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Orange is a city in Orange Countymarker, Texasmarker, United Statesmarker. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 18,643. It is the county seat of Orange Countymarker , and is the easternmost city in Texas. Located on the Sabine Rivermarker at the border with Louisiana, it is part of the BeaumontmarkerPort Arthurmarker Metropolitan Statistical Area. Founded in 1836, it is a deep-water port (to the Gulf of Mexicomarker).

Historical development

This community was originally called Green's Bluff for a man named Resin Green, a Sabine River boatman who arrived at this location sometime before 1830. A short time later, in 1840, the town was renamed Madison in honor of President James Madison.

To resolve the frequent post office confusion with another Texas community called Madisonvillemarker, the town was renamed "Orange" in 1858. The area experienced rapid growth in the late 1800s due to 17 sawmills within the city limits, making Orange the center of the Texas lumber industry. In 1898, the County built a couthouse in the city, which eventually burned down and was replaced by the Orange County Courthousemarker.
The harbor leading into the Port of Orange was dredged in 1914 to accommodate large ships. Ship building during World War I contributed to the growth in population and economy. The Great Depression, not surprisingly, affected the city negatively, and it was not until World War II that the local economy was boosted again. A U.S. Naval Station was installed and additional housing was provided for thousands of defense workers and servicemen and their families. The population increased to just over 60,000 residents.
After the war, the peace-time population decreased to about 25,000. At this time, the Navy Department announced it selected Orange as one of eight locations where it would store reserve vessels. The area of the shipyards provided a favorable location, as the Sabine River furnished an abundant supply of fresh water to prevent saltwater corrosion.
Also at this time, the local chemical plants expanded, which boosted the local economy. The chemical industry continues today as a leading source of revenue to the area. The U.S. Naval Station eventually closed in December 1975. The Port of Orange also became the home to the USS Orleck marker, which now serves as a memorial museum.

Orange sustained a direct hit from Hurricane Rita in 2005. The USS Orleck suffered serious damage during the storm, and she had to be taken away for repairs. She has not been allowed to return to Orange, and other locations for her are being considered, including one up the rivers in Arkansasmarker. It was later announced that the Orleck will be moved to Lake Charles, LA.

Hurricane Ike

Orange, Texas was heavily damaged by Hurricane Ike on September 13, 2008, and is now in the slow process of recovering and rebuilding. Damage was widespread and severe across Orange County. The storm surge breached the city's levees, caused catastrophic flooding and obliterated everything in its path. The storm surge travelled up the Neches River to also flood Rose Citymarker.

Orange received winds at hurricane force. Nearly the entire city of 19,000 people was flooded, anywhere from 6 inches (15 cm) to 15 feet (4.5 m). The mayor of the city said about 375 people, of those who stayed behind during the storm, began to emerge, some needing food, water and medical care. Many dead fish littered streets and properties. Neighbor Bridge City Mayor Kirk Roccaforte estimated that only 14 homes in the city were unaffected by the surge. Five of which were in the Oakview addition on Louise Street in Bridge City. The piles of debris and waterlogged furniture placed outside homes by residents beginning to clean up led the mayor to say "The whole city looks like a flea market. During the post-storm cleanup, Bridge City residents found swimming pools had been occupied by jellyfish brought inland with the water. Three people were found dead in Orange County on September 29.


Orange is located at (30.109217, -93.759133) .

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 20.8 square miles (53.8 km²), of which, 20.1 square miles (52.0 km²) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km²) of it (3.32%) is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 18,643 people, 7,310 households, and 5,021 families residing in the city. The population density was 928.5 people per square mile (358.5/km²). There were 8,364 housing units at an average density of 416.6/sq mi (160.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 60.59% White, 35.36% African American, 0.38% Native American, 1.17% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 1.08% from other races, and 1.35% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.62% of the population.

There were 7,310 households out of which 31.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.5% were married couples living together, 18.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.3% were non-families. 28.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.4% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 92.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,519, and the median income for a family was $37,473. Males had a median income of $37,238 versus $21,445 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,535. About 20.5% of families and 22.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.0% of those under age 18 and 16.0% of those age 65 or over.


The City of Orange is served by the West Orange-Cove Consolidated Independent School District, the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Consolidated Independent School District, and Lamar State College-Orange.


The City of Orange hosts several cultural and historical attractions. The Stark Museum of Art, a two-story building houses a valuable and extensive collection of 19th and 20th Century American Western art and artifacts. The 19th Century collection features the work of early frontier artists such as Paul Kane, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran and John Mix Stanley. In addition, the museum owns works by artist/naturalist John James Audubon.

The W.marker H.marker Stark Housemarker is a careful restoration of an 1894 Victorian home, typical of a wealthy Southeast Texas family. The 15-room, three-storied structure with its many gables, galleries, and distinctive windowed turret, shows the influence of several architectural styles.

The First Presbyterian Church on Green Avenue is a strong example of the classic Greek Revival architecture. Completed in 1912, it was the first air-conditioned public building west of the Mississippi River and its dome is the only opalescent glass dome inside of the United States.


Orange is served by Interstate 10, as well as a deep-water seaport. Commercial aviation service is located at nearby Southeast Texas Regional Airportmarker, and general aviation service is provided by Orange County Airportmarker.

Orange has the distinction of having Exit 880 on Interstate 10 within its city limits, which is the highest numbered exit and mile marker on an interstate highway or freeway in North America.

Notable people and community leaders from the Golden Triangle


  1. TSHA Online - Texas State Historical Association
  2. Orange Texas, Historic Orange Texas, and Orange Texas Hotels Motels
  3. TSHA Online - Texas State Historical Association
  4. Bridge City, TX Recovery
  5. " Ike: A fish story." CNN.

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