Kahlotus, Washington

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Kahlotus, Washington
City
Kahlotus as seen from the Columbia Plateau Trail.
Kahlotus as seen from the Columbia Plateau Trail.
Nickname(s): Hole in The Ground, K-Town
Location of Kahlotus, Washington
Location of Kahlotus, Washington
Coordinates: 46°38′42″N 118°33′18″W / 46.64500°N 118.55500°W / 46.64500; -118.55500Coordinates: 46°38′42″N 118°33′18″W / 46.64500°N 118.55500°W / 46.64500; -118.55500
Country United States
State Washington
County Franklin
Area[1]
 • Total 0.47 sq mi (1.22 km2)
 • Land 0.47 sq mi (1.22 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 902 ft (275 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 193
 • Estimate (2015)[3] 190
 • Density 410.6/sq mi (158.5/km2)
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 99335
Area code(s) (509)282
FIPS code 53-34575
GNIS feature ID 1505893[4]

Kahlotus is a city in Franklin County, Washington, United States. The population was 193 at the 2010 census. The Washington State Office of Financial Management's 2015 estimate placed the population at 190.

History[edit]

The first organized settlement of Kahlotus was by German immigrants, imported by the railroads, in around 1880. Among these settlers were several locally recognized pioneer families, including Hans Harder, who first platted the town in 1902 under the name "Hardersburg". The town was later renamed Kahlotus. The meaning of the word "Kahlotus" is uncertain. It is believed by many that it is a Native American word meaning "Hole in the ground", but it may instead mean "stinking water" or "bad water" in reference to the highly alkaline water in the nearby lake. A third possibility is that the town was named for a Palouse tribal chief and signer of the Yakima Treaty of 1855. His name appeared with various spellings, including Kohlotus, Quillatose (by future governor Isaac Stevens), Qalatos, and Kahlatoose.

Harder's platting of the town coincided with the reinstatement of service on the Oregon & Washington Railroad & Navigation line between LaCrosse and Palouse Junction (now Connell), crossing the north end of town parallel to present-day Highway 260. Soon after, the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railroad began construction on a second railroad on the south shore of nearby Kahlotus lake, including tunnels through the basalt cliffs near the southeast corner of town. Kahlotus was officially incorporated on May 31, 1907. The town boomed during construction of the railroad, local legend claims that nearly 20 saloons, a bank, newspaper, brothels, and other businesses appeared to serve the rail crews.

Dryland farming has historically constituted the majority of the local economy. Relatively little irrigated agriculture occurs in the area, supported by local wells. The Columbia Basin Irrigation Project does not deliver water to Kahlotus.

In 1969, the initial phase of the Lower Monumental Dam was completed nearby, bringing more electricity and water for irrigation, but inundating the nearby Marmes Rockshelter. The dam also made the Snake River navigable, allowing grain to be barged downriver rather than being carried by train. Within a few years, the railroad through the north end of the valley was abandoned and removed. The Burlington Northern tracks along the south end of the lake bed and Devils Canyon were abandoned and removed in the late 1980s, and the right of way became part of the Columbia Plateau Trail State Park.

Kahlotus lake, near the east edge of town, was a highly alkaline, spring fed lake and was once a popular fishing spot full of bass and crappie. Several times in the early 20th century, the lake swelled with runoff and flooded the lower-lying portions of town. However, the lake shrank rapidly through the 1990s, and by 2000 only a small marshy area remained at the east end of the lake bed, far from town. Most likely, the lake disappeared due to a combination of several consecutive years of below average rainfall and increases in irrigation withdrawals within the valley.

Kahlotus School District[edit]

The Kahlotus School District is located in Southeastern Washington, 45 miles NE of Pasco, Washington. The residents of the district are involved in cattle and wheat farming. A number of people in the district work for governmental agencies: Corp of Engineers at Lower Monumental Dam , Lyons Ferry Fish Hatchery, and Coyote Ridge Corrections Facility. Lamb Weston is also an employer of people in the district. Kahlotus Elementary School and Jr/Sr High School has approximately 60 students in grades Pre-K through 12. There has never been a graduating class larger than 12 in the almost 100-year history of the district. The first schoolhouse was built in 1916 and was a two-story school house that housed every class from 1916-1954. The graduating class of 1955 enjoyed the new building completed in 1954 at its present site. Renovations have been completed over the years with extensive upgrades in the 1990s and 2000s including windows/doors/flooring/roofing and a new heating boiler in 2012 when the first one finally gave up after nearly 60 years of service. Recently, the student population has decreased similarly to that of neighboring towns Washtucna and Lacrosse. Senior Class of 2012 only had 2 students, while the Classes of 2013 and 2014 had 3 graduates. Despite the decrease in students, Kahlotus School District is going strong with a new Athletic Cooperative agreement with Lacrosse and Washtucna creating the "LWK" moniker that now adorns all athletic teams in the coop. Students at KSD enjoy wireless internet connectivity, access to iPads, touch-enabled interactive white boards, ASB, FFA, DECA, Football, Volleyball, Basketball, Softball, Track, Baseball, Tennis and more. KSD has small class sizes and boasts a student-teacher ratio of 7:1.

Geography[edit]

Kahlotus is located at 46°38′42″N 118°33′18″W / 46.64500°N 118.55500°W / 46.64500; -118.55500 (46.644936, -118.554909).[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.47 square miles (1.22 km2), all of it land.[1]

Climate[edit]

According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Kahlotus has a semi-arid climate, abbreviated "BSk" on climate maps.[6]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 132
1920 151 14.4%
1930 164 8.6%
1940 163 −0.6%
1950 151 −7.4%
1960 131 −13.2%
1970 308 135.1%
1980 203 −34.1%
1990 167 −17.7%
2000 214 28.1%
2010 193 −9.8%
Est. 2015 190 [7] −1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
2015 Estimate[3]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 193 people, 88 households, and 56 families residing in the city. The population density was 410.6 inhabitants per square mile (158.5/km2). There were 114 housing units at an average density of 242.6 per square mile (93.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 90.7% White, 0.5% African American, 0.5% Native American, 2.6% Asian, 3.6% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.3% of the population.

There were 88 households of which 26.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.6% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.4% were non-families. 33.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.66.

The median age in the city was 47.8 years. 19.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 19.1% were from 25 to 44; 43% were from 45 to 64; and 12.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 53.9% male and 46.1% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census of 2000, there were 214 people, 89 households, and 51 families residing in the city. The population density was 523.2 people per square mile (201.5/km²). There were 113 housing units at an average density of 276.3 per square mile (106.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.05% White, 0.93% African American, 0.93% Native American, 0.47% Asian, 9.35% from other races, and 3.27% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.21% of the population.

There were 89 households out of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.7% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.6% were non-families. 36.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 3.10.

In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 27.1% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 28.0% from 25 to 44, 27.1% from 45 to 64, and 10.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 132.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 122.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $38,750, and the median income for a family was $38,958. Males had a median income of $31,786 versus $25,179 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,617. About 11.6% of families and 19.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.5% of those under the age of eighteen and none of those sixty five or over.

Further reading[edit]

  • Swart, Phillip. Hole in the Ground; Tales of Kahlotus. Seattle: Sand Hill Books, c. 1997.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  3. ^ a b "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2016. 
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ Climate Summary for Kahlotus, Washington
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  8. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved August 29, 2013.