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MOTTS’ MOVE: 60 Years Of Johnston History

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The average American moves 11.7 times in his or her lifetime.

Dick and Jean Mott are way behind the curve. In 64 years of marriage, they've moved only once.

“We've been in our house now where we are now, for 60 years,” Dick Mott said. “We built our own house, with our own hands,” continued his wife Jean, “Hand dug the basement footings and all that kind of stuff.”

Jean and Dick Mott say their daughter was the first one to bring up the idea of moving. She told them that a half an acre was a lot to take care of, and they agreed.

“Our house now is 3 bedrooms and over 1400 square feet. I mean it’s not a big house, but it sure ain’t little either,” said Dick.

But the idea of leaving the city they lived in for 60 years was hard to comprehend.

“We were always involved in the community, involved in the school, Dick drove a school bus for 13 years, our kids were in little league, played on different teams, girls, boy scouts,” said Jean. Dick continued, “It was a community. It wasn’t a city or a town, it was a community.”

The Motts were one of the first families in Johnston- they literally saw the city get built around them.

“We weren’t incorporated here until 1969. We didn’t have street lights, water, anything like that,” remembered Dick.

They were about to give up, and were looking at places out of town, when construction began on Cornerstone Commons- a senior living facility being built right down the road.

“That was one of our priorities. There’s other places we could have moved to and been probably comfortable you know but we`re still home, I`d say,” said Dick.

Cornerstone’s property manager says stories like the Motts are becoming more and more common. “When I was looking at the applications, most addresses were in Johnston. And that’s what brought attention to me, is they didn’t want to leave; they’ve been here a long time. They’ve been here their whole lives and they don’t want to leave the community, which I think says something really great about the city of Johnston,” said Victoria Carter, the Property Manager of Cornerstone Commons.

Carter said several of the Motts neighbors and friends are also moving in- which is another big draw. “They are in a community with other peers, other 62 year olds plus, where they can enjoy socialization with each other so they’re not alone,” said Carter, “So this gives them a lot of opportunity to socialize, and a sense of security. It is a key access building, security cameras around so they feel safe, within their environment.”

Carter says the building filled up fast. There are about 15 rooms left.

The Motts are all moved into their new home, but their old home is still up sale.