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Enterprising Local Builder Builds ‘Privy’ Hedge Against Change 3.8.2006

By C.M. Mattessich

For several months, passengers in vehicles traveling along Route 47 North have enjoyed the sight of what appears to be an outhouse for sale in front of a residence in the Cape May Court House section of Middle Township.
With a call to the phone number provided on the handmade sign in front of the outhouse, they discover that the structure (pictured) is a thoroughly modern outhouse replica, designed for storage of lawnmowers and other lawn items by those who long for …. more rustic days.
Ed Campbell, who once operated Campbells Auto Repair at Islander Fun Park on Route 47 in Rio Grande, masterminded the project.
Campbell told the Herald that he has been working as a builder in the county “since building got hot” about five years ago, but that he is “realistic” about how long the building boom might continue.
Campbell said that he recently registered with the state as a home improvement contractor.   In his view, the remodeling business “is on the uptick, will stay in good shape,” providing a good hedge against what he feels might happen with general contracting.
And then there’s that other hedge.  A privy hedge, you might say.
The sample outhouse is in front of his brother’s house on Route 47, Campbell said, because that location provides “great exposure” to folks traveling to and from their second homes on the barrier islands.
Campbell said that he has received multiple inquiries, and already has filled several custom orders.
“It’s kind of funny,” he said.  “We have people living here in the county who run up to Lancaster to have cabinets made, while people from Lancaster are having me build custom outhouses for their back yards up there.”
Campbell, who builds his product in varying sizes, explained that an authentic outhouse served as model for the moon and star figures that appear on the front door of his structure.
“On the originals, though, those figures are cut out of the wood,” he noted.  “Otherwise, put a couple buckets in there and it’s just about the same.” 
Campbell may be reached at 522-2268.

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