here in San Anton for 3 years. Dug alot of privies in California for bottles. Dug 6 holers of Victorian hotels to small ranch shallow pits. They call us seasoned diggers "privy diggers". Privy names, let's see, Nessy, Privy, Thunder Box, Crapper, Shitter, Back House, Der Scheisshaus (German), Water Closet, Outdoor Convenience. How bout' "honey dippers", the men who "dipped-out" the full privy for a small fee. Here in Texas I've seen some "open-backs". Privy's without a pit, just a open back bottom to let the "spoils" run down to a low spot. I have seen and heard of some strange stuff dug out of "Privy Vaults". A large Victorian black & white alabaster dildo (still in digger's collection). A 4 shot pepper gun wrapped and placed in a mason jar. A baby embrio inside of a mason jar. (decomposed when the jar seal was broken). The ole' trick was to hide stuff in the privy vault and to recover it later when needed. A wire around a mason jar worked good. Also if it was stuff you didn't want anyone else to see it also went into the pit. The old man's whisky and bitters, etc. well, so long. Digger Dick. P.S. If you want to check out and link to my home page, I've got a story on a great hotel privy dig. Check it out at: follow the fun link to the "Big Big". Best set of crappers I've ever dig. Chow
    • we had a two holer until 1966! other names we call it was mrs. murphy, the john, roseavelt? mounments (after the presedent who put wpa workers to work to build them) thougth you might be interested. m.l.griffith
    • Thought you might like to know, there are some outhouses in rural Illinois that have three holes. The center hole was smaller than the two outer ones. Its use was for small children.
      Also, some of these have been sanded down and are used on the walls in homes today. the left hole has a picture of the wife, the right hole has a picture of the husband, and the center hole has a wedding picture or mirror (similar to the fad of using old horse collars a few years back).
    • Enjoyed your site, especially the 2 story model. We stayed in a rented cottage near Bar Harbor, Maine (on a lake) about 20 years ago and there was a 2 story model. It connected to the master bedroom by way of a narrow walk-way. The gentleman who rented us the cottage said that his father added it because it meant less time in the cold to get to it.
      Our 4 children were absolutely fascinated with how it could possibly work . . . It still comes up in "remember when" conversations. So just how did they work? ? ? [Curator's Comment: The top story seats are set back about a foot from the bottom. In other words, there is a false back to the 1st floor allowing the "stuff" to drop behind the lower guests! Hmmmm, Was that noise behind me a mouse or...?]
      We are followers of a folk-group out of Maine named "Schooner Fare". In a conversation with them they mentioned a friend of theirs had written a book about outhouses. Are you that friend? [Nope] Mary Barnard
    • Re/ Gray Doyles query about outhouses in rest areas in the UP of Michigan. Last time I was up there, they were still being used in rest areas in remote areas, and also in Forest Service Campgrounds. Same thing in Provinicial parks in Canada. No bears allowed. Nancy Vande Heide
    • Two men were seated in a two-hole outhouse. The first finished his business and stood up. Pulling up his pants two coins fell out of his pocket and into the hole. He pulled out his wallet and took out a twenty dollar bill and threw it down the hole! The second man said,"What are you doing!?". The first said,"Heck, you didn't think I was going to climb down there for 15 cents did you?
    • Hey! Love this web sight. Got the address from Yahoo pick of the week. Have to show it to my friends. But...
      You don't mention the outhouse on the top of Mount Whitney in California. It sits on the top of the highest point in the continental United States (well... it's about 10-20 feet lower than the top but it's right there). It hangs over an 'edge' of the mountain so there is no 'containment' for the deposits... I'll try and get a picture of it from one of my friends. It needs to be in your collection of photos! [Curator's Comment: Other people have told me about this one but so far, no pictures!]
    • I will never forget stopping in at a gas station in a small town in Southern California. There was an outhouse out back and I decided to check it out to see if it was still functional. (I needed it!) I opened the door just in time to see a 'man' stand up as I opened the door. It scared the heck out of me. It seems they had set a dummy down on the pot. With a some pulleys and a rope that led from the door, up to the ceiling and then to the dummies back, it would cause the dummy to stand up as soon as the door opened. You'd have to see it. For a brief second I thought I had caught someone 'in the act'.
    • I am aware that the issue here is "American Outhouses", but I am surprised that there is so little mention of the Great Multiseaters!!!
      I have noted that there used to be a threeseater just outside Omaha, but that seems to be it. Travelling in Norway I have come across 4-seaters and heard tales of 5-seaters!!
      What impact a 5-seater would have on everyday rural life one can only speculate upon, but I am afraid that the Great Multiseaters of Norway are soon to become history. There is no Official Outhouse Curator in this country, probably not on this side of the Atlantic. Can you help us preserve our heritage ? An European Branch ??
      Birger B. [Sure I can help you out. Folks, Look for multi-seaters in the near future on the Outhouses of America...er, the World soon.]
    • I enjoyed the web site. It brings back memories! Is there any source for plans to the exploding outhouse? I sure would like to build one. [Curator's Comment: I would like to build them and sell them. There is no plan available at this time.]
    • Several years ago I took a flying trip up to Alaska and the Yukon. While in Whitehouse Yukon we rented a floatplane and pilot and went fishing on several remote lakes in the area. For lunch we flew to a private home on a lake where the owner cooked for us. He had two rentable cabins, no power, no phones, no roads....the only way in is by air or by 20 mile hike from a logging road. The cabins were on the sloping side of the mountain. On top of the mountain is a glacier which feeds the nearby stream and the lake. Between the owners cabin and the two rentals higher on the hill was the outhouse. It was a one seater with a LARGE open window (no glass). When you sat down you had a great view of the lake and the nearby mountains. However everyone else also has a great view of you.....
    • your outhouse page is really dumb but in a cool way. keep up the good work.
    • I photographed an outhouse at Morton, WA with the seat in the corner. Unfortunately, the light was such that I was unable to see the interior. I have had occasion to use a number of these facilities with a variety of interior arrangement, but had never seen a corner seat. I should go back with a flash attachment some day. It is located behind the defunct Milwaukee Road depot there, which also housed the agent and his family.
      T. W. Hawksworth - (hawks@olypen.com
    • Hi......I've only heard an outhouse called the "little house" or the house out back but as to the covered pot under the bed my grandmother refered to it as the "thunder mug"
    • I wrote two research papers in college on Thomas and his wonderous invention, the valveless wastewater preventer, the device pictured on the front of flushed with pride. I'm happy to see that Thomas is getting the recognition he deserves! After all, without his invention, which is nearly the same in design today, we might still be using "honey buckets", privies, or some other solution to the problem of ridding ourselves of our waste. I performed my research before the web was useful research medium, and there were many good sources of old engravings, woodcuts and photos of Thomas' devices. There were also lots of good reproductions of advertisements in the libraries of the universities.
      Thanks for giving the world some information on this subject.
      Loughton Smith
    • "The Specialist" was a book by Chic Sales about outhouses. In fact, my generation would often refer to an outhouse as a Chic Sale.
      His book may still be available from his widow in Carmel.
    • Surely you have heard the one about George Washington's complaint about outhouses?
      They are too far from the house in the Winter and too close in the summer. Pete [Wasn't that the "White House"?]
    • Enjoying the tour. It would be nice if you offered an outhouse Icon to replace the recyle bin. I downloaded a toilet Icon with gurgling sound wave when flushed.
    • I was raised on a 320 acre farm in Cass Co., Nebr. about 45 miles SW of Omaha. We had and old outhouse about 90 feet NE of the house. It was located in back of the cobb/wood shed. A three holer, no less, two adult size and one small one for the little folks. Very cold in the winter time...sometimes snow which had blown in through some cracks had to be brushed off of the seat. Then the hot summer months brought other concerns. Wasps, spiders, flies and an occassional bee..
      Perhaps I'm one of few living who had the priviledge of seeing a new hole dug and the old outhouse "relocated" to it's new site. The new site was about 15 feet from the old one. This was a family activity which brought about a "feeling" of belonging when one entered the outhouse. There was a sense of calmness in knowing "we did it", we got the thing moved and I helped.
      I was acquainted with the outhouse from 1926 until about the mid seventies. The reliable old structure withstood the elements and storms for many decades. My father told me it was there most of his life, and he was 38 years of age when I was born. The old outhouse remained faithful in it's service for at least 80 years. So as the storms, snows, rains and sleet with occassional hail the faithful structure withstood and endured, never failing to provide it's service, day or night, through all seasons, year after year. A great help in the keeping of the family close to home. Perhaps one day a national monument could be built to ever remind us of a time that was slower and more individualistic and closely related with the founding and developement of America!
      Memories remain quite vivid for me, of cold winter nights and cold wintery days, with the wind howling shaking the little building. With fine snow filtering in through the small cracks...the cautious looking for spiders, and all manner of insects, both the flying and the crawling, before engaging the service of the outhouse. But, alas, the alertness this effort created was indeed stimulating and one didn't remain sleepy in those challangeing moments.
      I'm happy to be one of the few living witnesses to the "golden era" of the infamous outhouse.
      John Guehlstorff
      St. Joseph, Mo.
    • I saw a small article in the Belleville (IL) News Democrat that made reference to your site on, of all things, outhouses! I clipped the web address provided with the article, and here I am...
      I have taken an abbreviated tour and have bookmarked your site for future "reference". I find your site interesting and refreshing, in a cleansing sort of way...AAAHHH...
      My friend's winter cabin has a nice modern outhouse, with electricity and everything! The decor is modern white trash with a hint of pretentiousness, provided by the Nieman Marcus catalog, um, "wipe". If ya' want, I could take a picture of it for ya', with or without my cousin Bubba, putting it to good use...You could start a collection labeled "The Hoosier Houses of Southern Illinois." Whaddya' think?
      All kidding aside, I really do like your site! The narratives accompanying the photos are great! Take care and have a GREAT holiday season!
      Tom Clark, Jr.
    • Love your outhouses!
    • Can you help me? I'm trying to find a book, "The Vanishing American Outhouse"', published by Windmill Publishing Co. Thank You, Robert Welsh [Curator's Comment; I referred him to...
      Windmill Publishing Co Santee, CA 92071
      Phone: (619)448-5390
      I hope it's the right company!]
    • I'm looking for the answer to the question: Why does an outhouse often have 1/4 moon cutout on its door?. Your web page suggests you may be an expert in the area of outhouses. I work for CBC Radio in Edmonton Canada
    • My daughter in High School asked me Why is a quarter moon on outhouses. Could you please Help me?
      [This seems to be the most popular question that gets asked of me. I always refer the people to my web page. The answers are contained in multiple replies in two main areas:
      The Trivia and Folklore section
      Comments to the curator section
      I hope this helps! John - The Outhouse Curator]
    • hi! great page! i am a therapist working with geriatric clients, and reminiscing is an often used technique. your info re outhouses has provided many many laughs and funny memories("you knew those neighbors were uppity because they wallpapered their outhouse") two clients say they recall a poem by edgar a. guest;do you have it?anyone have it? another piece of "literature" i'm looking for is a story about an american couple looking for a list of facilities in a europeon country ,and somehow they get a response that describes a wayside chapel (wc) instead. one more thing:did people really use corn cobs, and if so, HOW? thank you!!!!!l liz m. [Answers about the corncob can be found here in the comments section. Do a search for Corn and you'll find the answers!]
    • I am sure the outhouse story represents only the tip of the iceberg.In Washington state the supervisor of Mt Rainer Nat. Park specified a new arch type bridge constructed to replace the existing bridge over Deadwood Creek. The bridge is the only of it's kind in the state and took over two years to complete at a price undisclosed but estimated to be over 1 million. The bridge could have been replaced with pre-cast concrete beams for a fraction. The clincher is that you cannot even see the construction from the highway. You would need to rappel on lines to view it.
      Meanwhile the US Forest service is digging up and replacing culverts on their roads with bottomless ones"because the fish like them better". The last one was in the Naches Ranger District on Gold Creek> the project took over 1 month on a creek no wider than your desk and several inches deep.Calls were not returned when costs were requested. And the list goes on!!
    • Hi, I'm Roger Schlueter, a reporter for the Belleville, Ill., News-Democrat and I run an answer-man type column in which readers can ask me anything they wish. The question today: Is there any significance to stars on men's outhouses and moons on women's (or vice versa, I can't remember which). Any help greatly appreciated. [Curator's Comment: I can't really say I can answer that... You can look at many of the real outhouses in the Outhouses of America Tour and see there are a few that have stars. One in particular used the stars as reinforcements. It's all explained on that web page or below in this Comments to the Curator page. The only thing I can tell you for sure is the the Stars and the Moon appear together. You don't have one without the other. I think someone wanted to use something other than a moon and figured having a Star would be close enough but yet different enough to warrant some recognition.]
    • I am moving to the country and want to build an Outhouse. I am trying to find books on how to build one. Its not the outer construction I am concerned about, but rather how to upkeep one and how to deal with the waste pit. Can u email me about any books that you know of that is written on how to build Outhouses? [Most of the answers to your questions can be found in this site at one spot or another. Check out the rest of the comments in this page and the Trivia and Folklore section. Not sure about any books. You might take a look at Thomas Crapper's story which is a book and also the book called "Outhouses Revisited" by Sherman Hines of Canada. It has lots of photo's of different styles of outhouses. Also check out the Spring 1988 edition of the magazine Country Collectibles (page 38-40)]
    • Friends and I were discussing the meaning of the half moon on the outhouse door. Would you please enlighten us as to its meaning and also the meaning of the star. [Curator's Comment: Check out this page. Do a search for "moon" and you'll find a lot of data. Also check out the Trivia section on the tour index]
    • In my childhood the outhouse was known as "Roosevelt's Mansion". You can imagine that my grandfather didn't exactly agree with FDR's politics!
    • Just one item is missing from the Haven's Homestead pictures,viz., Sears Roebuck catalogue. Vander Heide
    • What a great page - nice to know someone else collects outhouses too! I'll bookmark you and read you from time to time. And just think, I thought I was one of few who collects outhouse memorabilia!
    • I am looking for a poem titled"passing of the old backhouse" it goes somthing like "when memories keep me company and move to amiles or tears a weather beaten ..."
      If you could point me in a direction I will be sure to give you credit for its rediscovery to my family this X'mas [It's on the tour. Just go to the Trivia and Folklore section to find it]
    • I do believe this is one of the funniest sites I have visited in a long time. Thank you for the stress relief.
    • Somewhere in either North or South Dakota is an outhouse built of brick in the shape of a woman! My father has a photo. We were in the brick business.
      THE T's, D. AND V.
    • I'm enjoying your page. I too have a fondness for outhouses. Once when I was seven my family rented an old farm that had an outhouse out the back door. A raised boardwalk lay between the house and the two-hole out house. The structure had a gable roof, shingled with red roses climbing up the side and part way over the roof. In the summer my mother and I sometimes sat there together with the door open and the chipmonks that nested in the roof and roses would come down and sit on the boardwalk to watch us.
      I visited your site primarily to find out how to construct a good outhouse from the hole up. Including various ways to deal with the problems of smell and so forth. I'm not having much luck in finding real, basic, how-to information. I'd appreciate getting email on the subject. I've heard that some peoples' outhouses were more than just toilets but had heat and were made more like cozy extensions of their homes. I'd like to hear about these more too.
    • While off the subject but still on it... jokes about johns?
      How about the group dedicated to the preservation of the wooden john seats...called the Birch John Society?
      You need to scour your reader ship for an image of the poster of Frank 'Zappa on the Crappa'
      Your site is a blast! Thanks
    • I guess it's true, you can find anything on the 'Net! Found you Web page the other day - well done.
      I did a search on "outhouse" because my aunt has just sold her old farm in NJ to a developer. He'll be tearing down the 1850s era house, barn and outhouse in 4-5 months. I got to thinking that someone may want to have the outhouse; it seems a shame to lose it in such an ignoble way. It is in very good condition, having been rebuilt 20 yrs or so ago.
      It's nothing unusual, perhaps 4 ft wide and 3.5 ft deep and 7 ft high in front, 6 in the rear. It has a pit door in back for cleaning. Color red, a small window on one side, no cutout design in the door. Very sound and sturdy. I'd bring it back to my farm in Maine if I had some way of transporting it.
      Any ideas about how to find a person who might be interested in having it for the cost of towing it home? Bob Shafto Falmouth, ME
      BTW, my favorite outhouse is one located in Kings Landing, New Brunswick, Canada. It's an octogonal 8 holer! A magnificant edifice.
    • I just wanted to say I enjoyed your information about the outhouses, this was really interesting, and yes, very educational too! I really learned a lot and I was always wanting to know how they did go, back in the olden days! I just have one question, and your answer box did give the answer, but you elaborate a littler more on this question for me. THE BIG REASON: Back in 1977, when I was coming home from college, I heard on the radio, why do outhouses have half moons on the door? Would you believe it took me this long to find out, that is why I searched for you on the net! I even went to the library, ( back in 1977), and they had no books, to answer! I just want to know, besides the lighting, why a half moon, why not a rectangle, or some other shape? Does the half Moon have any significant meaning? Who was the person who said it should be a half Moon and why a half moon? What I am trying to ask you is why a half moon, what does the half moon represent, is it a religious symbol, does it mean something? I know you said it was bringing in just the right amount of light, but why not an x shape? An X shape would bring in more light and give privacy, or a T or L shape? Why were all the outhouses I see have the half moon on them, and on the door? I have never seen one with a full moon above the door. I mean they could have found a lot of better and prettier shapes, ( decorative ), and ones that would give privacy and better lighting then a half moon. So why did they choose the half Moon?
      If you could, please, please e-mail me back, I would REALLY appreciate this, 20 years is a long time to find an answer! Thank you so much!
      [Curator's Comment: Remember the story you heard about the man in the moon? Was he sitting on a full moon? A half moon? A square hole? A round hole, T or L or X shape? NO! He was sitting on a quarter moon. Remember how good it made you feel to hear about the man in the moon? Now do you understand why the quarter moon on the outhouses? Maybe it's to make you forget about the odors and make you think back to your childhood and the happiness that comes to mind... ]
    • My parents and my uncle and aunt were visiting the old family homestead area near Glad Valley, South Dakota--a true paradise! Before leaving the area, they stopped at the Glad Valley "mall". My aunt needed to use the facilities. She found the little house out back. She had her billfold sitting next to her in the outhouse. While getting properly attired, she accidentally knocked her billfold down one of the holes! The billfold contained not only money, but a credit card, drivers license, pictures, etc. She found her husband and broke the bad news to him. The owner of the "mall" gave him a rake or hoe to "fish" the billfold out of the outhouse. Meanwhile, my parents were in the Glad Valley General Store--the store with everything!!! They found a little gift to present to my aunt and uncle.
      The billfold was retrieved, the contents removed, and then the billfold was thrown away. They all got in the car and headed down the road. A little while later my Mom said, "You know, we missed your anniversary a few weeks ago. We are late, but here is a little gift for the two of you." My aunt opened the gift all the while saying "You really didn't need to do this!" When she opened the box she found a salt and pepper shaker set of two little wooden outhouses! One said "I am full of P" and the other said "I am full of S". The four of them laughed and laughed for miles down the road! Those two little momento's would always remind them of the day at the Glad Valley Mall!
    • Good day, I have a piece of hunting property way back in the woods of Northern Mich. and want to build a one holer. Have no idea of what is needed in the form if design for proper ventilation.. Can you help or direct me to someplace I might be able to get a plan or specs if there is in fact a "best way" to build.
      Thanks... Richard......"a man in need"...
    • On Grand Canyon raft trips, a portable canvas sided outhouse is used. Its usually set up away from camp and if you're an early riser you can leave the door open.
      This affords a spectacular view of the river and canyon at sunrise-- a truly majestic throne! I may have pictures from a trip I tokk 4-5 years ago, if so I will mail you one.
    • I have heard everyone's opinion about the moon on the door. Please clear up this issue for me. I am sure you have the definitive answer. Thanks RJT
    • Great site. I need to build an outhouse, do you know where I can get some generic plans? Thanks, Mike
    • Just found your website... Talk about a pile of crap!
    • Can you answer a question I have? While playing trivial pursuit the other day, one of the questions was, What does the cressent on the outhouse door mean? And the answer was, the cressent stands for woman. My question is, what other symbols are on the door and is there one which stands for man? A speedy response would be greatly appreciated since many of us are going crazy trying to figure this out! Thanks, from a friend in West Texas.............DAVE [Curator's Comment: Trivial pursuit might be out of their league on this one. There are many comments on this page dealing with the crescent moon. Just do a search in Netscape (Ctrl-F) and search for "moon". Trouble with that question is there are many, many theories. Truth is, some guy was building an outhouse a LONG time ago and was putting in a square hole. At the moment he was cutting, a beautiful girl walked by and he was so taken by her the saw cut a moon shape on the door. Somewhat ashamed, he then formed the crescent moon and told the owner it was the latest rage on the west edge of the frontier; and so it was...]
    • Responding to your call for communication. Just to say, "golly what a terrific site." But, I bet you hear that all the time --. Found you via my daily traipse to the "AT&T World Wide etc. etc. Contest" and good old Yahoo! It is a pleasure to find a site with genuine depth and obvious intelligence bristling abundantly. Ditto on the ham radio, it's KD8SM. Sadly, and sorely -- neglected of late. I do reflect on this frequently, being somewhat of an old sentimentalist. This of course, one will surmise, is contributory to my appreciation of the outhouse theme. That thought kind of takes it full circle. Pardon the verbosity, but I became just a little inspired. So again, sending sincere appreciation for your smartly published perception. Planning to be at Oshkosh in '98. I'll be remembering this particular liaison then, and at subsequent visits (thus becoming more acquainted) to your rich site.
      Here's to many more refreshing breezes emanating from your outhouse(s)
      PS I'd forgotten all about the lime and scoop.
      Best regards, D. Harvey C.C.
    • I am writing the text of a book of outhouses in Arkansas, created by pinhole photographer Thomas Harding.
      Noting your copyright, I would like permission to excerpt from your web site on outhouses. In addition to some references from your text, I may want to excerpt from the submitted comments.
      I would, of course, duly record your site. Thanks for your consideration. Michael Preble
    • I looking for a photo of the $ 333,000 outhouse that my taxes were used for. Have you found a photo or website. Story broke on Wednesday by Knight Ridder and USA Today had an article.
    • My students and I have been studying inventions and the way people lived about one hundred years ago. We take a tour of a historical village in Buffalo Gap, Texas. They all want to know why the half moon was carved in the door. The idea that it was for letting in light makes sense, but does not address the question as to why the most common shape was the half moon. Any further information on this would be welcomed.
    • just wanted to let you know that i really enjoyed the page. novel at the least!! a friend forwarded it on to me, and i did the same. have a good one........ -del
    • Thought you might be interested in knowing the origins of the exploding outhouse. My ex-wife's grandfather, Mr. John LaVeau of Sarona, WI, created this interesting little curio over 20 years ago. He made them for friends, and for some shops in Wisconsin & Minnesota. He was a jolly old fellow and always got a laugh out of anyone falling for his trick. He's dead now, passed away in the fall of 1990. There are a few of these still around though, and I have one somewhere. Interesting! Wayne Henderson, Marshall, NC
    • I can't believe I just spent over an hour reading about and looking at outhouses. I guess they bring back some memories. One I remember clearly!
      Each Halloween the seniors in the Colorado town where I went to high school would put an outhouse in the middle of Main Street. When I was a senior we decided to out do all the seniors before us by getting the superintendent's outhouse.
      So, we roped the outhouse and tied it to the back of my dad's pickup and hauled it three miles to town. We stopped at the main intersection and all crawled out to set it up and retrieve the rope. As we approached the outhouse, the superintendent crawled out the bottom of it without his pants. They had fallen out of the outhouse on the trip into town as he clung to the seat inside.
      There were seven of us and we took off in seven different directions. My folks got the first visit from the superintendent when he showed up at my house with my dad's pickup and without his pants. I didn't get to see that because it took me a lot longer to walk home than it took Mr. Vogel to drive and I wasn't in too big a hurry to face the music. It must have been funny though, because my dad had a hard time keeping a straight face and kept looking the other way while he was giving me hell.
      The seven of us spent a good part of our senior year digging new privy holes for everyone in the community who wanted to relocate their outhouse. Bobbie Mason, Alaska
    • Pages like yours help restore my faith and hope for society. It's good stuff and fun.!!
    • I have a filmstrip with audio 33rpm record "the passing of the backhouse" as in your webpage.
    • My Grandparents lived in the country when I was very young. Grandfather was always going to see some one about buying a horse. He would never let me go with him and I did not understand why.
      Once, about four, I figured the man must live very close, as grandfather was never gone very long when he when to see a "man about a horse." After he came back in to the house, I left and went to "see a man about a horse." I went to the first house I saw as I walked along the road.
      I walked up to the door and knocked. I asked if this is where my grandfather came to see a "man about a horse." Well, imagine the laughter out of this lady.
      I do not remember how I got reconnected with my grandparents, I just remember grandmother talking me to "see Rrs. Jones" and put two and two together.
      I shutter when I think about the odor out of those places. I hated having to wipe my butt with a catalog which I had crumpled until it was soft. I think that is why I use Puff tissue, I am making balance in the flush and wash department.
      Happy Be day to you. Elodee
    • Hello, I'm Matthew Ladd. I am currently researching outhouses. I have a hunting/vacation camp in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We use an old outhouse right now that is falling apart. The dimensions on the current outhouse are not very ergonomic. I am writing to ask if you have any information on plans for building an outhouse. I have looked at all the outhouses on your home page and have gotten some good ideas. As far as plans go, I have not found any on the web and do not know if any books would have detailed plans. I would appreciate if you could provide any information that would help, it seems like you are quite knowledgeable in the area. Many thanks. mladd@mhsnr.org
    • A great Outhouse is about 10 miles north of Ithaca, NY, in the Cayuga Nature Center. I'm not sure who keeps it stocked with TP, but it is located right in the middle of the " " trail, where " " is a small picture of an outhouse.
      A peaceful location, deer graze nearby, & there is a small berry garden you can walk through on the way out.
    • I just finished the tour of outhouses, they are very interesting. thanks for the fun. Beth
    • Can you tell me if it is still legal to own/use an outhouse? and does it matter if it is new? thanks TH [Of course it's legal and it can be as old as the hills!]
    • [Outhouse Names] dooley, necessary, the outback, Sears seat
    • I am writing a paper on outhouses and technology, and I found you web site tonight-----Love it! Did you know that Passing of the Back House is claimed by Chas Rankin, also. Is that J.W,Riley's pen name? F Sturgeon,AIA
    • 'liked your website. We recently built on property in PA which had no sewers and was too hilly for a septic system so we had to build a good old outhouse. It gets the job done!
    • In the beautiful Province of Quebec, the French slang word for outhouse is "becosse". It is my learned opinion that the word comes from the English "back-house".
      I will build my second becosse this Spring because the wife is complaining about the fact that the actual becosse is located at a distance of 1/4 mile of the shack...
      Pierre Q. Montr_al, PQ [Curator's Comment - Pierre sent me 3 dandy pictures of his outhouse. Look for them to be on the tour soon!]
    • A couple of weeks ago I decided to add an outhouse collection to my home pages. (I didn't realize how popular this lowly structure was to so many people until I began searching the internet.) In any event, I was pointed to your Outhouse Tour and enjoyed it very much.
    • When I was a lad, all the young folks would use the euphemism "Mrs. Murphy's" and everyone understood. At our house, however, we had a code word less oftened recognized. A short story is involved here:
        Our place had electricity but no septic tank. That is, we had lights and hot and cold running water in the house, but elimination took place in the small building in the backyard. When electricity was supplied to the barn it was a simple thing to string a line over to the outhouse and have the comfort of electric lights on those early winter evenings.
        It so happens that Santa supplied me with a science kit which included an electric wind guage. The cable supplied with the kit was too short to reach from the roof of the house down to my room so in short order the anemometer and weather vane were place on the outhouse's power pole where no structures interfered with their operation. The latrine provided a handy place to record readings, and there was a great side benefit that you could wait in the shelter until the wind speed and direction were favorable for a dash back to the house.
         So, when we didn't want people to know where we were REALLY going, we went to "the weather station."
    • I wrote this several years ago and thought you might get a laugh from it. Boone Doxxe from Swamphill Crossing near Isle, Minnesota.
      The sun is out, the sky is blue, the birds are all a-twitter,
        I wrote this on one summer morn, while sitting in the -------,
      My biffy's in the woods you see,
        Across the grass, out by the tree.
      I have no need to shut the door,
        There's no one there to look anymore.
      Some day we'll have an indoor can,
        With running water and a fan,
      But for now we'll settle for an outdoor biff,
        With winter cold and summer whiff!
    • REAL SHITTY!!!!!!!!!! VERY GOOD!
    • I am currently preparing to build an outhouse. A set of blueprints or building plans would be great. I want to use it as a tool shed beside my garden, but being in a residentual area, I also want to stir the neighbors up a bit. Any information you may have will be appreciated. Tahnks :)
    • Your outhouse collection is boring. You see, in Alaska, we still use outhouses for real. I am in the process of building a new one. I was hoping you would have some clever ideas and artwork.
    • Far.....Out
    • I've been interested in collecting models, pictures, sketches, books, poems, you-name-it related to outhouses for some time. Family and friends look askance, but contribute to my collection anyway. Today I found your page and will share my find with them--I'm not crazy, or at least I'm not by myself.
      I have a copy of THE SPECIALIST by Chic Sale, but my favorie piece (^_^) so far is THE PASSING OF THE BACKHOUSE, credited to James Whitcomb Riley.
      Have several sketches of outhouses by Laurine Oetgen Kimmel. An interesting one is of a two-story in Merriman, Nebraska.
      I haven't exhausted my browsing of your site, but is there a catalog/address I could casually make available to family/friends who want to give me "a little something" on special occasions? If such is available on your page, give me reference. If not, but you have such available, would you send it my way. Thanks
      It's a "relief" to know many others share my interest. I'm not alone anymore:^)
      J. Lord
    • I was wondering how one goes about cleaning or emptying a outhouse. My parents have a old summer cabin situated on about ten acres some 60 miles past Whistler B.C. and on this piece of property is an outhouse which is in current use but filling up rather quickly. Any advice on the proper way to clean and maintain an outhouse would surely be appreciated.
      P.S. on a cold windy day there's no need to wipe. we air dry.
      [Curator's Reply: 2 choices: 1) Call in the honey truck and have it pumped.
      2) Dig a new hole about 15 ' from the original. Move the outhouse over the new hole. Fill in the other hole with the dirt removed from the new one. In a short time, the stuff will be gone. Read the Trivia piece about an Earth Closet to understand this concept.]
    • Dont know who you are but yuo might appreciate this: During a uniquely strong thunderstorm this summer on Norway's south coast, lightning hit a tree next to a neighbour's summer cabin. It went down the tree, then along a root to the nearest wet place it found - underneath the said neighbour's outhouse. There, it superheated the material in such a way that it exploded, covering the inside of the outhouse. Apparently the neighbours now know what it looks like when the proverbial shit hits the proverbial fan. The lightning struck at 5am. Our neighbour said that he usually takes a trip to the outhouse at that time, but that he fortunately hadn't needed to go that night.
      Yours in mirth, Chr. Brown
    • You seem to know all about these things. Have you any idea where I can get information on outhouse design? I understand the US Forestry Service has done research on this but I have not been able to locate any information.
    • Seriously, Do you have any data on venting an outhouse?? Ours stinks really badly! [Curator's Reply: Drill hole in roof.
      Run power out to the structure.
      Connect roof vent with fan.
      Turn on at all times the sun is out.]
    • Outhouses bring back many memories. Enjoyed your page. We lived in La. and only a "few" people had a house with a bath, ....we had a house and a path. Today they are only memories. Thank God. Makes you appreciate a warm home and not only 1 bath, but 2 1/2 baths.
      We lived in rural La. and the Sears Roebuck Catalog was our "shopping mall" in those years. ....and later as a new catalog came out, the old one went to the outhouse to be used for toilet paper. Rough days in more than one way. Our outhouse set over a hole dug in the ground but I have seen them many times just sitting on top of the ground. That was no fun when the wind blew your direction.
      The Wards from Texas
    • My dad called it the windy terrace. Once at a church supper after dinner he anounced that he was going to the windy terrace, one of the more influential ladies wondered if he would mind if she used the name for her new mansion on the hill. Needless to say Mom wouldn't let such a good joke go.
    • The only thing missing was the miniture sears catalog that a normal outhouse would have had. Of course, a "modern" one might have Penthouse, Oui, or even a comic book or two. But, the exploding outhouse was cool. Dlens@aol.com
    • I really enjoyed your site on outhouses. I encountered it in a search for plans for how to build an outhouse. Do you know of any publication that explains how to choose a site and to build an outhouse? Any help would be appreciated! In the meantime, your information was the best I've seen today.
      Judith Eastburn
      [Curator's Comment: The best publication I know of is to read the story on my Outhouse Tour called The Specialist. In it, he explains where the best location is and many other things. It is perfect for what you want. From my own observations, choose a site downwind from your home (You want the wind to blow the smell away from your home) and there should be good drainage with lots of crickets and worms. You can also check out the site which gave me an award. They sounded like a good source of information. Just look at the Awards page on my site and check out the one from the Outhouse Press Ezine. Good luck!]
    • I know for sure that Thomas Crapper was a real person. My aunt and uncle had a genuine "Crapper" in their bathroom in Conneaut, Ohio. I recall seeing the toilet with the "Crapper" name on it in the 1960's.
    • There is a couple of quaint little outhouses in Ingomar MT that you should have on you web site they are out back of the Jersey Lily bar and cafe in downtown Ingomar. One says bull pen the other you guessed it heifer pen. If you are ever in Ingomar be sure to stop and take a look. They serve delicious beean at the cafe. Keep up the humor. By the way if you can not find Ingomar on the map it is a small villa close to Forsyth MT. So long partner.
    • You have found a brilliant collection of some of the funniest outhouses I've ever seen! ...... Now, I've got to MAKE an outhouse at our summer cottage which is on an island where there is no running water and no electricity. Have you come across any blue prints, designs for making outhouses?
    • As a child growing up using 2 different outhouses, I learned from my Father, that her name was Aunt Sadie. From then on we were always going "to visit Aunt Sadie."
    • Just "found" your outhouse site and love it!! I, too, am the very proud owner of an outhouse. It was not easy to come by, but I was determined and in the end that determination paid off. I fondly remember using outhouses. My grandmother had one clear up into the 1950's which was in use. I fondly remember getting in and down to business to find that some of my ornery cousins had sneaked up and turned the little lock on the door!! Once I was ready for them and took a piece of a yardstick in with me. When they turned the knob and ran off to play thinking I was stranded, I simply used the stick and was able to work the little knob up until I could open the door. I reshut the door and hid. Eventually they came back at my cring out for help. I had hidden behind the nearby chicken-coop. Since they saw the building still locked they believed me to still be inside. They "peeked" through a crack and when they did not see me they became concerned and opened the door. Upon not finding me they were sure I had fallen in!!! After several min of scared talk they finally decided they would have to tell an adult that they feared I had fallen in. Along came several adults, armed with flashlights, who dutifully looke down the "hole." I came out from my hiding place laughing. Well we all got a spanking, the boys for their trick and me for mine. Another little trick they would pull is to wait until one was inside then pelt it with rocks everytime you tried to leave. Another memory is of a goose my grandmother had. He was kinda mean and would peck at our legs. He was sneaky and hide and wait till you tried to get to the outhouse then along he would come after you. We learned to sprint to that comfort station.
      We also had an outhouse at our house but in the late forties we had a bathroom put in (wonder of wonders!) After that the outhouse became a keeping place for my brothers pidgeons. Finally my Mother tired of them and the outhouse came down, a memory forever.
      Now, in 1995 I had become passionate about having an old outhouse in my backyard. My husband thought I was nuts but he indulges me and began looking. However after a year of looking we realized they were in short demand. So much to the embarassment of my hubby, I advertised in a local free bulletin board for one.
    • For your information...On October 4, 1997 teams from Kentucky and other states compete in the Great Outhouse Blowout....Kentucky's premiere outhouse race. Last year the outhouse team from Arkansas won the "trophy." This year Virginia's star outhouse racers..the Bad Boys of the Backyard Bathroom plan to compete to take home the "gold."
      Started in 1992, the Great Outhouse Blowout was to celebrate the first bathroom facilities at Penn's Store..the oldest country store in America. An outhouse dedication ceremony was held complete with ribbon cutting cermonies and an open air concert with Chet Atkins and other Nashville musicians.
      This years post time is 10 am...afternoon concert time 1 pm. Food, outhouse memorabilia and more. For information contact...
      Jeanne Lane Phone: 606-332-7706 or Penn's Store 606-332-7715
    • [Curator's Comment: If you know the answer to this one, please leave Comments to the Curator with the answer and I'll publish it.]
      Do the Japanese or Chinese have lowered toilet seats, an adaptation to American plumbing for traditional oriental squatting?
    • Dear sir Out: My Friend Dr. Hungerford (who has a first edition of Chic Sales' tome) and I have greatly enjoyed your outhouse site. We were wondering if you have any access to a sound recording of a related subject: Canadian Armed Forces Crepitation contest. Its hero was Lord Bleers. Yours in Gumpsville
    • Any info on toilets that are lower to the ground, so that sitting on them mimics squatting, as opposed to the same angle as sitting at the dinner table? [Curator's Comment] You'll find them in Italy and other places in Europe.
    • Hi, A chapter of my book on diet and health is about defecation. At one point I mention Mr. Crapper and his invention, certainly the reason for the slang "going to the crapper"; how did going to the john come into our language? I actually thought Crapper's first name was John!
      Appreciate your response.
      Sincerely, Ron Halweil, M.D.
      [Curator's Reply]
      Nope. First name was Thomas!
      In a medieval town a long time ago, there was a person named John. He was pretty dirty and all the town folk despised him. Well one day he got into trouble so the town officials sentenced him to a year of cleaning out the local town outhouse. Well wouldn't you know, the guy named John finally found his niche in life and all of a sudden the town folk began to notice that the outhouse was cleaner than it had ever been before and so was John. They began to look forward to seeing what he had done to it since the last time they were there. After a while, people began to refer to going to the outhouse as going to the John since John had improved it so much. Hence, somehow the name has stuck all these years and to this very day, we refer to going to the bathroom/outhouse as going to the John!
    • I was visiting a friend over the 4th holiday. He just bought a cabin last summer that has an outhouse.. I am trying to help him out and find some info on this subject.
      He regularly sprinkles lime down that hole but WHOA its down right ripe. The previous owner told him to hose it down with some water from time to time.
      My friend installed a fan to circulate the air a little. Its bad! Any thoughts? Be kind.
      FUN SIS 2
    • Your site is growing quickly can't wait to see what is next good to hear from you! ...................bill
    • Could we have your permission to print some of your wonderful outhouse material in our quarterly newsletter entitled The Outhouse Preservation Society Newsletter. We will of course give you full credit lines how you wish. You may e-mail me back by return.
      Thank you. All the best!
      Jackie Ranahan
    • Enjoyed viewing some of your outhouses, but my husband is looking for plans for building one ( I hope for decorative purposes only!!). I checked some search engines, but to no avail. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks. Nancy
    • Thank you so much! I had been wondering why there was a crescent moon carved out of outhouse doors. I didn't REALLY think i'd find the answer on the web. But, not only did your page provide me with an answer, and entertain me, but it convinced me that ANYTHING can be found on the web!
      Keep up the good work!
      Sincerely, Deanna
    • [Speaking of raccoons] I've hundreds of them since 1967 with a DNR permit. They are very intelligent critters and very curious. Only one ever turned on me and that was because I was gone for three weeks and he was mad. You do not bite the hand that feeds you and now the next meal is on his own. Bye---
    • Howdy, I loved your out houses. Is that one word? I teach school and being that it is summer I have some time off. I have spent several enjoyable minutes looking at your outhouses. I am an assistant scout master of troop 2 and we go camping a lot. I have and currently use outhouses frequently. Would you be interested in any pictures? I have one that was taken in New Mexico at Pilmont Socut Ranch. It may not qualify as an outhouse for it lacks roof, walls, and door. But (no pun intended) it is quite functional. It is located right out in the middle of a field next to the hiking trail--- a two holer back to back. Not much privacy there!! Well, I need to get off this thing before my wife kills me. If you interested, you know how to reach me. Todd
    • I wonder if it would be possible for you to tell me where in Pennsylvania the Victorian house (and outhouse) are for sale. My fiance and I have been looking for such a place ... Any info would be appreciated.
      .............................................Thanks... Matt... StaRxcat
    • Do you have any idea how the toilet got nicknamed the "john?"
    • Hi, My name is Gary. I'm Debbi's fiance. We do have a pressing project this summer..WE have to replace the old outhouse at her cabin. As it is functional as well as a point of interest, it has, as we say, outlived it's usefulness. I'm trying to find some 'plans' to build a new one. Any help ? I need info as they say, "from the ground up." I appreciate anything you can come up with.
    • The book is titled Poems For The John and the author is Jackie Kannon. Copyright is 1960 by Kanrom Inc., 311 West 43rd St., New York 36, N.Y.
      The dedication says, "I would like to dedicate this book to Robin Hood, the most miserable man in all history. You'd be miserable too, if you had a "Little John." The poems in the book are varied.
      In the forword (by Jack Backward) he wrote. Our purpose for compiling "Poems For The John" is to glorify that tiny cubicle to which man, affluent or humble, must inevitably go. And if we succeed in some small way in spotlighting the role of the "John" -- why that's real "George."
    • Dear John, oh, how I hate to write, Dear John, but I must let you know tonight...(no, no, no, this is to John Loose, not the song sung by Loretta Lynn and Ernest Tubb). Hi, John, this is from the Texas lady whose mother-in-law is named Honey Pot. I now know how she got the name. Her deceased husband was reading the Snuffy Smith cartoon in the comics section. Snuffy Smith referred to his wife as Honey Pot. My father-in-law thought that was nifty and tagged my moth-in-law Honey Pot, and it stuck. All family calls her that.
      I ordered a music box this past week: a moose sitting in an outhouse, moon on the door, little bird on top of the outhouse, and it plays, "Don't Fence Me In". Real cute. I also bought a gourd today that is dried. I will take it to my neighbor and let her paint it like it is an OH. I think it will turn out cute. Probably will go in our guest bath which has pictures, replicas, music boxes, etc. of OH on the walls, cabinet. Here's to you from a lady outhouser. Sandy
    • Have you seen the ceramic or porcelain Santa that is sitting in an outhouse reading a paper? The door is open so you can see Santa reading a newspaper (I think>).
      It also has an electric cord so can be used for a night light during Christmas season for getting up at night. Cute!
      I haven't seen all of your pages but will check it out fully when I have more time for 'fun'. sandibeach
    • i have not seen a three seater in a coons age nothing like sitting down conducting your business with your buddies with some stogies and passing the toilet paper back and forth, these young fellows with their flush toilets, i don't get it. anyone know any three seaters in the east coast? please let me know. hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee quit throwin dem rocks at mee ! Ernest T. Bass
    • Hi there, some where I copied this page to check out!! What a gas, I was flushed by the time I finished. I have a small collection of outhouses also, even down to the sign on the bathroom door from 1941 that says "This here is the Bathroom". We grew up with this on the bath door and inherited it. I also have some fancy pictures of outhouses on the wall and one I painted several years ago. There are several chamber pots on the shelf and a wooden house with the sears catalog I made to go in there on the floor, a two holer!! In my car I even have a old metal child's potty which is my catch all. The other night when my grandsons were here from TN we found this page, I got thinking this would be a great link to add to your page!! What do you think??? I love to find humor in everything, makes life easier. Marge in rainy FL
    • [Curator's Comment: This one really takes the cake! I don't know if it is true but anything can happen, I guess]
      A friend of mine visiting Mexico had the opportunity to observe a rural outhouse. This particular facility was designed with an opening at the rear below the seat level. When anyone entered the structure, a flock of squealing local pigs would stampede the building from the rear and begin leaping at the derriere of the occupant in their efforts to obtain fresh treats. Isn't that a lovely image?? Needless to say, my friend, an anal retentive by nature, never had the nerve to use the premises.
    • Just read all the comments from COMMENT PAGE. I particularly enjoyed all the talk about the honey pot. As I type, I am visiting my mother-in-law---age 82. The name we all call her is HONEY POT. She is sleeping rat now, but I will inquire how family started calling her this. E. Texas OH lady--Sandy
    • I thought you might be interested in including a link to a whimsical science-fiction short story I wrote awhile back. Imagine! Visitors from another galaxy wanting to fetch an old outhouse for their Earth artifacts museum. Hope you enjoy it.
    • Probably the most interesting outhouse in this area in the two (2) story outhouse attached to a historical hotel in San Juan Bautista, California. It was constructed for ladies upstairs that need to use the facilities [so they] whould not have to pass through the bar downstairs. Submitted by Peter Young grnberet@redshift.com
    • Thanks for the trivia on outhouses! I'm a scriptwriter/producer in Wisconsin and you gave me a great intro for my video. Thanks. Pam
    • Do you know where we could find out how to build an outhouse? We've looked in the internet but have only been able to find pictures and history about the outhouses, but not necessarily how to build one that will work.
      We have many people at our home here on occasion in New Hampshire and we only have a well, so we need an outhouse, especially in the summer to save our water.
      If you have any information and would like to help, please send us what you have.
    • Hi John (you're probably sick of getting Dear Johns ), Very interesting page. I remember one of my neighbors having an outhouse and they really had to use it. I was just a kid, but I still remember that "fragrance"! I signed your guest book and will add a link to your page.
      My site is kind of a mixture. I am involved in Textile graphics (supervisor in CAD dept.), I have an aircraft repair page for my brother-in-law's business and quite an extensive links page. It has a lot of links to what I have found surfing the web. I actually have gone to these sites and not "ripped off" someone else's lists. I've also got a virtual art gallery. I think it has possibilities but it's hard to get people involved and get the traffic necessary to have a real good page. But I'm going to keep on trying. I enjoy making changes (just recently went to frames) and finding new and interesting places. Stop on by for a visit. Karl "kman" Kristiansen
    • Yes that's right- I'm a Tennessee girl that not only can surf the net - but I still use an outhouse! Before I play into the fable that all Tennessean mountain folk are barefooted & backwards - let me explain. I have acquired the family "cabin" - it has been in the family over 100 years. It is constructed of the logs made from where the site was cleared - and is located right along the mountain creek that is used not only for inner-tubing, fishing & swimming- but also bathing. Brrr- a VERY cold bath indeed! We did install electricity last year (the first thing I did was add a microwave next to the wood burning stove!). But....the water is pulled up from a well right outside the back door and the "call of nature" is via outhouse. This outhouse has been in the same general location for all 100 years. The path has two forks - when one hole gets full - the new one is dug on the other path. This "flip-flop" has been going on & on with a new "enclosure" built when needed. Our outhouse looks similar to most of the pictures featured on your site - it is an extra large one-seater (my dad & grandfather were very tall men and built the outhouse to fit the needs of their knees).
      The outhouse is called "Seldom Inn" and the hand carved sign announcing the name has hung there for at least four generations that we can prove. When I took over I "spruced" it up with a lime bag container (the scoop is almost a century old itself), a new broom (necessary for cricket removal - talk about a "special feeling" on your rear-end if the crickets jump!), and a comfortable smooth toilet seat. However - I did leave my grandfather's toilet paper holder: he had chained three holders together vertically - the "first choice" was toilet paper - the "second choice" was corn still on the cob - the "last choice" was a set of rough, dry empty cobs. And...yes, you are most correct in that the majority of "night business" was and still is via chamber pot. The term for that device was coined by my great great grandfather - we have always called it the Thunder Jug. No matter where you slept in the cabin - if someone used the pot (especially after fried fish & beans!)it would sound like thunder in the night! I take my family to this cabin at least two weekends a month - but the only rule I've enforced is that, unless below freezing, all "thundering" is taken to the outhouse and the thunder jug remains for less "offensive" actions.
      Enjoyed your site! Debbi C from Tennessee
    • Howdy! Just finished looking at your website on outhouses! Found it when looking for something else, so thought I'd check it out. I was surprised that you had a 2 story one. There is another, very nice well kept one in Belle Plain, Minnesota. I thought I had info on it, but must have tossed it. It is at a local museum there. the town isn't very big and when we found it, the town folk thought it was pretty said that the town was known for it's 2 story outhouse! But there isn't really anything else there! I do have a picture of it somewhere around here! Thanks, I really enjoyed your page! Nikki
    • Outhouse names: As a child our outhouse was known as the "Sears booth" or some times refered to as the "Gas chamber".
    • As a child I use to play at a friends house. This particular friend had 11 brothers and sisters. One day we were playing by the out house when the urge hit me, so in the out house I went. This particular out house was a two holer, so I perched myself over the small hole and proceeded to do my duty.
      It was at this time that my friend decided as long as I was doing my duty that he would also. So he crawled up on the big hole after dropping his pants and as he was turnig around to sit his hand slipped off of the edge, thats whem disaster struck. Down through the hole he went, and was in the dodo up to his neck. Me being a youngster and having no idea what to do I jerked up my pants and made a run to the house. Luck would have it that his father just drove in(after a few hours at the local watering hole). After much screeming and bawling I finaly got the story out that one of his kids had fallen into the dodo in the out house.
      Well the chileds father stagered out to the out house, and in no particular hurry opened the door and looked down the hole and to my horror he stuck his foot down the hole and shoved the kids head down into the dodo. In a panic I started shouting "what are you doing?" My friends father turned to me and said,"it is much easier to make a new one than to clean the old one off".
    • Thanks for a great site with lots of grins. I'll add it to my links page on Livestock World (www.pitchfork.com).
      My grandmother had a cabin in Northern California near Occidental with no electricity or running water (circa 1955-60). She cooked on the wood stove and it also gave whatever heat was necessary to get you out of bed in the morning.
      Going to the outhouse was scary since it was down a narrow path, out of sight.
      Since nobody liked to take me after dark, the 'bear story' was created (they still don't admit it wasn't true) and at the first hint of sound off down the path to do my evening, before bed, potty. I doubt if there were even bear in the county, but to a kid with a vivid imagination, it was well worth the trouble to go before dark!
      Thanks for all the time you have invested in your site. It's a kick. Donna dhigg@mind.net
    • I just found your outhouse web page. Wonderful! I was born in Minnesota in 1950 and spent a good part of my pre-six years using an outhouse. My family lived in a very small (pop. was under 1400) farming village and the only running water in the house was for the kitchen sink. Heat was with oil stoves located in the dinning and living rooms, with regsisters in the ceilings to get the heat upstairs. Brrrrrrrr! Anyway, we had an outhouse until about 1960. It was our main facility until 1956 when we had a bathroom installed in the house. What a great day! The outhouse was then used only when the new toilet was busy. I have to admit that I don't miss the old wooden building (or the smell) but it makes for good stories. I haven't run into many people my age, and certainly not younger, who have had much experience in this area. Porta-potties, yes, but not a real outhouse. I guess those of us who have depended on the outhouse on a daily basis are a dying breed in this country. Sad, but I'm not going to work for outhouses return. I must admit that I thoroughly love my two spaceous, indoor bathrooms. Porcelain Rules! Thanks for the memories.
      Reid Woolery Gainesville, FL
    • Was trying different names during a search and BANG "Outhouse" brought up your URL. Wonderful. Have saved the pictures and use them occasionally, in budget presentations to my company, to "Spice" up a rather dull subject. When I was growing up, early 50's, my Father and I would spend our summers at a lake in Litchfield, Maine. The Outhouse we used was a 2 seater but the unique part was the Icehouse, next to the Outhouse, we used as a "Cabin" for several seasons. Even after the family acquired a "Cabin" we still used the Outhouse. Eventually, the land and cabin was sold, with the outhouse. Ah, the joys of childhood. Keep the faith! jvtrask@worldnet.att.net
    • Do you have any jpeg's of an outhouse that you can send me. Need them for some party invitations that I am making and can't find pics our even an outhouse to photograph. [Requests for things like this come in often - Curator]
    • Enjoyed your site, but It seems there is still the open question of why the crescent moon on the doors after 1820+. Some theories in the notes, but I would think it is your dooty to doo this research and dump it on the web page! [It's a mystery, isn't it!]
    • I enjoyed looking at your shiter in Yellow Stone Park. It looked like place for a little heat. If I was going to shit in the middle of the woods this would be the shiter for me.
    • I enjoyed your outhouse " stuff". I do not have access to internet at home--only at work. However, I am interested in corresponding, via snail mail, with others who are outhouse enthusiasts to share findings: postcards, books, jokes, pictures, etc. Snail mail: Sandy J. Bledsoe, RR 2 Box 446, Tatum, TX 75691-9410
    • Hello, my name is Tom Birdsey and I was just surfing the web and came across your page. It seems interesting. I am very interested in Toilet/Outhouse Trivia and overall stuff. If you may, I would be interested in learning all the trivia you could give me. I could use it to pass time while at work. Anything you could send me or refer me to would be great.
    • I really enjoyed reading all the stories and your site is great. I have been looking for the outhouse site for some time. I just think outhouses are the neatest things to look at that is. I don't like using them per say. I have the greatest picture hanging on my bathroom wall. It is a mirror in the middle with a border of outhouses of the US the frame is neat and I just love it. On an adjacent wall are two smaller pictures of outhouses. The bathroom is a good place for pictures of outhouses don't you think so???? Thanx again for the entertainment. Judy
    • Hi! Just a note to let you know about a relatively new outhouse alive and well and fully functioning in Fennville, MI. My aunt has a farm there that she uses as a weekend/summer place, and a couple of summers ago, we had an "outhouse raising" during a large family get together. Everyone pitched in, and the entire structure was completed in about a day. In fact, I found your site while surfing for outhouse images for a '97 family reunion souvenir I'm working on! And now I know way more about the "necessary" buildings than I ever imagined. Thanks! Jennifer Leick
    • When I was growing up my grandparents always called it the Grey Room after the color it was painted. Also known to my neighbors as the Hopper. Richard Crumlich richard_crumlich@seacove.net
    • My wife's family in Missouri, during the late '50's and early '60's, had an indoor toilet of enameled metal that they called the "thunder bucket", and no matter how fast you lifted the lid before you sat down, you still saw the leavings of the other family members. They also called it "sitting on the throne". Thanknfully, I saved her from all that.
    • Hi! My name is Jennifer Outhouse. No that is not a joke. Growing up with that last name, I have seen many different kinds of pictures of outhouses. I must let you know that I am very impressed with your site. My family has a historical society and I will have to make sure that I let them know about this site. I enjoyed it very much. Thank you.
    • [Regarding the Hatchery Outhouse] I just wanted to tell you that this picture is absolutely gorgeous! I have an interest in old outhouses and am always looking for a new picture that catches my attention to hang in my apartment.
    • I got a kick out of your site!! Always had a peculiar interest in outhouses ever since my earlier days in LeMars, Iowa. Not many left in that area now. However, I did locate a number in northern Michigan and even imported one of the neat ones back to my house IN THE SUBURB OF DEARBORN HEIGHTS, MICHIGAN. The only outdoor privy in the city---altho I doubt if many other people are holding their breath looking for one. Would you be interested in a picture of it? bit of an interesting story behind this little single-holer. Give me a shout if you could use it and I'll scan the photo. Keep up the "good work".!!
      Ed Bedell [Look for this on on the site in the future]
    • hi john, my name is mike and i'm a student at Thomas College in Waterville, Maine. right around the couner from you.i found your site while doing some research for a marketing paper. we invenetd a automated toilet seat and i was looking for some lighthearted pics for the cover of the presentation.
      i've spent some time up in gorham and concord fishing and hiking. some beautiful country up there. nice to see a fellow yankee doing good in n.h. i keep telling my freinds that their are good jobs in n.e. and that they don't have to go the high pressure route to find the good jobs.hang in there:)
      by the way, i am a computer sceince major here at Thomas. a fresham at 33, never to late to have some fun. gotta go, talk to you later mike [English is not the major! The thought is what counts!]
    • Take it from a guy who couldn't wait to get to school in the winter, I enjoyed your tour. I hope to get a shot of a solid concrete shitter in Archie Mo. when I go that way in a week or so. and will try to pass it along. I travel eight states and they are always good to see along lifes hiway.
    • hi...neat site!
      ...i've been interested in outhouses most of my life and wanted to share with you--rather, wanted to let you know about my favorite one and why it is...
      ...just east of arches national park is moab utah and between them is a most beautifully scenic road (#128) heading up along the colorado river to I-70; as you drive north along it, not far from it's beginning east of arches park right along the river, you come to the rough road (turn right) to Fisher Towers (a fantastic rock formation)...follow the road as far as it goes which is a picnic area, within which is located this wonderous outhouse...
      ...enter it
      ...close the door
      ...stand (or sit, whatever) there for about 5 minutes and then exit
      ...everything you see will be RED!
      (that is unless they've changed the roof of the outhouse which is green fiberglass which is transluscent letting much light in--the way our eye balls work, when they experience this GREEN GREEN for long enough, upon entering the regular light of the sun you will see the compliment of green which is RED)
      well, that's it folks...an experience it isn't easy to surpass in my opinion--at least where outhouses are concerned. vi
    • Dear John'
      Thanks for theadvice to use "plain" lime in our privy. It help "sweeten" it but does nothing to break down stuff. For this we have been using treatment meant for septic systems. Since septic systems depend on anarobic bacteria this stuff works poorly if at all. "Diggin' and buryin' is all that's left."
      In the reading rack on the back of the door of our facilities we have a paperback entitled, "Stories for the John." I don't remember the name of the author. When we open the cottage for the summer, on or about Memorial Day, I'll check it out for you. It is not one of Chick Sales books!
    • Howdy, The wife and I bought one of them there HTLM editors. It almost kicked the stuffings out of us but after a few weeks she did finish here half of our Website. Well just tonight I uploaded a few of my pages (still got a ways to go). Hope you don't mind the link to your Outhouses. It ranks as one of the better sites I've found. Our URL is www.rio.com/~shoch/
      Thanks, Bob [Thank you for the compliment!]
    • When I was a child, I was told the reason for the half moon is in honor of the Devil himself, it is a satanist symbol that is on every satanist church. check it out, its true. It is the symbol used by the satanist church. In other words, satans kindom is a bunch of _ _ _ _. R. Close
    • My wife wondered, when she was a child visiting her Grandfather in the country, why he had magazines to read in the out house, but no toilet paper. She knows now. Love your page. Sent it to all my friends and family.
    • Please, Please, Please! Post some plan(s) for building outhouse(s) ......Let's build some more of an American cultural icon! [Build a 3 foot high rectangular box; cut one or two round 10" holes in top; build small wooden enclosure large enough to stand up in around box just built; install door & cut moon or other astrological symbol out near roof; dig hole; put structure over hole; watch what happens!]
    • Your Oshkosh Outhouses bring back a funny family history story. I have two uncles who went to the show one year and had to use the facility. The first uncle dropped a very expensive pair of glasses in. Not willing to give these glasses as an "offering" he had the second uncle stake out the special facility while the first when to the first aide tent and borrowed surgical instruments inwhich to fish out the glasses.
      While the first uncle was gone to find "tools" the second uncle stood in line for the special outhouse to mark the spot. Many people commented on how courteous he was, that he would get to the front of the line and then graciously move to the back again.
      Well, the glasses were recovered (and sterilized) and worn to this day. However, I can't thinking of Oshkosh whenever I see this uncle. Thanks for the memories.
    • I've enjoyed your tour. Those new fangled outhouses shur are grate! The durn't even smell! --Michael Burkley
      p.s.: On a more serious note...Back during the Depression there was a series of small books printed entitled something like "The Little Blue Books." They were full of interesting stories, some new, some classic. One book I laughed at very much was about a man who built outhouses for a living. In the book he gets all the way to the White House and meets Pres. Th. Roosevelt. It was a riot. Unfortunately, I don't remember the title of the book, just that it was part of that series. A library would probably be able to track it down for you. I read it as a child in my grandparents basement (where the set had been consigned to a shelf, and now, alas, long gone to the trash. --MB
    • Hi, just wanted to tell you i enjoyed your homepage. I'm afraid I didn't get a third of the enjoyment I would have, though, as I am on an antique Mac with black and white monitor. I haven't quite figured out how to load RealAudio, and am not sure the old Mac could take the excitement! Anyway, thanks for the entertainment. Maybe one day I'll get the full scope of the homepage. sincerely, bev.
    • What a hoot. I got a kick out of the outhouses, but I was also a little disappointed. As I was viewing each one I came up with the idea of using one of them as my wallpaper at work. Unfortunately none of them gave me that old fasioned, weathered, crescent moon in the door, look that I was hoping to find. To truly express my idea of where to put my files, I need an outhouse that can invoke gagging and aroma (smellavision). I realize from your site that you are trying to keep it clean, but if you ever come across anything like my description could you please post it? Thanks for the inspiration; Justin Goodman
    • I think you did a great job on this web site. I have seen everthing now, and now I could die and see the Lord Jesus Christ. Keep up the great work.
    • sweet pics! Love the two story one!
    • Got a kick out of a few out houses. Guess people collect almost anything. Enjoy your hobby--everyone should. Thanks for the tour.
    • Thanks for a most enjoyable site!
    • Just a note to let you know about one of the most unique Outhouses I've had the pleasure to use!
      These Outhouses are located at Umbagog Lake in Errol, NH. Jim & Caroline Willard are friends of mine, and they have operated a Wilderness Camping Area for many years. This is a unique Campground which offers Wilderness Camping for those who like to rough it and rub elbows with nature. They have many campsites located around the lake and on islands in the lake. They are all very isolated from one another and are only reachable by water transportation. There are bathroom facilities on each site which Jim refers to as 'OUTS'. Jim takes great delight, in response to campers who havn't been there before..,"Where are the bathroom facilities?". He will, with a twinkle in his eye respond.."We have OUTS!" He then, after enjoying the puzzled expression, explains that they are Outhouses without the House! Each site is equipped with a 55 gallon plastic barrel cut in half, sunk in the ground, with a standard seat top. They are located in back of the sites usually behind clumps of trees or shrubs, which offer privacy. Who needs a Sears & Roebuck Catalog or Old Farmers Almanac when, while performing Nature's Call, nature can be observed in a very intimate and unique way!
    • What a great page. May I add my 2ó worth. Probably no truth to this but I remember from my youth the story that because the Sears catalogs only came twice a year; Spring/Summer & Fall/Winter issues; at times there were shortages of these "striking" materials. At these times, the ever abundant corn cobs were pressed into service. As I recall the story, there were always two boxes of these cobs. One box of the common red cob and another box of the less plentiful white cob. The idea was to use a red cob; then a white cob to see if another red cob was needed. ckreyn.home@juno.com
    • I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed your site about the outhouse tour. I have long been a fan of outhouses, and thought that you might be interested in the following address, as it is well worth the membership fee for all the humor and collectibles that can be obtained:
      Outhouse Preservation Society
      P. O. Box 25067
      Halifax, NS B3M 4H4
      [If anyone cares to join, there's the address!] this is basically a group that is headed by Sherman Hines, who has published several outhouse calendars over the past several years. Allen Pollock
    • I like your articles!!!!
    • My Grandmother used to say the only problem with outside facilities was in the winter they were too far away and in the summer they were too close!
    • I'm 44 now. I got in on the tail end of outhouses; I still have a couple memories. I remember as a small child 5 or 6 going to the outhouse and having a snake slither across the floor while I was most vulnerable....I hate snakes....this one was fairly harmless but I guess the term....scared the .... out of me applies!
      There always seemed to be bees nests near these things. More than once I left the area in a hurry. When I was in my teens I worked at a Campsite in central Wisconsin and one of my jobs was cleaning toilets including many outhouses. The smell, there is something about the smell that does nothing for me!! I enjoyed my time traveling through you site. We have come a long way. Next time you come to EAA be sure to stop by the WOSH broadcast trailer and say Hi. My name is Rob Jones. I only work for the station parttime but usually I am out there doing the Sunday morning show from EAA. We are always looking for people to interview. Your website would provide some entertaining conversation for those of us who remember oh so well those unique structures. Best wishes! Roger (Rob) Jones.
    • [Comment on the exloding outhouse] If it's winter and you are wearing your long handles, it would be a good idea to "keep your trap shut". Is this what you are looking for? Norris Randall
    • What is going on here? Have we all lost our senses? I mean, what ever happened to good all American Sex to stimulate life? Do we now have to look at pictures of out houses to find more meaning in our lives. Well, ok so long as some guy doesn't try to preach to me on Sunday that this is the way life ought to be. It's the 90's and I guess its whatever floats your boat. I thuoght I'de seen it all to now. Good site. Maybe not supposed to be funny but I guess we all find humor in what we see our own way.
    • Here in Colorado Springs is a company that rents these usefull little buildings. The owners Corvett has the license plate " POTTYMAN". The next time I see him I'll tell him about this wonderfull web site.
    • What a joy your "tour" was... even to "Kilroy" peeking over the wall at the end.. I find it ironic your name (I assume you, the photographer, is also the editor of this fabulous web site) is "loose" - no pun intended!
      My husband took me off to the south after we married in 1951. He was in the USMC and we rented a two-room, two-lightbulb, two-seater in a very small town away from the base. I was a "city" girl so needless to say, my introduction" to this rugged but peaceful way of life was quite an experience. This web site has brought many wonderful memories of the way we lived during that time; the wonderful southern "family" who adopted us and how I really learned the meaning of "country living at its finest".
      My only regret is that my husband cannot enjoy all of this deja vu via the wonderful new world of technology - I lost him to cancer in '90 - but I promise, I am working hard to see all of this wonderful world thru his eyes along with my own - thanks to folks like you.
      I loved all the pics, especially the black/while and the "outhouse lineup" outside the motel and the "lineup" in Oskosh.... They're all great - I even set "what a view" on my desktop for a smile a day.
      Keep up the great work, it truly gives an old "surfin gramma" a grand day to be thankful for and a reminder of "happy times". Best always. M
    • I lived with an outhouse for many years as a youngster. Had a big Bay type window. Great place read, be alone and do your duty. ie, been there. I don't have any photos, so my memorys are recalled rather vicariously. Will
    • I have an outhouse in active use on Skaneatles Lake near Syracuse, N.Y. where there are many others. When the lake became a watersupply for Syracuse in the early 1900's the city agreed to place buckets in all the outhouses around the watershed in order to cut down on pollution to the lake, and then had the honeybucket man come around every week with new buckets. Well, the process goes on today with an inability to put in septic systems due to the steep slopes and poor drainage, so there are many beautiful and expensive cottages from the late 1800s and early 1900s, still using the outhouses. There is also a honeyboat that picks up from those cottages only accessable from water. Paul Zajaceskowski, Syracuse, n y
    • You haven't seen anything yet until you've enjoyed the view of Katchamak Bay from Yuell Kilcher's homestead outhouse near Homer, Alaska. If he's still alive, call him and he'll probably send you color movies, vintage 1944, of the view.
    • Other names include: out back, Mr. Friendly, Aunt Nellie's, the crapper, the woodpile (but then you were required to bring back an armload of firewood), the rosebush (but then you had to bring in a bouquet of flowers), the garden - for a pea, etc., etc.
    • Our family has had several outhouses in the past. The only one in current use is the one at our summer cottage on Long Island, Maine. At all of them we used chlorinated lime to help digest the material and to keep the order a bit more mellow. According to the local hardware store owner, Chlorinated lime is no longer sold because it is so dangerous and not Environmentally Correct. I have not been able to find any kind of substitute. Any suggestions. [Read the story about the Earth Closet in the Trivia Section of the tour] Phil Moody pmoody@worldnet.att.net
    • On working two-holers, mount a loudspeaker under the seats and wait for someone to enter. After they're settled, say "would you move to the next hole lady (mister), we're painting down here".
    • Hi There, Have you ever heard of this site, listed on the national Register of Historic Places for the US? It is an outhouse near Albany, New York, that is on the property of Andy's Front Hall Records and the Bottom Forty Recording Studio. The owners actually got their outhouse listed as a historic site, though a little clever paperwork.
      I don't recall the owner's name (AHA! It comes to me: The owners were Bill and Andy (Andrea, I believe) Spence.), as it has been more than 20 years since I've seen him, but he was at that time the hammered dulcimer player for the Fennig's All Star String Band, who were the musicians that did the theme music for the PBS show Crockett's Victory Garden.
      I like the spirit of the page/collection
    • My best friend when I was growing up in East Texas was & is named Tomy Outhouse. As you can imagine this caused a lot of heads to turn when he introduced himself to people. He took a lot of ribbing from people. His friends did not seem to pay much attention to the unusual name. The most unusual part is that his wife's name is "Mini Outhouse". Their daughter was 1996 1st runner up Miss Texas. Her name is Staci Outhouse.
      Tomy was a good athlete in high school and it was interesting to here how sports announcers would pronounce his name at ball games. Your hobby is interesting to say the least.
      [as far a names go] I always heard my older relatives refer to them as the "Little house behind the house!"
      My mother collected salt & pepper shakers, one set is an outhouse set. Do you know what the value might be to an Outhouse collector? [No idea!] Regards, Larry Bartram
    • I love this outhouse series as I want to put an outhouse on our 60 acres...any ideas???
    • Kinda made me homesick for the mts. We use to have to kick the sides of the old outhouses to make sure the rattlesnakes would move out before we went in, then you kicked the seat to make the rats scurry down so you could sit down. The two seaters allowed for company, and the kind without doors were best in the summer, so a cooling breeze could wipe the sweat from your brow as you concentrated. Ahhhh memories.
    • I bought, and now live on a turn-of-the-century farm. The fancy outhouse just sits there, being in the way. Thanks to your work, I now have a museum-quality piece of true Americana!
    • i found your page listed in YIL and if it's all right with you, i'm listing it as a place to visit on my page of amusing and necessary stuff. maybe some day i'll tell you about my first (and only) experience with an outhouse! thanks a lot! helen
    • [Curator Comment-this is Pumper Bill's second comment. Take a look a little farther down for an interesting comment from him!] Did you know that the correct term for a person who pumps toilets is SHIT SHARK? I wasn't aware of it until a friend sent me an excerpt from the book HOW TO SHIT IN THE WOODS. Sure enough - there it was So, from that day on, I knew who (what?) I was - it was the end of a long period in my career when I had an idenity crisis. However, I noticed that my volunteer daily helpers usually didn't really like it - maybe because that made them a SHIT SHARK TEMP.
      So, 'though it settled my mind a bit, I found it still better to address myself as "PUMPER BILL" every one was more comfortable, it seemed. /// Now I have a Nephew, who just started working for a newly formed local company providing Porta-jons to the Roaring Fork Valley. Nothing ever happens twice - so I wonder what nick name(s) he will acquire? He formerly owned a restaurant , and worked as a construction caterer, and cook. So his most commonly used nickname to date has been "COOKIE". So it will be interesting to see.
      Love your page. Uncle Bill; Billy; Pumper Bill; K-20; K-57
      Maybe sometime you would like to here the story of how I came to be called Uncle Bill - dropped it - and then had to re-instate it to avoid a nick name I couldn't stand.............BILL
    • Thank you for an enjoyable hour spent viewing your outhouse photos and the appropriate comments etc. Keep up the good work as I will return to read the rest of the exit comments.
      La Donna Hopkins, Columbia, SC
    • I just received my first issue of "Yahoo! Internet LIfe" and was scanning through the pages when lo and behold! I read about your page. I'll have you know that yours was THE FIRST page I visited when I got online. What a hoot! THoroughly bizarre and interesting! Wasn't sure I was going to like the magazine, but now that I can find this kind of stuff there, I think I'll keep getting it. Thanks for brightening my otherwise boring, uneventful day! By the way, where have you flown to in Michigan and Pennsylvania? I currently live in MI (near Selfridge AFB, north of Detroit) but was born in PA. Just curious!!
    • ah such fly memories...
      I random picked a photo and got a Porta Potty line up (Oshkosh?). I dont think Portapotties should be included, or at least put in a separate category. Same function perhaps but an outhouse is made of wood. [Curator's Comment: They are included because I feel they are the modern day replacement for an outhouse and I tried to include past to present]
      A honey pot is a big jar with a funnel in it. You put some "honey" from the outhouse in it, put the funnel on. The flies go in, but cant get out again. A primitive flycatching system used near the kitchen at a summer camp I attended, which had outhouses. Honey pots probably wouldn't be legal these days, where kids and food are involved. This is obviously one of the most organic sites on the web. Congratulations!
    • Do you think it would be possible to build one my self? It looks really neat and would be a great joke! ~ urdime@aol.com [Contact G. Scholz, 1343 W. 4th St., Hastings, MN 55033 and pay him well! I just checked www.switchboard.com and it could be the following person: Scholz, Greg 1108 Forest Hills Cir, Nisswa, MN 56468-9552 If you find out, send mail to the Curator and I'll correct this address.]
    • My father, who was born in 1910 in Southern Illinois, loved to tell the story of the "honey dippers" - those guys who had the job of emptying the outhouses within their small town of Christopher, Illinois. Given the size of the families, they probably had to empty them at least twice a year. When when the open wagon passed by, my father and his brothers would throw some sizeable rocks in hopes of splashing the contents of the wagon on those humble public servants.
      Don't know if this was the imaginings of an old timer, but I do know that those little towns had outhouses well into the 1950s even if they were falling into disrepair.
    • You're deff. right when you say only in America. Love the site. Will deff. tell friends and family about it. We're big outhouse fans!!!
    • Looking for the name of man who wrote book on outhouse humor. Prior to 1930. Reply Jack j5407576@themall.net [I replied that it sounded like Chic Sales and he replied back...]
      I have been trying to remember this name for over ten years. It slipped my mind and it has been bugging me all this time. You hit the nail on the head. It was Chick Sales. Thank you. Jack Jack Morrison
    • Nomination for your outhouse selection:
      Crag Camp outhouse at Crag Camp maintained by The Randolph Mountain Club on Mt. Adams in the White Mountain National Forest of New Hampshire. The whole affair sits out over King Ravine, and the view is spectacular as the substance drop is more than half a mile. Sorry, I have no picture. Some friends and I used to go up there by snowshoe for a New Years Eve party when I was in college at Brown in the 50's. Roger Smith r.smith@ix.netcom.com [Seems like someone else told me about this one too]
    • Years ago, my mother always called it the biffy.
      In recent years, I was traveling with her and we paused at a roadside stop. They had the standard issue port-a-pots. My mother said that she had never gone in a refrigerator before!
    • I spent about 14 years pumping toilets in the campgrounds of the WHITE RIVER NATIONAL FOREST - IN COLORADO. As you can imagine, outhouses have a special meaning to me - neat site!!
      Since you seem interested, I'll share a story (joke): one windy day pumping a 1,000 gal vault, my helper's jacket blew right off a nearby bush where she had placed it, and into the i/2 full vault. I was surprised to see her run to the truck for the hook and hoe we used for removing trash from the vaults. I asked her if she really thought it was worth retrieving the jacket - after all it was quite dirty (an understatment!)
      Bill Jeffries - alias PUMPER BILL.
    • My daughter recently purchased a home in Vermont complete with a 2-holer. She was trapped inside for what seemed like hours by a giant raccoon. Have you thought of including some interior pictures? Some people have never seen the inside of one and might be curious. [I didn't think there would be much of a call to see a few holes cut through the wood! Curator]
    • Dear Sir, As a reporter for an Atlanta television station, I once did a story for NBC on the owner of a "Job Johnnie" company. He claimed to have the unknown economic indicator --- the "toilet factor!" When the economy was in the toilet for him -- life was flush! He had figured out that under OSHA regulations there has to be one Job Johnnie for so many employees at a construction site. And he translated that into about one Job Johnnie for every 20-thousand-dollars worth of construction. Since a contractor had to order his Job Johnnies before beginning work on a new site, my friend can estimate how good the economy will be in the future for the region. You might say he has the poop on everyone. (You might say that -- because my station would not allow me to say poop on the air.) Oh well. I saw your web site and thought I would pass that along. By the way when I arrived to meet this entrepreneur, he was reading Trump's book "The Art of the Deal." Don Hatcher
    • good idea. Brings back some good memories!!! Spiders and all.
    • Also another name for the privy is commissary.
    • Dear Outhouse Curator,
      I reached your site thru an Excite search for an answer to the question: Why is there a crescent moon on the door of outhouses?
      I will follow up other leads, but I have my own theory. Here goes, it's very simple. Next time you're sitting on the pot, look down into the water and you will see a reflection of a crescent moon formed by the edge of the seat and your bottom. What do you think? Jim Wangerin
    • Even though I am only 47, I well remember using an outhouse up to the time I was a teen. One time I accidentally dropped a flashlight down the hole and watched it slowly sink still burning. Years later watching the advertisements of the Duracell 'Bunny', I was rather amused to think.wow...... what if they did an excavation on that sight and the light was still burning. What an advertisement that would make.......or would it! <:)
      I am a member of a vintage 1825 Baptist Church in Nash Co. NC. Your site reminded me that its old outhouse still exists even though I never remember it being used in my lifetime and probably well before it. It is still in good shape though. It is unlike those I've seen in your site as it is a 5-holer with different size holes and also has a row of ancient looking chairs that churches used to have many years ago. The weather and time has been rather hard on them though.
    • [more names] The Ol' Shack; Captin Crunch; Dump Truck; Crab House
    • I enjoyed your collection but, what I look for in an outhouse is rusticity. Where are the weathered boards, the half-moon cut out of the door, the roof in slight disrepair. These are the elite of outhouses, suitable for the rockerfellers or for the trumps...What about outhouses for the common man. Am I going to have to spend a day or so driving through West Virginia photographing outhouses in order for you to have a more typical selection. Remember, rustic can also be picturesque! Best Wishes Dave Rogers drog@erols.com
    • Greetings J.; I found this page on Yahoo picks of week...very intertaining....brings back lot's of memories(I'm only 52 but have been in an outhouse or dozen in my day!)We actually had one in the early 50's back in Waterbury Ct. I thouroughly enjoyed the 'Oran' link you provided J. (Don't know what your 1st Name is) My father told me this story many many years ago; it seems apropos for this site:
      Two men are in a two-holer and as one of them was pulling his pants up some change fell into the muck below, well the other fellow watches him pull out his wallet and casually drop a $20 down where the change had fallen....stunned by this action, he asked what in the world did he do that for!!! The guy replies "Well you surely didn't think I'd go down there for 35 cents did you??!!"
      Hope that provides a chuckle for you J., as well as any who may read this posting..... Warm Regards, Dennis Piche' piche@bridge.net Miami,Fl
    • I have an Uncle who had an outhouse on his property, a fairly large piece of ground he referred to has the farm. It one time it was an actual working farm located in Greenville, Mo. near the bootheel in Southern Missouri. This uncle was a bit of a prude. He always referred to it as The Little House. "I gotta go to The Little House" he'd say. Years later it was very hard for me not to snicker every time Little House On The Prairie came on television. I think this site is great. Thomas Crapper would surely be proud. Mike Schleicher mschleic@swbell.net
    • [other names] the necessary; the reading room; the throne; summerhouse ... some are men and some are women's
    • I'm deprived. My wardrobe is incomplete without that tie. It would be a true statement of my opinion of certain social occasions that my wife feels that must be attended;as church socials, teacher conferences, weddings, funerals, babtisms, and Walmart sales.
    • First time visitor to your site. Have now moved my computer to in front of the toilet in my bathroom and whenever I'm constipated, I click on the Exploding Toilet and, sacre bleu!, it works every time! Aaaaaaaa...
    • This site is a total crock!!!!!! Great job!!!!!
    • In about 1925, my mother was working for a bank in LA,CA. ON their lunch break the tellers would sit aroung and read a book titled "The Three Holer." I haven"t read it but you can bet it will be the next book I do read. Hope you can find it. Boopers
    • I read recently that there was definitely a story or reason behind the different cut outs on the doors of outhouses. I didn't see that trivia on the tour. Any ideas? Thanks, Marcia Patout [Have to keep something to the imagination!]
    • [Sometimes comments like these seem to make the world a smaller place to live in...]
      Dear John, Greetings from a Singaporean (A dot on the map in South East Asia).
      I had not been able to convince my wife to come to USA for a holiday. She read so much about the crime rate that she feels its unsafe to go there. I want to come after hearing often from my friends who had the opportunity to stay in your country for longer then holidays, how beautiful it is and of friendly people that they had met.
      Seeing your Outhouse Tour is probably the best introduction I can ever get to actually being able to visualise what my friends are saying. Honest! If a people is civilised enough to put toilet paper in some way out outhouse or considerate enough to build a outhouse to blend in with the surroundings at some mountain side or lake, than in my mind these are people I would like to meet.
      HOWEVER... I don't think I can convince my wife yet. So, please continue to do what you are doing and maybe paste pictures around your main attractions (the outhouses) showing what USA is besides what Hollywood is showing the world. With warmest regards and Thanks.
      Levi Chan levichan@mbox2.singnet.com.sg
    • I am trying to find out what Reverend Henry Moule invented. I have found something about an earth closet. Can you elaborate on that? I would be very grateful for an answer. Wayne Collins [If you know, send the answer to me and to waynec@voyager.co.nz]
    • I love your outhouse tour. However, some of the pictures make me jealous, since the outhouse at my NYS Adirondack mountain camp looks pale (pail?) by comparison. If you want to see my outhouse, which is approximately 100 yards up our mountain at a 40 degree climb from the horizontal (great in winter!), it is located in my slideshow page at: http://www.concentric.net/~infactix/phoindex.shtml
      once there, click on the menu entry called... "now you know". Keep up the good work. Frank Ralbovsky [Thanks Frank]
    • I once tipped over an outhouse (me and two other guys) on halloween with someone in it. Boy did the person holler, then while trying to get out you know where that person stepped---right! Good thing we ran fast.
    • John ---- The brick one in our town. Belongs to a neighbor. Will take photo but will be a while to get developed. Also there is a grand one up in little town called Georgetown, Colo. It is a 6 holer---3 on one side for family and the other 3 for the servants. Its really neat. MaselJ@aol.com
    • A few years ago, A young man restored an outhouse at the lighthouse on St. Helena's Island, in the Macinaw Straits, as his successful eagle project. This scout was one of the many in Troop 4, Ann Arbor, Mi, whose eagle projects were done at the restoration of this lighthouse.
    • In New Zealand, we refer to the outhouse as a 'long drop' or a 'thunder box'. This is particularly appropriate when the facility is out in the wilds ('bush' in local parlance) and part of a trampers' hut. The long drop is sometimes cantilevered out over a long drop in the mountains. This is not a problem as that is invariably in very remote areas (at least a day's hard tramp/hike from any vehicular access). I can think of one in particular which is close by the Tarn Ridge hut at about 5,000 feet in the Tararua mountain range, just north of our capital Wellington. It certainly is not as grand as your mountain one in Colorado but has a fabulous view. As there is no window, it is necessary to leave the dooor open when inside and this has the added advantage of allowing you to plan your next day's route. The disadvantage is of course that you are rarely encouraged to spend much time there, even if you have taken care to chip the ice off the seat before use.
      In Australia (and here in New Zealand to a lesser extent) the outhouse is referred to as a dunny, short for dunnakin. The derivation of this is listed as obscure, perhaps related to 'dung.' In the Scottish dialect a dunny is a cellar or a basement. Charles Lloyd, lloyd@ihug.co.nz
    • [Outhouse Names] All I can remember was "biffy" [Curator Comment - My Aunt used to call it that!]
    • Just thought you might be interested for the trivia section...
      In 1967, Canada centennial year...the Village of Bowsman, Manitoba celebrated the installation on the civic water and sewer system by gathering all the towns outhouses in a pile and having a huge bonfire....
    • Good Morning,, LOLOLOL,,, I loved the Outhouses . I am of the age that grew up with real outhouses,, and can remember when indoor toilets would not have been tolerated by my granparents,, ( they could not visualize a flush toilet,) Thanks again for an enjoyalble visit Bill Sanders mailto:bsanders@theozarks.com
      Home Page : http://www.theozarks.com
    • I work for the telephone company, here in San Diego, and we have a few company switching offices, out in the far eastern sections of the county, that do not have running water. Some of them have, or had, bathroom facilities that are a bit different. These are electric outhouses, where you went in, put a funnel shaped paper bag in the bottom of the toilet, and then took care of business. When finished, you stood up, and stepped on a lever mounted on the base of the bowl. This opened the inside of the bowl, allowing the paper bag to drop into the base of the unit. The lever action also started an electric heating element. The waste was then incinerated. The whole unit was constructed in such a manner that you could actually be sitting on the pot, doing your business, while the unit was taking care of the last persons business. However, courtesy flushes were not advised at this point. It usually led to a new understanding to the term "Hot Seat".
      I'm not sure if any of the units are still out there, or functioning, but if they are, I will try to get you a picture to add to your collection.
      I found your site via the "Yahoo pick of the week", and I think it's great. I'm passing the address along to a bunch of my friends and family. I think they will get a real kick out of seeing it, plus, you might even get some additional input, so to speak. Rick Mark e-mail: grumpy3@pacbell.net
    • Red Brick Sh-- House. As in "She was built like a Red Brick Sh-- House." circa 1950-60.
      Your Pal............. Uncle Al (tkp)
      PS....... I have only scrolled down far enough to answer this Question, and already I'm short of breath from laughing so hard...
    • being from Canada outhouses are known as "b_cosse which is "back house" prnounced with a french accent .. Cool Eh?
    • My father always told me "I have to go see a man about a horse".
    • outhouse synonyms: Kybo, crapper, shithouse, john, shitter--[Sorry for the language but these are valid comments by] Peter Saulesleja - moose@aracnet.net - Otherwise known as Pete.
    • When i used the outhouse that you show on your tour (which is really cool by the way) i was suffering from altitude sickness after having just ridden my bicycle (slowly) up to the summit of mt evans. i really do not remember much of it though because i was so badly in oxygen debt (ah the memories). thanks.
      rick jacobsen
    • I really enjoyed seeing the outhouses. We own a house built in 1869 in Central City, Colo. I have wanted to build an out house and replace it on the original site. My hubby says my NEXT hubby will do that for me. The out houses up here are not allowed to be torn down as they are considered 'historic'. Everyone justs ignores them until the finally fall down and can be hauled away. That is why id like one---paint it like the house (which has 7 colors on it) , and possibly start a 'fad' for them again. (Of course, it wud be used as a shed for tools only.) Everyone thinks I am crazy, of course. MASELinCO@aol.com
    • I don't understand your pique at that view from your hotel. After all, you see alot of Johns at most hotels! Enjoyed your tour. Thanks. Howard Levinger
    • Your ties are from the " After Dark " screen savers of the flying toilets. It's a neat screensaver complete with sound. You may also change the characters sitting from dupin dan to elsie the cow. It's great. definetly a must see for you.
    • Although I,m sure you are correct as to the two hole theory, I must tell you the outhouse my grandfather built had two holes for a different purpose. One was for sitting and one was for standing. One hole had a lid and the other didn't. Although our old house had indoor plumbing my grandfather would always use the outhouse. We kept it until he passed away. I still miss them both.

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