Is there a privy in my backyard?
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Thread: Is there a privy in my backyard?

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  1. #1
    us
    Mar 2018
    New Jersey
    Garrett AT Pro, Whites Dfx,
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    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Is there a privy in my backyard?

    I just moved to a house that was built in the early 1900ís, I found a Sanborn fire insurance map from 1909, here are some photos Any thoughts?
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    Toecutter and A2coins like this.

  2. #2
    us
    Mar 2018
    New Jersey
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    My house is on the left
    A2coins likes this.

  3. #3
    us
    Silver Fiend

    Oct 2009
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    The map doesnt show anything, but most maps didnt show outhouses because they were temporary structures. Does your yard have privy holes? Impossible to say. Depends on when your house was actually built and when city water and sewage lines were installed. If you think your house is pre-sewer, then you need a probe (about 5 foot) to check for them. Many times you can still see small shallow dips in the ground where the outhouse was located. If your yard did have one, its always possible there are multiple as the outhouses were moved to fresh holes after they got full.
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  4. #4
    us
    Mar 2018
    New Jersey
    Garrett AT Pro, Whites Dfx,
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    There probably was one because sewage in my town was not introduced until the early 1920’s
    Toecutter likes this.

  5. #5
    Charter Member
    us
    Only boaring people get board

    Nov 2018
    The Thumb
    NOX899
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    look for dips around 4'x2' rectangle maybe bigger, dirt will be soft when stick a shovel in it, if u cant see the dips get a probe...
    Relicboy2257 likes this.

  6. #6
    Charter Member
    us
    Tommy

    Dec 2015
    Ann Arbor
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    Shouldnt be hard to spot if there is one or was one
    Relicboy2257 likes this.

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  7. #7
    Charter Member
    us
    Nov 2012
    Maryland
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    I'd try a probe.
    Relicboy2257 likes this.

  8. #8
    us
    Oct 2010
    Georgia
    Teknetics T2SE
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    The first area that I would start probing is at lower left, along the property line with your neighbor towards the back of the lot, and work my way out from there. Hey, I know there's one on my 1850s lot, too, but haven't found it yet. Found a well and a couple of pontils, but no privy. Yet.

    Around here, they tend to be very shallow, 3 or 4 feet deep, unlined, and more than likely dipped. Hopefully, yours will be lined and full of goodies. Best of luck, my friend.
    GaRebel1861 and Relicboy2257 like this.

  9. #9
    us
    Jim

    Sep 2010
    Hewitt N.J.
    Whites Silver Eagle
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    I would go to the town hall and find out when the sewers were put in, you might be wasting your time
    Relicboy2257 likes this.
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  10. #10
    us
    Nov 2008
    kingston ny
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    do you have any lilac bushes in the back of the house
    They’d plant them next to outhouses and when it came time to move the outhouse.
    They’d move the outhouse down and plant another lilac bush over the filled hole.
    Decades later, same thing.
    Eventually, on old, old properties, you’d see a line of these lilac bushes, usually on the edge of the property. Far away from delicate eyes. And noses.”

 

 

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