An Abandoned Outhouse Less Than 20 Miles From NYC

This week, I’ve been scouting for abandoned houses in the woods, and happened to come across this beauty about 20 miles outside of the city.

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As I was taking pictures, I happened to notice a little hut up the hill nearby. I figured it was just a tool shed, but then thought occurred to me…

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Could it possibly be an outhouse?

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Yup – and a double-seater at that! (sorry I didn’t push the door open for a full shot, but the bats and spiders living inside asked politely if I’d leave them alone) (and no, I did not want to be haunted by the nightmares that would result from looking in that open pit).

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This is the first abandoned free-standing outhouse I’ve come across in my scouting travels (I came across another outhouse on Staten Island a few years ago, though that was part of a larger outbuilding). I’d love to know when this was built – it’s actually in extremely good condition, and has really stood the test of time well. If only they’d remembered to add that little half-moon cut-out in the door.

Never ceases to amaze me that you can stumble on something like this within 20 miles of New York City.

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14 comments

  1. I get outhouses. I never got double-seat outhouses.

  2. I’ve often wondered if you could shoot a western in NY. I’m starting to think it could be done.

  3. Did you find this outhouse in Rockland Lake?

  4. Not sure about the outhouse but that house on Rockland Lake Road is from the 1870s. It’s been abandoned for at least 10-15 years.

  5. This looks like Rockland Lake in Valley Cottage New York. Around the early 1900’s they used to harvest ice out of that lake and ship it to New York city. These abandoned houses eventually became property of the National Park Service. I actually found the abandoned remains of part of the ice harvesting process in the woods and wrote about it here. http://therandomcompass.com/2014/03/22/just-around-the-bend-at-rockland-lake/

    I love your site, keep up the good work!

  6. This outhouse belonged to Josephine Hudson , who died 10 years ago. Believe it or not, it was used up till the day she died !

    • An interesting story about Josephine Hudson can be found here… http://patch.com/new-york/newcity/local-organization-aims-to-preserve-history-of-rockland-lake

      “Some of this money the organization is trying to raise is to help restore the Hudson House, a project the group has been working on for several years. The House is located on Lake Road in Congers and is the former residence of Josephine Hudson, who was born there in the 1890s. She attempted to get a job working for the Knickerbocker Ice Company in the early 1900s but was rejected because she was female. So instead she dressed up like a male and ended up getting a job with the company as Joe Hudson, making her the only female who ever harvested ice at the Lake.”

    • Just a bit of polite correction. if the outhouse was indeed one of the two (yes…There was a winter outhouse and a summer outhouse) on Josephine S. Hudson’s property, then it should be known that she moved from there in 1993, when it became clear that she was struggling living there alone (she was 85 years old by this time) even after a full bathroom had been installed in the late 80’s. The house has been abandoned since. She died March 24th, 1996 in Syracuse, NY.

  7. I love your site and the new places you often bring us along to explore… Some more history about the house and the area… http://patch.com/new-york/newcity/local-organization-aims-to-preserve-history-of-rockland-lake

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  9. Why *do* outhouses traditionally have the half-moon on the door?

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