This is a picture of my great-grandmother, Mollie Lavenia White (standing),
with her little brother, “Buddy” (sitting), ca. 1890, Baltimore, MD.
One of the oldest tombstones I have stumbled upon of a family member belongs to my husband’s 5th great-grandfather, James Sellard.
Born in Norwich, Connecticut in 1758 to Jacob and ? Sellard, James was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He was detached from Captain Samuel Mather’s company at Fort Trumbull, New London, Connecticut, in 1776, for service in the Continental Army.
About 4 years later, on April 13, 1780, James married Lydia De Wolfe and together they had at least 4 children, all born in Connecticut: Stephen De Wolfe (b. 1780), Polly Spencer (b. 1781), Elles (b. 1783) and Lucy (b. 1787). My husband descends from Stephen.
About 1812, James and son, Stephen and family, removed first to Lycoming County, Pennsylvania and onto Tioga County and eventually settled in Canton Township, Bradford County, PA. James farmed there on the “old Sellard farmstead” until his death in 1824. He is buried in the Main Street Cemetery, Canton, PA.
In the heart of the World’s Only Winnetoon Boardwalk Back in Time is Privy Path. To get there, cross the bridge over Dry Creek. Here you will find the outhouse collection…probably the most popular part of this tourist attraction.
When I told Cowboy Joe I wanted to add more outhouses to the original one behind our workshop, he frowned and shook his head, NO. So, I started asking around for unwanted outhouses. The ones I got are named for the people who gave them to me.
As you enter Privy Path, stop at Kitty’s Litter Box. The door is open to reveal a roll of carved wooden toilet paper and a Serres (Joe’s last name) Catalog. Joe spent a day in and out of it as he lined the inside with old barn wood. A neighbor across the street commented, “Joe must have taken a physic as much time as he spent in the outhouse today.”
Another neighbor’s cat had kittens under the seat of Kitty’s Litter Box. Evidently, she could read.
My cat couldn’t. She had her kittens in Ed’s John. The outhouse was John’s, who gave it to Ed. I paid Ed $10 for it. This outhouse was the one my family used when we first came to Winnetoon from California. Joe made a new seat for it and nailed the original to the only tree at Privy Path. Joe also carved a surprise to startle anyone who opens the door of Ed’s John.
Next is X-Rated, the one that inspired Privy Path. Again the wooden carved toilet paper and a carved wooden animated surprise. It is just fun, not x-rated at all.
The fourth outhouse is locked. It sports a hospital urinal about chest high used as a donation box. It is named Chester’s Castle.
When we started this project I had no idea others loved old outhouses as much as I do. Yet, a few do turn up their noses remembering trips during cold winter nights. My family used an outhouse as late as 1949. I never had to brave the night to use one, but I was the designated slop jar dumper at a young age. That turned my nose up!
A college professor from 3 hours away brought his class to investigate Privy Path. News articles have been written about it and many pictures taken by visitors. Now, outhouses in some areas are selling for $300 – up to thousands.
Hey, these are my children’s inheritance!
…Gayle Neuhaus, Winnetoon, NE
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