View Full Version : Outhouses

June Pelo
12-01-05, 21:48
Recently someone sent me pictures of the outhouse race in Trenary, MI and I sent it on to a cousin who still has her villa near Sideby. She said:

These pictures would fit perfectly into the world of summer houses in Sideby (or everywhere else), where we all have a neat little creation across the road from the villa. I have one too, but have been radical and installed modern facilities in the villa a long time ago. Too scary in August when I am there alone and it is dark and the weather is wet or stormy, to run across the road into the black woods at other times than daytime. But the creation still sits there. One of the few that does not have a lock on it. So it is still
being used by whoever has the urge when they are walking along the road. The Kilen museum and camping place is nearby, so there are always tourists in June and July, and even some in August. One time I had forgotten to put paper in it when I left for USA, and next summer I found that somebody had used part of my nice humorous pictures that I had thumbtacked on the wall. So better provide the user with proper toilet paper (in Finland during the war we used newspapers!) or put a lock on the door. But so far t is okay the way it is. I even use it myself sometimes, just to reminisce. A type they sometimes create in Finland is from an old discarded BOAT. Just saw off 1/3 of it, and stand it up. And bingo, you have walls and roof. Remains only to create the "potty" and some kind of door. Neat idea! Some new villa-people North of me used just a sturdy pole between two trees to sit on. But after a few summers they purchased a very elegant pre-made construction.
Mother and I experienced our first indoor toilet when my parents divorced and we moved into a small attic apartment. It still had to be heated with fires in the stove or the living room tiny fireplace; must have been quite a task to always cart the firewood up those very steep stairs. And for water there was a tap in the kitchen wall and something under it to catch the drip. But it was INDOOR WATER and we loved it. The toilet was installed into a small closet off the living room. It always leaked but we did not know that it
was supposed not to, and were very happy with it.
The old versions of toilets had a tank above, and a string to pull to flush. Mother had that type when she had retired and moved to Nykarleby. Eddie came over for a visit. Eddie slept on the couch in the living room. He wanted to behave perfect in every way and really had a dilemma the first night when he had to use the toilet and did not know how to flush. So he climbed up on the stool and manually released the tank up above for flushing. There is a solution for everything.
When we first had to layover in Teheran, the country was still very primitive. We had to go to a room where there was a hole in the floor and that was it. Some urns with water nearby, to pour to flush. Okay. One time my roommate was an American girl, and we flew a long trek to Hong Kong and back, with layovers in Karachi, Istambul etc. She commented on the adventure to figure out all these different flushing mechanisms in different countries. Also, many times, we were not able to use the water for a bath or shower,
without calling for help and advice. (My cousin was an airline attendant for Delta - so traveled mostly the international routes.)


14-01-05, 15:40

You should get quite a few replies to this one I think, so I will start them off. You reminded me of my childhood in Australia and holidays on Kangaroo Island with my aunt on her farm. The toilet there was WAY down the back of the garden/paddock and was a hole in a wooden bench sort of covering which all led to a seemingly never ending bottomless pit. No flushing facilities whatsoever and I often had visions of falling down the hole. Believe it or not, that wasn`t the worst part. - I was absolutely petrified of snakes and venemous spiders (still am) and was always afraid I would be confronted by one or the other when nature called.

That did actually happen at our own smaller farm home a year or so later. Although the outhouse was only a few yards away from the house I did venture upon my mother attacking with a broom, a snake that had curled itself around the doorway. It hadn`t entered Mum`s head that it could just as easily curl itself around the broom handle apparently. I was really thankful when we moved to the suburbs of Adelaide and modern conveniences indoors.

:eek: :eek: :eek: :(

14-01-05, 17:47
Traveling as a teacher with students in Moscow in the 70's we met up with a lot of substandard indoor plumbing. One elegant hotel, which had divided each cherrywood paneled salon into 4 or 5 cells to each hold 4 hotel guests, had drainage pipes under bathroom basins set in extra wide holes in the floor, so upstairs guests were "privy" to downstairs guests' activities. One kid came to breakfast wet on head and shoulders. The toilet tank leaked dramatically, so when he flushed it, he also got his morning shower!