Colorado’s Last Two-Story Outhouse Is Still Standing in Crested Butte
It may sound a little strange but at one time, Americans were building two-story outhouses behind two-story buildings, apartments, and restaurants.
What? A Two-story outhouse? As-in someone is doing their business up above you? Yes, indeed. In fact, there is still one lone double-decker outhouse still standing in Colorado today. Do you know where it is?
America's Two-Story Outhouses Were a Big Deal at One Time
The timeline on the two-story outhouse goes back to the mid-1800s with several towns to this day claiming to be the first to have one or to have one that still works. The upper outhouse was built so that it was set a little further back from the toilet below to avoid accidents. Towns like Phelps, New York had the first brick two-story outhouse, while Gays, Illinois claims to have been the first.
Where Are America's Two-Story Outhouses?
The known two-story outhouses in America include
- Dover, Arkansas - The Booger Hollow Trading Post, along Scenic 7 Byway
- Gays, Illinois - Listed as the 'Sky-Crapper' in Moultrie County it was built in 1880 near the S.F. Gammill general store
- Belle Plaine, Minnesota - Hooper-Bowler-Hillstrom house
- Phelps, New York - This brick outhouse had room for three on each level.
- San Juan Bautista, California - Near the Alfred Hitchcock 'Vertigo' mansion.
- Crested Butte, Colorado - 311 Elk behind the General Store.
- Silver City, Idaho - This two-story toilet was around in the 1860s.
- Oran, Iowa - The only evidence left of this location is from newspaper clippings.
- Cedar Lake, Michigan - Rebuilt and in-service today.
- Garden, Michigan - Part of the hotel at the Historic Fayette Townsite.
- Columbia Falls, Montana - This one is a prop near the Montana Vortex House of Mystery.
- Nevada City, Montana - The outhouse is called the "Big John" near the old hotel.
- Moab, Utah - The Hole N' The Rock includes an outdoor, two-story outhouse as a joke.
- Janesville, Wisconsin - The historic Lincoln-Tallman House has an attached two-story outhouse, which may have been used by President Abraham Lincoln.
- Encampment, Wyoming - The extra snowy winters had people climbing to the upper level.
The Two-Story Outhouse in Crested Butte, Colorado
The two-story outhouse at 311 Elk in Crested Butte is tricky to find in 2022, but it is still there. It may no longer be in service but the structure with both doors is still intact today behind a series of small shops in Crested Butte. Your best bet is to walk around Elk Avenue to Maroon Avenue and see the structure from across the alleyway. Here is a link to the old outhouse before it got the red paint job seen below.