Two-Story Outhouse

Welcome to the Atlas Obscura Community discussion of Two-Story Outhouse in Michigan. Ask questions or share travel tips, experiences, pictures, or general comments with the community. For the story behind this place, check out the Atlas Obscura entry:

1 Like

I grew up in Cedar Lake - imagine my surprise to see local history featured in an Atlas Obscura newsletter!


I have to ask. How did this work? If it worked like the outhouses I’ve seen, one would not want to use the first floor.


Carbon County, Wyoming has many two story outhouses because the snow was so high the bottom ‘room’ was not accessible in winter…You may see one at the wonderful museum in Encampment, Wyoming!

1 Like

Hahahaha, that is a great point.

I agree with the suggestion that it was two-story because of the depth of snow in the winter, It is Michigan after all. I live in Oregon and we have several old farmhouses that have doors over the roof of the front porch for the same reason.

1 Like

I was wondering exactly the same thing while reading this! lol

Also in Michigan is the restored pig iron making smelter ghost town of Fayette in the Upper Peninsula. It had a two story outhouse that was attached to the rebuilt, restored hotel when I visited 15 years ago. Now, I see in recent photo it it no longer there. However, in this original black and white photo from back in the time distinctly shows it being there. Hmm, a mystery. I suspect this is where Cedar Lake got the idea since Fayette, a company town, began operating after the Civil War.

…conveniently staggered seats?

There is also a two story outhouse in the museum in Encampment Wyoming. I was told that it was because the snow would get so deep that you could not get to the lower outhouse in the winter.

I believe it was set up like some of the castles of Europe. The holes were staggered front to back. the waste from the top floor would fall down a hollow wall behind the holes of the bottom floor or there would be a slope under the top holes and the waste would fall down and then slide back again behind a wall on the first level. Both levels of waste would end up in the same pit under the privy.


:scream::grinning::rofl: Haha