How do you get privy holes?
Follow a few rules, according to Terry Kovel:
- Do your research and look at old maps. Locate the logical spots for the old city privies.
- Go out and see the spot. Many times, it is now an open field.
- Find out who owns the land and get permission.
- Look for areas where the soil might be a different color.
- Dig in groups.
How do I find an old outhouse location?
There are several landmarks you can look for if the outhouse isn’t still standing. When at an old farm or homestead, look for a wood shed, as many privies were located nearby. Pathways, especially those lined with rocks, may very well lead to a pit.
What is a privy diver?
Privy digging is the process of locating and investigating the contents of defunct outhouse vaults. The purpose of privy digging is the salvage of antique bottles and everyday household artifacts from the past. Privy digging is a form of historical digging and is often conducted on private residential properties.
How far were outhouses from the house?
between 50 and 150 feet
A well-built outhouse usually had a vent along the roof to vent out the chamber and a pipe from the box through the ceiling to vent out the gases. To avoid the odor reaching the home, most outhouses were built between 50 and 150 feet from the main house, often facing away from the house.
What did a privy look like?
Regardless of its exterior materials, the standard privy featured an open pit 3 to 6 feet deep. The outhouse itself was usually a 3- to 4-foot rectangle about 7 feet tall. The number of holes in the seat bench inside the privy depended on the number of family members, as well as their ages.
How did outhouses get cleaned?
Most outhouses were cleaned periodically. On certain wash days, leftover soapy water was carried to the outhouse and used to scrub everything down. In addition, some outhouse owners kept a bag of lime with a tin can in the outhouse, and occasionally dumped some down the holes to control the odor.