Salute to the Outhouse
©Photo courtesy of the Penn Store used with written permission.
Please do not take. See below for a link to their site.
Or Everything you wanted to 
know about the Outhouse but was afraid to ask.

This might take awhile to load, lot of graphics here.


 Our unsung hero!

Just one of the many letters I received that game me the idea for this page and now my new first page.

  We have restored the outhouse that came with our property.  (Before
anyone jumps to a false conclusion - we use it for garden tools, etc.,
actually more etc. than anything else<g>)  It is a four-holer, two big
ones and two little ones.  Ahhh, the decline of quality 'family time.'
Denny (an internet friend)


Why a Crescent Moon you might ask.

"The answer lies in the lighting inside because outhouses were around before electricity. The best way to let light in was to put in a window. For privacy reasons, most outhouses were designed with the window above the line of sight. Many early outhouses contained a decorative "moon cutout" covered by glass. This allowed just enough light in to take care of business! It also allowed the real moon to shine through during the night. Bringing a lit lantern into some outhouses could have caused quite a bang so the moon won out! In reality, most people had a covered pot under the bed to go in during the night. Get's mighty cold at night going outside and the varmints are something else!

Here is another explanation...
Probably the most recognizable symbol associated symbol with the traditional outhouse building is the familiar crescent moon carved into the privy door. Actually, the symbol is an ancient one, and was a sign for womanhood in colonial days and on the frontier. It's male counterpart, Sol, was either a star or a sun burst design also on the door. Since most male outhouses fell into disrepair rather quickly they seldom survived; while the female ones were better maintained, and were eventually used by both sexes. Although you can find outhouses still standing with the crescent moon, the original meaning for gender identification was lost by the later nineteenth century in most areas of the country.

The average outhouse was three to four feet square by 7 feet high. Many were single hole, but often they were double holes. In the last century, hotels often had outhouses with a dozen holes. And at least one hotel outhouse in Montana had a two story outhouse with a plank from the second floor going over to the second floor of the outhouse. The `droppings' fell through a 1 foot channel down past the first level into the hole. 

Outhouses were easy to build. They were nothing more than a wooden shell with a roof, a floor and a front door. Inside was a 2 foot high box built into the back half that went from one side wall to the other side and came out from the back wall about two feet. In the top of this was an oblong hole about 12 inches by 10 inches. The outhouse was set over a hole that had been dug, usually about 5 feet down into the ground. 

 Yuk! to the person who falls in. Which was known to happen from time to time mostly children.


Now have you heard the one about Ma and Pa Kettle?  I am sure you have, but just in case.

The Kettle's finally got a chance to go to the Big City and get a hotel room. When they got into the room the bellboy showed them the bathroom. Ma looked in and said "Oh Look Pa they even have a basin to wash your feet in before going to bed!"

For more humor see page 3!


Links to Other Outhouse sights! 
Believe it or not there is a lot out there on the WWW.

These links were updated and checked out on Dec 28, 2005

Outhouse with a Million Dollar View

The newest site I found for Outhouse pictures was this one put on the www by Jill and Aaron Bork. They are a young couple building their dream cabin in the interior of Alaska. Go to their site and see the rest of the story on cabin building by hand. While you are there check out Aaron's Scrimshaw art on Antler's.

©I would like to Thank Dava Osborn Jones from the  Penn's Store for the use of their pictureimages/Outhouse2  You must visit them at their web site or the store in KY.  I plan on stopping by the next time I am trough there.   
Make plans to see the Annual running of the Out house Races.
This is the Web site called What A View! The official Outhouses of America tour! By M. Loose. You will find pictures of real Outhouses, trivia and cartoons. Along with links to other web sites. A must see!
For Sale:
His and Hers Outhouse 
with Victorian House!
Click on the picture to find out more.


New Jersey Historic Outhouse Available!

It's nothing unusual, perhaps 4 ft wide and 3.5 ft deep and 7 ft high in front, 6 in the rear. It has a pit door in back for cleaning. Color red, a small window on one side, no cutout design in the door. Very sound and sturdy.

Ode To The Outhouse
by James Whitcomb Riley 


The Two Story Outhouse!
2-story Outhouses : Roadside America


Management over Employee

Click on thumbnail to see it better!

To check this out go to

Even The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has gotten into the act. 

The  picture on the left is one of a pair of octagonal brick privies
Thomas Jefferson built at Poplar Forest,
his retreat about 90 miles south of Monticello.

Now there all kinds of things you can buy if you are interested.  BTW I don't get a cut on the commission. These are just either for fun or if you want to buy that is up to you.

The Luna Parc Outhouse is available as a Stick Pin or Charm only.

Why not hang an Outhouse calendar on your office wall?


Why not a clock? You can get yours at:



Be the envy of your neighborhood with these Outhouse Garden Sheds!
Do you suffer from "Outhouse Envy"?

You could, and not even know it. Many people do.
Get yours at

Michael J. McGroarty
P.O. Box 338
Perry, Ohio 44081




Background and buttons done by that is me! LOL

I have the background on a wallpaper border and the Little red roof outhouse in a stationery pad I brought years ago. The little graphic above the two holer was in that stationery pad also.