NEW BEAR CREEK CHURCH CEMETERY, BEAR CREEK, MARSHALL COUNTY TENNESSEE, near Mooresville.
An outdoor toilet (called an outhouse in the south) still stands nearby.
I was obliged to take a photo and show it to my family. They were in awe of such a place. Inside was what looked like a box with a large round hole used for sitting on. It straddled a deep stinky pit. Often these were infested with spiders & snakes and the real possibility of the whole thing capitulating into the pit while one was busy.
Long term maintenance was required when the pit was nearing full. A new pit was dug and the old one was eventually abandoned and filled. First a nearby new hole was dug and the building rolled onto its side, relocated, and set up over the new hole. After this the old pit was covered with fresh earth taken from the new pit. All this was a smelly maintenance job requiring several people to handle or a team of mules as this was largely before the invention of the tractor and of course indoor plumbing. Sorry, I could not resist giving you this bit of down to earth old time detail.
Photos and info by Wayne Austin, 26 Feb 2008