This essential outbuilding ("outhouse") was a tall, narrow structure, usually with a square footprint, and most often with a shed roof, though gabled roofs also were common. It was built over a pit where human waste was collected; when the pit filled, the privy was moved. Framing was the most common construction method. Of course, the privy was sited at a distance from the house, usually in the back. A door in one side provided access, and sometimes there would be a vent or small window. The privy predates plumbing, so they survived on many farms well into the twentieth century, across the entire state.

Privy, North Annville Township, Lebanon County, c. 1945
Privy, North Annville Township, Lebanon County, c. 1945.
(Site 075-NA-001)

Image of a wood fram privy in Columbia County
Privy, Locust Township, Columbia County.