Marker dedicated at historic Golden home

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The official dedication ceremony for the Wood County historical marker at Doc Cooper Farm in Golden was held Sept. 13. Judge Lucy Hebron officiated the ceremony.

Don Shamburger, fourth generation family member to own the farm, was present to unveil the marker. Many locals stood waiting, cameras in hand, to capture the display.

“It’s great to see that we’re adding one more historical marker in our beautiful county,” said Hebron before reading the history of the farm.

The house was built by Dr. J.E. Cooper in 1896 and he practiced medicine there until his death in 1915.

“Doc Cooper delivered babies upstairs on the second floor. I don’t know why,” interjected Shamburger.

“Maybe gravity helped,” said Judge Hebron jokingly.

After Doc Cooper’s death, the property and home were passed to his son, O.W. Cooper and his wife Ethel. O.W. was an engineer for the railroad and Ethel was active in the community. She hosted many events in the home for the Iris Golden Club. The remaining abundance of irises in the flower bed represent her love of gardening and conservation.

The estate has remained in the family until this year, when Tim and Valarie Kerby bought it.

On a Sunday drive, Valarie Kerby came around the corner and was stopped in her tracks by the character and charm of the property with 21 acres, three ponds, a barn and a chicken coup.

“The house called me,” says Kerby, who chased the dream of owning this farm for 17 months.

She reached out to the family and stayed in touch with them, weekly riding by and taking pictures of the house. The owners were not interested in selling, but that did not stop Kerby from pressing on.

In March, the Kerbys closed on the property.

After the unveiling, Shamburger reflected on his childhood at the farm with tears in his eyes.

“I remember the magnolia trees and the picnics we used to have once a year. My aunt wouldn’t let me go to town unless I was fully dressed. It was good times. I came down here one year to attend Tyler Junior College and slept on the back porch where it was cool and windy. It was great. I enjoyed coming down, but I’ve aged. I have arthritis now and I’ve had to give it up. It’s especially nice to see that it’s going to be restored. I am especially grateful,” said Shamburger.

Kerby feels blessed to have the farm, and says the Shamburger family is welcome anytime.

“They’re the ones that created this. We’re just saving it,” says Kerby.

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