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Professor: Historic outhouses underappreciated in Southwest

At a time when life could be harsh in the American Southwest, outhouses served more than one important role. They provided structure, protected water resources and created important social norms, a New Mexico professor says. Many of the aging wooden structures still dot the landscape in the region and across the Great Plains. Richard Melzer, a University of New Mexico-Valencia history professor, wants to see the iconic buildings preserved before they're gone from the memory and legacy of the Old West. Melzer has been researching the historic lavatories and hopes his work will encourage outhouse conservation efforts since they helped modernize areas like present-day New Mexico amid...