Goodman-LeGrand House and Museum

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Spirits are still reveling, even in death.


Oh my! What a grand Greek/ Classical Revival architecture with Georgian Revival elements Mansion this structure is in person! Totally impressive!! Tom and I really enjoyed visiting the outside, as it was closed when we arrived. The version of the mansion that royally stands today is the 1927 version; the Classic revival style with elements of the Georgian Revival elements.

legrand-paranormalThe NRHP registration form goes into great detail about the beautiful architecture. Dr William and his wife have very good taste, that has survived the eras; thanks to the dedicated historical experts who love old, historic homes and structures; such as Daughters of the Revolution.

Thanks to the Junior League of Tyler, the conversion of most of the second floor in 1964 was turned into a local historical museum with many exhibits from the Civil War period. Indian artifacts and a collection of historical photographs are also displayed there.

Part of the second floor was turned into an apartment space for a resident hostess who supervises activities in the home. The common rooms on the first floor are used for public receptions, recitals and the meetings of various cultural, historical and civic organizations.

The KLTV article I read on-line calls this house museum “a perfect time-capsule of life in East Texas in the late-1850’s and beyond.”

A Curator is the tour guide and leads visitors on a wonderful tour of the mansion, telling about all the family members who lived and died here. She also is still discovering family treasures and putting them in new displays. The mansion is rented for all sorts of social events, which would’ve pleased Sallie very much as she loved to entertain people



The original structure that stood here was a single floor Greek Revival style cottage, built by Samuel Gallatin Smith, who called his pride and joy, Bonnie Castle. This cottage sat on nine acres of land. Samuel Smith only got to live in it for two years, because when he joined the Confederate Army in 1861, He sold his beloved cottage to a Tyler school teacher, F.N.Gary. He never lived in it because after the 1862 Battle of New Orleans, Gary let refugees who were fleeing the Union Army, stay there.

Three years before the Civil War broke out, in 1857, the next owner of Bonnie Castle, Dr Samuel Goodwin retired and his family moved to Tyler, Texas.

Dr. Goodman’s eldest son, William J. Goodman attended the Bellvue Hospital College of Surgeons, and graduated from the New York College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1857. The new Dr. William J. Goodman joined his family in Tyler, Texas and opened up his doctor’s office.

However when the Civil War broke out in 1860, Dr. William joined the Confederate Army, becoming a Captain and worked as the surgeon for his Confederate unit; the 13th Texas Infantry for the duration of the War.

After the Civil War ended, F.N. Gary sold Bonnie Castle in 1866 to Dr.Samuel A. Goodman. It is then that Dr. Samuel Goodman opened a drug store and began to practice medicine once more, as the need was great. Dr. William Goodman returned to Tyler and married his Tyler sweetheart, Miss Priscilla Gaston and the happy couple started their family in their first home together. In 1872, Dr. William J. Goodman bought the Bonnie Castle from his Dad for $3,000 dollars; a boatload of money for 1872.

As it is with a lot of houses, each owner improved it to suit their needs and social status. This structure was fortunately the beloved, forever home for a lot of folks who lived here. Dr. William Goodman moved his wife, Priscilla and 4 children: 3 girls and a boy into their new forever home. Because of this large family, they added the second story in 1880. In addition, Victorian double galleries were added on all sides of the mansion.

“The galleries were carried completely across each facade and had five bays on the east and west facades, and four bays on the’ north and south facades. Both ‘levels on the east and west galleries had six chamfered columns with simple mitered and beveled caps. The north and south galleries had five columns on each level, which were identical to those on the other galleries.”

In the end, the Greek style Cottage was completely rebuilt and evolved into this masterpiece with a new style of architecture added.

One of their children, Sallie and her husband, James Hutcheson LeGrand who were married in 1893, moved into this mansion living with her parents. They had a son in 1894, but the child died in 1896. They remained childless, and threw themselves into charity and civic projects; making better the lives of the less fortunate and for the good of all Tyler citizens.

Sallie and James were active in city organizations and opened up their mansion for a “gathering place” for several charitable events as well as social events. They loved the Tyler Rose Festival and enthusiastically supported it. The Goodman-LeGrand family loved to host large formal dinner parties for important city and state officials as well, including three Texas governors.

When Sallie’s father, Dr. William Goodman died in 1921, Sallie and James LeGrand completely remodeled the mansion in the Classic Revival style in 1926. The large, two storied semi- circular portico in the front with large pillars holding it up was their spectacular addition to the front of the house!

James LeGrand died in 1935. Sallie herself died four years later in 1939. As Sallie had out-lived all of her siblings, in her will she gave all her journals, the mansion and its property, and family treasures to the city of Tyler. When the city took title, they turned the acreage into a park, and the mansion into a historical museum, that covered the 1850s, the Civil War and beyond. The personal treasures and journals were also on display for the education and enjoyment of the citizens of Tyler.

In 1976, the house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places Listings in Smith County. The Daughters of the American Revolution designated the house a national Historic Site in 2010. A major restoration/ renovation of the house was begun in 2010 and was completed in 2011. AS members of the Goodman/LeGrand families loved their forever home, The Goodman-LeGrand House and Museum is loved by the state of Texas aa well as the City of Tyler It was listed as a Texas Landmark.



When people pass from being a living person to a spirit person, their personality stays with them; death doesn’t change the way they handle themselves. They don’t receive any redeeming qualities or any bad habits or behavior that they didn’t have before.

Members of the Goodman-LeGrand families were polite, kind, inclusive people who cared about the welfare of their community. When Sallie and James LeGrand’s two year old son died, both of them put their focus on helping others through supporting charities and philanthropic organizations. They also encouraged and supported political leaders.

When a beloved home is restored to its former glory, even with some renovations needed for modern use, the spirits attached to this favored residence are very pleased and are drawn back for fun activity that THEY ENJOYED WHILE ALIVE; through their memories or through watching the living.

House Museums that have a lot of the personal belongings of the people who lived there, or other items they once enjoyed, spirits of these people may be drawn back into their home to enjoy looking at them or interacting with them.

Beloved forever homes that were loved by their resident families and couples still can be an irresistible place to visit or reside., still claiming the property as theirs, though willing to share with the living.



Loving Grand Affairs

Spirits in a party/socializing/entertaining/dancing mode!

Apparently, grand parties still take place, as spirits remember their good times,. This includes music, talking and perhaps dancing the waltz.

When people pass, they have the same nature when they were alive. It is true here in the Goodman-LeGrand House and Museum.

Spirits who reside here let the living know in a rather polite way – by letting them hear waltz music. The curator has had experiences with hearing the waltz music playing along with disembodied voices. When she came down the staircase, the music continued.

An Invitation

They have been known to invite the living to join them.

The caretaker who lived in one of the mansions apartments, would hear the sounds of a party going on downstairs.

He would go down and the waltz music would stop.

But one time he went downstairs to investigate the party, a see-through figure came up the stairs and asked him, “”Won’t you join our party downstairs?”

He politely declined and flew up the stairs to his apartment.

Spirit of Sallie

She finds ways to subtly let the curator know in pleasant ways that she is pleased with the museum and the curator’s efforts to find more treasures still in boxes.

She also is happy about people renting the space in the house for social events, marriages and receptions etc.

The living experience aromas, friendly auras, caring , supportive unseen presence etc.

Perhaps she attends the living’s social events too!


Probably so. The spirits of Sallie and members of the Goodman-LeGrand families still love their forever home despite the interior being changed for the museum. After all, this property was given to the city of Tyler with the hope that the people of Tyler could enjoy it too; and a museum here is a perfect choice.

The mansion is kept in good shape and the green space on their property was made into a public park.

No hard evidence has been shared with the public. Paranormal investigations are not permitted, probably because they know who is here and they don’t need ghost hunters antagonizing the spirits who reside/visit here.




Goodman-LeGrand House and Museum
624 North Broadway Avenue
Tyler, Texas 75702

Goodman-LeGrand House and Museum is located near downtown; on a large piece of property that includes Goodman Park, that surrounds the structure. This gorgeous Mansion faces North Broadway, its southern border on its property is Goodman Street, its western boarder is North Bois D Arc Ave West.



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  • – By Stephanie Frazier

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

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