County Seat, Gulf
Coast / East
Highway 90 and 87
Dangerously close to Louisiana
On the Intra-coastal Waterway
98 miles E of Houston
24 miles E of Beaumont
Population 18,643 (2000) 19,370 (1990)
brick-based water tower. You need this for your
collection." - Bob Finch, Ed.D., August 2010 photo|
is considered a point of what is known as the "Golden Triangle" - the other points
being Port Arthur and Beaumont
in a Seashell
Orange had several names before 1858 - the year it officially became Orange.
Originally called Green's Bluff after an early Sabine River boatman, it was renamed
Madison in 1840, but it sometimes delayed mail - which was sent to Madisonville
(Madison County) in error.
The town's post office was granted in 1850
and two years later, Orange County was organized with Madison as county seat.
The final name change took place in 1858 when it finally became Orange
- to the great relief of postmasters and the mail-receiving public.
name reportedly comes from a local orange grove owned by a man named George Patillo.
Outlaws used Orange as a temporary residence while they waited for the heat
to cool down in Louisiana. The town became a major port on the Sabine from the
1840s through the 1890s.
The railroad (Texas and New Orleans) arrived
in 1860, but service was disrupted when the rails were torn up during the Civil
War. After the war the town was occupied by troops from Illinois.
the peak of East Texas lumber production, Orange was the center of the Texas lumber
industry - having seventeen sawmills within the city limits. It was Orange's zenith.
of selected or significant events in Orange's history1897:
The Kansas City Southern Railroad reaches Orange
1902: Six large lumber companies
acquire ownership of 17 smaller lumber mills
1914: Population reaches 7,000
1916: Port dredged - making Orange a deep water facility.
Orange serves as a major shipbuilding center for both world wars
Orange becomes famous for its 1920s nightclubs - crime rampant between wars.
Bridge opened across the Neches
River between Orange and Port Arthur.
WWII: Shipyards increase
population to 60,000 people. After the war, ships were mothballed on the Sabine
River and the population decreases to a manageable 21,100 in 1950.
In August, 2000 the USS Orleck, after having served in the Turkish Coast Guard
returned to the port where she was built in 1945.
Hanging Tree of Orange Texas
by W. T. Block ("Cannonball's Tales")
Cross-cut Saw Thwarted
"On the afternoon of July 7, 1892, two men wielding
a cross-cut saw hurried to fell the mighty pin oak tree which shaded the front
entrance of D. Call and Sons Grocery at Fourth and Front Streets, on the waterfront
at Orange, Texas." more
Orleck - On Front Avenue on the water|
TE Photo, 2003
Marker Text - Front Ave. and 3rd St. |
S. S. Aulick [sic]
September 9, 1940, a federal contract worth $82 million was issued to the Consolidated
Steel Company to construct 12 Fletcher class naval destroyers here in Orange,
Texas. This and other contracts coupled with the subsequent building of major
shipyard facilities along the city's riverfront lifted the city out of a prolonged
and deep economic decline which began in the early 1930s with the closing of area
sawmills. The community celebrated the laying of the keels of the U. S. S. Aulick
[sic] and U. S. S. Charles Ausburne on May 14, 1941. The Aulick [sic] became the
first naval destroyer to be built in Texas and on Texas Independence Day, March
2, 1942, it was christened and launched amid a crowd of 6,000 people.
Aulick [sic] represented the second U. S. Naval warship to be named after War
of 1812 Navy veteran John H. Aulick [sic] (1787-1861). By 1946 all 12 destroyers
and over four hundred other ships had been completed here at a cost of over $876
million. Orange's well-developed shipyards encouraged major companies to build
plants along the riverfront. Several petrochemical and industrial concerns followed
suit in the 1950s and 1960s. Wartime shipyards operated by Consolidated, Levingston,
and Weaver converted to peacetime activities.
view of U.S.S. Orleck|
TE photo 2003
Presbyterian Church - Lutcher Memorial Building|
902 W. Green Avenue
Texas Historic Landmark
Memorial Church Building
in 1878, the First Presbyterian Church initially occupied a frame structure built
in 1883 at Market and Polk Street. In 1912 the congregation moved to this church
building which Frances Ann (Mrs. Henry Jacob) Lutcher (1841-1924) had erected
as a gift from the Lutcher family. H. J. Lutcher (1836-1912) amassed a fortune
in the Lutcher & Moore Lumber Company. The Lutchers and their two daughters Carrie
(Mrs. E. W.) Brown and Miriam (Mrs. William H.) Stark were philanthropists and
community leaders. Mrs. Lutcher asked that the cost of the building never be publicized.
She and her descendants set up a permanent endowment to maintain the facility.
Fine workmanship and materials appear throughout the structure. The beautiful
art glass windows were made by Lamb Studios of New York. For the upper foyer,
Mrs. Lutcher chose three prize-winning windows from the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.
The marble came from Italy and the granite was shipped by rail from Llano,
Texas. The dome is topped by a copper cupola. Decorations on the sanctuary
ceiling and walls have gold leaf overlay. The pews and wood paneling in the organ
loft are mahogany. Mosaic work adorns the pulpit, marble communion table and baptismal
Texas Historic Landmark - 1978
H. Stark House c. 1894 - 610 West Main Street|
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
TE Photo, 2003
More Texas Historic Homes
H. Stark House
detailing decorates the porches and gables of this ornate Queen Anne style residence,
built in 1893-94 for William Henry (1851-1936) and Miriam (Lutcher) (1859-1936)
Stark. A financial and industrial pioneer, Stark headed several lumber and petroleum
companies. His son H. J. Lutcher Stark (1887-1965) was noted for his cultural
and educational philanthropies. Both men served as regents of the University of
Texas. The Nelda C. and H. J. Lutcher Stark Foundation restored the house.
Texas Historic Landmark - 1976
former depot in Orange|
TE Photo, 2003
TE photo, 2003
Marker - 803 W. Green Ave. |
first known settlers in what is now the city of Orange were John and Elizabeth
Harmon, who arrived in 1828 with their three children. Known first as Green's
Bluff, the small farming community that developed along a bend in the Sabine
River was selected as the seat of government when Orange County was created in
1852. The town was called Madison from 1852 until 1858, when the name Orange
was adopted. The early Orange economy was based on the lumber and shipbuilding
industries. Led by prominent pioneer area lumbermen and aided by the advent of
the Texas and New Orleans Railroad in 1876, Orange was recognized as the leader
in East Texas sawmill activity by
the 1880s. The deep water port and the availability of lumber made the city an
ideal location for the shipbuilding industry, which reached its highest production
levels during World Wars I and II.
For many years the city of Orange has maintained a full range of services for
its citizens. Public schools have operated since the 1880s and electricity was
instituted in 1890. Orange's shipbuilding and petrochemical industries continue
to make the city a leading commercial center in southeast Texas.
Orange Convention & Visitors Bureau
803 W. Green Avenue Orange, Texas 77631-0520
P.O. Box 520 Orange, Texas 77630
409-883-1011 or 1-800-528-4906
Book Your Hotel Here & Save:
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
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photos of their town, please contact