Once you arrive at a treasure search location, it would be well to walk around the immediate area and take note of what the remaining evidence of past habitation reveals. If the house or other structures are still standing, how old do they appear to be? If this is difficult to determine, try to estimate the age of any nearby trees likely planted about the time the house was built. From what era do the oldest man-made objects, including debris, date? Do these factors indicate the site is old enough for the type of bottles you wish to hunt? If not, if the debris and other evidence indicate that the site is too “new,” then you may wish to go elsewhere. However, it should be noted people placed the outhouses downwind of the house, at a ‘polite distance away. Also, outhouses were usually located toward the back of the dwelling, so visitors to the homestead would not have to pass by the outhouse as they approached the entrance to the main building.
Outhouses were almost always situated well away from a source of drinking water, such as a creek, to prevent contamination the water. Outhouses were often placed behind barns, or amongst a grove of trees, in an attempt to conceal somewhat their presence, unless such placement conflicted with the other considerations mentioned.
As for the disposal of trash, some of our less fastidious forebears would merely pile it behind or to the site of the house, and often a pile of trash, such as rusting cans, may be the only clue that a building formerly stood on the site. Of course, in most cases, these highly visible trash dumps will have already been picked clean of the bottles they once contained.
Those persons with a slightly greater concern for aesthetics might dump their trash into a nearby ravinne, or over the nearest hillside, thus out of sight of the house.