The Goodman-LeGrand House in Tyler was originally built in 1859 as a one-story, four-room house, and it was established on a 9-acre wooded parcel of land by Samuel Gallatin Smith, a young well-to-do bachelor, and attorney. Smith sold the house in when the Civil War broke out in 1861, to a local school teacher, Franklin N. Gary. A year after the Civil War ended, in 1866, Gary sold the house to Dr. Samuel Adams Goodman, a retired country doctor from South Carolina. The following year, Goodman sold the house to his son, Dr. William Jeffries Goodman, a local doctor and Civil War Major and Chief Surgeon, who moved in with his new bride Mary Priscilla Gaston. Gaston’s brother, William Henry Gaston, was one of the founders of the City of Dallas and one of Dallas’ first millionaires.
The Goodmans lived at the residence for 73 years. Around 1880 they added the second story to the house, in the Italianate-style architecture, around 1880.
The Goodman’s oldest child, Sallie Gertrude Goodman, married James H. LeGrand in October 1893. She and her husband lived here throughout their lives, and after the deaths of Sallie’s parents, siblings, and her 2-year-old son who died in 1896. In 1926, Sallie and her husband remodeled the house to its current state, which is in the Classic Revival-style architecture. Projecting circular porticos and the massive 2-story columns were added at that time.
Sallie Goodman-LeGrand died in 1939 and was the last direct heir to live in the house.she bequeathed the Goodman-LeGrand estate to the City of Tyler, with instructions to maintain the historic family home and to keep it open as a public museum. The City of Tyler officially took ownership in 1940.
Sallies journals helped to tell the story of the house and guests who stayed there. Her writings details numerous family trips, where a lot of the furnishings and artifacts originally came from and also describe elegant social galas and dinner parties for Texas politicians that took place in the home.
In 2010, the Goodman-LeGrand House was designated a Historic Site by the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).
In 2010-2011, the Goodman-LeGrand underwent a major exterior renovations project, which brought the exterior paint and shingled mansard roof back to its original colors from the 1880 remodel. Today, the home is still furnished with the original belongings of the Goodman-LeGrand family, some of which are older than the house itself as they date back to the early 1800’s. The museum offers visitors a chance to view such items as antique hand carved furniture and musical instruments, a grandfather clock, fine silver and crystal, hand-painted Limoges china, original clothing, medical books dating back to the early 1800’s, Civil War-era surgical tools and medical cases, original paintings and photographs, and many other rare and interesting items.
The Goodman Museum grounds are also known as LeGrand Park. The well-manicured grounds cover almost an entire city block. In addition to lush green lawns, there are many large shade trees and beautiful flowers, including azaleas and roses. Benches provide visitors a place to rest and enjoy the beautiful setting.