in a Pecan Shell
The area was settled as early as the mid-1860s.
Golden was named after one John Golden, a construction engineer for
the MKT railroad when it built South from Greenville
toward Mineola in 1881.
This portion of Wood County supplied railroad ties for the MKT while
the timber lasted. By the mid 1880s, Golden had been granted a post
office and by 1890 it had a respectable 100 citizens, several businesses
and a vineyard - a fairly rare enterprise for East
Texas considering the abundance of wild grapes.
By the mid 1890s the population was around 300 and just prior to WWI
the town reached it's population high-water mark of 650. The town
got a bank in 1907 and their newspaper was cleverly named "The
The Great Depression forced the bank to close in 1931 and it is thought
that the pictured vault may be that of the bank.
Golden's population declined further and by the mid-1950s, the railroad
had abandoned the Greenville - Mineola tracks. The population has
remained between 100 - 200 persons from the late 60s until the present.
Sweet Potato Festival - the fourth Saturday of October
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business in Golden
Photo courtesy Jack Williams, 9-02
vault - quite probably belonging to the Golden Bank
Photo courtesy Jack Williams, 9-02
I was driving through the woods on the way home from who knows where
when all of the sudden I came upon two large buildings standing across
a large intersection from each other. The town was Golden, TX ....
I have attached a picture of each of the large buildings, the post
office, and the remains of the bank vault. There are also three cafe's
nearly side by side, a small store, and at least one church. There
is also a cemetery. ...
They have a sweet potato festival on the fourth Saturday
of October. ... Again, thanks for letting me contribute - Jack
Williams, October 01, 2002
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Being raised in and around Golden, Tx., I’ve lived most of my life
close to if not in the small East Texas town. I was born in Sept.
of 1941. Don’t remember much about Golden then but remember a lot
after about 1945. Near the end of the war was my first recollections.
We lived in a small frame home that had no electricity or running
water. I had many adventures there. ...[A]round 1946 or 7 we moved
closer to Golden. We lived on US Hwy 69, just north-west of Golden
on the old Benthal place. It was a box house with 4 rooms and a
closed in dog run. We did have electricity, one hanging bulb in
each room but no running water. The well was about 100 yards from
the house right beside the cattle barn. My job was to bring buckets
of water from the well for house hold use. We had an outhouse about
40 yards just north of the house... Around 1953-4 we moved to Mineola
and lived with a divorced woman who didn’t want to live by herself.
We tried to take our horse with us but that is another story. After
a year we bought a house and 4 acres just out of Golden and moved
back. We had running water but no bathroom. After a couple of years
we did put in a bathroom and it was so nice. Living here in the
Calvary community we stayed until after I graduated from high school
and Jr. College. My memories of Golden at this time was tied to
me working in the fields. Golden was the center for watermelon growers
and sweet potatoes. It was extremely active in the summer... [S]ometimes
there were 3 café’s operating plus 2 general stores and a post office,
which was part of one of the general stores. Also a section foreman
lived in a house there by the railroad. There was a large “shed”
where hay was stored that was used to pack around the melons that
were shipped out by the train.
Somewhere in the early 50’s the state put in the present Hwy 69
and it bypassed Golden. Shortly thereafter, the train was abandoned
and the watermelon market dried up. This also was the end to commercialism
in Golden. Today, few melons are grown but a few more sweet potatoes...
Such a wonderful place to raise children and live a peaceful country
life…….. - Michael Patrick, November 03, 2015
My name is Dorothy Brooks Tomlins, born as Dorothy Lee Brooks in
Alba, TX in July 1915. My parents, Tura & Charles, who was known
as CJ, moved to Golden in 1915 when I was a few months old.
Our house in Golden, was on Sandy Road, right across from the railroad
track. When the train would come by, I would run up on the hill
and wave to the engineer, he would throw me a piece of candy as
he went by. There was a mill down the road from us, where they made
sugar cane syrup. My dad bought a small piece of land near the Methodist
Church, where we were members, and we kids grew cucumbers. They
were shipped out from Golden and we made a little bit of money.
In the 1970’s my brothers, Charles Maynard and Joe Wise, and I donated
the lot to the Methodist Church.
My grandfather, Joe Brooks, and wife Lizzie Brooks had a small grocery
store on the highway in Golden, and my dad, CJ, and his brother
Ambrose, started Brooks Brothers Drug Store. It was a long brick
building. It soon became only Brooks Drug Store, my dad was a pharmacist.
Many nights he was called to fill a prescription and since there
wasn’t a doctor in town, many started calling him “Doc”. There was
no electricity when we moved to Golden. But when I was 8 years old,
dad had electricity brought into Golden.
Our friends, the Harrison’s, lived across the road from my grandparents.
They had the only telephone so they were “central”. I loved spending
the night with Marie, their youngest daughter. They also had a storm
cellar, and I remember when a storm would be coming in, we called
them cyclones, we would all run to their storm cellar. Such excitement!
In 1927 (approx) my brother Charles Maynard, graduated from high
school in Golden (10th grade), and my parents were encouraged to
further his education. The new highway was rerouted around Golden,
so we moved to Denton where there were 2 colleges. Dad still had
the drug store, until the Great Depression hit, his business failed,
as did his health.
My son Paul and his wife Sandy are driving me to Golden in May,
I haven’t been back to Golden since I was 17, and since I will be
93 in July, I am truly looking forward to seeing Golden and reliving
some wonderful memories. - Dorothy Tomlins, March 07, 2008
Golden Gas Station Jam Session
About 20 years ago I was taking a shortcut to a relative's weekend
retreat in East Texas. It was a Saturday evening just after sunset
and I was coming into the town of Golden. I came around the corner
and there was an old gas station. The pumps instantly caught my
eye because they were so old I knew that they could not be in operation.
At that point I noticed a group of men standing there with musical
instruments. There were three or four elderly gentlemen on guitars
and a young Mexican farm worker on a stand-up snare drum. The men
had their cigarettes resting on top of the gas pumps while they
play country music. I stayed there for about 45 minutes for some
of the most entertaining moments of my life! - Dennis Christy,
Irving, Texas, October 20, 2007
Dear TE, It was exciting to see Golden Texas [in your magazine],
especially in light of the fact that the first picture shown is
the building where I was born, or so I've been told. Evidently,
after the bank closed down, it was turned into an apartment and
I was born there in March of 1941. My parents divorced when I was
12, but my father, Alvis Galusha, is buried there in Golden Cemetery.
My cousins and my brother and I used to explore when I was a kid
and I remember the railroad well even though we weren't supposed
to be that far away from my grandparent's land. We would sit and
watch the train go by and the engineers would throw us chewing gum.
Being a city girl, visiting my grandparents every summer in the
country was always the highlight of my year. This has really brought
back memories. I still go back occasionally to the cemetery and
love to go into the main store there where pictures of my grandparents
are on display as well as some other relatives. I was so astonished
the first time I saw the pictures, but thrilled.
I have passed this website on to my brother and my children who
will probably be extremely interested in preserving these momentos.
So thank you very much for the effort and research you have conducted.
- Connie (Galusha) Lattoz, Baytown, Texas, February 15, 2007
Dear TE: My
name is Tommy Wayne Bullard and I was born in Golden, on September
11, 1943. My Grandmother was Mollie Branum, later Mollie Benthul.
She is buried in the Golden Cemetery. My Dad farmed and performed
mechanical work in Golden. We moved to Vidor Tx about 1945 but returned
to Golden three or four times a year as long as my Grandmother was
there. I have a Cousin in Mineola, that was also raised there. He
might be able to tell you more about Golden. I have only good memories
about that nice little town. Thanks. Tom Bullard, Vidor, Texas,
September 23, 2006
First of all,
great website! I read with interest the info on Golden Texas. I,
along with other relatives just purchased one of the two buildings
pictured on your page (the two-story building.) The building is
now an art gallery with studios upstairs. Of course, we are interested
in any information on the building, and Golden in general. Included
in your information is mention of a vineyard - we have not been
able to find any other mention of this and wondered where you found
that info? We would like to someday re-establish a vineyard in Golden
so any info you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. -
Craig Musgraves, Golden, TX, November 10, 2004
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