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A home in Hatton

Jan. 26—HATTON — A two-story house located at 50 Front St. in Hatton that was owned by two former Hatton mayors is still on the market. According to Real Estate Broker Brian Gentry, the house is more than 100 years old.

The house has only been owned by two or three people, Gentry said, including former Hatton Mayor Harold Johnson, who served as mayor for several decades. Gentry said he has heard from multiple sources that Johnson was at one point the longest-serving mayor in the U.S., but he has been unable to verify the claim.

Gentry said the house is livable in its current condition, but some buyers may want to renovate parts of the building.

"I know it's gonna sell, but it's going to take the right buyer," Gentry said. "I mean, the house is solid, everything checks out, but Hatton is not a big place, and there are no stores. It's like a neighborhood in the middle of nowhere ... So, it's not for everybody."

According to the listing, the two-story house has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a basement and is about 2,941 square feet. The price is listed at $325,000.

"I've had calls from all over the country," Gentry said. "I put it in a magazine, and I just pushed it out there. I've had people look at it from Texas, Colorado, I've had calls from New York, New Jersey, Idaho, the coasts, Washington coast, Oregon coast."

Dell Palmer and his wife, Linda, are the current owners of the home. He said they purchased the house in 1989 and raised their family in it, living there until a couple of years ago when they moved out of town.

"That was one of the first things that we liked about the place, was it was old," Palmer said. "And we like that stuff. We always enjoyed that, so we worked to keep everything that way. Yeah, it's been an entertaining house."

The house still has the original wood furnishings and many old features.

"We kind of kept everything the way it was," Palmer said. "My wife put a lot of labor into the woodwork on the inside of the house. She fought me tooth and nail, about that, so we kept it. Everything is original, the banister on the stairways, if you feel that, that's been done by hand. The glass in the built-in china closet was all by hand and in the kitchen there's a little pantry, and they cut the bottoms out of that cupboard and it was screened so that the air from the basement would come through there and keep things cool."

The house is integrally tied to the history of Hatton, but there is very little in the way of records of information on Johnson or that history, a primary source being Dell Palmer, who also served as mayor of the town for a time.

Gentry spoke further about some of the historic elements of the nearly eight-acre property.

"You walk this property, it's like you're in a wild west museum because ... on this property is a tack shed where they kept their saddles and everything, and I walked in there and you could smell the smell of horses and leather," Gentry said. "There's just such a rich history, so much history."

According to the listing, the property includes a gated driveway, a barn, a shop, the tack shed which was formerly Hatton's post office and more.

"I mean, a true showing will take two hours, because there's so many outbuildings and there's the original greenery that's on this property," Gentry said. "You walk the grounds, you walk the pasture, and there's a whole horse skeleton, and there's two wagons that would go behind horses. There's a sled that would be pulled on snow behind horses. It's just like you're walking around going, 'What am I looking at? Is this like 1902?'"

Gentry said the house has been affectionately known as the "mansion of Hatton."

"It's not for everybody, but if you wanted something to fix up, and you're okay living a little bit rustic for a while, like I said the woodwork is mind-blowing ... That part of it is amazing," he said.

Dell Palmer reflected on the impact Harold Johnson had on Hatton.

"He held that town together for many years. A lot of other towns went down, and the water was what held the town together and Harold, he put together a water system and got a well put in and the cistern," Palmer said. "That's the key. That's the only reason that little town is still there, you know."

Gabriel Davis may be reached at gdavis@columbiabasinherald.com. Download the Columbia Basin Herald app on iOS and Android.