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Outhouse Trivia & Links

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Outhouse Facts & Trivia

Outhouses With Two Holes: No, these old vintage structures weren't usually doing double duty. Rather, most contained two holes of different sizes - one for adults and one for children. Don't think those kids wanted to sit on the bigger hole and risk the consequences. However, that being said, some large families would have multiple holes for use at the same time. In Montana, there was once a hotel that had an outhouse with 12 seats. 

Outhouse Crecent MoonCrecent Moon: The crescent moon cutout and the star cutout on the door of many outhouses goes back to Colonial times. In a time when few people could read, the crescent moon was the symbol for women while the star cutout was for men.


It is thought that the men, in general, let their outhouses fall into such bad shape that it was the women's outhouses that survived the test of time.  The cutout also let light into the outhouse as there were usually no windows.


Office Outhouse

Honey, I'm headed to the office!



Outhouse Builders: During Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration - the WPA - there were teams of outhouse builders who built most of the outhouses in rural areas.

Toilet Paper: Considered a luxury by most rural families, newspaper or pages from old catalogs was more often used.

Average Outhouse: Usually they were 3 to 4 feet square by 7 feet high with no window, heat, or electric light. Due to the odor, most were built between 50 and 150 feet from the main house, often facing away from the house. So that didn't have to smell the unpleasant odor, many people left the door open while they were using it. Old-timers will admit that they had trouble breaking this habit with the invention of indoor bathrooms.

Two Story Outhouses: How in the heck did that work? Well, the upstairs facilities were situated a little further back so that the "materials" released from the second floor would fall behind the wall of the first floor. There are a few of these old relics still around. The one below was built next to a large store in Gays, Illinois. The store has long since been torn down, but thanks to those fine citizens of Gays, the "skys-crapper" was preserved.

Two Story Outhouse

Two-Story "skys-crapper" in Gays, Illinois


Thomas Crapper: It is a myth that Thomas Capper invented the toilet. Though the man held several patents for plumbing related products, he did not invent the water closet.


Continue to Outhouse Jokes next page


Interesting Outhouse Links


Benton News Outhouses

Essay on the Outhouse

Outhouse Graffiti

Outhouses of America Tour

Outhouse Postcards

The Outhouse & Us - A Poem

Texas Escapes - Outhouses

Wattle Hollow Outhouses



Outhouse Home

Outhouse Gallery

Outhouse Jokes

Outhouse Links

Reader's Stories & Photos





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Double-decker outhouse in Nevada City, Montana

This double decker outhouse stands in

 the Nevada City, Montana. July, 2008, Kathy Weiser.

Author Unknown

The service station trade was slow
The owner sat around,
With sharpened knife and cedar stick
Piled shavings on the ground.

No modern facilities had they,
The log across the rill
Led to a shack, marked His and Hers
That sat against the hill.

"Where is the ladies restroom, sir?"
The owner leaning back,
Said not a word but whittled on,
And nodded toward the shack.

With quickened step she entered there
But only stayed a minute,
Until she screamed, just like a snake
Or spider might be in it.

With startled look and beet red face
She bounded through the door,
And headed quickly for the car
Just like three gals before.

She missed the foot log - jumped the stream
The owner gave a shout,
As her silk stockings, down at her knees
Caught on a sassafras sprout.

She tripped and fell - got up, and then
In obvious disgust,
Ran to the car, stepped on the gas,
And faded in the dust.

Of course we all desired to know
What made the gals all do
The things they did, and then we found
The whittling owner knew.

A speaking system he'd devised
To make the thing complete,
He tied a speaker on the wall
Beneath the toilet seat.

He'd wait until the gals got set
And then the devilish tike,
Would stop his whittling long enough,
To speak into the mike.

And as she sat, a voice below
Struck terror, fright and fear,
"Will you please use the other hole,
We're painting under here!"

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