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Our word "focus," meaning the center of things, the important part of a complex structure, was the Latin word for the hearthstone: that was the center of the Roman domestic polity.
The legend would seem to be borne out in this specimen from Cherry Valley, IA: However, this is a "historic village," and one approaches its representations with extreme caution.
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.
Under comparatively primitive conditions, it might be the only place one could find privacy (at least indoors), though there are enough multi-holed conveniences still preserved— Back" -- expresses a sense of the importance of the structure.
basic outhouse design (it's just not that difficult) In Little Vine Cemetery (Ste. Here is some authoritative-sounding but nonetheless utterly ungrounded speculation Probably the most recognizable symbol associated symbol with the traditional outhouse building is the familiar crescent moon carved into the privy door.
The school was built as an ideal version of, and laboratory for, the iconic "one room schoolhouse." A Google-image search for "old" and "outhouse" suggests that most authentic specimens had no door-cutouts at all, but rather utilitarian cutouts high on the side-walls (if any such refinement appears at all), though the impulse to ornament may have produced a nicely-framed diamond cutout.
Sometimes an eminently practical V-notch at the top seems to have sufficed: And the same principle operates in a (Staten Island) example, sketched from memory, gets a practical, easy-to-cut circle.
My own speculation is that an additional function may have been served by the shape, and later displaced.
My grandparents' farm near had an outhouse built between 19.
Uncle Herschel asked Aunt Martha's mother why she did that.
"Because", she said, "my mother always cut the end off and she taught me to do it that way." Uncle Herschel shrugged.
However, the dating is hardly documented, and the wood containing the moon-feature is clearly not contemporary with the main-structure cladding.