«Previous    Next»
He Collects Outhouses
Huntington, Ind., is known for two things: the Dan Quayle museum and Hy Goldenberg's outhouse collection.
"People have called from as far away as Africa and England to interview me," says Goldenberg, who's been collecting out-houses for 30 years and has 13 different kinds, including a one-of-a-kind octagonal two-seater built entirely from concrete. It has "his" and "her" doors.
Goldenberg bought his first outhouse with the intention of using it. "About 30 years ago I built a house out in the woods away from civilization. A town close to me was going to be wiped out by a reservoir. It was a little town - maybe 20 houses - and they sold off all the buildings, including the outhouses."
He picked the "worst looking outhouse," and sent a man to pick it up. The man re-turned with the outhouse, plus another one that was in much better shape. When Goldenberg asked him why he brought the second one too, the man replied ębecause you picked the worst one and I thought you might change your mind about it."
"Well, when you have two of anything, you have a collection," says Goldenberg, who's been adding to his collection ever since.
According to Goldenberg, many early outhouses closely resembled the homes of their owners. "For example, one man with a brick home built his outhouse out of brick instead of the traditional wood."
Later on in the 1930's outhouses were constructed to promote more sanitary conditions. "The Works Progress Administration under President Roosevelt built out-houses to bring sanitation to the rural areas and to provide work. They were screened in at all the ventilation points to keep out yellow jackets and vermin."
His concrete octagonal "dual outhouse" was built by a railroad company. It has two separate doors and potties, allowing it to be used by both men and women. "It has a spring-loaded seat on a clay bowl that's attached to the concrete. It was placed along-side railroad tracks a few yards down from the station."
Goldenberg says he's learned a lot about outhouses just from people who know of his interest in them and send him newspaper clippings and other material about out-houses. He also has a large collection of miniature outhouses sold by gift shops.
"At one time there was a comedian named Chic Sale who traveled from town to town and gave a funny talk about out-houses," says Goldenberg. "He called him-self the ęSpecialist'".
Goldenberg doesn't plan to expand his outhouse collection. He says he'd like to see his outhouses go to a historical society or other group who could put them on display.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Hy Goldenberg, 3008 E. Stone Ledge Blvd., Huntington, Ind. 46750 (ph 219 356-5595).

  Click here to download page story appeared in.

  Click here to read entire issue

To read the rest of this story, download this issue below or click here to register with your account number.
Order the Issue Containing This Story
1996 - Volume #20, Issue #2