Outhouses on Sanborn maps?
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Thread: Outhouses on Sanborn maps?

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  1. #1
    us
    - Finding more junk than treasure -

    Mar 2010
    Black Hills, South Dakota
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    Arrow Outhouses on Sanborn maps?

    This might be a dumb question, but are outhouses sometimes labeled on Sanborn fire insurance maps? I came across a few maps (see attached) from 1903 and 1915 that show my house (labeled with a "D" for dwelling) as well as a structure of some sort off to the west on my property. I think the initial structure is too big to be an outhouse, but in the second map it appears to be added onto and I'm guessing perhaps this could have been an outhouse? I don't believe it is a poultry coop because those are usually labeled as such, and it wouldn't be a garage because of it's location. Curious for additional opinions on what this structure may have been? There are no foundations or evidence to the blind eye that suggest there was ever anything thing.
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  2. #2
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    Goldenplug

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    Only one way to find out
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  3. #3
    Charter Member
    us
    Feb 2015
    Oklahoma
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    Go probe that ground...
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  4. #4
    us
    - Finding more junk than treasure -

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    We've got snow on the ground right now (and I've got a bad case of "cabin fever"), otherwise I'm sure I'd be out there!

  5. #5
    us
    Apr 2008
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    The structures with the X is a stables building for horses. They sometimes got added onto for a feeding area and such. The newer the picture it was then turned into a garage or shed with no X on the building. In my experience the outhouses were generally not marked on the Sanborns. Although I have hit a few with the very small box area depicted on the maps. Coincidence? Maybe. In general though the areas listed on the Sanborn maps were for insurance purposes in case of fire. These buildings usually have a constant source of power/ heat/ lamps etc. Thus the fire insurance maps were made. The outhouses in general did not have a source of fire as a constant. With that said you will find lamp parts and glass all the time in privies. I do gravitate towards those building a lot because if you were working in the stables/ garages then the quickest toilet is right outside the door. Poke around there and see. My guess would be your privy on that map is straight out the back door on the property edge. Good luck. Jgas.

  6. #6
    us
    - Finding more junk than treasure -

    Mar 2010
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    Thank you for your input, jgas! It is always helpful to get some interpretation on these Sanborn maps. I've only been using them for about a year and sometimes I have trouble matching up what is on the maps to the map legends available online. I ordered a "privy probe" last night, so hopefully when the snow is gone here I can start trying to locate the original outhouse location(s).

  7. #7
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    Jim

    Sep 2010
    Hewitt N.J.
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    Really depends on the area for the Sanborn maps, many cities did have a 1X for outhouses, while towns often had the 1X for a stable as JGAS said. Many areas in more populated cities didn't always have direct access to the backyard because houses were often built side by side, so there was no way for that 1X to be for a stable unless you were willing to walk your house thru your house and out into the street
    Goldenplug likes this.
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  8. #8
    us
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    Good point E! Although we’re there midget ponies as pets back then? Lol. Jgas
    JGAS

  9. #9
    us
    Jim

    Sep 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgas View Post
    Good point E! Although we’re there midget ponies as pets back then? Lol. Jgas
    LOL
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  10. #10
    Charter Member
    us
    Jun 2011
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    The only outhouses that I've even seen shown on a Sanborn map were in Augusta Georgia. I assume that they were there because of being brick lined and had some value. - I'm not sure if that is correct or not though.

  11. #11

    Jan 2013
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    In my local town they were marked as x also.
    epackage likes this.

 

 

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