In 1890 Golden's population had increased from fifty to one hundred. At this time, Golden supported two saw mills, a shingle mill, cotton gin, three churches, and a school. Originally, the school south of Golden was named the Friendship school, but it later moved into town and became the Golden school. Although it was a farming community, the railroad’s tie-cutting industry played a very important role in the economy and prosperity of Golden. In the early to mid 1900's, Golden consisted of the railroad, bank, drugstore, “The Golden Rule” newspaper, pickle factory, dry good/grocery store, shoe shop, hotel, hardware store, school, cotton gin, post office, barber shop, black smith shop, automotive repair shop, gas station, and churches. Many of these businesses disappeared during or shortly after the depression. Golden is a small farming town in East Texas located approximately 80 miles east of Dallas, one mile off U.S. Highway 69 on FM Road 779. Golden's history began in the late 1870's when C. W. Tucker built a saw mill near present-day Golden. When the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad built a line from Greenville to Mineola in 1882, Golden was “born” and was named after a railroad construction engineer named John G. Golden. With the arrival of the railroad, Golden began to flourish and became a small town. In 1885, the post office was founded and Julius C. Lamberton was appointed postmaster. The area was settled as early as the mid-1860s.
Golden was named after John Golden, a construction engineer for the MK&T railroad when it built South from Greenville toward Mineola in 1881. This portion of Wood County supplied railroad ties for the MK&T 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 Golden Rule."
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.
Golden Sweet Potato Festival is held during the fourth week in October each year, the Sweet Potato Festival in Golden, Texas had its humble beginning in 1982. Monty Montgomery, a local radio station owner, came up with the idea of a community-wide get together once a year to raise money for the repair and upkeep of the Golden Community Center. The festival began with two events--a cooking contest and an auction of boxes of sweet potatoes grown by local farmers. Two flatbed trailers were joined together to form a "makeshift" stage for the sweet potato and food auction.
What began as a "community event" and fund raiser has since become a huge celebration- one of the largest events in Wood County, Texas! It's a time for family and class reunions, but most of all, especially for the farmers, it's a time for celebrating the sweet potato harvest. Today, the festival is an arm extended into the community which distributes charitable funds through-out the area to five volunteer fire departments, Meals on Wheels, local scholarships, and the Special Kids' Farm and Ranch Day, just to name a few. If you were to visit the festival, you would still see the sweet potato auction. But you would also see and experience more! Who could have predicted what an important role a variety of sweet potato called the Beauregard would become to a little farming town in Texas! Thank you for visiting our NEW website!!
Everyone is invited to attend and you don't have to join anything, pay any dues or sign anything!