Toilets for two? Readers explain the phenomena of the double-seater outhouse.

I wrote this column for Thursday’s paper about a trip I took through Gary Richardson’s aunt and uncle’s estate in West Manchester Township.

During the tour — designed to lure the attention of ‘American Pickers’ — I found something peculiar.

An outhouse with two seats:

My mind — whenever possible — reverts to my favorite show, Sex and the City.

In one episode of this small screen masterpiece, Miranda finds unsightly marks in her boyfriend’s underwear while doing laundry. She described it as “the end of romance.”

That’s always been my phrase for things you don’t want your boyfriend to see, and vice versa.

For me, that’s all things occurring in and around the modern version of an outhouse, known formally as the toilet, The John or porcelain throne.

A two seater? I wondered.

What’s with that?

“My grandparents who lived up in Tyrone, Pa., used to have an outhouse. One was a big seat for adults. One was a little hole for children, so they wouldn’t fall in. I remember that outhouse so well,” said Brenda Becker, 68, of Dallastown.

She called in to answer my cries of  commode-related confusion.

Then, I got an email from Curry Smith of York about something amazing.

An outhouse with not two holes — BUT THREE.

Imagine that. A menage a toilet.

Smith recalled memories of his family’s hunting camp in Snow Shoe, Centre County.

“Each family had use of the cabin for a week during the summer,” he wrote. “This brought in many different people with varying size bottoms, so the outhouse had three different size holes.”

I love potty humor. I couldn’t resist giving him a ring.

The 62-year-old, a retired elementary school teacher from Southern York County School District, explained that this latrine was still in use.

But not for tandem use.

“I guess if three people wanted to go there at the same time, they could,” he said. “I prefer that I’m in there by myself.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Lauren Boyer

I'm a Business Reporter for the York Daily Record/Sunday News. I cover banking, investing and all sorts of manufacturing, from companies like Harley-Davidson to mom-and-pop operations. I don't go anywhere without my iPad or a large cup of coffee. Contact me with story ideas at 717-771-2062 or lboyer@ydr.com.
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2 Responses to Toilets for two? Readers explain the phenomena of the double-seater outhouse.

  1. henry mcgann says:

    the camp i belong to still has an outside 1 seater, when i was about 4,5 or 6 we lived in west fairvbiew and had a 2 seater.. very cold in the winter and about 20 or so yartds from the back door,,

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