My outhouse has a history :)

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Vera, Oct 31, 2004.

  1. Vera

    Vera Well-Known Member

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    I was just outside raking the backyard... a woman with a camera came down the hill across the neighbor's field, stopped at the fence and asked if I minded her taking a picture of my outhouse... I said I don't mind at all, go ahead! Turns out she grew up here back in the 40s/50s, and she told me how her mother always put lime in the outhouse and how she scrubbed it down good all the time, and how she (the daughter) and her siblings ran there barefoot through the snow in the winter time when they had to go, LOL! Another tidbit of history was that her mother once lost 3 $20 bills in the outhouse and her father held her by the ankles while she fished the money back out :D
    She's from one of the old, old families here and married into another one, so her roots run pretty deep, I guess, even if she's lived in Missouri for a long time now. She asked for my name and said she'd like to send me some stories of this town and the people that she's written - that'll be so cool!! I love history, and even more so when it's about my little paradise here.

    She only had a few minutes to visit... when she left, I said I don't know if it matters, but this place is loved dearly. She said it's very good to know that - her mother loved it too :) The house itself burned down in '79, so it's not the same as the one she grew up in, but the outhouse and the ground are the same... me, I just like knowing that the place was loved before I got it... maybe that's where the good vibes come from :cool:
     
  2. bumpus

    bumpus Well-Known Member

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    Their might be a little history.

    But the old stuff on the bottom, and the new stuff on top, are all the same.
    It's all just one big smelly dung pile. :eek:

    The real value was taken out
    when the little girl fished out the 3 - $20.00 bills. :haha:

    You got a one or a fancy two wholer and a quarter moon cut
    out in the top of the door.
    Is it lined with the old news paper from the past.
    Or have you updated it with the latest news papers to keep out the cold. :D
     

  3. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Vera, that is really neat. I love knowing history, especially of things that impact me personally (even an outhouse LOL).
     
  4. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    A couple of the oldsters around here used to come by and tell me the history of this place. Including the location of the other wells. ! :eek: Apparently, I have a couple of wells aside from the one up front, so I walk pretty carefully when out and about in order not to fall in them. !

    The best thing they told me, though, is this place was used to run sheep, huge herds of sheep, before everyone started dividing it up and selling it to each other.

    Half the people around here (the oldsters, at least) had apparently lived here at one time or another, and they'd tell me where their old houses were located. This is Indian Country, so the old houses were burned down before they put up new ones, if that makes any sense. And, no, it doesn't make any sense to me why they do/did that, but who am I? I will say, though, that I was relieved to find out it was normal doings to burn the houses down before putting up new ones, as I was getting pretty unnerved by all these oldsters coming by and saying "Oh yea, our house was there before they burned it down!"

    It's fun, isn't it, Vera, and so much better than living on some plain, anonymous plot of land with no history at all. :)
     
  5. TexasArtist

    TexasArtist Well-Known Member

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    YIKES :eek: Let's not borrow a $20. from that family :haha: :haha:
     
  6. palongrifle

    palongrifle Active Member

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    The reason older building were burn down was to eliminate a blind spot from anyone/thing sneaking up. If there were several sheep running loose and somebody build you a bunch of sneaky spots - you can bet that you, as a coyote, would be very thankful for allowing you to get close enough for a quick snack. A good reference of this is in the movie "Alamo". I'm guessing there are not many trees there?
     
  7. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

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    Vera, thats neat :D
    im glad it was a special thing happening to you that made your day :D
    only another true homesteader could see the value in an outhouse as aplace for memories, andn ot just like someone else said just a place to c;;p

    hope hunter and the others are doing good !
    look forward to seeing you again soon!
    Beth
     
  8. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Actually, we're fairly densely forested (at least the areas which haven't been cleared) and have some pretty steep hollows and ravines.

    But we're up to our ears in critters, probably because we have so many natural hidey-holes! :eek:

    In any case, thanks! That's the first explanation for burning the old places down which has ever made a bit of sense --- and it does make perfect sense. :)
     
  9. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

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    What a great story, Vera. I know you can tell when a place was loved at one time. My place is the same way. In the gargage in a pile of stuff was a love note written on a chunk of wood from "Snoz". All around the place were little bits of garden art that he had built for her and at one time the barn was obviously a very cared for structure, complete with running water and electricity that have ceased to be connected long ago. The gardens and trees are extensive for a country place with huge rhododendrons and carefully pruned fruit trees. This place had been a working homestead and the woman who lived here was deeply loved.

    Her husband died a dozen years ago and I got the place last year because she had gone blind and could not stay here any longer. The thermostats and washing machine have large red marks for her to see as her sight got worse. The barn was surrounded by huge mounds of blackberries and the pastures where overgrown with tangles of weeds in the fencing that was left. I can tell she did not want to leave either. I hope she knows also how much love is going back into her place again.
     
  10. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

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    I had to share this with you all - since this thread was about outhouses.

    We were talking with the kids one night over dinner about living very rural and outhouses and how if we moved out very rural, we might have one and what would grandma think(she's 81 and always in there and thinks were nuts for wanting to move out of our suburb). My 8yr old said "she'd sit there and wait for a miracle to happen". I found this funny as it was so innocent.

    Hope i don't offend, just thought this was cute. brural
     
  11. Chas in Me

    Chas in Me Well-Known Member

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    ""In any case, thanks! That's the first explanation for burning the old places down which has ever made a bit of sense --- and it does make perfect sense.""

    When families outgrew their houses, they burned the old one for the nails. Wood was cheap, but nails were very expensive. They would burn and then comb the ashes for the nails.
     
  12. RenieB

    RenieB Well-Known Member

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    When we first moved here there was an outhouse as the property of two camps and and an old gararge. Also we were without water we kept the outhouse after moving a mobile home on the property and we then had running water. For years that old outhouse came in handy when working outside and times when we lost power. However, when we built our log home the outhouse had to be taken down as it was in the way. I sure have missed that old building when we have lengthy power outages. Now the law in our town does not allow us to have outhouses so it was a mistake having that little place taken down. We also kept a bag of lime in that place and would shovel some in the two holes. We always kept old magazines in there for nice warm days when one wanted to rest for awhile. On cold snowy days it was a rush job. I had an elderly aunt who finally had indoor plumming and her toilet sat in a small closet off the kitchen. It was literally a closet and one could just barely fit in there. The wall was bare sheet rock for many years and we kids put a pencil in there and all of us would place our messages on the walls. It was fun each yearly visit to check out what had been written. It was a family history and jokes. We saw through the years how little one's penmanship had improved. It was a sad day when one of my aunts daughter wall papered those walls. Someday I should check with the people living there now and find out if they ever found our messages.

    RenieB