Abominable Year of 2020

White wooden outhouse with black half-moon on door next to a white picket fence in the snow with orange sun shining on dried stalks in foreground and on blurry line of buildings in background behind trees

Location: Steven’s House, Minnehaha Regional Park, 4901 Minnehaha Avenue

Legend has it that outhouses in colonial times, when many folks couldn’t read, were marked for gender by a star, or sun, for men and a moon for women. Eventually the moon, long a women’s symbol, supposedly became the sign for all outhouses, as they became unisex over time. And, commonly seen are the moon and star together. Back then, when one went to the loo in the middle of the night, you took a lantern along—the moon and star would shine with light to let anyone else know it was already occupied.

Photo: Brian Donahue