1985 - Volume #9, Issue #6, Page #18[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Two story outhouse
The outhouse is attached to a large house that was originally built without the outhouse in 1871. In 1886, a family with 11 kids ù mostly daughters ù bought the house and added the 2-story privy. The outhouse is constructed from the same materials as the house: stone foundation, lath plaster walls, and glass windows which can be opened. It has 3 seats up, 3 down and a ventilator shaft running from the pit below up to the roof. The upstairs seats are offset so that upstairs "plumbing" can run behind the downstairs seats.
"Six people could use the outhouse at once if they were all real friendly,"
Henrietta Stiles of the Belle Plain Historical Society told FARM SHOW, noting that the outhouse can be reached from the house through a covered walkway, a nice feature during cold Minnesota winters. Unlike most outhouses, it had a deep enough pit so that it never had to be moved during the more than 80 years in which it was used.
The house itself was lived in until the mid 1970's and never had an indoor toilet. It has been refurbished to represent three periods of early rural midwestern life. Guided tours through both the house and outhouse cost $1.00.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, H. Stiles, Belle Plaine Historical Society, 330 S. Willow, Belle Plaine, Minn. 56011 (ph 612 873-4433).
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