Booger Hollow double decker outhouse.
Booger Hollow double decker fell apart after the attraction closed.

Two-Story Outhouses

You'd think it would be hard to find even one town eager to dip its hand into this swirling melee of civic posturing. Okay... so who has the World's Only Two-story Outhouse, anyway?

It's a futile battle between Dover, Arkansas; Bell Plaine, Minnesota; and Gays, Illinois; and Phelps, New York...and other towns. Let's take a look.


World's Only Double-decker Outhouse

The Booger Hollow Trading Post, along Scenic 7 Byway, in Dover, Arkansas, proudly made this claim. They effortlessly won the category of best photo opportunity. This mock-ramshackle hillbilly dumper was covered with misspelled joke signs. It was an operational lavatory, but both "Maw" and "Paw" stations were on the ground floor. One sign warned "Upstairs closed 'til we figur out plummin'."

Gays, IL outhouse.
Gays, IL outhouse.

So it was technically not a 2-story outhouse, just a prop for a big souvenir store. Had good postcards and tasty Boogerburgers, but by 2008 the shop was closed, and by 2017 the outhouse was a collapsing and faded ruin.


America's Only 2-story Outhouse

That's the claim made by Gays, Illinois, in Moultrie County. It was built in the 1880s for two second-story apartments above the S.F. Gammill general store. While the store has since been torn down, historical enthusiast Pat Goodwin restored the outhouse. Though it is kept locked, passersby can see it along Illinois Highway 16 between Shelbyville and Mattoon.

Belle Plaine, MN 2-story outhouse.
Belle Plaine, MN 2-story outhouse.

The outhouse is cleverly designed with offset walls to permit emissions from above safe (but perhaps not-so-silent) silent bypassage of the ground floor seating.

Locals refer to it as the "skys-crapper."

More about Gays' 2-story Outhouse

Home of the 2-story Outhouse

2-story brick outhouse.
2-story brick outhouse, Phelps, NY.

It's at the historic Hooper-Bowler-Hillstrom house in Belle Plaine, Minnesota. "Samuel Bowler had a large number of children so he added on to the outhouse structure," reports Jill Bowers. Bowler was her great-great-great uncle. "Not only does the house boast a 'five-holer' but also a skyway connecting the upstairs of the outhouse to the house proper."

Like the model in Gays, "The upstairs facilities are situated a little further back so that the 'materials' released from the second floor fall behind the wall of the first floor."

Tours are conducted of the historic house, so visitors can take a peek inside. And most importantly, this outhouse has souvenirs! "I personally have a T-shirt and commemorative teaspoon," reports Jill. "I know -- a teaspoon is not what you necessarily think of as a souvenir for an outhouse."

The town of Oran, Iowa also claims to have once had a 2-story outhouse, but all that remains are some tattered news clips. Oran, get building!

America's Only 2-Story Brick Outhouse?

The town of Phelps, New York, has a special 2-story dumper claim. This one is built like a brick shithouse -- because it is. The Phelps Community Historical Society acquired an historic brick home located on Main Street in Feb. 1999. The Dr. John Q. Howe residence, built in 1869, is connected to the outhouse by entrances on both floors, and features three holes upstairs and three downstairs.

2-story novelty outhouse, Hole N' the Rock, Moab, UT.
2-story novelty outhouse, Hole N' the Rock, Moab, UT.

Other 2-story outhouses reported:

  • Nevada City, Montana - a 2-story outhouse called "Big John" behind an old hotel (saw the postcard -- it's there!).
  • San Juan Bautista (a state historical park), California, a short walk from the Mission featured in Hitchcock's film Vertigo.
  • Crested Butte, Colorado has preserved an 1800s era two-story outhouse behind The Company Store.
  • Silver City, Idaho has a 2-story, 1860s vintage wood sky-crapper.
  • Cedar Lake, Michigan - a delapidated treasure from the past.
  • Garden, Michigan - Attached to a hotel, part of the Fayette Historic Townsite.
  • Hungry Horse, Montana - The two-story outhouse at the House of Mystery, "Montana's Vortex," is a multi-colored non-operational prop, strictly for laughs, near the parking lot.
  • Moab, Utah - The Hole N' The Rock includes an outdoor, 2-story outhouse, though this is a gag add-on to the tourist attraction.
  • Janesville, Wisconsin - The historic Lincoln-Tallman House includes an attached two-story privy.

And Bryant Pond, Maine, quietly boasts of its 3-Story Outhouse, behind the Masonic Hall.

RoadsideAmerica.com Team Field Report

Two-Story Outhouse

Historical Two Story Outhouse 1872

Address:
1022 Front St., Gays, IL
Directions:
I-57 exit 190. Drive west on Hwy 16 for nine miles, through Mattoon, into Gays. Look for the blue official Illinois "Historical Two Story Outhouse 1872" sign. Turn right at Pine St.; one block north.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Two-Story Outhouse

Hooper-Bowler-Hillstrom House

Address:
Court Square, Belle Plaine, MN
Directions:
Hooper-Bowler-Hillstrom House. On the north edge of town, one block west of Walnut St./Hwy 25, by Court Square Park.
Hours:
Currently closed to tours. (Call to verify)
Phone:
952-873-6109
Save to My Sights

Two-Story Outhouse

The Company Store

Address:
300 Elk Ave., Crested Butte, CO
Directions:
In the alley next to The Company Store. On the east side of 3rd St. between Maroon and Elk Aves.
Admission:
Free.
Save to My Sights

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