Privy to the details: Professor documents outbuildings for landmark survey

Source: Natchez Democrat

As tourists lined up Thursday to take pictures of the octagonal mansion Longwood, one particular visitor focused his attention on the small square privy out back.

A Texas A&M professor of architecture, Brent Fortenberry, spent most of the morning taking precise measurements of the five-seater outhouse, using a digital 3-D scanner, a drone and an old-fashioned tape measure.

Fortenberry’s documentation is part of a landmark study of existing antebellum outbuildings in Adams County, Historic Natchez Foundation Executive Director Carter Burns said. The project is a joint effort of HNF, Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the Natchez National Historical Park, Burns said.

“We probably have the country’s richest resource of these buildings, both in the number of them and the variety of types of outbuildings,” Burns said. “Outbuildings just haven’t really been studied in-depth.”

Since the project began, Burns said HNF has identified approximately 235 structures in Adams County for the study.


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