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The OutHouse
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out·house (out'hous') n. 

1. A small, enclosed structure having one or two holes in a seat built over a pit and serving as an outdoor toilet. 
2. An outbuilding, as on a farm. 

outhouse \Out"house`\, n. A small house or building at a little distance from the main house; an outbuilding. 

outhouse n : a small building with a bench having holes through which a user can defecate [syn: privy, earth-closet, jakes] 

Our Outhouse - Pride of the Neighbourhood

We were one proud family the day Daddy built us a new outhouse.  This was a two-holer--a small hole for small bums and a large hole for large bums.   No one that we knew had ever fallen in, but Daddy wasn't taking any chances. We painted it grey and black, even on the inside...backhouses weren't painted in our neighbourhood.
Our outhouse never got pushed over at Hallowe'en.  I wonder if that's because my brother Bill was part of the neighbourhood boys who were major outhouse-pusher-overs that night?

Roberta KERR

Ball Fork of Pond Creek, Pike County, KY, the Summer of 1948.

First off, very few if any, in that part of the county had indoor bathrooms at that time.  My oldest sister lived in a "coal camp" house at #5 Camp, of Eastern Coal Company. My parents along with myself and my brothers lived at Octavia J. Coal Camp, which was a long walk away, prob about two miles.   My second oldest sister, along with her husband lived next door to us.  On this Summer Sunday someone suggested we all walk over to #5 and see Rose. After we got to Rose's and stayed for a while, my second oldest sister and her husband were going to walk to his fathers for a short visit, he lived just a short distance on Ball Fork.  I was the baby of the family and cried to go with them, so along I went!  I can remember being carried on my brother in laws shoulders! 
At any rate, by the time we got there, I , of course had to go to the outhouse!  and they sent me by myself, I had never gone by myself! and as I sat my little behind over that hole, it just kept going!  I had fell in the pond of poop!  I remember so clearly, my sister crying, and everybody else laughing and laughing!  as I was stripped and bathed in the back yard after being pulled up and out!  Surprised I didn't end up being called Poopsie or worse!  Needless to say, for my entire life, I have been just a tad uneasy with "outhouses".......

Our Appalachian Roots @

Another OutHouse Story
This story will never leave my mind.   Around 1950  I was 8 years old and my sister was 6.  We played together day after day, and I was the leader in deciding what to play.  One day I was feeling very mischievous and asked her if she would like to play "pull the rabit's tail"    She was very excited about this game and asked how we play it.   I explained that it is very simple.  I get a stick and pretend it is my tail.   She chases me, and when she catches me she can pull my tail.  She was so excited to play this game that she begged me to find a stick.   Of course I already knew where to get a stick, and I knew what I planned to do for my own amusement.    I stuck the stick down in the old outhouse hole and moved it around until it was evenly coated on the last 12 inches or so.   Then I began the run around the barnyard.   Needless to say, I was slow that day and she caught me.   She yanked my tail, and you can guess the rest.   She has never let me forget that.  We never played that game again.  This game happened in Mingo County WV.


When I was about 10 years old my oldest sister was 16. This was in 1952.  She was at that age where a cute boy really got her attention.   A natural gas line ran past our house on Gilbert Creek Wv and in summer time there would be many men working the line, cutting brush, etc.   One of the boys was relatively young and my sister had a heavy crush on him. One day while the men where working just across the creek from our house my sister had to visit the outhouse.  She was very scared of being seen and decided to disguise herself.  She put on my dad's felt hat and one of his jackets and walked toward the outhouse, stooped a bit, and going totally unnoticed.   She was about 30 feet from the outhouse and about 60 feet from our house.   She had made it more than half way and now thought she had pulled it off.  Then I yelled as loud as I could "Shirley has the darry(what we called diarrhea).   Suddenly all the men stopped to look.  The boy my sister had the crush on looked over and said "Is that you Shirley?".  I was in some serious trouble the rest of that day. Incidentally, I talk with her every week and I continue to tease her alot.   I believe my mischievous acts as a kid helped to cement our relationship as adults.

When I was 4 years old my parents moved me away from West Virginia, to Orlando Florida, in 1966. I grew up with all of the more modern features of a home. We did however go to visit my grandparents every spring. I can remember every trip up there always gave me such a deep since of serenity. It gave me a feeling of a "safe" place. I always loved to visit my grandparents. My aunt was only 10 years older than me.  I can remember that I admired her soooo very much. I wanted to grow up to be just like my aunt Ella Jean. She was a teenager in the late 60's and early 70's. I would go visit and I can remember trying to dance like her, sing like her and talk like her. I used to get her hand me down clothes and was so proud to wear them. 
When we visited my grandparents I would always have to use the "outhouse" because my grandparents did not an indoor bathroom until toward the middle of the 70's. I have 3 memories of that outhouse that I remember the most. 

The first one was I remember she and I walking to the outhouse which sat in the front of their property down the way a bit. When we got there and went in I remember that we both used it at the same time. It had 2 seats in it. She told me I had to use the one on the left. I asked her why and she said that it was because it was smaller. I remember sitting up on that seat and trying to follow my aunts lead on how I was actually supposed to be sitting on that thing lol. I remember sitting there so proud that I was looking like I knew what I was doing, looking just like my aunt. The last thing I remember about that memory was my aunt laughing hysterically as I would take pieces of toilet paper and throw it down the hole. I did this several times. She finally asked me, Sherry what are you doing? I said to her that I wanted to see where it landed. I think I amused her at my curiosity of the outhouse :)

My second memory about the outhouse was that I remember that they told me if I had to go #2 that I should do that before dark. Because after dark I had to use the Pee Can. The Pee Can consisted of a Large Blue Coffee Can. I was told that I was never allowed to go the outhouse after dark because If I did a big bear would come off the mountain and eat me up!

My third and finial memory of the outhouse:
I was about 13 or 14 years old. I had started to get an interest in boys. My Aunt Ella Jean had a nephew (related by marriage only lol) that I had a crush on. I remember one day us going over to this guys house, he was a Maynard. His family also still used their outhouse. I had the unfortunate timing of having to use the bathroom while we were there. Their outhouse was located in the middle of some kind of field. I can remember that I couldn't get out of the outhouse. The door was stuck, so I started yelling for help. Well these people already thought I was amusing because they had tried to teach me to milk a cow and I think I hurt that poor ole thing. But now I was stuck in the outhouse so that was bringing entertainment to everyone. This guy (who's first name I wont mention cause if he ever reads this I would die!) came to rescue me from my despair. He gets the door open with ease and preceded to come in the outhouse and kiss me! Now Im stuck with the memory of my first kiss being in an outhouse!

Sherry Bell