Outhouse Races Dushore Pa

Friday, August 17, 2007


Each August (usually on the second Saturday) the borough of Dushore holds its outhouse race. Dushore is located in Sullivan County (northeast) Pennsylvania and according to the 2000 census there are ~650 people who live in the town. Dushore is located in the beginning of the Endless Mountain range which happens to be just west of the Pocono Mountains. To see exactly where Dushore is please see footnote 1 at the bottom of this post.

How did Phillip (my partner) and I ever find Dushore and why do we return countless times? Dushore is adjacent to Dutch Mountain which is part of the Endless Mountain Range and on the Dutch Mountain is our country house with 15 acres. The house is located ~ 10 miles away from Dushore making it the largest community nearest the house. Once in Dushore you have the choice of two grocery stores along with a number of resturants and hardware stores.

Our house along with the surrounding area is located in Bellasylva. The history and the people who live in Bellasylva need a blog unto themselves since it is a very unique area. If you are interested there is a web site telling you about the history of Bellasylva written by Henrietta Kester. A quick historic overview highlights the original settlers coming from the east coast. Many of the "settlers" were immigrants from Europe and they were lured to the Dutch Mountains by the promise of money and land in exchange for lumbering. If you are interested in seeing where the county house is please refer to footnote 2 at the bottom of this post.

We got the house because of family connections. My aunt (Dorothy Zenkert) and uncle (Adolf Christian Otten) lived in Bellasylva with 500+ acres. My uncle's family settled in the area in the late 1800s. There were two homes on the property. The main house where my Uncle lived and the Girvin place where my uncle's sister lived during the summers. For many summers going back to when I was a "young tot" I was fortunate to spend time with my Aunt and Uncle at the "main" house. I learned to love the countryside and as I grew older I appreciated the peace, quiet and nature that went along with the countryside. When my Uncle died ~6 years ago I was left the Girvin place or what we refer to as Aunt Helen's house. The house comes with a barn and the 15 acres.

Now on to the Races (sorry for the digressions) - coming from the New York City metropolitan area I marvel how the community comes together for what sounds like a very uninspired event. We heard about the Outhouse races for the past 10 years. The race takes place during Founders Day; a day to celebrate the founding of Dushore. It was only last year that Phil and I ventured into town to witness the big event. Well, we now have the race on our calendar and plan to attend all future races.

Each year seems to attract at least six outhouse racing teams. Each team consists of a "homemade" outhouse, and five racers. There are rules and regulations that each team must follow for constructing the outhouse. Just this year there was a change in the rules so the outhouses return to looking like an outhouse. The picture above of the Super Septic Suckers team was from last years race when outhouses were constructed to be fast and arodynamic. This year all teams had "boxed" outhouses. One of the racers is the driver and he/she sits in the outhouse to steer. There are four "racers" who push the outhouse. The racing course for each team is the same. The course extends the distance approximately equal to four or five New York City blocks. At mid-point the teams do have to maneuver a tricky turn and maneuverer around the Memorial Plaza which actually is not a plaza but an island in the street This turn seems to offer the most challenge to the teams. What is so astounding is the physical endurance that each team must undergo. Without fail there are always a few close calls with sidewalk observers. In the past two years there never has been a serious encounter where someone got hurt.