Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bass Weaver's Outhouse

Salvaged parts
Gabe thinks it through

This tumble of old boards is really a 100 year old outhouse, built by Bass Weaver. The boards are hand split tamarack and the framing was pine round-wood, from limbs or small trees, not super straight.

Instead of letting the pile rot into the ground, Mike decided to salvage what he could and resurrect this amazingly durable piece of history for modern use.

Luke digs, Skip watches

The new hole was dug about four years ago when friend Luke Royes came down with his really small excavator. He was helping us remove a foot of of rock-hard pig/sheep/horse/cow manure that the previous residents had let build up in the barn. The outhouse hole was an after-thought, but I'm sure glad he was there since he dug up at least one 50 pound rock in the process.

Steve Arment showed me the square nails used in the original construction, which we used to help confirm the age of the building. The resiliency of those tamarack boards amazes me. Over 100 years old and still strong and purposeful.

New window

The framing was not as durable and much of it had to be replaced, along with the roof. Mike stayed true to the original design by making it a 2-holer. He added a hinged window for more light and air. 

The outhouse is fully functional now, sans door. Mike will add a dutch door soon. We plan to install a little plaque on the front, commemorating the centennial of the outhouse. The grass he planted in the disturbed area around the base is already sprouting and the structure looks right at home under a hackberry tree.  The views from the "throne" are beautiful. Hopefully it will still be standing in another 100 years.

Curious calves check out the new-old outhouse

From Sara at Magpie Ranch, home of Bunchgrass Beef