By Molly Moser
Residents of Guttenberg may have noticed activity in one of our most remarkable structures, the Palmer house. The familiar two-story structure at the corner of second and Herder Streets served as the late Dr. Carson Palmer’s office, pharmacy, hospital, and home. Dr. Palmer served Guttenberg for many years as a physician, surgeon, optometrist and dentist.
Christi and Matt Riverton moved into the Palmer house just after Christmas. The couple and their six children, Skylur, 16; Tearlyn, 11; Braxen, 8; Zane, 6; Ireland, 4; and now three-month-old Aspen, relocated from Dubuque, drawn to Guttenberg by the iconic home. With eight bedrooms, the house provides enough space for everyone.
Their new home required various updates, and its quirks mystified the family at first. A button to open the garage door, located in the kitchen, puzzled the family. Christi Riverton noticed a strange tube protruding from the wall in an upstairs room, and after speaking with a Palmer family member, discovered the tube stretched down to the front porch. “It was a way to call the doctor from the porch,” she explained.
The home’s quirks attracted Christi Riverton’s interest, as do the everyday quirks of the people in her life. Riverton is a writer with three published paranormal romance novels. “I use real life people to make my characters. I can build an entire character around somebody’s one weird quirk,” she says. “It makes them come to life.”