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New Deal for outhouses

Reader Input
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The recent letter regarding outhouses (“Outhouses the way to go,” Reader Input, March 11), brought back memories. I grew up on a farm in eastern Colorado with the usual path to the outhouse. Some time during the ’30s one of the New Deal projects was building “sanitary outhouses” for farms. They had a concrete floor and stool with a conventional seat and lid. The theory was that if you used toilet paper instead of a catalog and put certain chemicals in them on a regular basis they would be odor-free and all the waste would drain away. My father was a firm believer that if FDR said it, it was gospel. He had our “sanitary outhouse” put in the L between one of the bedrooms and the kitchen. He cut a door between the bedroom and the outhouse. Through the winter it worked well. It was cold but convenient. When summer came, things changed. Summer in eastern Colorado can be very hot. The claim of odor-free was not quite true and the outhouse was soon moved to the end of a long path. Daddy lost his faith in “sanitary outhouses” but never in FDR. Cleona Duncan, Newcastle