Reviewing the WordPress data for this blog, I find that many people arrive here after Googling phrases such as “how keep cold house warm”, “how cold too cold for cats”, or “heat bathroom with tub water”. This is all very expected. Today, however, I find that one reader stumbled on Cold House Journal after Googling “Where did Thoreau go potty”.
Fascinating. I have mentioned Thoreau, but I don’t think I have used the word “potty” in any post, so I’m not sure how my blog got linked with this important question. But since it has arrived at my doorstep, I’ll take a stab at it. My first inclination is to answer, half tongue-in-cheek, “At Emerson’s house”– and this was likely often true. While at Walden Pond I imagine he might have had an outhouse, but probably just went in the woods– I don’t recall any mention of outhouse-building in Walden, and it would seem unlike him to devote labor and materials to building a little palace to “go potty” in. On thing’s for sure– he didn’t waste any heat with a flushing toilet.
Today, about 600,000 people (roughly the entire population of Massachusetts, in Thoreau’s day) visit Walden annually. In homage to Thoreau, many of these visitors continue the tradition of crapping near, or possibly even in, the water. Leading to problems.