Outhouses, Then and Now


I was first introduced to an outhouse at the tender age of 3. Having lived in a brown stone in Montreal, with all conveniences, I found it a bit confusing, when I moved to our new home, to have to be led through the attached wood shed to do my business.

Keep in mind, this was in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Where, in the 50’s the winters were very cold and long. No wonder us Canadians grow up tough.

In design and functionality, outhouses, have not changed much over the the centuries. In the the 1600’s, it was not unusual to find them positioned on bridges spanning the river Thames. It is said that little children had to have adult accompaniment so they did not fall through and into the river. I never fell through, but I just about froze my a_ _ off.

Outhouse art has run the gauntlet of creativity.

Now to the crescent moon on the door. Folklore has it that the moon represents a female, and the sun a male. It seems that women looked after the dwelling better than men, – who were more prone to use Nature at their convenience.

Most outhouses are meant to be strictly functional in design. But there are some that I think could pass as front yard worthy.

Oops, I think we will move this one to the back yard!

The outdoor convenience has not changed a whole lot over the centuries, until just recently this transparent version popped up in Japan. Once you are inside, and lock the door, the glass becomes opaque, nobody can see in. The wonders of technology. I just wonder if it can be depended on to perform as planned every time. For now, for me, the tried and true with all it’s little critters to welcome me works just fine. Time will tell. Cheers.