By Nick Neppach
The Charles Goodnight house was built originally by Goodnight himself in 1887, before he built this house for his wife Molly the Goodnights lived in home cut of the canyon. But in 1887 after the death of his ranching partner Goodnight decided to build a house near Palo Duro Canyon for his wife. The house was built out of wood from Louisiana; a carpenter that Goodnight paid $100 a month selected this wood. Once this house was finished it was the first home built in the town which was then called Goodnight, Texas. Charles and Molly spent the last thirty-nine years of their marriage in the house Mr. Goodnight built.
Today the Goodnight house is being restored to its original state after years of wear and tear from the brutal Texas winters, heat, and wind. The restoration started in 2005 and work has been done ever since. It is 29,000 sq. ft. coated in original brown, gold, and gray, damaged areas were made whole around the outside of the house. A giant plaster buffalo was placed in the yard in front of the house to “keep watch.” The buffalo was donated art group in Midland, Texas. The Buffalo sits behind the wrought-iron fence; members of the White Dear FFA built the fence.
The outside was finished and restoration moved inside the house in August of 2011. Montie Hubbard Goodin a chairwomen of the Armstrong county museum said, “We have one description that the floor was covered with buffalo hides, and there were various paintings on the wall. There were five fireplaces in the house and three of them stem from one major chimney… one opens into the living room, one into the bedroom, and one into the receiving room.” The house was worked to be brought back to its’ original state, although now it does have central heating and air conditioning to keep it well preserved. Montie Goodin when asked about the house restoration also said, “It’s our county, it’s our history. So we thought we’d try… We’ll get it done.” Mrs. Goodin has special connection the Goodnight House that goes beyond preservation of the house. Her father Cleo Hubbard grew up in the Goodnight house. He was the son of a housekeeper who worked for Charles and Molly in their home. Mr. Hubbard was eventually named ranch foreman, as told by Goodin.
Montie Goodin’s connection to the Goodnight house has been a part in leading in the restoration of the home. Her passion for the restoration of the home has played a big role in where it is today. The house is set to be introduced on October 5th only a short week away. On that day the house will look in many ways different but also the same as it did all the way back in 1887.