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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-09-2006, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Georgia Woman Collects Outhouses

Found this article on Yahoo moments ago. Let me just say "ewwww!"

I've heard lots of stories from one of my grandmas about the days when they had to keep a "slop bucket" (if you have to ask, you don't want to know) under their bed during the winter when it was too cold to venture outside in the middle of the night just to use the biffy. And, of course, they made great use of the Sears & Roebuck catalogs in the outhouse too. The thing that floors me the most is that my mom, who is only 57 years old, spent the first 5 or 6 years of her life without an indoor toilet. She even went to an elementary school that had an outhouse.

I can certainly relate to the desire to collect old vintage items from days gone by - I find myself loving some of the old country things too. But outhouses - no way!

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Ga. Woman Collects Outhouses for Backyard Mon May 8, 11:11 PM ET

They once were a rural American staple, a necessity for daily life. Today, outhouses are mostly gone — but not if you wander into Janie Peel's backyard. "This is my newest one," she said, gesturing toward a vintage double-seater that was moved in its entirety to her farm.

"It took three men to lift it," she said. "But if we hadn't, it would have been torn down."

Outhouses have always fascinated Peel, an east-Georgia commercial real estate broker who now collects them.

"I can't stand to see old buildings torn down," she said. "But the one thing I can usually rescue without losing friends is the outhouses."

Before plumbing became standard in country homes, outhouses were state-of-the-art facilities.

"Some of them might be 100 years old," Peel said. "But there's no way to know for sure."

Her favorite is an ancient two-holer with a tin roof and crude cedar posts for corners. The rusted metal on one side is peppered with shotgun pellets — just where the occupants would have been sitting.

Peel isn't sure whether the circular pattern of tiny holes is the result of vandalism, assault or perhaps someone's innovative idea to improve ventilation.

"It has a lot of character," she said. "You have to wonder about the conversations that might have taken place in there."

Another is fashioned from hand-hewn pine.

"Notice how the holes are different? Some of them have square holes; this one has hexagonal ones."

Regardless of design, they all reflect the simplicity of yesteryear.

When they were in use, the privies sat atop deep holes that served as makeshift septic tanks. Peel's examples are just for display.

"I saw them a lot when I was growing up in Texas," she said. "As a Campfire Girl, I can even remember using them a few times."

Today, she has three behind her home, with room for a dozen more.

"I've identified two others, but I'm still trying to get permission to get them," she said.

"I've even got one in Texas promised to me, but I'm not sure how I'll get it here."
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-09-2006, 05:30 PM
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Your post reminded me of this photograph that I took years ago, in Edmonson county Kentucky. This is an old outhouse, that is just sitting by the side of the road at Davis Ferry road. No one that lives in that area remembers why it is there. No buildings, no homes.....just an outhouse, with the doorway facing the road. Who knows?

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-09-2006, 06:23 PM
 
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I second the "ewwww..."
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-09-2006, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikePageKY
:doorway facing the road.
That's hilarious!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-09-2006, 06:41 PM
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Oh yeah? Watch this:

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