They did not use outhouses. They would just go out in the woods. No one really thought much about trips to the woods because it could be for a variety of reasons. When indoor toilets were invented, they had a real hard time understanding why anyone would poop in their own homes!!
Not everything that the Soviets did was bad. They took great efforts to preserve rural houses, folk dances, folk music, etc. Our guide said that they did this preservation as a facade, a sort of “Potemkin village” to say that people’s lives were okay under the yoke of Soviet oppression. Today the West wishes that they had paid more attention to our indigenous groups and their way of life.
Mills were run by entrepreneurs. They did not own farm land. Being a miller was respectable. It was needed in every community, and it was a clean profession. On the other hand, every community needed a smith. It was a lowly and dirty job analogous to an auto mechanic today. Every community needed one.
The Estonian History Museum is housed in the 15th century Hanseatic Great Guild Hall. Our guide’s explanation seemed similar to the objectives of a Rotary club today: to encourage each other in business, gather for fellowship, and help others that are struggling in the community.
Russian railways use a wider gauge (distance between the tracks) than western Europe. Russia did this intentionally to protect against invasion by rail. Now the Baltic countries will gradually replace their rails and railcars to integrate with the west and protect against a rail invasion from Russia.