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Date Range From
1946
Date Range To
1950
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD, METAL, ASPHALT
Catalogue Number
P20150006000
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1946
Date Range To
1950
Materials
WOOD, METAL, ASPHALT
No. Pieces
1
Height
249
Length
160
Width
162
Description
BUILDING WITH SQUARE FOOTPRINT AND PEAKED ROOF. WALLS AND DOOR MADE OF WOODEN SLATS, PAINTED GREEN AND WHITE. DOOR AND BACK WALL HAVE CIRCULAR PATTERN OF HOLES DRILLED THROUGH THE WOOD, AND DOOR HAS TWO THIN PIECES OF WOOD CRISSCROSSING OVER TOP HALF. DOOR IS HUNG ON METAL HINGES, HAS A METAL HANDLE AND HAS A HASP LOCK. A LENGTH OF 2X4 IS SCREWED ON BOTH WIDTHWISE SIDES OF THE STRUCTURE, AT APPROXIMATELY 1/3 OF THE HEIGHT LEVEL. ROOF IS ASPHALT SHINGLE. STRUCTURE IS EMPTY INSIDE EXCEPT FOR A WOODEN HORIZONTAL SHELF FIXED TO THE BACK WALL, AT APPROXIMATELY WAIST HEIGHT. SHELF HAS TWO OVAL-SHAPED HOLES CUT THROUGH IT. OVERALL WOOD AND PAINT ARE WEATHERED; AREAS OF LOSS THROUGHOUT. SHINGLES ARE BRITTLE. FAIR CONDITION.
Subjects
BUILDING
Historical Association
DOMESTIC
History
THIS OUTHOUSE WAS RETREIVED FROM THE NORTHSIDE HOME OF DONOR DARLENE MCLEAN AND HER HUSBAND MARTIN DIXON IN JANUARY 2015 BY GALT COLLECTIONS STAFF. MCLEAN HAD PURCHASED THE BUILDING FROM THE RESIDENTS OF 712 18TH STREET NORTH APPROXIMATELY 10 YEARS PRIOR AND MOVED IT TO HER HOME, BECAUSE SHE RECOGNIZED ITS AGE AND WANTED TO PRESERVE IT AS ONE OF THE LAST REMAINING OUTHOUSE BUILDINGS IN NORTH LETHBRIDGE. RESEARCH INTO THE ORIGINAL BUILDER/OWNER OF THE OUTHOUSE (AND LARGER PROPERTY ON WHICH IT SAT) DEMONSTRATED THAT THE UNDEVELOPED LAND WAS ORIGINALLY OWNED BY THE ALBERTA RAILWAY AND IRRIGATION COMPANY IN 1888, AND WENT THROUGH A SUCCESSION OF OWNERS UNTIL 1924, WHEN IT WAS PURCHASED BY THE CITY OF LETHBRIDGE. A LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLE FROM FEBRUARY 14, 1946 MENTIONS A HOME BUILDING PERMIT GRANTED TO DAVID CLAUSEN FOR 712 18TH STREET NORTH. IN THE 1948 EDITION OF THE HENDERSON’S DIRECTORY, HOWEVER, CLAUSEN IS LISTED AS LIVING AT 707 16TH STREET NORTH, AND WILFRED AND GERALDINE LARSON ARE LISTED AS THE RESIDENTS OF 712 18TH STREET NORTH. A PURCHASE AGREEMENT PROVIDED BY THE LARSON’S SON RICK SHOWS THAT THE LARSONS PURCHASED THE PROPERTY FROM LETHBRIDGE MAYOR J.A. JARDINE IN MAY 1947. RESEARCH INTO WATER AND WASTE WATER SERVICES IN NORTH LETHBRIDGE PRODUCED A HERALD ARTICLE FROM MAY 11, 1948 WHICH QUOTES THE CITY MANAGER AS SAYING THAT THE CITY WOULD NOT GET “A FOOT OF SEWER PIPE UNTIL NEXT FALL”. A DRAWING TITLED “PLAN OF SANITARY SEWERS”, DATED JANUARY 1950, WAS SOURCED FROM ADAM CAMPBELL, WASTE WATER ENGINEER WITH THE CITY OF LETHBRIDGE, AND SHOWS DIAGRAMS FOR THE INSTALLATION OF A SEWER PIPE IN THE 700 BLOCK OF 18TH STREET NORTH. THEREFORE, IT IS LIKELY THAT THE OUTHOUSE WAS BUILT AS PART OF DAVID CLAUSEN’S RESIDENTIAL BUILDING PERMIT IN 1946, AS THE PROPERTY WAS NOT SERVICED WITH WASTE WATER DISPOSAL AT THAT TIME. GIVEN THAT THE LARSONS PURCHASED THE PROPERTY IN 1947, IT IS ALSO LIKELY THAT THEY USED THE OUTHOUSE FOR THE FIRST THREE YEARS OF THEIR RESIDENCE THERE, UNTIL THEIR STREET HAD ITS SEWER SYSTEM INSTALLED IN 1950. THE LARSONS RESIDED IN THE HOME UNTIL 1959, WHEN THEY MOVED AND RENTED THE PROPERTY OUT UNTIL IT WAS SOLD IN 2004. ON JANUARY 30, 2015 COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED THE DONOR, DARLENE MCLEAN, ABOUT HOW THE OUTHOUSE CAME INTO HER POSSESSION. MCLEAN SAID: “I’VE ALWAYS BEEN AN ALLEY WALKER [BECAUSE] YOU SEE WHERE THE GREENHOUSES ARE, AND WHERE THE OUTHOUSES ARE – THOSE OLD KINDS OF BUILDINGS – AND THE OLD CHICKEN COOPS… IF YOU GO DOWN THE ALLEYS YOU SEE MORE OF THE HISTORY THAN IF YOU JUST STICK TO THE FRONT… I HAD ALWAYS KEPT MY EYE [ON THIS OUTHOUSE], AND THEN WHEN THE FAMILY WAS SELLING THE HOUSE, I APPROACHED [THE LARSON] SONS, WHO WERE RENOVATING THE PLACE AND GETTING IT READY TO SELL… THEY SAID “WELL, IT REALLY BELONGS WITH THE HOUSE.” AND THEY’RE RIGHT, [BUT] NEW PEOPLE COME ALONG AND THEY’VE GOT DIFFERENT IDEAS… THE NEW PEOPLE ARE A YOUNG COUPLE, AND I KNEW [THE OUTHOUSE’S] DAYS WERE NUMBERED BECAUSE THEY ARE GOING TO WANT TO TEAR IT DOWN TO BUILD A GARAGE. SO I APPROACHED THEM AND BOUGHT IT FROM THEM… I JUST ASKED NEIGHBOURS TO HELP ME MOVE IT [AND WE] PUT WOOD ON EITHER SIDE, MADE IT LIKE A RICKSHAW… BECAUSE IT WEIGHS A LOT… [WITH] HANDLES ON EITHER SIDE, WE HAD SIX PEOPLE LOAD IT UP INTO MY TRUCK, AND I DROVE IT [HOME]… [I WANTED] TO RESTORE IT AS A GARDEN SHED, BECAUSE THERE ARE STILL SOME [OTHER OUTHOUSES] ON 5TH AVENUE [NORTH] THAT HAVE BEEN CONVERTED INTO SHEDS… [BUT] I COULDN’T REALLY FIT IT RIGHT INTO MY PROPERTY SO THAT IT WAS GOING TO GET THE SUN ALL DAY, AND IT WAS GOING TO GET GOOD DRAINAGE, AND IT WASN’T JUST GOING TO BE IN A SHADY SPOT THAT WOULD TURN IT INTO ROT… [FOR ME] IT’S JUST NOSTALGIA… HERE ON THE NORTH SIDE, WITHIN THE THREE OR FOUR BLOCKS IT TOOK ME TO WALK TO SCHOOL [IN THE LATE 1950S AND EARLY 1960S]… THERE WERE THE DIFFERENT NATIONALITIES THAT HAD THEIR CHICKENS [AND] THEIR OUTHOUSES, AND THERE WERE SOME PEOPLE WHO DIDN’T WANT TO USE THE INDOOR PLUMBING, SO [THE OUTHOUSES] WERE STILL IN PLACE AND DIDN’T SEEM TO BE OUT OF SERVICE TO ME.” ON APRIL 15, 2015 COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED RICK LARSON, SON OF WILFRED AND GERALDINE LARSON. RICK LARSON SAID: “I THINK [THE OUTHOUSE] WAS PROBABLY THERE BEFORE, WHEN MY PARENTS MOVED IN [IN 1947], AND THEN WHEN I WAS BORN [IN 1950], IT WAS THERE… I DON’T REMEMBER USING IT [BUT] IT WAS ALWAYS ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE [OF THE BACKYARD]… THAT’S WHERE THE GARDEN WAS, AND THE DIRT WAS AROUND THE OUTHOUSE. AND I REMEMBER IN THAT AREA, THERE WERE A LOT OF FROGS, AND WE’D COLLECT THEM AND THROW THEM IN A BUCKET… MY DAD, I REMEMBER HIM PUTTING TOOLS IN THERE, FOR THE GARDEN… IT’S REALLY AMAZING THAT IT WASN’T TORN DOWN BECAUSE IT WAS JUST REALLY TAKING UP SPACE. IT WASN’T REALLY BEING USED FOR ANYTHING… IT JUST SURVIVED BECAUSE IT WASN’T DOING ANY HARM.” ON APRIL 17, 2015 COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED LOUIS LARSON, BROTHER OF WILFRED LARSON. LOUIS LARSON SAID: “I KNEW THE PLACE, THE HOUSE [WILFRED] LIVED IN, IN NORTH LETHBRIDGE. I VISITED HIM SEVERAL TIMES WHEN THEY LIVED THERE, WHEN HE WAS WORKING FOR THE CN [RAIL COMPANY]. HE WAS A BRAKEMAN AND HAD JUST GOT STARTED WHEN THEY LIVED THERE. IT WAS PRETTY HARD TIMES FOR THEM; HE GOT OUT OF THE SERVICE AND HAD A HARD TIME GETTING A JOB… I THINK THE NORTH DIDN’T HAVE SEWER AND WATER THERE FOR A WHILE… I KNOW [THE OUTHOUSE] WAS THERE WHEN THEY LIVED THERE, AND I’M NOT POSITIVE WHETHER THEY USED IT OR NOT… THE TOILET HAD A BENCH IN THERE, AND THERE WAS ONE BIG HOLE AND PROBABLY A SMALLER HOLE FOR KIDS.” SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS AND COPIES OF RELEVANT LAND TITLES, PROPERTY OWNERSHIP DOCUMENTS, HENDERSON DIRECTORY RESULTS, WILFRED LARSON’S OBITUARY, AND THE PLAN OF SANITARY SEWERS DRAWING FROM CITY OF LETHBRIDGE WASTE WATER MANAGEMENT.
Catalogue Number
P20150006000
Acquisition Date
2015-01
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail