Kahlotus, Franklin, Washington

On the northeast corner of Franklin County, located just west of Kahlotus Lake and 7 miles north of the Snake River, is the farming town of Kahlotus. In the late 1800s, the area was occupied mainly by horsemen and rangers who resented settlement of the free open range. One of the earliest settlers of Kahlotus was a farmer named Hans Harder. Hans’ brothers, Max and Jacob, also ended up joining him in the area. Jacob Harder became the first person to bring irrigation to Franklin County.

Kahlotus was originally named Hardersburg, and the lake was named Washtucna Lake. The lake was 2 miles long and ½ mile wide and was fed by local springs. The town and lake were later renamed Kahlotus, which means “hole in the ground.” Another translation, based on an Indian legend, says Kahlotus means “coyote water” Kahlotus was also the name of a Palouse Indian chief.

The official townsite of Kahlotus was laid out in 1902 by the Hardersburg Townsite and Improvement Corp. This was the same year the Oregon Railroad and Navigation (O.R.& N.) Company resumed operation on the branch line to Palouse Junction (Connell) after they had abandoned it from 1890 to 1901. The coming of the train brought with it the mail and people traveling between towns, and was a big factor for activity in the area.

Today, Kahlotus offers quiet appeal and a heritage rich in local history. As you drive through this area, you’ll catch a view of beautiful canyon walls springing up from river-carved gorges, which provide the perfect border to grassy parcels. Paulous Falls State Park and Lion’s Ferry State Park are both nearby and are worth a scenic stop.

From Tri-Cities Mid-Columbia Telephone Directory 2004-2005, published by Statewide Publishing, Kennewick, Washington. Page C8.

M.R.S.C. about Kahlotus
Current information provided by the Municipal Research & Services Center of Washington.

Wikipedia on Kahlotus
Wikipedia is a wonderful resource that is in encyclopedia format. Tidbits include date of incorporation and some demographics.

Detailed Profile of Kahlotus
City-Data is full of current demographics and statistics.

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