Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Meet Your Neighborly Outhouse Excavator

It never ceases to amaze me. Just when I think that I have heard all the possible ways people enlighten themselves, I get surprised again.

Case in point: an outhouse excavator.

Why would anyone do that? The answer came from Terry York of Wayland, a contractor by trade and an archeologist by hobby.

York explained to members of the Wayland Lowell Club on Tuesday evening how he started looking at indentations in the ground near the backdoors of old houses that he was hired to remodel. It made him think. He began doing some careful digging, and what he discovered was an assortment of stored treasures - namely, old bottles, pipes and yes, even a set of false teeth! Usually he had to dig quite a big hole until he couldn't fit down inside any further himself. Once he had worked over a site, he put the dirt and grass back just like new.

According to York, most older homes in town would have two, if not three places where outhouses were located no further than about thirty feet from the door for convenience sake in the winter obviously. Some people even shared one with the neighbor who's property butt up to theirs ( pardon the pun ).

York reads up on bottle collecting, and has made an extensive display of his choice finds.

The farmer who originally owned the land where we now live used several spots for throwing away items. On the surface there are broken glass bits and useless parts, so I asked York if he thought that I might find some treasures of my own. He suggested that in the springtime I take an old potato rake with me and begin going over and over the surface until I reach a lower layer.

A couple ladies in the Lowell Club offered their homes for York's next site, and when he starts his digging I would like to check on his progress.

Stay tuned!