Our purpose is to restore the 1910 Southern Pacific railroad depot at the gateway of the Orange historic district and transform it into a museum for all to enjoy. Specifically, the overall goals of our program are: 1.To preserve the train depot for the public benefit of the citizens of Orange, by utilizing it as a community center for receptions, a museum, a gift shop, and a conference room. The grounds may be used for special events. 2.To promote community involvement in the process of funding the costs of restoration and operations. 3.To use the restoration of the depot to help revitalize downtown Orange by promoting tourism as the "Gateway to the Historic District."
In the first decade of the 20th century, when traveling by train was the mode of transportation across the country, our Southern Pacific depot in Orange, TX, bustled with activity each time the train rolled in. It was the place to see your neighbors as they boarded the train for trips to visit relatives, to see soldiers as they departed for their training camps, to see people riding to Houston or New Orleans for weekend fun.
In December of 2012, former resident Carrie Woliver and her husband, Ron, were driving over the railroad track on their way to a book signing when they saw what Orange residents had seen for years, this unique, historic building decaying. Carrie had just finished her book, The Train Stopped in Orange, about her grandparents, Will and Pearl Joiner, who had lived in the early 1900’s, two blocks away from the depot, on Pine Street.
The first physical steps toward restoration of the Southern Pacific Depot in Orange were taken in January 2015 when the measurement team from Architectural Alliance, Incorporated opened the door on the east side of the depot and went inside to take measurements. Architectural designs will be approved in May 2015, then the project should be ready to put out for bid with contractors later this year – after reaching the next level of funding.
Donations can be made via this website by clicking below (in the footer). Our fundraising goal for 2015: $270,000. You can memorialize loved ones with an Engraved Brick, donate at specified levels and have your name placed on a plaque, or for larger donations, have an opportunity to name certain elements of the restored Depot. All donations to the Friends of the Orange Depot are tax deductible within IRS guidelines.
CLICK ON A TITLE BELOW TO READ ANECDOTES about the old Depot OR TO ENTER YOUR OWN comments about that topic.
Click on the title above and tell about what you remember about the Depot. Please LEAVE A COMMENT with stories you would like us to consider adding to the website. What were you doing then? Did you or your family use the train to come and go? How did the Depot affect your life or your […]
Click the title above to see upcoming events: Board & Committee Meetings, and fundraising events. The Board usually meets on the second Thursday in odd numbered months (like May), check out theses notices to see when the next meeting is. Volunteers are encouraged to participate in these meetings.