A Glenville outhouse still standing, although overgrown with weeds, at Mountain Bible Church in the Big Ridge community.

The annual meeting of the Glenville Area Historical Society is set for 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, at the Glenville Community Center.

The event begins with light refreshments and an opportunity for attendees hailing from every corner of the Glenville area and Hamburg Township to meet and greet. The meeting agenda includes a brief business meeting to elect directors and hear a review of the 2018-19 year.

However, it is the historical topic program that generally attracts an overflow crowd. This year’s topic is a humorous look at “Vanishing American Architecture: The Inside Story of the Outhouse,” recognizing a fascinating subject that’s a slice of history throughout all of the United States.

Much of the outhouse history to be presented during the evening is drawn from writings and presentations by Frank Hubbell, now a South Carolina resident, whose information about outhouses was inherited from his father. The elder Hubbell photographed outhouses in the course of years of travel. “During the last 20 years of my father’s life, he and my mother traveled and on their way if my father would see an odd-looking outhouse he would stop and take a photo,” Hubbell has explained in numerous interviews.

After his father’s death Hubbell took up the mantle to keep his father’s hobby alive. For this GAHS program expect photos as well as facts about outhouses, an idea that can be traced back to England where they were called a “house of necessity.”

A re-creation of Lem Putt, a fictitious name of a real person, portrays a privy builder who became famous in a book titled “The Specialist” by Charles “Chic” Sales in 1929. The character imitating Putt will replicate the humorous subject matter as Putt enlightens the audience on the fine points of building a proper “necessary house.” During his appearances Putt often elicits captivating outhouse tales as audience memories are tweaked.

The Glenville Area Historical Society was launched in summer 2009 when members of the community became concerned that much of the history of Glenville and the surrounding communities would be lost if experiences and recollections from aging residents and founding families were not recorded and preserved. The Society is well known for tours of the Glenville area historic sites and the Glenville History Museum where displays and artifacts disclose accounts about Old Glenville, the building of the dam and lake and the continuing story of the present-day communities.

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