Hank & Betty Christian (parents to Peggy Hilton) began breeding Golden Retrievers in the early 1930’s. In 1936, the kennel name “Goldwood” was registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC). “Goldwood” is a combination of “Golden” (from Golden Retriever) and “Dellwood” (for Dellwood, Minnesota where the original facility was built).
Goldwood became well known in the 1930’s and 1940’s for our very successful breeding of the majestic hunting Golden Retriever. The Christians, along with Betty’s two brothers, Ben Boalt from Milwaukee and Ralph Boalt from Winona and her brother-in-law Col. Sam Magoffin from Vancouver, were very instrumental in importing and developing this highly desirable hunting dog in the Midwest. They also helped start the Golden Retriever Club of America and the Minnesota Field Trial Association. Many Goldens in the country have pedigrees that can be traced back to the kennel names of “Goldwood”, “Rockhaven”, “Stilrovin”, “Gilnockie”, “Beavertail”, and “Gunnerman” all owned by members of Peggy’s family.
When Frank and Peggy were dating in the late 1940’s, Peggy gave Frank a Golden Retriever puppy as a gift. His love and concern for pets was immediate. During the 1950’s Goldwood Kennels became inactive as a breeding kennel and had not yet become established as a boarding facility. In 1961 Peggy and Frank acquired a beautiful hunting Golden with Goldwood breeding in its pedigree. Then and there they decided that Goldwood would become active once again. They began their study of the ideal Golden, competed in field trials (which continued for 10 years) acquired more Goldens and started the breeding program. Theirs had been a policy to breed only when there is a demand for pups. Their pups went to many different areas in the United States, some to Canada and one to Tokyo, Japan.