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Quick Facts

Condition: Reconstruction

Where is it Located

About the Necessary

Modern-day visitors to Mount Vernon often ask about the location of the bathrooms in the Mansion; there were none. Outdoor toilets like this were often called privies or outhouses; at Mount Vernon they were called necessaries. In the 18th-century, there were probably four necessaries spread out around the Mansion House grounds. During cold nights, the Washington family, their guests, the plantation’s enslaved workers, and servants, used chamber pots in their rooms.

Today, there are two restored necessaries at Mount Vernon. They are located just outside the Upper and Lower Gardens. Each has three seats fitted with large, removable wooden drawers for easy cleaning.

Why Does George Washington's Bathroom Have Three Seats?