Cedar Lake, Michigan: Two-Story Outhouse

Double decker dumper, teetering noticeably, alone in the woods. Definitely not for visitor use, even the sure of foot and aim.
7620 N. Academy Rd, Cedar Lake, MI
From US Hwy 127 drive 18 miles west on Hwy 46 to Cedar Lake. Turn south on Academy Rd and it is the second house on the left past Pine Rd. The outhouse is out back.
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Two-Story Outhouse

My brother, grandfather and I were there in July, 1967. We told a joke about a two-story outhouse -- and he took us there! We were amazed. The building next to it was still standing in 1967. Also, my grandfather lived nearby and worked in the train depot near the outhouse in the years around World War I, and he knew the Nelson family that ran the store. This brings back fond memories for me.

[Howard A. Boylan, 01/31/2015]
2-Story Outhouse

This outhouse is leaning to the north, and considerably overgrown with vegetation, but still visible from the road. We stopped by to see it in May 2008.

[Don Klemm, 08/27/2008]
Two-Story Outhouse has a Savior

Vicki Cole has walked and driven past an abandoned two-story outhouse in her town for 34 years. Now, she and her husband own it.

... [11/19/2007] Complete News Story

2-story outhouse.

Two-story Outhouse

As of July 16, 2007 the two-story outhouse is still standing, though seemingly being eaten by the woods.

[Jesse, 07/24/2007]

2-story outhouse.

Two-Story Outhouse

I have lived virtually all my life in Cedar Lake. In college I wrote a paper on the two-story outhouse, who built it and why. I researched the subject at the Montcalm County Courthouse and in all of the local libraries and at the Michigan State Library in Lansing, Michigan.

The man who built the home with the two-story outhouse was William Nelson. He owned a prosperous logging company and was first to settle in that neck of the woods. There was a small town about a mile up the road from where he settled, most of which is now gone. It was called Shorter Town. William Nelson platted (did the subdivision of land) and registered the town of Cedar Lake. The current town is not a bit like his platting.

The Nelson home was NEVER a hotel. All my life I was told that it was a hotel, but in my research I didn't find any evidence for this claim. It has been a number of things, i.e. a barrel factory, a honey house and a general store. William Nelson had a general store in the lower part of his building. He also had his office there. The upper part and possibly the back of the building were his family's personal dwelling. As owner of a logging company, Nelson had many men who worked for him. Most were single and were in and out of the store and his office. To keep his seven daughters (he had no sons) apart from the riff-raff of the society they lived around, Mr. Nelson build the two-story outhouse -- the upper story to be used by his family and the lower level to be used by the general public.

The man who owns the house now has not done anything to keep the outhouse in good repair and every year it leans a little more. Every spring I expect it to fall, but as of June, 2005, it is still standing -- like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It has sunk into the ground quite a bit and the top door and the door in the back of the house no longer match up.

[Margie Conner, 06/28/2005]

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