Orange, Texas

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Orange is a city in Orange County, Texas, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 18,643. It is the county seat of Orange County[4], and is the southeasternmost city in Texas. Located on the Sabine River at the border with Louisiana, it is part of the Beaumont–Port Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Area. Founded in 1836, it is a deep-water port (to the Gulf of Mexico).

Contents

Historical development

This community was originally called Green's Bluff for a man named Reason 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. [5] To resolve the frequent post office confusion with another Texas community called Madisonville, the town was renamed "Orange" in 1858. The area experienced rapid growth in the late 19th century due to 17 sawmills within the city limits, making Orange the center of the Texas lumber industry.[6] In 1898, the County built a couthouse in the city, which eventually burned down and was replaced by the Orange County Courthouse.
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.[7]
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 (DD-886), which now serves as a memorial museum.

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