About the 1859 Goodman-LeGrand House & Museum
In 1859, before the Civil War, a Tyler attorney and bachelor named Samuel Gallatin Smith built a one-story four room house on the highest knoll of a nine acre tract, among trees and natural rock outcroppings, and called it his “Bonnie Castle”. Before going to war as a Confederate Captain, Mr. Smith sold the house to Mr. Franklin N. Gary in 1861. After the war in 1866, Mr. Gary sold his home to Dr. Samuel Adams Goodman, who had relocated his family to Smith County from South Carolina nine years earlier. His son, a Confederate Major and general surgeon, Dr. William Jeffries Goodman, purchased the home from his father for his new bride, Mary Priscilla Gaston, upon their marriage in 1867.
Dr. and Mrs. W.J. Goodman raised three children here, Sallie, Will and Etta Goodman. The second story was added around 1880 in the “Texas Colonial” or Italianate style. In 1893, Sallie married James LeGrand and they both continued to live in the family home, which Sallie inherited upon her father’s death in 1921. The house was remodeled in 1926 when two-story columns and rounded porticos were added to the façade in the Greek Revival style, which is how it looks today. Much of the community activity in the early days of Tyler centered around the Goodman home.
Upon her death in 1939, Sallie Goodman LeGrand bequeathed the nine acres and the palatial home, with all the original family furnishings, to the City of Tyler, with the intent that her home be open as a museum for future generations to enjoy. Today the Goodman-LeGrand House & Museum is located in downtown Tyler, on the original nine acres now called the LeGrand Park & Gardens.