Another Ohio Oddity

When you speak of national historic places you expect destinations like Spiegelgrove in Fremont, Ohio, the home and estate of Former President Rutherford B. Hayes.  Or perhaps Glamorgan Castle in Alliance, once a home built to resemble a castle and now the official address of the Alliance School System.

 But in all my years of traveling Ohio I think the most unusual designation of an historic place in the Buckeye State has to be in the tiny town of Genoa in Northwest Ohio.

 They call it “The Little Building” and even list it on their historical marker on the edge of town.

 It is a small brick building that proudly wears a plaque that proclaims “This property has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U. S. Department of the Interior.”

 So what purpose did this tiny, brick painted white structure once serve?  A bank?  A School?  Perhaps a government office?  Nope.  It was a toilet.

 That’s right.  It was a privy.  An outhouse.  A mammoth 12-seat, brick pre-running water, restroom that served the local school students and teachers.

 There is a long story about how the town came to rally behind a privy as their claim to fame.  You can read the whole tale in my book, “Ohio Oddities”.  Available in most bookstores or at

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