Forward by WT Cox
In “The Wealth of Community” series we continue to highlight the people and businesses that have made this section of North Carolina a great place to live and grow up. One of the oldest businesses in Ramseur is Goldston Concrete Co. Today this business is actually two separate businesses… Each owned and operated by the sons and grandsons of the original founder Ashley “Fat” Goldston.
Carnell Goldston has run his own business since 1996, concentrating on the concrete pouring and finishing part of the business. His sons work with him doing large commercial concrete and grading projects all over North Carolina and surrounding states. His brother, Larry, and his sons continue to operate Goldston Concrete Co and focus on septic tank installation and maintenance, along with specialized concrete work. Both brothers trace their success back to the hard work and dedication instilled in them by their father.
Both companies carry on the tradition that was started by Ashley Goldston way back in the 1950s.
“ Fat” Goldston is remembered as a responsible businessman who could be counted on to provide quality workmanship. Back then, most of the work was done with basic tools… pick, shovel, and wheelbarrow. The respect for hard work was installed in the Goldston brothers at an early age. Over the years, things have changed a lot. Today, modern backhoes, graders, motorized wheelbarrows, and sophisticated equipment help to provide the quality workmanship that the name “Goldston” signifies. The following is a brief history of the company, compiled by Brenda Goldston.
Goldston’s Concrete Products
“Let us do it, we know how”, was the slogan used by Goldston’s Concrete Products in 1949 by its owner, Ashley “Fat” Goldston. He began his business with a pick, shovel, and three employees. These employees were Jack Butler, Thurmond Brower, and Nate Graves.
They poured and finished concrete by mixing concrete in a portable concrete mixer. They also installed septic tanks by using a pick and shovel to dig the hole. They used coal cinders in the drain field instead of gravels which are used today. In the “old days” individual one-foot long drainage tiles were laid to carry off wastewater. They had to be painstakingly laid by hand, one by one. Now long lengths of black plastic perforated lines are laid much quicker. The business continued to grow and Ashley continued to diversify into other business enterprises including a logging business and a bail bondsman business.
Ashley used profits from his businesses to purchase land in Ramseur and Liberty, North Carolina. A construction company working on a highway offered Ashley eight houses free of charge if he would move them. He relocated these houses to his property on Highway 49 in Ramseur. Four of the houses were used as starter homes for four of his children and the other four were used as rental properties. Ashley also built ten rental apartments in Liberty, NC.
Ashley also invested in White Face Hertford cows. When he was not working, you could find him in the cow pasture admiring and enjoying his cows. These cows were a source of joy and pride for him.
Ashley was married to Hazel Goldston in 1940. They had five children: Ashley Jodene, Shirley, Larry, Carnell, and Boyce Goldston.
In 1971, Ashley “Fat” Goldston died at the age of 49 leaving the business to his wife, Hazel Goldston. In 1971 the name was changed from Hazel Goldston Concrete Products to Goldston’s Concrete Works, Inc.
Hazel Goldston and the children ran the business successfully, with each child assuming responsibility for different facets of the business. Hazel and Shirley were responsible for the financial end of the business, while the brothers were responsible for the day-to-day operations of the concrete and septic tank businesses.
Goldston’s Concrete Works, Inc. experienced some extremely turbulent times during the seventies: Ashley “Fat” Goldston died in 1971. In 1974, Boyce Goldston was accidentally killed in an explosion at the plant, and Ashley Jodene left the business to pursue a career as a Substance Abuse Counselor in 1974. With much hard work and lots of prayers, the business worked through these adverse circumstances to maintain the family business until 1996 where there would be additional changes.
In 1996, Carnell left the family business to create his own concrete business. In addition to Larry running the family business, he created Goldston’s Concrete Creations, a sole proprietorship, in 1998. This new business specialized in designer concrete, i.e., stamped concrete, stenciled concrete, and acid stain concrete.
On June 14, 2012, Ashely Jodene passed away: on November 14, 2015, Shirley Goldston Pillow passed away, and on March 8, 2019, Hazel Goldston passed away.
Seven decades and four generations later, Ashley “Fat” Goldston’s legacy continues to live on through his sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons. While the type of equipment and materials have changed over the years, the quality of work and the pride that goes with it have not. “Let us do it, we know how”!
History of Goldston Concrete contributed by Brenda Goldston