Welcome to the Outhouses of America Tour Website

Outhouse Comments

This is probably the most entertaining and informative part of the Outhouses of America Tour! You would not believe some of the comments that have come in over the years...and they are from all over the world! Beware: It might take a while to go through all of them so the best way to approach these pages is to read a little now and then come back from time to time to read more. Have fun!

Outhouse Comments from 2004 - Present
Outhouse Comments from 2001 - 2003
Outhouse Comments from 1996 - 2000

    Outhouse Comments from 2001 - 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.
    Enter the Outhouses of America on line store here...
  • 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!]
    Enter the Outhouses of America on line store here...
  • 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.]
    Enter the Outhouses of America on line store here...
  • 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]
    Enter the Outhouses of America on line store here...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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.

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Copyright © 1996-2013 All Rights Reserved

The Outhouses of America Tour was created on Thanksgiving Day
Thursday November 28, 1996!