The Golden Troupe traveled along the railways and on stagecoaches from September through May each year. Traveling with 20 professional actors and the Super Silver Band and Orchestra, also known as the Silver Cornet Band, this convoy made its way through seven states and logged more than 5,000 miles through seven states on each tour.
Bella Golden's talent led the troupe to the heights of its success. However, in late 1889, Bella injured herself in a fall backstage. Without her, the Golden Troupe slowly lost its luster. While the fate of the company declined, the Golden's continue to find success in a variety of fields. Martin Sr. managed other theatrical companies. Grace continued her career as an operatic soprano, Frances became a well-known comic actress, Martin Jr. became a local New Harmony businessman, and William made his profession as a writer and teacher.
The Golden Troupe was a popular touring theatrical company in the mid-nineteenth century based out of New Harmony, Indiana. The troupe used the warm summer months to rehearse new plays in the Thrall’s Opera House before setting out on tour through the Midwest, Southwest, and South. Martin Golden Sr., the troupe’s manager, financial supervisor, and artistic director, and his wife Bella, the star of the production, lived a life of travel and performance with their four children, who were also part of the group.
Southern Indiana family turned national celebrities
'Grand combination' travels around the country
Star's injury causes troupe to go their separate ways
The Golden Troupe family kept a personal collection of costumers, props, manuscripts, and personal items during their time together, and when the youngest daughter Frances passed away, those artifacts were split among the Working Men’s Institute, Holiday World, and family friend Betty Couch. Today, more than 650 of those items are part of a permanent collection stored at the Indiana State Museum.
Historic artifacts preserved