Pictured are Ray and Margaret Olson who have called Golden home since 1957.

Golden Moments: A house was built that became a home

Ray and Margaret Olson came to Golden in 1957, from the Okanagan.

Ray and Margaret Olson came to Golden in 1957, from the Okanagan, when the company Ray worked for opened a mill in town and offered him a position.

The couple had met while Ray was serving in the army in Winnipeg during the Second World War, and have been married for 66 years.

Ray ended up buying a piece of land on what is now 11th Ave. N. where he built the house he still lives in today.

“The main thing was I figured I would build my own house. I bought a piece of land near work and a place where the kids would have lots of room to play,” he said. “The original house I built was just one floor but then the girls got bigger and needed their own rooms. I built the upstairs on so they could all have a room and now they are all gone and we have the whole house to ourselves.”

The land the family built on was not even a part of Golden for a number of years.

Ray bought an extra half acre of land since his first purchase and now lets the birds use it because he likes it the way it is.

He spoke fondly of when both his children and other kids in the area would come by and play in the water.

“There is water all around there,” he said. “It is water which is backed up by beaver dams and made a little lake in there.”

“This is where the children played and we didn’t mind that. We always had a yard full. One time we were away on holiday for three weeks and when we came back there was still a yard filled with kids,”  Margaret  added.

Over the years Golden has changed a great deal for the Olson family.

“The town wasn’t even incorporated when we came here. The dirt roads were downtown. There were no big roads and it was as dusty as the dickens,” said Ray.

“The road out of town, you had to go on the big bend or the terrible road up the canyon. It is pretty good now compared to what it was,” said Margaret.

They also said back in the day they never locked a door and it was a simpler time in many ways.

“We never thought of the security that you have to think of now,” he said.

The couple now have grandchildren who have started graduating from university. Ray explained, in his opinion, the grandchildren got their smarts from their parents and grandmother.

The family has been involved in many different clubs and organizations over the years including helping get the Golden Museum up and running.

They said they are also very lucky to live in an area where people do what they can to help.

There are a lot of people here who make a difference,” Ray said.

One thing he does try to do is make people who are visiting the town feel welcomed. An avid traveller, he takes his own great experiences and brings them home.

“I think the town should be involved. When people travel they remember those people who came up and spoke to you. It wouldn’t cost the town anything if people were more like that. I think it would get people into the downtown area,” he said.