Privy behind the original Emmanuel Baptist Church

This is a photograph of a privy behind the original Emmanuel Baptist Church in the “Eighty Acres” neighborhood.

The image was captured by photographer Arthur Rothstein for a national photography project by the Farm Security Administration, a New Deal agency charged with combating rural poverty. At the time the agency was controversial due to its efforts to purchase land owned by poor farmers and then relocate these families on government-owned land forming a farming collective.

The photography project was managed by a succession of government agencies, including the Resettlement Administration (1935-1937), the Farm Security Administration (1937-1942), and the Office of War Information (1942-1944). The project captured approximately 175,000 images of rural America from 1935 to 1944, which is partially available online through the Library of Congress. 

More about the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Photograph Collection:

Library of Congress:

Oral History:

Listen to Mr. Robert Tucker shares his knowledge about the privy

Mike Benson 00:00
This is an outhouse.

Robert P. Tucker 00:01
Yes, it is. Men, men, one side women, the other. It doesn't show it on here. Oh, men only I'm sorry. Now this isn't it. This was a church, a church that the building has been remodeled. They built a new one. This was the men only but it had separate stalls. You know, you could, it was for church. Now, these pictures. And let me see another one. Do you have another one that?

Mike Benson 00:34
Is there anything else you can say about this one in particular,

Robert P. Tucker 00:37
All I could say about this one is it was close to Ellis Street. The pine trees you see there you go. In the ridge of Chestnut Ridge, University Boulevard. Those pine trees stretch all the way through this neighborhood out to the highway. But when the electric company come into work on the lines, they saved the ones on a ridge, they would cut so much off the top of the ones here, too. They all died. There's still a couple of them. You can look at directly and see him. You know was this was the outhouse behind the church. Yes, it was the church. Okay. Um, so, so on Higgins drive now. The Elsmere school is also on Higgins and facing the highway. At the school, the old school house you just turn around you can see the new church building. It's not you know, they had a little old one before.

Help support the project:

The Glassboro Memory Mapping Project is made possible through the kindness of our community volunteers. Please contact us to contribute information or to help with the project.



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