Privys were often located near the edge of a lot, close to the service areas of the house, and were filled in when the house gained additional bathrooms, or the age of hiring help had passed. To find one today, look for a depression in the soil in likely areas, and try sinking a thin, long, rod of metal down into the center - the dirt will typically feel loose, and sometimes you'll hear a grinding as it hits glass or debris (privys were used for all kinds of "waste"). I really only know what a friend and the internet has told me about this, but our depression met all of the criteria, and I found an antique rasp in the first six inches, so my hopes were high. After digging four feet down however, it was sadly concluded that we were digging out an ancient rotted out tree (and if anyone reminds me that many privys were wood lined I'll cry). After digging that far down it seemed a shame to just fill it back up, so we grabbed an empty Gatorade bottle, and put a note (see title) inside, and filled her back up. I hope I'm long gone before anyone digs that up. I fear their wrath . . .
Happily, we're done de-nailing the beams and framing lumber - which, paired with clearing out the footprint, means we're ready for tree removal and the foundation. Next week should bring visible progress, done by someone other than yours truly . . . I'm thinking I need a lounge chair and a cold drink to enjoy the experience.
|Something of interest seems to be|
living under our wood pile