Posted by: mlapgrants | August 22, 2018

Gull Rock’s 1867 Self-Cleaning Toilet

Built in 1867, two and one-half miles east of the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula in Lake Superior, the isolated Gull Rock Light Station’s privy had a unique design feature.  A hole was built into each side of the base of the privy vault.  As described in Gull Rock’s Historic Structure Report (HSR), the toilet was built of brick and located just at the water line.  Every time a storm came up the waves washed the toilet clean.

This information on Gull Rock’s privy was taken from the HSR completed by OX Studio and Smay Trombley Architecture through grants from the National Park Service National Maritime Heritage Program and the State Historic Preservation Office Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program.  Learn more about all of Michigan’s historic lighthouses at




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