Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Outhouse Tipping

Yes, I know this topic is worthless without pictures :) Hopefully I will take a couple of photos this week to add to this post.

Usually, tipping an outhouse is considered to be a teenage prank. However, we "tipped" ours last night quite on purpose -- and what a chore it was!

As I've mentioned before, one of the "to-do" projects on our list is doing some major work on our bathroom, as the floor is rotting out and causing problems with the toilet. (Such is the upkeep of a very ancient house). We need to rip out part of the floor and re-do it. In the meantime, we will "need a place to go", as we only have one bathroom in our large house.

Our outhouse has been there as long as I can remember, and was even used daily up until the mid 1950s when the grandparents finally got indoor plumbing. It was used periodically after that, as we often lose power or water, etc; and it makes a great backup. But for the last 25 years or more, it sat mostly empty - storage for stuff, etc. The floor rotted out of it and it somewhat sank into the sandy loam. Grandpa had long since filled in the "potty hole" back when he was alive.

So we are trying to get the outhouse ready for our use during reconstruction. The roof is basically gone, but the walls are still intact. In order to begin work on this, we needed to move the privy from its sunken location and do repairs to the bottom boards.

First, it took several days to clear the area around it to give us working room; and clean years of stuff out of the inside. I'll admit I was very skeptical of Steven's plan as to how to engineer this move, but as usual he proved he is smarter than me :)

I have a small flatbed trailer (was a golfcart trailer for someone years ago) that is about six foot by eight foot. We aired up the tires on it and pushed it into position in front of the outhouse. Propped the tongue of the trailer way up so the tail of the trailer was on the ground at the shed. Then Steven and I pushed and shoved, and shoved and pushed (which was tricky, because the outhouse wanted to twist to the west) and "tipped" the outhouse right onto the trailer. Then we hooked the trailer up to my old truck, to "hold" it into position for now. Steven will try to work on repairing some of the boards and replacing the rotted ones, as it lies on this trailer.

Then, hopefully, we can place it in a new location and finish working on the inside of the privy, building a new seat area and getting it ready to use.

I will try to post photos of this process as we go along.

1 comment:

Queenacres said...

I love the pics. I agree with saving as much of the original as possible. Not only does it save money, but it tells a great story!