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Working together improves everyone’s results. Building a better community is a lot like manufacturing a better product. Everyone’s effort is required. Schools, organizations and businesses combine many individuals into part of something bigger. That connection gives us a common purpose and a shared passion to prosper. It links our resources and capabilities to meet vital needs - locally and far away, now and in the future.

o r a ng e c o u n t y economic development corporation

1201 Childers Road, Orange TX 77630 409-883-7770 • Fax: 409-883-7775 Magazine Owned and Produced by OCEDC Executive Director: Bobby Fillyaw Assistant & Magazine Project Manager: Shirley Zimmerman

Explore It! 7

Orange County Diverse in Nature & History

OCEDC Board of Directors Gene Bouillion, Port of Orange Brown Claybar, City of Orange Mayor David Dubose, Orange County Don Fields, City of Bridge City Ricky Jorgensen, City of Vidor T.W. Permenter, City of Pinehurst Mayor Mike Stelly, City of West Orange Carl Thibodeaux, Orange County Judge Keith Wallace, Port of Orange


Fishing & Paddling

In conjunction with: The Orange Leader Advertising Sales - Eric Bauer 841-B Dal Sasso Street, Orange, TX 77630 409-883-3571


LSC-O Developing Skills to Discover the World


Need for Speed


Natural Wonder Shangri La Helps Visitors Connect with Nature


Port of Orange


Fishing Orange County Getting the Angle on Fishing

49 53

Here’s to Your Health Local Hospital Experiences Growth Throughout 50 Years

Mannix Media Graphics and Design - Monte Morphew 205 College Street, Orange, TX 77630 409-886-0122 Richard Nelson - Magazine Editing Magazine Partners: Bridge City Chamber of Commerce Janelle Sehon, Executive Vice President 150 W. Roundbunch, Bridge City, TX 77611 409-735-5671 Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce Sabrina Gray, President 1012 Green Avenue, Orange, TX 77630 409-883-3536 Vidor Chamber of Commerce Jane Carter, Executive Secretary 945 N. Main Street, Vidor, TX 77662 409-769-6339 Orange Convention and Visitors Bureau Darline Zavada, Director 803 Green Avenue, Orange, TX 77630 409-883-1011 Contributing Writers: Dr. Richard Bothel, Captain Dickie Colburn, Gary Stelly, Mark Dunn

Tony Houseman State Park - Blue Elbow Swamp

Horse Racing - A Horse of Another Color

The Tale of Two Rivers

Festival Fun Find Family Fun at Orange County Festivals


Five Gems of Orange County

23 28 41 44

Art in the Park

Bridge City, Orange, Pinehurst, Vidor, West Orange

Your Shopping Palate Local Sports Orange Has it All

2009 Explore Orange County Texas published annually by OCEDC. Copyright 2009 by OCEDC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, reprinted, or stored in an electronic data-retrieval system without written permission from OCEDC.

The Orange County Economic Development Corporation is pleased to provide this magazine to help you explore and experience the possibilities Orange County, Texas, has to offer. If you are a newcomer to Southeast Texas, a first-time tourist to our area, or a company looking for a quality location for a new home, then you should find helpful information within this publication. The Orange County Economic Development Corporation was founded in 2003 for several reasons. Our first goal was to combine the resources of the county, the Port of Orange and the five cities within the county to better meet the economic development needs of the county. Secondly, it was to provide “one-stop shopping” for those looking for information about Orange County — which not only offers industrial opportunities, but mixes them with a solid retail base, and ample recreational opportunities for outdoors enthusiasts as well as fans of cultural events. And finally, we wanted to inform the rest of the world of the many wonderful resources and amenities this county has to offer. Those many resources include perseverance and resiliency. Our community has weathered Hurricanes Rita, Humberto and Ike in the past four years. We not only are on our way to recovery, we are thriving. The Explore Orange County magazine was created for all of these purposes. As you probe through the following pages, you will find information about many of the amenities Orange County is known for, as well as information about some of the hidden gems located throughout the county. You’ll find maps of the area and a calendar of events that highlights the many and diverse activities throughout the year. Should you need any information during your visit to Orange County, you can find assistance from our three chambers of commerce, local convention and visitors bureaus or our economic development office. The contact information for these entities is located on the Table of Contents page. Whether you are looking for a site for a new company, relocating because of a job in the area or just visiting for a short while, we are glad you are becoming acquainted with Orange County and we hope this guide will help make your visit easy, enjoyable and memorable. The advertisers in this guide have made it possible for us to introduce you to Orange County and provide you with information that will be helpful during your stay. We believe that you will find the many treasures that those of who live here have the privilege to experience every day. Please enjoy your stay in Orange County. Sincerely,

Bobby Fillyaw Executive Director

Welcome to Orange County! Orange County is the gateway to Texas and both a recreational and industrial portal into the state. Tourists and companies alike appreciate our central and accessible location, temperate climate, and our many and varied outdoor activities, unparalleled cultural amenities, community events and vibrant economy. If you enjoy the outdoors, you’ll find some of the best birding and scenic nature tours, hunting, fishing, boating and water skiing in Southeast Texas. If you are more of the indoor type, history, culture, theater and a variety of shopping abound from unique boutiques. At the end of the day, you can sample one of the many diverse restaurants that are located throughout the county. You can find foods that satisfy even the most discerning pallet. You’ll find traditional southern cooking, spicy Mexican dishes or the rich flavor of French cuisine spilled over from our Louisiana neighbors. Orange County is home to pine forests, coastal plains and deep-draft, navigable waterways to the Gulf of Mexico. Most importantly, the county is home to friendly people, an excellent business climate and a great transportation hub. Since World War II, shipbuilding has played a major role in the economy. The local economy is thriving and widely diversified. It not only includes tourism and shipbuilding but also petrochemical, manufacturing, and agriculture. Fortune 500 companies that have chosen to locate in Orange County include Dupont, Chevron-Phillips, Honeywell, Temple-Inland and Firestone, just to name a few. Orange County provides unparalleled amenities for a county of this size. If you’re looking for low-cost transportation, a diversity of community support and a general can-do attitude, or if you are just looking for a great place to visit for a weekend, then Orange County is the place for you. We have many exciting new projects under way or on the horizon that will bring greater levels of economic prosperity and quality of life to Orange County. Orange County, Texas, is a great place to live, work and play … a great place to call home, and we are glad to have you stay for a night, a weekend or a lifetime. Sincerely,

Carl Thibodeaux Orange County Judge

By the


See Page 62.

Orange County, Texas, is the first “taste of Texas” visitors to the state see when traveling west on Interstate 10. Th t iis unique i geographically. hi ll Th t bborder d iis th bi Ri hi h also l di id TTexas with ith LLouisiana. ii The county The eastern the SSabine River, which divides The county’s western border is the Neches River and along the southern border lays Sabine Lake, a brackish bay off the Gulf of Mexico where both rivers empty. Orange County is one of 254 counties in the state and the city of Orange is the county seat. The county is home to the state’s busiest Travel Information Center on Interstate 10 that opened in 2000 at the Texas-Louisiana border. The new center was built along the Tony Houseman State Park and Blue Elbow Swamp. Orange County has seven incorporated areas: Orange, West Orange, Pinehurst, Bridge City, Vidor, Pine Forest and Rose City. Unincorporated communities are Mauriceville, Orangefield, McLewis and Little Cypress. Within the area there are five independent school districts: West Orange-Cove, Little Cypress-Mauriceville, Orangefield, Bridge City and Vidor. Private schools include Community Christian School, which offers preschool through grade 12, and St. Mary Catholic School, which has preschool through the eighth grade. The county is diverse in both its natural and industrial offerings – and the two coexist in harmony. Along Chemical Row in West Orange, are DuPont Sabine River Works, Lanxess Corp., Chevron-Phillips, Invista, Firestone Synthetic Rubber Co., Honeywell, Solvay-Solexis, Printpack, and more. Orange County is also home to Temple-Inland paper mill, Signal International ship-builders, Orange Shipbuilding and Gerdau Ameristeel, just to name a few. North Orange County is part of the East Texas Piney Woods with forests dominated by pine trees, dogwood blooming in the spring and a variety of wildflowers throughout the year. The southeast border of the county, along the Sabine River, includes cypress-tupelo swamps with a variety of alligators, frogs, turtles, snakes and birds. The abundance of trees led to the first industry of Orange County, timber and lumber. Lumber mills once surrounded the Sabine River, milling boards and shingles for the world. Lumberjacks would brand the giant trees, take them to the river and float them downstream to the mills. The Lutcher and Moore Lumber Co., with headquarters in Orange, gave birth to one of Texas’ oldest fortunes. Henry Jacob and Frances Ann Lutcher left a legacy to Orange. Today, many buildings and places bear the names of Lutcher, Stark or Brown after the generosity of their descendants. The southern part of the county turns into the marshes of the Texas coastal prairie, with water off Sabine Lake providing breeding grounds for shrimp, crabs and other sea creatures. Naturally, fishing and bird watching are major recreations. Fishing includes the fresh water bass, bream, and catfish of the rivers, along with the big speckled trout and redfish of the salt water. Though many people have





901 W. Cherry • Orange, TX • 409.886.0622 •

boats, fishing and crabbing can be done from the side of the roads or on banks in many areas. Catching the tasty blue crabs is a fun activity for families in the salt water areas. Kids can take a thick string, tie on an old chicken neck or other piece of meat and drop it in the water. Crabs come to eat the meat and the catcher scoops it up with a net on a long handle. Hunting is another favorite of local residents. The winter months bring abundant duck and goose hunting, while the fall is popular for deer hunting. Some hunters even get special licenses for alligators in the fall. Of course, hunting and fishing require state licenses from either Texas or Louisiana, depending on which side of the river you are on. Adults crabbing will need a fishing license with a salt water stamp. Orange County has a subtropical climate with a growing season of 240 days. The mean minimum temperature in January is 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the mean maximum in July is 91 Fahrenheit. The average date of the last spring freeze is March 16 and the average date of the first fall freeze is Nov. 11. Snowfall is rare. The county averages 60 inches of rain a year, making the area a place where gardeners abound and gardens have flowers year-round. Vegetable gardening is also popular, with many backyards having spots to grow tomatoes, cucumbers, peas and squash in the summer, along with mustard greens, turnips and carrots in the winter and spring. Because of the climate, outdoors recreation opportunities abound. Golfers can play year-round on several courses in the county.




T U E S D AY - S AT U R D AY 1 0 AM ~ 3 PM


W . M A I N AV E N U E





Th e W. H . S t a r k H o u s e i s a p r o g r a m o f t h e N e l d a C . a n d H . J . L u t c h e r S t a r k F o u n d a t i o n , a n o n - p r o f i t o r g a n i z a t i o n

A glimpse back in time

Bridge City

“Building Bridges Together”

Bridge City was named for its bridges — two of them. Bridge City is considered a “bedroom community” where residents may work in another city/county but live, pay taxes and spend most of their income in their resident city. Area residents find ample job opportunities in the industrial, medical, schools and government fields. Recently built correctional facilities in Jefferson County contribute significantly to the local economy and have served to help diversify the area economic base. In 1938 the glistening new, monolithic Rainbow Bridge spanned the Neches River. The following year the Texas Department of Transportation began work on a unique bridge design, a swing bridge, at Cow Bayou. It was named, appropriately, the “Cow Bayou Bridge.” Both bridges were technological marvels of their time and were dedicated with great celebrations. As history would have it, the bridges mothered a community that grew up between them. Following the dedication of the Cow Bayou Bridge in 1941, the settlement of Prairie View became known as Bridge City. The town sprouted along the two lane stretch of the then new Highway 87 on both sides of Cow Bayou. For the first time motorists shuttled directly between Port Arthur and Orange through Bridge City, across the Cow Bayou Bridge. Bridge City’s namesake bridges were crucial as Orange County entered World War II armed with shipbuilding and industry. Bridge City’s founding families scratched streets out of the coastal prairie along Highway 87 as the wartime boom brought jobs and commerce, schools and churches. Large watercraft on Cow Bayou were frequent for over 30 years. The operation of

the Cow Bayou swing bridge was a regular occurrence and considered a routine part of life in early Bridge City. But the fate of the Cow Bayou Bridge fell on hard times. In the early 1970s a new concrete span was built to accommodate large watercraft with two lanes for traffic crossing the bayou on Highway 87 southbound. Texas Department of Transportation also proposed to build a similar span next to it on Highway 87 northbound to replace the 1940 swing bridge. The years passed as the Cow Bayou Bridge, planned for demolition, lingered with minimal maintenance. Fate, however, changed for the Cow Bayou Bridge in 1990 when it became eligible for listing to the National Register of Historic Places as an historic bridge. But no one noticed. It was the same year the beautiful new Veterans Memorial Bridge was dedicated. Amid all the fanfare the historical significance of the little WW II era swing bridge on Cow Bayou was ignored. The eligibility, however, gave the bridge historic legislative protections. Another two decades would pass before those protections would be put into play. In January 2007, plans were announced for the dismantling and removal of the Cow Bayou Bridge, replacing it with the long awaited new span. But by then, after 68 years, the bridge had become a landmark and an icon of Bridge City’s cultural heritage and lore. The Texas Historical Commission cited it as just one of

two rare types of swing bridge remaining in Texas. The bridge had become a state historic treasure. A citizen’s committee, Bridge City Citizens For Historic Preservation, met on March 1, 2007, to become a voice for the Cow Bayou Bridge. By the next fall TxDOT informed the group that it planned to rehabilitate rather than replace the Cow Bayou Bridge. The rare swing bridge had been spared from demolition. According to TxDOT the historic preservation of the bridge will restore it to its pristine 1940 condition. The decision opened the door for the group to begin the process of nominating the

Cow Bayou Bridge to the National Register of Historic Places as an historic bridge. After extensive rehabilitation, the Rainbow Bridge was listed in the National Register in 1996. It would be appropriated that both Bridge City’s namesake bridges be given the national historic designation. The Veteran’s Memorial Bridge will be eligible for listing in 2040, the 100th anniversary of the Cow Bayou Bridge. Phase 1 of the three-phase project by TxDOT was complete in May 2008. On the night of May 1, the Cow Bayou Bridge was swung

open again for the replacement of a newly fabricated, but historically accurate, center armor joint. Phase 2 will examine the swing-bearing mechanism and restore its functionality. The final phase will be cosmetic. Often confused with a draw bridge, the swing bridge rests on a central concrete pier and pivots at a 90 degree angle to allow watercraft to pass. Once restored, TxDOT foresees the operation of the Cow Bayou Bridge to be a simple, one-man operation, taking no longer than the time it takes for the watercraft to pass. But watercraft of that size are uncommon nowadays on Cow Bayou. For one fortunate enough to witness such an event, the opening of the rare swing bridge in Bridge City is a memorable glimpse back in time. The Bridge City Chamber of Commerce is housed in the original Prairie View Building that housed the teacherage, and the chamber operates the building as a museum; it was moved from the original site and dedicated in 1996. “Building Bridges Together� is the official motto of Bridge City, adopted by the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce and City Council in 1995. The city operates under a city manager/

council form of government with a mayor and six councilmen and is governed by a Home Rule Charter adopted in 1974. There are 5.69 square miles within the city limits with 362 square miles in Orange County. The city was incorporated in July 1970 and has realized steady, aggressive growth. In 1993 the city implemented a unified development code and is currently working on a new master plan. The city is a member of the Orange County Economic Development Corporation.


Experience Cultu ure L UTCHER T HEATER 409.745.5535

Revisit History T HE W.H. S TARK H OUSE 409.883.0871

Enjoy the Arts S TARK M USEUM



409.886.ARTS (2787)

For details on all the upcoming events in Orange,


The City of Orange, as well as the other areas of Orange County, has shown its resilience as it recovers from the effects of two major hurricanes in three years. Rita blew through in 2005, and Ike hit in 2008. In between the two big storms, the comparatively mild Humberto also snuck in. During the year after Hurricane Rita, the city’s economy began to take off. Hundreds of jobs have been or will be created by the rebirth of the three shipyards downtown. More new commercial and residential structures have been built than in the 10 years prior to the storm. From October 2006 to August 2007 almost $37 million of new construction has been permitted by the city. Three new hotels have recently opened, with as many as five more being planned. Sales tax and property values have increased dramatically for the first time in recent history. A major push to beautify the city has increased interest of developers and residents to make Orange a great place to live and work. Finally, development on a large scale is being planned for the Interstate 10 corridor. Although Orange is the first city when one is entering Texas on Interstate 10 from the east, the highway has never been utilized to its fullest. Only a few hotels and businesses dotted the landscape. With Interstate 10 being improved, businesses are finally on the drawing board. Orange has always been an attractive city but its beauty, culture and people are off the interstate. Plans are being prepared to create ways to draw the interstate traffic to the main body of the city and its prime attractions. With the opening of one of the world’s greenest building projects, Shangri La Botanical Gardens, in the Spring of 2008 (and the re-opening after Hurricane Ike in March 2009), Orange has one of the finest ornamental gardens in the world. Many new businesses, especially tourist-oriented businesses will open to cater to the large number of visitors expected at the gardens and the other attractions in the downtown area. From nationally known theater and world renowned art to endless outdoor activities the City of Orange has much to offer its residents and visitors. Rich with history, the city of Orange began in 1836, the year of the Texas Revolution. The town was built in the 1800s around the Sabine River, which was a major form of transportation. Downtown Orange has become a cultural and educational center. Lamar State College-Orange offers twoyear degrees in a variety of subjects along with technical degrees and certificates. Also downtown is the historic W.H. Stark House, built in the 1890s by William and Miriam Lutcher Stark, along with the Stark Museum of Art and the Lutcher Theater for the Performing Arts. Government is important for downtown Orange, the county seat, with the Orange County Courthouse on Division Avenue. Orange City Hall, bought from the Edgar Brown Jr. family in the 1940s, is on Green Avenue. In 2001, the city opened a new police station-municipal court building on Eighth Street and Main Avenue. The Orange Community Players Playhouse is also downtown. It was donated by Edgar Brown Jr. in the 1960s and renovated in the 1990s with a grant from the Stark Foundation. The playhouse is where amateur actors show their talents in dramas, comedies and musicals. The group also produces a summer workshop and production for children. Shipbuilding became an industrial mainstay of Orange County as far back as the 1800s. Wooden ships in World War I were built in Orange, but the industry boomed during World War II with the U.S. Navy yard Consolidated Steel, later American Bridge, along with Levingston Shipbuilding and Weaver Shipyard turning out vessels for the war effort. Orange’s population during the war grew from around 7,000 to an estimated 60,000 to 70,000 during the boom. Until the 1980s, shipyards in Orange

continued to build offshore drilling rigs, Staten Island ferries and other vessels. The oil bust of the 1980s closed much of the business, but several smaller shipyards are still constructing and repairing vessels. As the war came to an end, the DuPont Company was building its Sabine River Works, the first of a large complex of petrochemical plants on what is now known as “Chemical Row.” The petrochemical industry is still crucial to the Orange County economy. The Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce has been active since 1887, with the advent of the first sawmills and shipping in this county. Through the years the organization has had many names, their first being the “Citizen’s Committee.” Records show that at some point between 1918 and 1922 the name was changed to the “Orange Chamber of Commerce.” In 1955 and 1956, the cities of West Orange and Pinehurst were incorporated and at that time the organization was renamed the “Orange Area Chamber of Commerce.” In 1968 the words “Greater” were added to include the unincorporated areas close to the municipalities. The Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce now serves the cities of Orange, West Orange and Pinehurst, as well as the unincorporated areas known as Orangefield, McLewis, Little Cypress and Mauriceville, and also Deweyville in Newton County. The city is a member of the Orange County Economic Development Corporation.


Southern charm, Cajun culture, country flair

The City of Pinehurst was incorporated as a city on Nov. 19, 1955. The name Pinehurst was chosen as the title for the city due to the support provided for the incorporation and formation of the city by Edgar Brown Jr. who owned Pinehurst Ranch. The ranch was located at the west side of the then-proposed city. Pinehurst was also recognized as a suitable name due to the many pine trees growing in the area. At the time of incorporation the city consisted of slightly more than 600 people. Over time, the census and the number of businesses have increased dramatically. Major thoroughfares such as MacArthur Drive and Strickland Drive are popular locations for significant retail locations. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive has recently become a popular business location within the area. The City of Pinehurst is a quiet, serene city with excellent, full services provided to its residents. Together with its surrounding community, the area provides southern charm with a mixture of Cajun culture, country flair and a hint of the Old West. Climate and location provide an ideal setting for gracious living and sites for industrial complexes, commercial establishments and businesses that provide for all of the needs of the area. Within 1.9 square miles, the city is located south of Interstate 10, west of Highway 87, with Old Highway 90 through its center. It is west of the City of Orange. Pinehurst is 2.5 miles from the state of Louisiana’s western border. Pinehurst is served by a mayor and City Council and has police and fire facilities and city utilities. City parks and jogging trails encourage recreation along with the many other facilities in the area such as exercise gyms, golf courses, tennis courts and waterways. The City of Pinehurst invites visitors and newcomers to the city graciously and with pride. The city is represented by the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Orange County Economic Development Corporation.

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Family fun at its finest

Good things are happening in the once sleepy sawmill town of Vidor, with growth expected in all parts of the community. Vidor is located in Southeast Texas at the intersection of Interstate 10 and State Highway 105, six miles east of Beaumont in western Orange County. Early-on, the site had heavy lumbering activities with the construction of the Texarkana and Fort Smith Railroad in 1898. Vidor was named after lumberman Charles Shelton Vidor, who acquired the Beaumont Sawmill Company and later established the Miller-Vidor Lumber Company. By 1909 the Vidor community had a post office. Four years later a company tram road was built. It was known locally as the Peach Line, and it opened thousands of acres of virgin timber to loggers. Almost all Vidor residents worked for the company. In 1924 the Miller-Vidor Lumber Company moved to Lakeview because local timber stands were depleted, but a small settlement remained, and the Miller-Vidor subdivision was laid out in 1929. Rice, cotton, and cattle were developed into important local industries. The Vidor Rural School was founded in 1929 and became an independent school district in 1948. Steady growth has made Vidor a great place to live and work. The new City Hall is expected to be constructed across from WalMart on Highway 105 soon. A recent bond election allowed Orange County Water Control District No. 1 to expand water service in the city. A new fire station was built along Highway 12 along with a 100-unit plus apartment complex which was recently completed. The city’s new LaQuinta Inn located at 165 E. Courtland is fully equipped with Internet connections in all rooms, as well as microwaves, refrigerators, expanded cable channels and a Continental breakfast. Land has been cleared for another hotel which should begin construction soon and the new Holiday Inn Express located on Interstate 10 is nearing completion. More than 40 churches are now based in Vidor and a new one is slated to be built on Highway 12. A remodeled public library located on East Bolivar offers assorted programs throughout the year. Recreation opportunities are many and varied. A “Jewel in the Forest” is Claiborne West Park, which boasts a lake, baseball fields, picnicking spots, trails and more. Also swings, slides, other children’s amusements and a track can be found at the City Park. A walking track at Raymond Gould Community Center is enjoyed by many. The city pool offers swimming lessons and is available to be rented for parties. Smith Lake affords swimming and scuba diving. Boomtown has a water park, fishing, swimming, jet skiing, and a miniature golf course. Joe Hopkins Memorial Park is nearing completion and will offer opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, playing fields, birding, picnic area, observation decks and more. A skating palace is open year-round for indoor fun. A wake-boarding site is nearby in Rose City and the Orange County Radio Control Club hopes to build a world-class model airplane flying field. When traveling down Interstate 10 or from other nearby spots, stop in Vidor; visit the local merchants and other venues to see what the city has to offer. Better still, ask local realtors about some of Vidor’s tree-shaded properties and become a part of the town. The steady growth of the Vidor community brought the need to establish the Vidor Chamber of Commerce in 1955, with the goal of organizing the business layout and to continue the growth of the community by making Vidor a desirable place for new businesses to call home. The Texas Bar-B-Q Festival, which brings in high-profile regional and national entertainers, has been the major fundraiser for the chamber since 1980. The city is a member of the Orange County Economic Development Corporation.

West Orange

born of industry

The City of West Orange is on Farm Road 1006, just southwest of Orange and 30 miles east of Beaumont in southeastern Orange County. The town plat for the West Orange addition to Orange was filed in 1902. A substantial residential community developed by virtue of the site’s position between the industrial facilities at Orange, those to the south at Port Vernon, which were planned by 1903, and those to the north at Doc Brown Station, at the junction of the Texas and New Orleans and Orange and Northwestern railroads. Oil and brick production was centered at Port Vernon, and a rice warehouse, the Peden Iron and Steel Company, and the county dipping vat were located at Doc Brown Station. In 1954, West Orange was incorporated by a 381-90 vote. During the 1950s the population doubled, from 2,539 in 1950 to 5,080 in 1960. Like many areas of heavily industrialized Jefferson and Orange counties, however, West Orange declined during the two decades that followed. By 1980 the number of residents living there had dropped to 4,610. In 2000 the population was 4,111, with 1,672 households. The City of West Orange encompasses approximately four square miles and has more than 20 miles of streets running through it. Caffey Park is located on Lansing and Burnett streets and contains playground equipment and picnic facilities. The city also boasts of a brand new playground for its younger residents, with colorful equipment graciously donated to the city by Rescar Inc. This playground is part of Alford-Seale Plaza, located on Western Avenue just east of City Hall. A large gazebo sits in the plaza, providing an excellent spot for birthday parties, weddings and concerts. The City of West Orange is a member of the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Orange County Economic Development Corporation.


Fishing Paddling Tony Houseman State Park

blue elbow swamp

Do you want to view incredible scenery, smell fragrant flowers, listen to the mystical sound of the swamp and catch a glimpse of roaming wildlife? Then, you must visit the Tony Houseman State Park and Wildlife Management Area at Blue Elbow Swamp. It comprises more than 3,300 acres of beautiful scenery with some seven miles of frontage along the Sabine River in Orange County, Texas. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department acquired most of the land from the late Tony Houseman through partial donation and his generosity in 1996 — making this one of Tony’s most lasting contributions to wildlife conservation and future quality of life in Texas. The area was designated as a National Priority Wetland because of its rare plant communities. Blue Elbow Swamp straddles Interstate 10 between Orange and the Texas-Louisiana state border and receives the “Blue Elbow” name from a sharp turn in the channel of the Sabine River, (see map). Many travelers stop at the Orange Texas Travel Information Center on the North side of Interstate 10 at the TexasLouisiana state line and take a leisurely stroll on the boardwalk trail into the wetlands area. For those who prefer to travel on smooth, glassy waters into the area by boat, easy access is provided at Blue Bird Fish Camp off State Highway 90 (Simmons Drive in Orange). The Sabine River forms the most diversified swamp in North America. It is a combination of all swamp habitats in a single area, with each habitat containing its own varieties of birds, mammals, reptiles, fish and flowers. Much of the swamp consists of cypresstupelo forest, with channels throughout. Wildlife includes both resident and migrant birds such as wood duck, great blue herons, egrets, warblers, kingfishers, red-shouldered and tail hawks, and woodpeckers. Bald eagles have lived in the area in recent years and you can almost be guaranteed seeing an osprey or two along the river. Nutria are rebounding in the swamp along with feral hogs throughout. More than 29 species of snakes live in the

area, including the cottonmouth, copperhead, coral snake, timber rattlesnake, and pygmy rattlesnake. It is also not unusual to see a beaver or otter throughout the many channels crisscrossing the swamp. White-tailed deer, fox, coyotes, and bobcats play throughout. It is thought that black bears are returning to Texas but is believed that many current sightings are only occasional short-term visitors from Louisiana. You may see wild alligators swimming around you or lying out, “cooking” the food they ate the night before, so keep your eyes open! In addition to cypress-tupelo draped in moss, there are classic eastern bottomland hardwoods, pine-oak uplands, riverine and oxbow habitats and dense stands of emergent marsh vegetation. Most of the area is classified as forested wetlands (swamp) because of the tendency for timber to be regularly flooded and retain water or moist soils throughout much of the year. On the world-renowned Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, the park is Site No. 1 — an important destination for birders wanting to see the rare swallow-tailed kite. Blue Elbow Swamp is rich in bird diversity because of the variety of plant communities present. Many exotics can be seen as they migrate through the area and eagles occasionally perch above you while eating a fish. Logging began in Blue Elbow swamp during the 1900s and continued into the 1940s. The durable wood of the cypress was needed in construction and for roofing shingles while tupelo was needed following World War II to replenish supplies of boxes and crates for shipping. As a result, much of the research conducted at Blue Elbow

When I got up and looked at the morning temperature reading on my outdoor thermometer, it registered 31 degrees. We do not get weather much colder than that in our part of Texas, but I decided my Midwest upbringing would enable me to just throw on a few more clothes and be comfortable in the cold, breezy morning air. I hit the water at 6:30 a.m. with sunrise at 6:45. The air was still in the low 30s, and I checked the shallow swamp water by the ramp — 58 degrees. The deep pockets in the marshes on the other side of the river probably held water in the low 60s. There was no sign of the sun as I started down the dimly lit canal to the river. A steam-like fog continually arose ahead of my trek of about one mile down to the Sabine River. The ice had left my boat and I actually felt almost too warm with the exercise of paddling through the morning waters. The north wind had emptied the backwaters and along with the low tide, the paddle out to the river was a slow one as the weeds and occasional muck bottom continually brushed away all my boat’s glide. As I came within 100 yards of the river, I became encouraged as the weeds came alive with bait fish. Even with the cold weather, the small fish found refuge in the thick weed cover. When I reached the One Paddler’s Tale Editor’s note: Dr. river, I was able to see across the cold mist to the mouth of the marsh Richard Bothel, outflow that I planned to fish. the author of the I knew I was in for success when I saw what appeared to be a row following narrative, e, of white dots along the marsh channel. I had seen the sight many is President of the Environmental Learning & Research times before. The whole outflow was lined by egrets. Birds at the Center and Executive Director of Lamar University’s mouths of outflows meant bait fish on the river, and my excitement Division of Continuing and Distance Education. Along with rose — no longer noticing the 30 degree weather. his many publications in higher education, he is a published I had about two hundred yards to travel across the river. When I outdoor writer who has spent much of his life in the outdoors got about half way, I decided to throw out a tight-running lipless crank promoting outdoor experiential education. He may be bait behind the kayak. The kayak only moved a few boat lengths reached at, or check out his closer to the shore and wham! The line went tight on my rod and I website at The place was the lower end of the Blue EIbow Swamp just off the could feel the kayak being pulled back into the river. I grabbed the rod and soon found myself with an eight-pound striper in the boat — Sabine River a few miles up from the Gulf Coast of Texas. This area what turned out to be one of the smallest fish of the day. has a moderate climate most of the year. Plummeting temperatures I quickened my strokes, reaching the edge of visible current coming do occur, but are inconsistent throughout the winter. A record from the marsh and made a cast to the current. Bam! Another fish temperature of 80 degrees was set just two days earlier. hit with more spunk than the first. This one gave me a bit more of a Now, the temperature was nose-diving to almost a record low of struggle, taking several runs against the drag. I took my time knowing 30 degrees. However, the Southeast Texas Kayak and Canoe Group that I would have little luck bringing the feisty fish in the kayak had planned this weekend for a paddle and there were 15 paddlers determined not to let the temperature stop them from a day on the water. I am a member of this group and was planning to enjoy a winter paddle as well. However my perspective included the idea that the weather might be just right to have that cold front bring the fish right up to the mouths of the marsh outflows. This made me decide to go several hours before the group paddle to fish at dawn and the end of the low tide. Five a.m. came early that morning after hearing the furnace run all night trying to catch the temperature up to 70 degrees in the house. Swamp deals with the impacts of logging on the area’s plant and animal communities. Currently, a forest-enhancement project is attempting to restore the historical hydrology to portions of the swamp that were affected by logging canals. In addition, due to the lack of old growth timber, research is being done to evaluate the use of forest communities by breeding and nesting wood ducks. There are plans being designed for the park to accommodate additional hiking trails, bird-watching staging points as well as interpretive demonstrations. Currently there are three primitive campsites available within the wildlife management area. Visitors are permitted to hunt and fish throughout the year. Still largely untouched by civilization, the Tony Houseman State g Park and Wildlife Management Area at Blue Elbow Swamp offers a magical glimpse into Mother Nature in her purest form.

without a net. To avoid wasting a great deal of time, with the current and fish moving me out of position, I paddled to the shallow point of the outflow and ran my kayak aground so I could hold my position. The next few casts proved my hopes of a good morning beyond expectation. Literally every cast was bringing in another fish. They were mostly red fish running from 26 to 35 inches. I did catch another striper about 6 pounds and my largest striper was 35 inches, but I guessed at no more than 10 to 15 pounds. I was starting to lose count and getting a bit tired from the continual action when my cell phone rang. It was someone from the kayak group wondering where I was. It was 9 a.m. and the group was ready to leave. The last thing I wanted to do was to leave those fish, yet many in the group were not familiar with the area so I needed to return. I had them start down the channel to the river and left the fish to continue voraciously attacking everything at the mouth of the outflow in the river. The bright sun was showing through a Kevlar boat, which was leading the way. The temperature had already moved to the 40s making for a super winter trip on the water. The ravaging wind remained a primary issue for the day, but the cypress/tupelo swamps on each side of the channel sheltered the area from much of it. For me, the rest of the way would be anticlimactic, but I could see the paddlers in the group were excited about the day.


Many of the 15 paddlers in the group were in touring boats, sheltered from the wind — a major factor while paddling the main river. Most faces were smiling as they traveled down a long marsh canal east of the river and throughout some of the actual preserve areas. This portion of the Sabine River has been a repository of old vessels and docking sites. Many old, metal units clutter the river from the days of dry-docking boats for repairs decades ago. It is almost like junk cars sitting on the street. The docks and pilings littering the river make for some variety of scenery, but do little to promote the vitality of the river.

The overwhelming smell of boiled crawfish, hot dogs, hamburgers, smoked turkey legs, sausage-ona-stick and grilled onions, the light sweet fragrance of beignets or funnel cakes, popcorn, cotton candy, the square in the Downtown area filled with artists’ paintings and other art displays, blues and jazz music penetrate the air. It could be the mighty Mississippi and Jackson Street in New Orleans, however - it is Orange, Texas once a year. Since 2003, the City has hosted an annual Art in the Park Festival in Downtown Orange. With the pristine Sabine River nearby, Stark Park became the venue for artists to showcase their talent and demonstrate their art to an appreciative audience. The fountain in the center of the park adds a soothing touch of enjoyment to the day with the tinkling of the droplets of water falling into the pool. An accommodating bench arranged around the circumference of the pool offers a brief resting spot and you may easily get lost in the atmosphere similar to Jackson Square. A number of the artists have been able to sell all the art they bring to this event. Many of the artists have returned every year. Annually, artists come to Orange from as far away as Canada, California, Florida, numerous states in between and of course local and area talent is well represented. Paintings, sculpture, pottery, wood carvings, basket weaving and other talents are seen at the annual event. The Children’s Art Contests allows participation for students in local

elementary schools to compete for awards. Kid’s-Alley - where children can make a craft to take home gives the younger generation several hands-on activities. Volunteers work with the children so they may learn at an early age an appreciation for the arts. Any event will eventually have issues with the “right kind of weather.” An early cold front pushed into Orange in October 2003 the day before the first Art in the Park. It rained the day before but the promise of sunshine was anticipated. The day turned out to be one of the greatest. A cool day, crisp temperatures, light north winds, hot coffee, hot apple cider and donuts and great hospitality, autumn was in the air. Every year brought more weather related issues. Then in October 2005, a little lady named Rita paid a visit just three weeks before the Art Fest. Hurricane Rita took its toll on Orange County and the surrounding area. Orange County recorded over eight-thousand trees downed. Mighty oak trees were ripped right out of the ground; roots exposed triple the height of men over six feet tall. Pine trees shredded into splinters looked like snapped toothpicks. Hundreds of homes received the wrath of Rita. Blue roofs went up overnight and electrical power was out everywhere. Orange was hurting. Three weeks later the annual Art in the Park was going forward. Stark Park looked like it lost over a hundred trees. Orange is a great community and the cleanup after Rita proved that once more, when you work together, great things

happen. Stark Park was ready for that event and the community support helped make it happen. Three weeks after Hurricane Rita, families were returning to Orange, power was back on and people came to our event. Many had their own stories about their experiences, it was a time to reflect and renew friendships. Art Fest brings more than art, it also brings community spirit. After Rita, the decision was made to change the time of year for Art in the Park to become a springtime event. Shangri La Botanical Gardens

and Nature Center was making plans to open in March 2008. One event would naturally enhance the other. Since the successful switch of date, Art in the Park will continue to be a springtime event, scheduled for the last Saturday in March each year. There are many other events throughout the year in Orange. From art to rodeo, there is always something to do. One thing for sure, Orange has the friendliest and kindest people you will find anywhere.
















Are you prepared to join the best? The Person

· Chemical, Mechanical, Instrument or Electrical Engineers · Mechanical, Instrument and Electrical Technicians · Accounting, IT, Procurement or HR Professionals · Looking for advancement to world-class manufacturing units · Prepared for the challenges of a global company · Ready to be part of a customer-focused, innovative team

The Program

· A performance management system tracking career progress · Formal mentorship involving supervisors and Human Resources · Development training opportunities outlined in the first year · Educational assistance for all employees · Competitive compensation and vacation package · Savings plan · A comprehensive and flexible benefits plan

The employer of choice in Orange, Texas LANXESS Corporation and its subsidiaries are equal opportunity and affirmative action employers.

Farm Road 1006, Orange, Texas, 77631-2000

409-883-9990 |

Lamar State College-Orange, also known as LSC-O, is a two-year state supported institution located in the heart of Orange, Texas. Since its founding nearly 40 years ago, LSC-O has grown significantly in size and educational offerings to now include 37 degree programs, certificates of completion and institutional awards. Instructional programs are offered in four divisions: allied health, arts and sciences, business and technology, and education. The college, which is a member of the Texas State University System, has a student body of about 2,100. In the fall of 1969, Lamar University opened its first extension center in Orange with classes in the former Tilley Elementary School. During the 1999 legislative session, Lamar UniversityOrange was officially renamed Lamar State College-Orange, and funds totaling almost $10 million were authorized for a new main building, a central plant and campus infrastructure. The building was occupied in May 2001. LSC-O operates as a service institution that combines quality programs with community needs. All faculty and staff are committed to developing individuals who can contribute to society economically, culturally and socially. To that end, the college’s mission is to provide academic transfer and associate degree programs to prepare students for senior colleges and universities; to provide technical

certificate and associate degree programs to prepare students for employment; to provide developmental programs for students not ready for college-level work; to provide continuing education and customized training programs for those pursuing areas of personal interest or upgrading employment skills; and to provide community service activities that promote economic development and cultural awareness.

Courses At the heart of any college campus are the students. Enrollment for a long semester at LSC-O averages between 1,800 and 2,100 students who are enrolled in a variety of programs. The degrees and programs are as diverse as the schedules available. Associate of arts degrees may be completed in four semesters, certificates of completion may be completed in two semesters and institutional awards may be completed in one semester. Associate of applied science degrees include business management, industrial technology, information technology support specialist, medical laboratory technology, medical office professional, and upward mobility nursing. Associate of arts degrees include education/ teaching grades Early Childhood-4, 4-8, special education Early Childhood-12 and core subjectsgrades 8-12. The associate of science degrees are business, communication, computer science,

criminal justice, liberal arts, natural science, and sociology. Beginning in June 2009, the Upward Mobility Nursing program will be offered online. Additionally, LSC-O plans to add physical therapist assistant, theater, horticulture, and process operating technology degree programs in the fall of 2009. Certificates of completion include basic welding technology, business management accounting, Cisco network specialist, construction technology, criminal justice, criminal justice corrections, dental assisting, entrepreneurship, information technology support assistant-networking, information technology support assistant-software development, medical administrative assistant, medical office assistant, medical transcriptionist, pharmacy technology, process technology, safety, health and environmental, vocational nursing, and welding technology. The institutional awards available are emergency medical technician-basic, forensic science, medical office receptionist, and web design/multimedia.

Continuing Education and Workforce Development Each semester the Continuing Education and Workforce Development staff offers a variety of classes that include personal development, computer skill enhancement and professional

development along with free community service learning opportunities. An exciting opportunity for workforce development, LSC-O recently received a $1,526,700 U.S. Department of Labor grant that, in collaboration with several community employers, made it possible to begin a muchneeded welding training program for the maritime construction industry of Orange County. LSC-O was one of 72 community college partnerships selected to receive $125 million of the President’s Community-Based Job Training Grants Initiative. The Accelerated Certification for Educators (ACE) Program at LSC-O has proven to be very successful. As one of the best resources for workforce development, LSC-O provides this teacher training for baccalaureate degreed individuals presently in business/industry seeking a career change, college graduates seeking careers as professional educators, and teachers seeking permanent certification. Baccalaureate degreed individuals have proven themselves competent as students and professionals. The ACE Program builds upon that solid foundation by providing the necessary training and preparation for teacher certification. Independent school districts in the Southeast Texas region are experiencing the same teacher shortages reported state and nationwide. The ACE Program has supplied school districts across Texas with over 1,000 highly qualified teachers over the last eight years.

Community Providing opportunities for the community has always been a goal of LSC-O. The Distinguished Lecture Series has brought notable speakers such as Peter Bergen, Robert Baer, Ben Stein, Liz Murray, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Cokie Roberts, and Ken Burns to Orange. Most recently, former congressman J. C. Watts joined this list of prestigious speakers when he presented his lecture, “Election 2008,” at the Lutcher Theater. Other guest speakers include Emmy-nominated actor Ed Begley Jr. in April

2009. These events are free and open to the community. To promote cultural awareness, LSC-O hosts events throughout the year to celebrate the many heritages that make up the diverse culture of Orange County. Events such as Cajun Heritage Week, Texas Heritage Celebration and Black History Month are all free and open to the public. In addition, the Ron E. Lewis Library features many exhibits — from photography and art to heritage and history — each month for the enjoyment of all library visitors. Students of LSC-O are involved in community and extra-curricular activities that help develop their skills and broaden their future possibilities. Projects and services include volunteering with the Orange Lions Club, participating each year in the Christmas parade, coordinating food and clothing drives on campus, sponsoring quarterly blood drives and participating in the Blue Santa toy drive along with the LSC-O student members of the Criminal Justice Society. The Speech and Debate Team travels to cities in Texas and beyond to compete with other colleges and universities in events such as public speaking, oral interpretation and academic debate. In 2008, the team earned the Phi Rho Pi “Gold Medal” National Championship in Parliamentary Style Debate and the “Bronze Medal” in Extemporaneous Speaking. For those enrolled in education courses, the Teachers of Tomorrow, or TOT, student organization, provides an opportunity to meet and network with others pursuing

careers in education. Nursing students perform blood pressure screens and blood typing at several community events and the dental assisting students visit daycares to promote good oral hygiene and also offer free x-ray imaging as part of their training for future careers. Dental assisting students also plan to include nursing homes in their volunteering efforts.

Services As the campus grows so do the services offered. The Testing Center offers the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) certification test ( and

Lamar State College Historic Brown Center is available for functions throughout the year. proctors many different certifications including insurance and coding specialist, medical office assistant, bookkeeper, and phlebotomy technician, to name a few. LSC-O also offers CISCO certifications among other IT exams offered through Pearson Vue. For further information or for other inquiries, contact the Office of Public Information at (409) 882-3345.

Can you find a great credit union with all the services you want, and convenient locations, too? We’ve made it easier than ever to enjoy the benefits of membership at Gulf Credit Union. Anyone who lives or works in Jefferson, Hardin or Orange Counties can become part of our growing financial family. CAN YOU GET FREE ONLINE SERVICES WITH FREE BILL PAY, AND AN INSTANT-ISSUE DEBIT CARD?* YES, YOU CAN! You’ll get an easy-to-use online financial center with free bill pay, an instant-issue debit card, low interest loans* – and lots more! AT GULF CREDIT UNION WE SAY YES. YES, YOU CAN! With locations in Beaumont, Bridge City, Mid-County, and Groves, Gulf Credit Union is convenient to all of Southeast Texas. Come by and visit with the friendly folks at the office near you, and we’ll say YES to you, too!

Yes. Yes



* Instant-issue debit cards available at Groves location only. Get next-day debit cards at other locations. Loans and rates subject to credit approval.


UNION GROVES (main office) 5140 West Parkway 409.963.1191 | 409.722.9343 BEAUMONT 2360 Dowlen Road 409.860.3600 | 800.448.5328 BRIDGE CITY 4721 Hwy 87 South 409.735.5156 | 800.448.5328 MID-COUNTY 2779 Aero Drive, Port Arthur 409.729.8280 | 800.448.5328 CALL TOLL FREE 1-800.448.5328 LOBBY HOURS: Mon - Thu 8:30 - 5 Friday 8:30 - 5:30 DRIVE-THRU HOURS: Mon - Wed 7 - 6 Thu - Fri 7 - 7 | Sat 9 - 1

Must-sees in Orange County Bridge City Bayou Trading Company 1170 Texas Ave. :: (409) 697-3343 Cajun Corner Furniture 2637 Texas Ave. :: (409) 735-8801 Classy Peacock 1860 Texas Ave. :: (409) 735-3567

Orange Area A Little Bit Gaudy 2496 MLK Jr. Dr. :: (409) 988-0030 Bojangles 2486 MLK Jr. Dr. :: (409) 670-0279 Flags and More 1922 Strickland :: (409) 313-0874 Grapevine 1104 N. 16th St. :: (409) 883-9380 Heaven Sent 7520 N. Highway 87 :: (409) 883-3304 InFocus 401 16th St. :: (409) 882-0044 Parlours 911 Green Ave. :: (409) 886-0146 Piney Woods Country Winery and Vineyards 3408 Willow Drive :: (409) 883-5408 Shay Elizabeth 1104 16th St. :: (409) 886-7429

Vidor Cathy Cook Jewelry 101 N. Main St. :: (409) 769-9592 Forever Hope Christian Store 2580 N. Main :: (409) 783-9958 Me & Her Creations 125 W Bolivar :: (409) 783-9241 Bar-B Western Store 1080 N. Main St. :: (409) 769-4558 Glamorous 1195 N. Main St. :: (409) 783-9676

S hoppin g Orange County has something for everyone’s shopping palate Shoppers can find many hidden treasures just waiting to be discovered in Orange County. From antiques and vintage items to gift items and collectibles and even home-grown wine, there’s something for everyone’s taste.

Bayou Trading Company Discriminating shoppers searching for vintage items or antiques will enjoy Bayou Trading Company in Bridge City. This unique shop transports you back in time through their collection of furniture, art and other decorative objects. This is not the normal antique-mall experience, but an actual furniture store with reasonable prices. Inside, you will find sprawling space filled with living room, bedroom and dining room furniture. Some pieces are antiques more than 100 years old, while others are considered vintage pieces from 40 years ago. Buffets and sideboards have been in high demand, lately. And — an example of the shop’s diversity — one patron discovered a set of sterling silver corn-cob holders. Owners Byron Buchanan and Michael Eiden invite everyone to come on in and browse. “We like to acquire things customers would want to use in their home,” Buchanan said. “The majority of the items here are what you would expect to see in any Southeast Texas home.” Eiden and Buchanan acquire their bits and pieces during excursions across Texas, looking for traditional to transitional American-made furniture. They say it’s the thrill of the hunt that keeps antique-lovers going, and do their best to bring in quality pieces they themselves would be proud to own. Bayou Trading Company also carries classic items the owners like to refer to as the “navy blue blazers” of furniture, meaning their pieces are versatile. They do their best to oblige any customer’s special request, including searches for a particular piece of furniture or artwork.

The Grapevine A short distance away at the Grapevine on 16th Street in Orange, the glorious smell of candles, melts and diffusers greets you at the door. However, it’s the beautiful wall decor, gift items and collectibles that will hold a person’s attention. The quaint store offers collectibles to add to or start any collection. A couple of the favorites are the Jim Shore collectibles and the beautifully decorated crosses. Finding that special gift for almost anyone is made easier with such a wide variety. Music boxes with places for interchangeable pictures will make loved-ones smile. A scented candle of french vanilla oak or a rose garden of Tyler Roses will brighten days and warm hearts. The time is always right for someone searching for that perfect clock to add to their home decor. The Grapevine has a collection of Howard Miller clocks ranging from the large and simple to the small and ornate — and everything in between. Owners Pat McKee and Sandy McCormick also take special orders for grandfather clocks.

Anyone wanting to set a beautiful table during the holidays or any other time may desire to invest in the Wilton Armetable ware. These sturdy platters can go from oven to table or refrigerator and still keep their beauty. The Grapevine also handles custom orders on silk floral arrangements to match the decor of any home. Shoppers who locate that perfect “something,” but are short on cash are always able to put merchandise on lay-away. And remember, before leaving with any newly acquired bauble, take advantage of the complimentary gift-wrapping.

Piney Woods Country Wines After a day of shopping, sometimes it can be nice to relax with a glass of wine. So, why not try a taste of Orange County? Alfred Flies is considered a grape expert in Southeast Texas and is sought after regularly for his advice. Since 1988 his Piney Woods Country Wines has been located in Orange, right off Interstate 10. A two-acre vineyard started in 1984 has been expanded to include six acres of both the red and white varieties of Muscadine grapes. These grapes are used to produce seven wines. Piney Woods also produces five sweet fruit wines. His sweet wines are by far the biggest sellers and include the award-winning blueberry wine. This noted blueberry wine has won more than 60 medals, ranging from gold to bronze. It has also won both the Texas Champion and Class Champion. The wine also has won a gold medal and two special belt buckles for Texas Champion and the International award at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Most recently his Texas Moon Magnolia wine was awarded Double Gold and a special Top Texas Wine 2009 saddle in the international competition while his Texas Sweet Tooth Cherry Chocolate won gold and best in class and a silver medal was awarded to his Ports of Texas Red Muscatine. In 1999 Flies received the Louis F. Qualia award for his outstanding contributions to the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association. Further crowning achievements include the 1996 John E. Crosby award for expert council and timeless support, the 2004 T.V. Munson award and the President’s Honor award in 2005. Files said he hopes to add a new section to the winery and expand the tasting room to allow for the accommodation of up to 40 people. Catering weddings and small parties is expected also to become available. For an unforgettable, flavorful free taste, stop by the winery from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information call (409) 883-5408 or visit

Delta Downs Racetrack, Casino & Hotel A Horse of Another Color

Delta Downs in Vinton has been recognized as Southeast Texas’ favorite place to play slots. You’ll find everything from live horse races to a separate high stakes gambling area at Delta Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel. It is non-stop action at Delta Downs with over 1,600 of the hottest slots in a casino with Texas-sized aisles, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Enjoy live Thoroughbred and Quarter horse action from the fall through the summer at Delta Downs and off-track betting from the country’s best tracks year-round! Plus, Delta Downs also offers free valet parking, live entertainment, fabulous restaurants, a luxury hotel, and service with a smile! Count on having a great time at Delta Downs because there’s always a promotion, giveaway or tournament happening, and if you’re a B Connected member, you’ll enjoy benefits like instant cash back, free or discounted meals, accommodations, gift shop purchases, invitations to private events and much more! Delta Downs features headline entertainment. If you are planning an event such as an office party, wedding or reunion in the future, Delta Downs also offers meeting space and group packages. Play and stay in the new, spacious, comfortable hotel and pamper yourself with spa-quality toiletries, Movies on Demand, and in-room mutuels betting. Delta Downs is conveniently located just down the road from your hotel in Vinton, Louisiana at I-10, exit 4 Hwy 109 North.


Natural Wonder S h a n g r i La Shangri La H Helps elps V Visitors isitors C Connect onnect w with ith N Nature ature Nestled within the heart of Orange, Texas, is the 252-acre environmental wonderland known as Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center. With its beautiiful formall gardens, tree-lined boardwalks, peaceful wetlands, and stirring wildlife, it is a serene oasis from the hustle and bustle of ever yday life. But Shangri La is not just an enchanting rettreat; it is also a living museum that offers an array of activities that fulďŹ ll its mission to Me n t o r C h i l d re n o f Al l Ag e s t o Be K i n d t o T h e i r Wo r l d .


hangri La re-opened to the public in March 2008, but its historical roots run deep. H.J. Lutcher Stark, who was inspired by the mystical retreat described in James Hilton’s novel Lost Horizon, originally opened Shangri-La Botanical Gardens in 1946. Visitors from around the world came to Orange to see the beautiful gardens, but a major snowstorm in 1958 destroyed the grounds, which prompted Stark to close Shangri-La to the public. In 1961 Stark, with his wife, Nelda Childers Stark, established the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to enrich the quality of life in Southeast Texas by promoting, encouraging, and assisting education, the arts, and health and human services. Following the death of Nelda Stark in 1999, the Board of Directors of the Stark Foundation recognized Shangri La’s potential to provide environmental education to the public and decided to reopen the facility. Years of construction with a focus on the use of environmentally-sound design and materials allowed Shangri La to become the first project in Texas and the 50th project in the world to earn the U.S. Green Building Council’s Platinum Certification for LEED®-NC, which verifies the design and construction of Shangri La reached the highest green building and performance measures. Design features include soybean-based insulation, solar heating and cooling panels, waterless urinals and ultra low-flow toilets – all of which afford the public a firsthand look at some of the unique steps that can be taken to live a more Earth-friendly life.

with a visit from Maxine, a rehabilitated barred owl. Teachers can also earn certification to reserve Shangri La’s STARLAB, a portable planetarium that can be transported to the classroom to educate students on the night sky. Each of these programs ensures that students have numerous opportunities to interact with nature even when they are unable to go outdoors. The learning doesn’t have to stop when the school year ends. Shangri La also offers educational opportunities to students during the summer with its Eco Rangers science camp. With a 3-to-1 student-teacher ratio, this camp educates students about the Southeast Texas ecosystem through engaging hands-on learning activities, providing students valuable tools and insights that will continue to assist them once they return to the classroom. Students aren’t the only ones who can benefit from Shangri La’s educational activities. Numerous programs are also offered to help the general public connect with nature, such as children’s story readings in the garden and guest speakers on a variety of nature-related topics, which have included everything from snakes to an overview of Shangri La’s history. Other activities such as bird watching, bat watching, and sensory walks help round out the fun.

Shangri La also encourages environmental appreciation through a variety of hands-on learning programs. Among those offered are field trip activities in the Botanical Gardens and Nature Center for Pre-K through 8th grade students. Whether they are planting seeds in the children’s garden, exploring the Nature Center on electric boat rides through the wetlands, or participating in a scavenger hunt, students will have fun while learning valuable lessons that will assist them in the classroom. Students do not necessarily have to visit Shangri La to enjoy the benefits of its nature-related activities. On colder days, Shangri La educators will bring the outside world into the classroom. Students can examine leaf litter and rotten logs to learn about organisms living on the forest floor, or they can learn all about owls

Herony Blind

La Botanical Gardens and “ Shangri Nature Center is a unique treasure that

helps visitors of all ages connect with nature.

Contrast Garden

Shangri La also encourages visitors to celebrate nature by hosting festivals throughout the year. The annual Earth Week celebration in April includes a series of exciting and engaging activities over a period of six days. Highlights include nature walks, boat rides along the Nature Center’s peaceful cypress/tupelo swamp, and lessons on topics ranging from art to gardening. As part of the Earth Week celebration, Shangri La also hosts the Eco Festival, a fun-filled, one-day event that educates visitors on ways to protect the environment in their daily lives. Another popular event is the annual Orchid Festival, which pays tribute not only to one of the world’s most beautiful flowers, but also to H.J. Lutcher Stark and his love of orchids. With the support of regional orchid societies, the festival highlights a variety of orchids with exhibitions, guest speakers, and a scenic walk along Shangri La’s wetlands, where participants will view the native Fragrant Ladies Tresses orchid. Visitors will leave each activity with a deeper knowledge and appreciation of a variety of orchids, both native and non-native. Shangri La also furthers its mission to Mentor Children of All Ages to Be Kind to Their World through the Adams Bayou Trash-Off. During this annual event, volunteers work together to remove trash from the streets in Orange, West Orange, and Pinehurst. Since the program’s inception 13 years ago, more than 10,000 pounds of trash have been removed from the community. With hidden prizes donated by local businesses and a celebratory pizza party for participants, the Trash-Off is a true community event that is not only fun, but also extremely rewarding.

Visitors looking to reap all the rewards of these exciting environmental activities can do so by becoming members of Shangri La. Members receive exclusive benefits such as unlimited admission to Shangri La (with the exception of special events) for one full year, invitations to membersonly events, a Garden Store discount, a special members’ express entrance during peak visitation periods, notification of upcoming events through the Shangri La newsletter, free or reduced admission to selected events, and more. Packages are offered for individuals, families, corporate sponsors and other groups, providing a unique and affordable way to experience everything Shangri La has to offer. With its beautiful flora and fauna, inspiring Earth-friendly design, engaging educational programs, and premier membership packages, Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is a unique treasure that helps visitors of all ages connect with nature. Plus, it is located in the middle of Orange, Texas – right in your own backyard. Visit Shangri onder. La today, and rekindle your sense off wo wonder.

Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is located at 2111 West Park Avenue in Orange, Texas. For more information about the facility, visit or call 409.670.9113.

Explore more than 300 species of plants and an abundance of wildlife in one of the most earth-friendly facilities in the world.

2 1 1 1 We s t P a r k A v e n u e , O r a n g e , Te x a s




Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is a program of the Ne Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation, a non-profit organization

Orange County is unique in being bordered by two deep navigable rivers - the Sabine River and the Neches River. The jurisdiction of the Orange County Navigation and Port District is from the middle of the Sabine to the middle of the Neches. The Port of Orange plays an important role in attracting industry to Orange County because it offers a combination of deep-sea and barge terminal facilities. Through the operation of the port facilities, between $11 million and $12 million is pumped into the local economy annually. “The Port of Orange currently specializes in long-term ship-berthing and ship-repair. The Sabine River has a draft limitation of 30 feet so we have found our niche by specializing in providing services to ocean-going vessels that are not loaded and can navigate up the Sabine River,” said Port Director and CEO Gene Bouillion. “We are also able to serve inland barges and vessels because we are located within one mile of the Intracoastal Waterway.” The port’s Alabama Street facilities include a 2,300-foot concrete dock and 350,000 square feet of ship-side warehouse space. These warehouses are served by the Union Pacific Railroad. The port recently invested more than $2 million in railroad to upgrade the existing tracks to accommodate larger and heavier railcars along with providing adequate infrastructure that will be needed to serve the anticipated future growth in rail traffic in the near future. “The Port of Orange is an integral part of a

great transportation system that has a bright future. It’s a tremendous resource of Orange County,” said Bobby Fillyaw, executive director of Orange County Economic Development Corp. The port being situated on the Sabine River, Intracoastal Waterway and Union Pacific Railroad along with its close proximity to Interstate 10 provides an excellent location for transmodal freight operations. Plans are being made to construct a facility that will enable the port to receive product by rail and transload ocean containers onto barges for shipment to the Ports of Houston and New Orleans where the cargo will be loaded onto large ocean-going container ships. This operation will not only reduce the transportation cost of products being shipped, but transloading via railroads and waterways will literally remove thousands of trucks from our nation’s highway system, thereby making our roadways safer and reducing road maintenance cost. “The Panama Canal is currently being expanded and will be able to handle the large ships that traditionally have loaded and discharged at West Coast ports because the canal could not handle vessels that were over 106 feet wide. Upon completion of the new canal the Gulf of Mexico ports will gain a logistical advantage over the West Coast and it is expected that direct ocean shipments from Far East countries like China will dramatically increase. Current estimates are that that the construction upgrades to the Panama Canal will be completed in the next

seven years,” Bouillion said. “The Port of Houston has already built a new facility in anticipation of the increased demand for dock space on the Gulf Coast when new canal is opened.”

The history The Port of Orange dates back to March 13, 1917, when it was established and operated under the name of Orange Wharf and Dock Commission. During the 1920s and 1930s it was a busy port with the primary commodity being lumber. During World War II the property was leased to the United States Navy. The port was then reactivated in 1948, and repairs were accomplished on the existing facilities from 1951 to 1955. The Orange County Navigation and Port District was created by an Enabling Act of the Texas Legislature in 1953. The Navigation District was formed in December 1955, and all port facilities, then owned by the city of Orange, were purchased by the Navigation District in January 1956. Until this time the port had been operated by the City of Orange. The district is governed by a five-person Board of Commissioners elected by county voters, one member from each of the four county precincts and one at large. The Commission appoints a port director who is responsible for the administrative and operational functions of the district. The district encompasses all of Orange County and is responsible for the operation of the port terminal facilities and the development of the waterway systems throughout the county.

“Sabine River Authority’s roots run long and deep in Orange County. Orange County citizens were among the early pioneers that had the vision to create the Sabine River Authority of Texas. Orange County continues to be a focal point of our operations in the Sabine River Basin.” Jerry Clark, SRA General Manager

Artwork by Phil Brannan

Sabine River Authority of Texas P. O. Box 579 • Orange, TX 77631 Phone: 409-746-2192 •

Local fishing guides Capt. Dickie Colburn “Fishing The Sabine Connection” 409-883-0723 ::

Capt. Noson Fontenot “Fish-On Guide Service” 409-735-8761

Capt. Skip James “Skip’s Guide Service” 409-886-5341

Capt. Chuck Uzzle “Chuck’s Guide Service” 409-886-5222

Capt. Randy Foreman “Capt. Randy’s Guide Service” 409-985-7619

Getting the Angle on Fishing Orange County The chrome chugger caromed off the partially exposed cypress knee before the visiting angler lowered his rod tip and skillfully breathed life into the plastic imitation. The lure had not yet cleared the narrow band of shadows created by the first fingers of morning sunlight filtering through the overhanging limbs of a stately bald cypress when it disappeared in a geyser of coffeecolored water. “Don’t set the hook,” the guide urged. “That is not another bass!” As promised, the lure popped back to the surface only to be immediately engulfed by a copper-hued torpedo. Several drag-burning runs later, the guide slid the net under 9 pounds of Sabine River redfish before apologizing for a fish that would render even the most discerning fisherman ecstatic. “I really thought it was a big striper, but this will do for now,” he said, while trying to stifle a satisfied smile. Welcome to the incredible diversity of one of the most unique fisheries on the entire gulf coast! Only a short cast away from historic downtown Orange, the Sabine River slows to a leisurely crawl before

merging with the Neches River in Sabine Lake, a fish-rich bay that has become a “must” venue for serious trout fishermen. The 120-square-mile estuary is home to a wide variety of saltwater fish, but it’s the potential for battling both bragging-size speckled trout and thick-shouldered redfish that attracts most visitors. While there is a relatively small contingent of guides working the bay, most of them would be quick to tout the flounder-fishing as well. It is hard to argue their point as the state record flatfish once resided in these same waters and has yet to be bested. The lifeblood of this fisherman’s paradise is an ecosystem that virtually revitalizes itself on a daily basis. Forage fish, crabs and shrimp repeat their life cycle year-round in the vast brackish marshes that border the eastern side of the lake. With the Gulf of Mexico only a ten-minute boat ride south of the lake, salinity levels are tempered by the amount of runoff from both Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn. Both of these worldclass bass lakes are an easy 90-minute drive to the north. It is the tea-colored brackish water, however, that sets more than one fisherman’s dream apart from would-be challengers. “The lake itself can hold its own with any bay on the coast, but it is the unmatched diversity of the river fishing that keeps folks coming back,” says Capt. Dickie Colburn, a home grown guide with 38 years of experience. Incoming tides can usher brackish water as far upriver as Interstate 10, thus fueling a fishing adventure that amazes even the most experienced angler. Consecutive casts with the same lure to the same spot may dupe a largemouth bass, bream, white perch, striper, hybrid, redfish, speckled trout, flounder or “junk yard mean” grinnel. The fact that you can catch such a variety of both saltwater and freshwater fish without ever lifting

the troll motor is reason enough for celebration, but it is the size factor that keeps you coming back. This fertile stretch of river yields speckled trout and largemouth bass in excess of 9 pounds, stripers that tug the scale to the 30-pound mark, 7-pound flounder, and bull reds that should have long ago made their way to the surf. The recreational fishing in Sabine Lake takes a backseat to no other coastal bay as it serves up a productive bite year-round. Wade-fishermen take advantage of the trout and redfish that prowl the shallow flats bordering the Intracoastal Waterway and the eastern shoreline with top waters and soft plastics. If wade-fishing is not your cup of tea, you can drift the same fertile water in the comfort of a center-console bay boat and expect great results. For much of the year, gulls ferret out schools of surface-feeding game fish in the open lake. Anglers looking for the same non-stop action, but opting for calmer conditions, need only to turn to the bayous and marsh ponds that dot the Louisiana side of the lake. Louisiana and Texas fishing licenses are reciprocal on the main lake, but depending on your age, you must have a Louisiana license to fish water inside the state boundary. You absolutely cannot take advantage of both the lake- and river-fishing on a single trip. It would take you two or three trips on the river alone to sample all it has to offer. “Everything is seasonal, but the river-fishing is at its best from early September through December,” Colburn says. “The hurricane season can back that bite up a little, but our winters are seldom cold enough to slow the fishing well into January.” While catching is more enjoyable than fishing, it can be difficult keeping your mind on the task at hand throughout the cooler months of fall. Wood ducks whistle their way through the thick stands of cypress, tupelo gums, willows, and colorful tallow trees lining the

shoreline while the haunting cackle of geese overhead keeps you scanning the low-hanging clouds. Gators are accepted guests throughout the day as they slip in and out of the Roseau cane to patrol their domain. Not to be outdone, mink, otter, deer, coyotes, feral hogs, raccoons, and the occasional bobcat make appearances when you least expect them. “Because the water temperature drops a little with the passage of each front, the action on the river improves in stages,” Colburn points out. “For that reason, the majority of our clients usually book at least two trips in the latter part of the year” Once the water temperature dips into the 70s, the shorelines host a virtual buffet of shad, finger mullet, and shrimp exiting the marshes. The redfish, trout, flounder, and bass are never far behind them, while the stripers usually await slightly cooler water temperatures before crashing the party. This fishing adventure is even more enjoyable once the days grow shorter and cooler. Make your own plans today to fish this incredible venue with family members or a fishing buddy. Orange offers a wide choice of comfortable and affordable lodging less than 10 minutes away from the nearest boat launch. Local dining choices are as diverse and pallet-pleasing as the fishing. And, your guide will tailor your trip to include everything from tackle to licenses — even on short notice.

We have money to lend for: - Mortgages - Home Equity - Home Improvement - Interim Construction Port Arthur | Beaumont | Lumberton | Bridge City | Nederland

409.962.8793 1.800.825.8829

Orange County Knows Its Sports Orange County has plenty to offer the visitor and if you like high school sports or your kids are interested in sports, Orange County is also a great place to live. With five school districts in the Orange County we have seen tremendous success in every sport. You don’t have to be from Texas to know football is king in these parts. The West Orange-Stark Mustangs have won state twice (1986 and 1987) and they’ve also finished as state runner-ups twice, the last being in 2000. You know you’re considered legendary when they name the stadium after you and you’re still coaching. West Orange-Stark head coach Dan Hooks has spent some 30 plus seasons wearing the blue and silver and has posted more than 260 career wins. And the Mustangs have produced players like Kevin Smith who won Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys in the ‘90s. Currently the Mustangs sent two players to the University of Texas

(Earl Thomas and Deon Beasley), one attending Texas Tech (Jacoby Franks) and one (Kerry Franks) just finished his career at Texas A&M. The Bridge City Cardinals won state back in 1966 with running back and Texas Longhorn great Steve Worster leading the way. In March 2009 Worster was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in Waco and still lives in Orange County. Matt Bryant of Bridge City is kicking for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the National Football League and in 2006 kicked the third longest field goal in NFL history at 62 yards. In 2007, Bryant was named Bucs’ Man of the Year for charitable work. He was also a finalist for the NFL’s 2007 Walter Payton Man of the Year award. In 2009 he was inducted into Port Arthur’s Museum of the Gulf Coast. Lamar University will be bringing back football in 2010 and you can expect to see many Orange Countians on the roster, including starting quarterback Andre Bevil.

You don’t have to be from Texas to know football is king in these parts.

Orange County has also had recent success on the basketball court. The ladies at Orangefield and West Orange-Stark made back-to-back trips to the Region Finals in 2005 and 2006, while the Mustang boys went to the state tournament in 2005 for the first time in school history. West Orange-Stark has also been home to the last two Most Valuable Players in the girls all-star basketball game in Brittany James (North Texas) and Brittany Scott (University of Houston). In volleyball the Bridge City Cardinals reached the state tournament as recently as 1998. All-State performer Natalie Sarver went on to star at Lamar University in Beaumont where she still holds many records. On the track, the West Orange-Stark Mustangs won the boys regional track title in 2007. The Bridge City Cardinals won the cross country state championship in 2004 and finished second in 2005. Their boys and girls have won district every year since 2000. In the last two years Aaron Brannen of Bridge City and Drew Bean of Little Cypress-Mauriceville have won both the cross country titles and 3200-meter titles. In 2008, Jared Parker of Vidor won the state championship title for pole vaulting. Because of great youth programs, Orange County high schools have also shined on the diamonds. All five high school softball and baseball teams have seen the playoffs since 2000 with four appearances in the state tournament. The Bridge City softball and baseball teams have lost less than 15 games total in district since the 2000 season with the boys making back-to-back trips to the state tournament in 2005 and 2006. They also made it to the championship game in 1992. The Little Cypress-Mauriceville baseball team has been to the playoffs 12 out the last 13 seasons with a trip to the state tournament in 1996. The Little Cypress-Mauriceville softball team won the 4A state championship title in 2006 and the Vidor softball team also made a state tournament appearance in 2003. Little Cypress-Mauriceville’s boys and girls golf teams have consistently qualified for the regional golf tournament the past ten years. Orange County is home to two state power lifting champions. In 2009, Bridge City’s Valerie Brown won her division in the 3A meet while Maegan Fontenot of Little Cypress-Mauriceville won her division of the 4A meet. We also produce some pretty good coaches. In February Orangefield native Jay Bruce coached Slocum High School to the state title in basketball. Another Orangefield native Bradley Peveto is the new head football coach at Northwestern State. Peveto had been with LSU the past four seasons where he won a National Championship. Peveto graduated from Orangefield in 1982 after winning a state title in the 800-meter run. Of course Orange is also home for current Dallas Cowboys coach Wade Phillips and All-time Aggie winning football coach R.C. Slocum. In the past two years almost eighty athletes have received athletic scholarships to play at the collegiate level.

C onnecting you with your community Connecting in print and online.


O RANGE L EADER 409 883-3571

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A RT , H I S TO RY , N AT U R E & C O M M U N I T Y

4 . " - -  5 0 8 /  $ ) " 3 .   8 0 3 - %  $ - " 4 4  $ 6 - 5 6 3 &  Those six little words describe what the city of Orange, Texas, is all about. With approximately 20 square miles and more than 18,000 residents, Orange is a city small in size but big in culture and community. From historic homes to public festivals, there is no shortage of cultural venues and activities in the city, making it the premier cultural destination of Southeast Texas.

mong the highlights of Orange is the Stark Museum of Art, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in November 2008. The museum houses one of the nation’s most significant collections of American Western art. H.J. Lutcher Stark, a prominent Orange businessman and avid art collector, and his wife, Nelda, assembled more than 7,000 paintings, sculpture, and prints, from nineteenth century frontier artists to the twentieth century artistic colonies in New Mexico. After his death in 1965, most of the artwork from Lutcher Stark’s estate became the property of the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation, a nonprofit organization established in 1961 by Lutcher Stark and his wife, Nelda. Under Nelda Stark’s leadership, the Foundation opened the Stark Museum of Art in 1978. A selection of the works are permanently on view in the museum, and others are showcased in special exhibitions.



William Herbert Dunton (1878-1936) McMullin, Guide, c. 1934, Oil on canvas, 60 x 56 inches, 31.21.222

Other collections on view include the American Indian

to the collections. With a full program of activities and an

Collection of baskets, pottery, and weaving; the Decorative

impressive permanent collection at the Stark Museum of Art,

Arts Collection featuring the only complete set of The

visitors can share the passion of H.J. Lutcher Stark and learn

United States in Crystal by Steuben Glass and American

about the stunning land, dramatic people, and diverse wildlife

Birds in porcelain by Dorothy Doughty; and the Rare Books

of the American West.

and Manuscripts Collection featuring John James Audubon’s personal copy of The Birds of America.

Another Orange attraction and Stark Foundation program is The W.H. Stark House, a fully-restored 1894 Victorian

The Stark Museum of Art offers a variety of educational programs

home built and occupied by the parents of H.J. Lutcher

for visitors of all ages, including speakers, family days, and

Stark – William Henry Stark and his wife, Miriam M.

docent-led tours for school classes and other groups by

Lutcher Stark – who were also prominent philanthropists

appointment. It also hosts changing special exhibitions with

in the city of Orange in the early 1900s. Today, the three-

loans from other museums and continues to add new acquisitions q

story, 14,000 square-foot structure stands much as it did at the turn of the 20th century, with fifteen rooms of original family furnishings, personal effects, and decorative arts. Highlights include antique rugs, original textiles, silver, cut glass, porcelain, American Brilliant Period cut glass, pressed and pattern glass, milk glass, and even a rare copy of the Napoleon death mask. The house is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and designated as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark by the Texas Historical Commission, providing an extraordinary glimpse into the lifestyle of one of Orange’s most influential families.

T H E W.H. S T A R K H O U S E

The W.H. Stark House also offers programs, events, and exhibitions for the general public, including a presentation series that features guest speakers on a variety of cultural topics. The Stark House staff also hosts annual holiday open house events in addition to displaying beautiful Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter exhibits of the family’s rare china. Through these events as well as guided tours of the Stark House, Orange residents and visitors can experience the cultural interests and the remarkable collections of the W.H. Stark family. Lutcher Theater eater

The renowned Frances Ann Lutcher Theater for the Performing Arts, also a Stark Foundation program,

trails, campgrounds, and fishing spots that allow the public

is a central part of the Orange community and the

to interact with the natural world. One such highlight is

largest performing arts center from Houston, Texas,

the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, which offers some

to Jacksonville, Florida. It opened in 1980 with a

of the finest bird watching in the country. The city of

performance by Liberace and since then has featured only

Orange also offers the annual S.P.O.R.T. speedboat races

world class Broadway musicals, music stars, and international

on the Sabine River, a popular event that brings the entire

sensations. Its 2008-2009 season includes, To Kill A

community together for a celebration of nature, boating,

Mockingbird, The Drowsy Chaperone, Menopause The

and fun.

Musical, and a performance by The Ten Tenors. Festivals are also popular with Orange residents and Education is a prime component of the Lutcher Theater’s

visitors, and Orange offers a multitude of them throughout

programming, and its Time Warner Road Runner Kids

the year. One main event is Art in the Park, a one-day

Series is one of the largest performing arts series of

festival held annually to celebrate local and regional artists.

touring shows for children in the four-state area of Texas,

Revelers can purchase unique art pieces while enjoying

Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas. With something for

the sounds of blues and jazz music in Stark Park. Another

everyone, Lutcher Theater is a world-class venue for any

popular celebration is the annual Mardi Gras festival,

enthusiast of live entertainment.

which includes a kickoff Mardi Gras ball, several festive parades, live music and entertainment, a gumbo cook-off,

Of course, part of what makes Orange such a unique

and much more.

setting is the incredible scenery. The city is home to a variety of scenic, serene retreats, from the award-winning

From museums to historical sites, nature trails to festivals,

Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center to nature

there is something in Orange for everyone to enjoy. Through the joint efforts and support of residents, city leaders, and local organizations, Orange has become the premier cultural destination of Southeast Texas. Its world-class facilities may draw you here, but its charming community will make you never want to leave. Discover Orange, Texas, today and experience the best in culture and community.

Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center

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Thomas Moran (1837-1926), The Mirage, 1879, Oil on canvas, 25 1/8 x 62 3/8 inches, 31.18.15





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Memorial Hermann Baptist Orange Hospital is celebrating its 50th anniversary of providing health care services to the residents of Orange County. The 199-licensed-bed facility is a general acute-care hospital with more than 50 physicians practicing at the facility. The hospital, which is easily accessed from Interstate 10, offers a full range of medical services and many of the latest diagnostic procedures. In 1957, construction was completed on Orange Memorial Hospital with major additions occurring in both 1965 and 1968. In March of 1988, the hospital was purchased by the Baptist Healthcare System and became Baptist Hospital Orange. To fulfill the mission of the Baptist Healthcare System, medical and surgical services are offered in general and specialized care in cardiology, gynecology, internal medicine, obstetrics, pediatrics, orthopedics, ENT and general surgery. A full-time chaplain is also available to patients and their families in need of emotional and spiritual support. In 1993, the hospital added a $12.5 million medical tower to enhance the beauty and quality of the facility. A new MRI open architecture machine and new CT scan provide the most up-to-date equipment available to the community. In the summer of 2005, Memorial Hermann Baptist Orange brought the community a new emergency care facility. It added more than 8,500 square feet to the existing hospital and enabled the Orange hospital to more than double the number of patients being seen each year. The thirteen-bed expansion was in response to the community’s need for expanded critical care services.

Medical Professional Building In 1994, a new medical professional building was built adjacent to the hospital. The building is home to many of the local physicians, offering immediate access to the hospital facility. In addition, outpatient facilities, including laboratory and imaging, are located in the professional building.

Patient Care Tower This 90,000 square-foot, four-story, brick and glass addition houses a new birthing center to enhance the existing labor and delivery services offered. Five birthing rooms, eight additional postpartum beds, a caesarean operating room and parent’s lounge combine to create a modern obstetrical facility. A surgical suite with five operating rooms, and an eight-bed post-anesthesia/ surgery recovery room are part of the surgical facility advances for both inpatient and outpatient surgical needs. Modern patient rooms, including a pediatric unit, were also part of the renovation. An expanded dining area is often host not only to the families of patients but to local business and citizens during the lunch hour. Chef Terry Gautier is widely known for his culinary arts. A beautiful atrium area serves as the main entrance to the Tower facility.

Here’s to your health

Cardiopulmonary Department A fully equipped cardiopulmonary department provides special respiratory care and services. The cardiovascular diagnostic center is capable of detecting heart problems before they happen. Up-to-date

technology and equipment provide information that result in thorough examinations and more accurate diagnoses. The surgical unit and staff are equipped to perform cardio-surgical procedures.

Emergency, other patient services The emergency department at Memorial Hermann Baptist Orange Hospital provides 24-hour emergency service with a physician and nursing staff specially trained in emergency medicine. Other medical services offered include outpatient surgery, which saves time and expense while providing quality care, eliminating the need for overnight hospital stays. Outpatient services make diagnosis, treatment and surgery more affordable and convenient. A 14-bed physical rehabilitation program offers a full range of physical rehabilitation services. Critical care for patients is available in the modern ICY facility and the telemetry area of the new tower. In 2008, imaging upgrades included a 64-slice CT, new MRI and updated diagnostic imaging equipment.

Community Service Memorial Hermann Baptist Orange Hospital also contributes to the surrounding area through community service. HealthWorks Programs have been developed and designed to help Southeast Texas identify personal risks and options for minimizing those risks. Local support groups such as diabetes support groups meet regularly on the fifth floor.

Advisory Board In 1998, Baptist Hospital of Orange formed an advisory board made up of 40 members of the community. Local business and industry leaders, clergy and involved citizens comprise the board and meet on a monthly basis with hospital officials to address issues that would be of benefit to the community. Four committees relating to hospital services have been formed: Physician Recruitment, Future Planning, Customer Service and a Nominating Committee work together as a team. With the advisory board, the hospital is able to be directly involved in the needs of the community and to focus on the quality and future growth of the services within the facility. Memorial Hermann Baptist Orange Hospital is celebrating its 50th anniversary of providing health care services to the residents of Orange County. The 199-licensed-bed facility is a general acute-care hospital with

more than 50 physicians practicing at the facility. The hospital, which is easily accessed from Interstate 10, offers a full range of medical services and many of the latest diagnostic procedures. In 1957, construction was completed on Orange Memorial Hospital with major additions occurring in 1965 and 1968. In March of 1988, the hospital was purchased by the Baptist Healthcare System and became Baptist Hospital Orange. To fulfill the mission of the Baptist Healthcare System, medical and surgical services are offered in general and specialized care in cardiology, gynecology, internal medicine, obstetrics, pediatrics, orthopedics, ENT and general surgery. A full-time chaplain is also available to patients and their families in need of emotional and spiritual support. In 1993, the hospital added a $12.5 million medical tower to enhance the beauty and quality of the facility. A new MRI open architecture machine and new CT scan provide the most up-to-date equipment available to the community. In summer of 2005, Memorial Hermann Baptist Orange brought the community a new emergency care facility. It added more than 8,500 square feet to the existing hospital and enabled the Orange hospital to more than double the number of patients being seen each year. The thirteenbed expansion was in response to the community’s crucial need for expanded critical care services.

SEPTEMBER, 2009 7 17 19 19-20 24 28-Oct-02

MAY, 2009 1 2 9 16 16 16-17 16-17 21 23 28 memorial weekend TBA TBA TBA TBA

“The Drowsy Chaperone” Lutcher Theater SAS - Saturday Adventure Series - Shangri La SAS - Saturday Adventure Series - Shangri La SAS - Saturday Adventure Series - Shangri La Car Show (3rd Saturday Night) Texas Cajun Heritage Festival (3rd weekend) Speckled Trout Fishing Tournament (3rd weekend) Business Connection (3rd Thursday) SAS - Saturday Adventure Series - Shangri La Mixer at Sundown (4th Thursday) 5th Annual Orange County Veterans Tribute Orange First Church of the Nazarene Annual March of Dimes “Walk America” at Lions Den Park American Cancer Society’s Annual Relay for Life Annual Senior Citizens Rally Day Bridge City Strutters Annual Spring Revue - Lutcher Theater

JUNE, 2009 3 10 17 18 20 24 25

Wild Wednesday - Shangri La Wild Wednesday - Shangri La Wild Wednesday - Shangri La Business Connection (3rd Thursday) Car Show (3rd Saturday Night) Wild Wednesday - Shangri La Mixer at Sundown (4th Thursday)


Wild Wednesday - Shangri La Wild Wednesday - Shangri La Wild Wednesday - Shangri La Business Connection (3rd Thursday) Car Show (3rd Saturday Night) Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo (3rd weekend) Wild Wednesday - Shangri La Mixer at Sundown (4th Thursday) Wild Wednesday - Shangri La Annual Bridge City Chamber of Commerce Bar-B-Que & Car Show Annual Cops and Kids at Claiborne Park

AUGUST, 2009 1st - 2nd 15 20 27 TBA TBA

OCTOBER, 2009 1st - 2nd 6 7th - 10th 13th - Nov 15 14-17 15 17 17 22 29 TBA

Take a Child Outside Week - Shangri La “Lyle Lovett & his Large Band” - Lutcher Theater Annual Lions Club Charity Carnival Scarecrow Walk - Shangri La Annual Lions Club Charity Carnival Business Connection (3rd Thursday) Car Show (3rd Saturday Night) Annual Heritage House Museum sponsored “Past Times” Mixer at Sundown (4th Thursday) “David Parsons Dance East Village Opera” - Lutcher Theater Bridge City Chamber of Commerce presents “Bayou Bowl” Sports Event w/Dinner

NOVEMBER, 2009 1st - 15th 7 7 14 19 20-21 21 TBA TBA

Scarecrow Walk - Shangri La Annual Holiday in the Park Festival - West Orange (1st weekend) Orchid Festival - Shangri La Fall Festival - Shangri La Business Connection (3rd Thursday) “Riverdance - The Farewell Tour” - Lutcher Theater Car Show (3rd Saturday Night) Annual Bridge City Chamber of Commerce Holiday Festival Pageant Stark House Thanksgiving Exhibit


JULY, 2009 1 8 15 16 18 17-18 22 23 29 TBA

City of Pinehurst Senior Citizen Annual Labor Day Picnic (Labor Day) Business Connection (3rd Thursday) Car Show (3rd Saturday Night) National S.P.O.R.T. “Showdown on the Sabine” Speed Boat Races (3rd weekend) Mixer at Sundown (4th Thursday) Take a Child Outside Week - Shangri La

Annual OCARC Fishing Tournament (1st weekend) Car Show (3rd Saturday Night) Business Connection (3rd Thursday) Mixer at Sundown (4th Thursday) Annual Mardi Gras Kick Off Dance Orange County Celebrity Roast sponsored by Bridge City Chamber of Commerce

1 1 1st - 3rd 5th - 6th 4 8 15 17 19 TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA

Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet Christmas Caroling - Shangri La Annual Heritage House Museum sponsored “Old Fashioned Christmas” “The Wizard of Oz” - Lutcher Theater Annual Jaycees Christmas Parade Christmas Caroling - Shangri La Christmas Caroling - Shangri La Business Connection (3rd Thursday) Car Show (3rd Saturday Night) Service League Annual “Toy Coffee” Vidor Annual Christmas on Main Street Festival and Classic Car Parade Annual Bridge City Holiday Parade with Holiday Festival Showcase Annual Christmas in the Park, Tree Lighting held in Stark Park Annual Christmas Tree Lighting, West Orange Annual Christmas Open Houses Annual Celebration of Lights in Orange Texas Annual “Season Readings” Orange Public Library Annual Stark House “Christmas Traditions”


MAY, 2010

16 21 23 28 30 TBA TBA

20 21 15-16 15-16 27 memorial weekend

Car Show (3rd Saturday Night) Business Connection (3rd Thursday) Annual Orange Mardi Gras Ball Mixer at Sundown (4th Thursday) “The Music of Sam Cooke” - Lutcher Theater Bridge City Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet Vidor Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet

FEBRUARY, 2010 6 18 18 20 25 26 TBA TBA

Orange Annual Mardi Gras on the Sabine Dance & Parade “Leading Ladies” (Montana Rep) - Lutcher Theater Business Connection (3rd Thursday) Car Show (3rd Saturday Night) Mixer at Sundown (4th Thursday) “Groovaloo” - Lutcher Theater Annual Adams Bayou TrashOff Lions Club Dance

MARCH, 2010 18 20 25 27 28 TBA TBA TBA

Business Connection (3rd Thursday) Car Show (3rd Saturday Night) Mixer at Sundown (4th Thursday) Vidor Annual Texas Bar-B-Q Festival Scholarship Pageant Annual Art in the Park Annual Mauriceville Crawfish Pageant Orange County Master Gardeners Annual Spring Plant Sale Annual Bridge City Chamber of Commerce Lil Mr./Miss Bridge City Pageant

APRIL, 2010 8 15 17 17-18 19-23 22 22 23-25 TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA

“Romeo & Juliet” -Lutcher Theater Business Connection (3rd Thursday) Car Show (3rd Saturday Night) Mauriceville Annual Crawfish Festival & Parade (3rd weekend) Shangri La celebrates Earth Week Earth Day - Shangri La Mixer at Sundown (4th Thursday) Vidor Texas Bar-B-Q Festival, Claiborne Park (Carnival, games, concerts, vendors) Orange County Annual 4-H Play Day Catholic Women’s Annual Home & Garden Tour Salvation Army Annual Dinner Meeting Annual WH Stark House Easter Parade & Tours Annual Easter Egg Hunts City of Orange Annual Easter Egg Hunt - Orange Boat Ramp GOALS Annual Adult Spelling Bee Challenge St. Mary’s Church Annual Spring Festival Orange Public Library Annual Book Sale 670-1262 Annual Administrative Professionals Day seminar hosted by LSC-O Annual Guns & Hoses BB Game 883-1050 LCM Project Safe Graduation Annual Car Show LCM High School Orange Jazz Company Annual Concert - Lutcher Theater Golf Tournament - Hosted by Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce


Business Connection (3rd Thursday) Car Show (3rd Saturday Night) Texas Cajun Heritage Festival (3rd weekend) Speckled Trout Fishing Tournament (3rd weekend) Mixer at Sundown (4th Thursday) 6th Annual Orange County Veterans Tribute Orange First Church of the Nazarene Annual March of Dimes “Walk America” at Lions Den Park American Cancer Society’s Annual Relay for Life Annual Senior Citizens Rally Day Bridge City Strutters Annual Spring Revue - Lutcher Theater

Mardi Gras on the Sabine – Parade and Street Dance TBD - Late January, early February The Greater Orange Area kicks off each year in a big way with their annual celebration of Mardi Gras on the Sabine. The Grand Mardi Gras Parade on the Sabine is hosted by the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce (GOACC) in partnership with Mardi Gras’ Krewes throughout the community. These creatively decorated and lighted floats are filled with Krewe members in full Mardi Gras regalia to match each floats theme. The parade begins in late afternoon in the heart of Orange at the City of Orange Boat Ramp and winds its way through the downtown streets of Orange to end back at its origin with all the lights glowing and beads flying. The night will include an old fashioned street dance complete with great food from local vendors and first-class music to dance the night away – Orange Texas style! For more information contact GOACC: (409) 883-3536 Art in the Park – offers numerous cultural activities for visitors to enjoy. Last Saturday in March. Artists from around the world make this Orange event an annual stop in an effort to showcase their work. In 2008, approximately 130 artists, such as painters, sculptors, sketch artists, potters, wood-carvers and others attended. And don’t forget there is music in the air. The Grammy-nominated Marcia Ball has dazzled hundreds of festival guests, as did a New Orleans-style jazz band along with a strolling barbershop quartet. Annual event sponsored by the Orange Convention and Visitors Bureau. Fascinating Art Displays Exciting Musicians :: Tasty Food :: Arts and Crafts for the kids :: Free Tours at the Stark Musuem of Art :: Discounted mini-tours at the W.H. Stark House :: Tours of Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center More information from Orange CVB (409) 883-1011

Mauriceville Crawfish Festival - Third weekend in April. If you enjoy a big plate of steaming, spicy mudbugs, then the Mauriceville Crawfish Festival is just what you have been waiting for. The Mauriceville Crawfish Festival has been a long-standing tradition in Orange County and continues to grow larger every year as people from across the region flock to this Orange County community. This weekend-long celebration brings dozens of vendors and cooking teams to offer these tasty crustaceans piping hot and as spicy as you like. The Texas House of Representatives named Mauriceville the “Crawfish Capital of Texas” in 1983 during the regular session of the 68th Texas Legislature and for good reason. Come see why for yourself! In Mauriceville on State Highway 62 north of Interstate 10, near State Highway 12. Family oriented activities :: games :: Carnival rides :: Craft booths :: Parade Auction :: Barbecue Cook-off :: Mudbug Racing – yes, who has the fastest crawfish in the County? :: Dog Show – pure bred, non-pure bred divisions and categories of obedience and costume Annual livestock show and auction benefiting area high school students The Orange County 4-H and Future Farmers of America Livestock Show and Auction, which has been in existence for 16 years, are also a part of the annual festival. It features chickens, pigs, sheep, goats and rabbits for display and purchase. Local chapters of the Future Farmers of America from Little Cypress-Mauriceville, Vidor, and Orangefield high schools participate, as do several 4-H clubs including Dusty Trails, Mighty Pirates and Sure Stock. It’s good fun for the whole family!

Texas BBQ Festival - Last weekend in April. Live music has become a staple of the barbecue festival, as organizers welcome the best in regional and national entertainment. Past festival headliners include Tracy Lawrence, Chris Cagle and Eddie Money. The festival is always full, and delicious arrays of food vendors line the concourse leading to the performance pavilion. For nearly 30 years, the Texas Bar-B-Q Festival in western Orange County has brought in thousands of patrons from across Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana, and it continues to grow each year. The largest three-day event of the spring season sponsored by the Vidor Chamber of Commerce, has earned the reputation of having some of the best barbecue-cooking teams from across the state compete for the title of festival champion. Categories in the highly touted competition include brisket, chicken and ribs. Cash prizes and trophies are presented to the winning teams in each division. Held at Claiborne West Park, located on the north feeder road of Interstate 10 at Cow Bayou :: Bar-B-Q Cook-Off :: Mystery Cooking Contest - cooking teams prepare a tasty dish with a secret ingredient which is not identified until the start of the contest :: Highly popular doggie pageant :: Largest classic car show in Orange County :: Live music :: Large carnival :: Wonderful cuisine :: Doggie parade Competitive horseshoe and washer board tournaments :: Craft vendors :: More information from Vidor Chamber of Commerce 409-769- 6339 Texas Cajun Heritage Festival & Speckled Trout USA Fishing Tournament - Third Weekend in May. For a guaranteed good time, put your dancing shoes on and a smile on your face, then come on out to the Texas Cajun Heritage Festival for two days of great Cajun fun. Bring your lawn chairs, listen to some of the best Cajun and zydeco music in the region and watch fishermen weigh-in speckled trout for prizes valued to $10,000.00.

Free to public :: Held at the City of Orange Boat Ramp located off Simmons Drive near downtown Orange Carnival Tasty Food Cajun and zydeco music :: Cajun Dance Cajun Crafts Beer vendor on site Numerous food vendors and activities No pets, bicycles or alcohol allowed to enter the park For more information from Orange CVB (409) 883-1011

Recreation throughout the warmer months Other Vidor activities include Boomtown USA and Smith’s Lake. As spring warms into summer, so does the water, and that means the opening of the water park with several water slides and family areas Boomtown USA, located adjacent to Interstate 10, just west of Vidor, offers year-round water activities, especially fishing and boating Late spring is when the fun really kicks it up a notch with the high-powered boat racing event known as the “Boomtown Explosion.” It offers area residents some of the fastest drag boat racing in Southeast Texas. The racers reach speeds of 80 to 120 miles per hour in several classes, such as Performance Bass and Ski, Lake Racer, Super Stock, Pro Stock, Modified Production and Pro Gas. Boomtown offers all that and more, such as: Swimming in its large lake Dining Plenty of space for RV parking The lake is large enough to accommodate water sport activities which include fishing and boating, plus jet skis, and, in the summer of 2008, a wakeboarding tournament, which is expected to return. For more information from Boomtown USA 409-769-6105 Smith’s Lake has a longstanding tradition in Vidor as a spacious, secluded lake offering family-oriented activities like swimming, playing on the sandy beach, volleyball, cook-outs, and fishing. Open every summer from Memorial Day in May to Labor Day in September. Located in the heart of Vidor at the end of West Tram near North Main Street, Fishing is offered year round from the shoreline Plenty of locations are available for your RV. For more information from Smith Lake 409-769-8200

Pinehurst Senior Citizens Labor Day Picnic September – Labor Day Pinehurst’s event of the year! The Senior Citizens Labor Day Picnic is the day for all senior citizens to come out and have a great day of fun! The food prepared by Robert’s Steakhouse in Pinehurst provides excellent cuisine to include Gumbo, B-B-Q Links, cake, watermelon and drinks. This year will be the tenth year that citizens and merchants of Pinehurst have furnished this day at no cost to the guests. A number of prizes will be given away with everyone in attendance having a chance to win. Held at the The Family Worship Center Church (formerly the old Bancroft school), 2300 North 41st Street in beautiful downtown Pinehurst. Fun :: Great Food :: Cajun music :: Prizes :: Fellowship

National S.P.O.R.T. Speed Boat Races “Showdown on the Sabine” Third weekend in September Tunnel Boats are sleek, high tech designed watercraft usually custom made by their driver and teams. They travel at rocket speeds across the Sabine River. Some have commented these races are the “NASCAR of the boating world”. Come on out and enjoy two days of speed and excitement on the Sabine River. Bring your lawn chairs and take pleasure in sitting on the levee of the beautiful Sabine River watching the National Tunnel Boat competition. Great family fun! Held at the City of Orange Boat Ramp located off Simmons Drive near downtown Orange :: Delicious food :: Fun games

Lions Club Carnival September - October. For nearly 60 years, the Lions Club Carnival has been a staple of the Orange community and is known for offering area residents plenty of fun while managing to give back to the community and those in need. Proceeds raised from the two-week run of the Lions Club Carnival are used for a variety of programs, including the Seeing Eye dog program, which trains animals for people in need, an eyeglass and eye-awareness program. Lions Club summer camp and sponsorship of children to attend the camp among other programs that the Lions Club either sponsors or participates in over the course of each year. Established in 1939, the carnival has been a yearly event. Only twice has the carnival been canceled: once during World War II; and then in 2005 thanks to Hurricane Rita. In 2008 the carnival was held in November and as a gift to the community residents recovering from Hurricane Ike, admission was free. The only ride absent was Flying Bobs. The annual event is always a favorite of Orange-area residents, both young and old. Held on the grounds of Orange Lion’s Den Park next to Adams Bayou near downtown Orange; Wednesday tto Saturday for two consecutive weeks in late September and early October. Children’s rides include the carousel, a train, cars, the super-slide and a children’s C FFerris Wheel and thrill-seekers rides such as the Tilt-o-whirl and Flying Bobs All rides aare $1. Tokens are available for each ride and can be purchased for 10 for $10 at the ttoken booth. Holiday in the Park - First Saturday of November. Holiday in the Park is a true gem on H tthe fall-festival schedule. A family-friendly event beckons guests to come and enjoy a day of food, fun, crafts and activities. Whether it’s woodcarving, Cajun cuisine like ssmoked boudain or even turkey legs, or children’s activities such as a moonwalk and fface a painting, there is something for everyone. Held annually at Alford Seale Plaza on Western Avenue in West Orange From early morning to dusk Food :: Crafts W Children’s activities C JJaycees Christmas Parade - December. The parade originally began nearly 40 years ago a in downtown Orange and headed outwards. Now it begins at MacArthur Shopping Center on MacArthur Drive and travels into downtown. Given that the parade is held at night, all parade entries are encouraged to have plenty of lights because judges critique all entries from the reviewing stand in front of City Hall. It’s not uncommon to see lighted angels or an interpretation of Santa’s Village or other Christmas traditions displayed in colorful light displays. Annual Jaycees Christmas Parade returns for its trek through Orange as a parade of lighted floats, travels down MacArthur Drive and slowly makes its way into downtown where the parade will end at Fourth Street. Trophies are awarded to first and second place winners in four categories: marching, general,

commercial and religious. Bands will receive participation trophies, “Judges Choice” trophies will be awarded to the judges’ favorites. The Grand Marshal awards a special trophy to the best overall entry. For more information call 409-779-9199 or 409-886-4505

Bridge City Holiday Parade and Festival December Traditionally, the annual Bridge City event was held the Saturday before Thanksgiving, but the event was changed to December in 2007 to accommodate for family trips around Thanksgiving and school scheduling, including UIL activities. More than 80 entries registered for the 2007 holiday parade, and more than 40 vendors featuring a variety of arts, crafts, food, clothing, jewelry and other services attended the festival. Begins at 10 a.m. with a parade traveling from near the Texas Avenue and West Roundbunch intersection north down Roundbunch and ending at Bridge City Intermediate School, Festival will be held inside and outside of the school :: Children’s activities such as a moonwalk, a slide :: Christmas tattoos :: Style show :: Tae Kwon Do demonstration :: Performances by school choirs and the Bridge City High School Strutters help make this a fun filled day of family entertainment.

Vidor Annual Christmas Tree Lighting & Parade - December Christmas in Orange County may not result in a snowy winter, but in Vidor it is a great time to celebrate the coming holiday season. For more than 20 years, the annual Christmas Caroling and Christmas Tree Lighting event rings in the Christmas holiday with a beautiful ceremony just right for the whole family. Several choirs from Vidor schools join in the caroling with traditional holiday classics, which leads to the big moment when a hand-picked tree is lit up to view throughout the month of December. The event regularly draws hundreds of area residents to the ceremony, not only to hear the various choirs, but to also see the arrival of that jolly old elf himself, Santa Claus. Presented by the Vidor Chamber of Commerce and the Vidor Merchants Association, the annual antique and classic car event has grown tremendously in its short history with more than 200 cars participating in 2007. Annually held in a bank parking lot on Main Street near Interstate 10 Preceded by the annual Classic Christmas Cruise, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the parking lot of another financial institution at 1255 N. Main :: Vendors :: Street Dance :: Live entertainment from regional bands. For more information from Vidor Chamber of Commerce 409-769-6339

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Orange County Orange County, Texas Points of Interest 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Tony Houseman State Park & Wildlife Management Area Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail Site #1 Blue Elbow Swamp Texas Travel Information Center Little Cypress - Mauriceville High School and Stadium Orange County Courthouse Orange County Economic Development Corporation Bailey’s Boat Launch Birding Trail Site #2- Sabine Loop Rainbow Bridge & Veteran’s Memorial Bridge Orangefield High School & Stadium Claiborne West Park Smith Lake Boomtown USA Sparrow Lane Park



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Points of Interest




1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.



Chamber of Commerce U.S. Post Office City Park Public Library Police Department City Hall High School Football Stadium Gould Community Center Public Swimming Pool

Orange St.

st We 105


Orange County Airport w Co u yo Ba



Du Po nt


Dr. 1006

Bridge City, Texas Points of Interest 1.

Chamber of Commerce

2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

Police Department High School Football Stadium U.S. Post Office City Hall Public Library Community Center Senior Citizen Center City Park Cow Bayou Swing Bridge

Historical Museum Teacherage 12

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Os bo rn e


Blan d Rd .

Old Ferr y Rd.

Sabine Lake 87


W. Rou nd Bun ch

Rachal Rd.


Bo w

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Cow Bay ou

d. hR c n E. Round Bu


12. Boat Launch 13. Boat Launch




Sunset Grove Country Club




an kl ric St

Mar tin Luther King Dr.



Par k Ave.


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Green Ave.

8th St

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Mac358 Ar th

16th St.

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Tulane Rd.




87 16th St.

27 West Park Ave.

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Western Ave.






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Foreman Rd.


Adams Bayou Orange County Airport

Orange Harbor Island


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Greater Orange Area, TX. Points of Interest

Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce Member Restaurants

Bridge City Chamber of Commerce Member Restaurants

The Bronz Coffeehouse

109 5th Street


Chicken Express

2250 Texas Avenue


Casa Ole’

1717 16th Street


Coffee Beanery

1055 Texas Avenue


Chili’s Grill & Bar

292 Strickland


Dairy Queen

1780 Texas Avenue


Cornbreads Cafe’

2246 MacArthur Drive


Domino’s Pizza

2380 Texas Avenue


Crazy Jose’s

110 Strickland Drive


Gary’s Coffee Shop

2045 Texas Avenue


Dominos Pizza

2107 McArthur Drive


Hushpuppy Seafood

1925 Texas Avenue


The Garden District

7536 Hwy 87 North


McDonald’s Restaurant

755 Texas Avenue


J. B.’s Barbeque Restaurant

5750 Hwy 90 (I-10 & 90)


Peggy’s on the Bayou

2682 East Roundbunch Rd.


The Jumping Bean

7174 N. Hwy. 87


Sonic Drive In

2250 Texas Avenue


Lucy’s Cafe & Bakery

2488 Martin Luther King Dr.


Subway Sandwiches #7114

1097 Texas Avenue



1710 16th Street


Tequila’s Mexican Restaurant

1085 Texas Avenue



2311 North Highway 62



1905 Texas Avenue



501 N. 16th Street


Old Orange Cafe & Catering

914 W. Division


Vidor Chamber of Commerce Member Restaurants


Bar-B-Q Depot, Inc.

110 Old Highway 90 East


Burr Country Store BBQ

Exit 864 I-10 at 1132


Orange Seafood, Steakhouse & 3104 Edgar Brown Drive Sushi Bar Original Cajun Cookery, Inc.

2308 Lutcher Drive


Cinnamon Patch Restaurant

590 Wilson St.


Pinehurst BBQ

100 Strickland Drive


Dairy Queen

780 N. Main St.


Quizno’s Subs

175 Strickland Drive


Hush Puppy Seafood Restaurant 1202 N. Main St.


McDonalds Restaurant

765 N. Main St.


Senor Toro Mexican Restaurant 1298 N. Main St.


Spindletop Restaurant

1480 West Freeway Blvd.


The White Apron Café

445 W. Freeway


Waffle House

115 E. Freeway


Roberts’ Restaurant & Steakhouse 3720 W. Park Avenue


Senor Toro’s Restaurant

3130 16th Street


Sonic Drive-In – 16th Street

3103 N. 16th Street


Sonic Resturant

2805 Macarthur Drive


Southern Magnolia Tea Room 1627 Strickland Drive




Wright’s Bar-B-Que & Catering 1096 N. Main St. 1703 N. 16th Street

Wendy’s Old Fashion Hamburgers 3113 Edgar Brown Dr.



Churches in Orange County Apostolic Assemblies of God Baptist Catholic Christian Church of Christ Church of God Church of God in Christ Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Episcopal Full Gospel Independent Jehovah’s Witness Lutheran Methodist Nazarene Pentecostal Presbyterian Salvation Army Seventh Day Adventist

E House Inn Bed and Breakfast 205 College Street Orange, TX 77630 Madison House Bed and Breakfast 901 10th Street Orange, TX 77630 Shangri La Bed and Breakfast 907 Pine Avenue Orange, TX 77630 Bread Box Inn 900 10th Street Orange, TX 77630 Best Value Inn 2208 Lutcher Drive Budget Inn 2465 North Street Days Inn 2630 Interstate 10 West Econolodge Suites 2900 Interstate 10 West Economy Inn 2311 MacArthur Drive

Orange, TX 77632 Vidor, TX 77662

409-886-0122 409-988-3396 409-670-1911 409-779-3408

409-883-6701 409-769-2299

Orange. TX 77632


Orange, TX 77632


Orange, TX 77630


Executive Inn 4301 27th Street Hampton Inn 2080 Interstate 10 West Holiday Inn Express 2655 Interstate 10 East La Quinta Inn 108 Texas Avenue La Quinta Inn 2220 Highway 62 South La Quinta Inn 165 E Courtland Street Motel 6 4407 27th Street Ramada Inn 2610 Interstate 10 West Sleep Inn & Suites 2245 Highway 62 South Super 8 Motel 2710 Interstate 10 West

Orange, TX 77632


Orange, TX 77632


Orange, TX 77630


Bridge City, TX 77611


Orange, TX 77630


Vidor, TX 77662


Orange, TX 77632


Orange, TX 77632


Orange, TX 77630


Orange, TX 77630


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Orange County


Community Profile Geographic and Climate Data Orange County is located on the Louisiana State line between Beaumont, Texas and Lake Charles, Louisiana in the State of Texas, County of Orange, Cities of Bridge City, Orange, Pine Forest, Pinehurst, Rose City, Vidor, West-Orange. The county region consists of 380 square miles with a population density of 223.59 residents per square mile compared to a statewide

density of 79.54. the rainfall in the region averages 58.3 inches per year compared to the Texas average of 30.1 inches per year. The average growing season in the Orange County region is 240 days. Texas is so climatically diverse that the statewide averages are generally irrelevant as a means of comparison. The average temperature in January, gathered by the Office of the State Climatologist ranges from 39 degrees to an average for July of 91 degrees.

Orange County Texas Population

Education Lamar State College Lamar State College Lamar University Lamar Institute of Technology Bridge City ISD

Little Cypress-Mauriceville CISD Orangefield ISD Vidor ISD McNeese State University West Orange-Cove ISD

Orange Port Arthur Beaumont Beaumont Bridge City

Taxation Tax Rate (Per $100 Assessed Value) Orange County Orange County Drainage District Orange County Navigation & Port District Bridge City, City Orange, City Pine Forest, City Pinehurst, City Rose City, City Vidor, City WCID #1 Vidor West Orange, City Bridge City, ISD Little Cypress-Mauriceville, CISD Orangefield, ISD

2008 Rate 0.517 0.1008 0.00909 0.487 0.745 0.11374 0.58652 0.13805 0.81155 0.29047 0.42939 1.21 1.14823 1.17

Orange Orangefield Vidor Lake Charles, LA West Orange

Vidor, ISD West Orange-Cove, ISD **Total combined tax rate for each entity varies.

1.2075 1.24858

Municipal Sales Tax (all except W. Orange) State Sales Tax Economic Development County Sales Tax Total

1% 6.25% 0.50% 0.50% 8.25%

Municipal Sales Tax (West Orange) State Sales Tax Economic Development County Sales Tax Total

1.25% 6.25% 0.00% 0.50% 8.00%

Transportation Orange County has ample air, water, rail and freight service available. Surrounding aiports include the Orange County Aiport, the Southeast Texas Regional Airport, and Bush Intercontinental. Rail service includes Burlington Northern-Santa Fe, Kansas City Southern, and Union Pacific.




Orange County EDC  

Magazine 2009

Orange County EDC  

Magazine 2009