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Friday, 11th September 2015

Hello Autumn!

Friday, 7th March 2014

Hello Autumn!

Kauri Commode  

  • Hello Autumn!Kauri Commode
  • Hello Autumn!Historically Protected Long Drop
  • Hello Autumn!Children exploring the Chinese settlement in Arrowtown

There has been a dusting of snow on the mountains, and the mornings are beginning to feel quite crisp and cool ... I think Autumn is here!

Getting out of bed on those chilly mornings can be hard work, so I wonder how our early settlers coped without electricity and proper housing to keep them toasty warm?! A lack of indoor plumbing would have made things even more difficult for people living in the Wakatipu region over 100 years ago. An outdoor toilet - or a long drop (a long hole dug into the ground) was the only option of a bathroom on the goldfields. I think getting up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, especially during the colder months, must have been terrible!

I think our early settlers also agreed it was terrible, as they found their own methods of avoiding stepping out into the cold in the dead of night.

A Kauri Commode could be found within settlers homes. It was a small portable vessel to be used as a toilet. This vessel would be held in a plain wooden box (probably to keep out the smell)! Sometimes these boxes could be decorated to look like small cabinets - very posh! These would often be kept in the bedroom for convenience, usually on the fathers side of the bed, as the mother would have had her baby in a cradle on her side of the bed.

For our Chinese settlers, who were invited by the Otago provincial government in 1865 to work the goldfields, they also had a solution for staying inside their huts. Chinese settlers would often break a bottom off a glass bottle and incorporate it into the walls of their stone huts whilst they were building. This meant they could go to the toilet during the night without going outside too! The Chinese settlers would place a bucket underneath the outside end of the bottle which would collect their "night dirt".

In the Arrowtown Chinese settlement, the Chinese settlers also built a long drop for the European Ladies to use when they came to visit the settlement to buy tea from the stores! This long drop is now historically protected!

What do you think about these quirky historical facts?

Do you think you're lucky to have all of our modern day conveniences?

Answer my questions and comment about this blog post below!