orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Local News

March 12, 2014

Train ticket counter more than job for one woman

ORANGE — Juanita Timberlake recalls a time when the Southern Pacific Rail Road Depot in Orange was so busy all three windows for the ticket counter would be open, each with a line to the back of the waiting areas.

Timberlake not only issued tickets and wrote orders for the trains, but she also suggested vacation routes.

“I was always telling them places to go and stops to make along the way,” Timberlake said.

Timberlake recalled telling a gentleman who frequently traveled to Washington D.C. that if he wanted he could leave from there and ride to Chicago, onto California through Oregon, travel through Arizona before returning to Orange, Texas.

“One day he asked if I could really write up a ticket like that, so I worked up a schedule,” Timberlake said. “He made the trip and said everything worked out lovely.”

Timberlake’s husband also worked for the railroad at the Echo station. Due to working for the railroad, they had passes to travel via the train.

“Railroads were in my blood,” Timberlake said. “My daddy worked on a railroad gang before leaving for the service.”

Growing up as a farm girl, Timberlake was determined to help her parents rebuild their house.

“The Lord blessed me. I made overtime here in Orange which I used to help them,” Timberlake said. “I was able to add water, electricity to the house. I was also able to buy a car and furniture for them.”

When the station closed in 1975, Timberlake was given the option to transfer to Beaumont or Houston.

“I told them I would rather stay in Orange,” Timberlake said. “I worked 29 of my 45 years with the railroad here in Orange. This is my hometown.”

While Timberlake met many people through the years working at the station, including the Starks, a founding family of Orange, she also met many from the Navy and their families who traveled to the Orange Naval Base.

“Many times it would be 1-4 kids traveling with their mother. I would always leave my ticket window to help the mother get them on the train. One of the porters asked why I never accepted a tip from them. I told them someone higher was tipping me,” Timberlake said as she points up. “They needed all the money they had. You don’t take from them. After that, the porter was also helping them.”

Watching the passing scenery as one travels by train is not the only luxury people are missing by not traveling by train today.

“The best meals were on a train,” Timberlake said. “My children looked forward to ham and eggs for breakfast as well as seeing everyone in the Dining car.”

Timberlake looks forward to the Orange Depot restoration.

“Mrs. Stark would come in to buy tickets for her friends returning to California,” Timberlake said. “Each time, she would say it must always be the Gateway to Orange, painted white with orange trim with the name in orange on each end so people would know they arrived in Orange.”

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • BC High School Yearbook.JPG Rising above...

    Bridge City High School yearbook students Bree Newsom, editor and Gabriel Alvarez, assistant editor, traveled to Texas A & M University in College Station to attend the Balfour Communications Workshop July 18 - July 21.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Instructor recognized LSC-O instructor receives international recognition

    An instructor at LSC-O has receive international recognition for her work as an instructor in information technology.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • New Trustee Welcome to the Board

    Nathaniel Colbert, standing at left, was officially sworn in earlier this week as the newest member of the West Orange-Cove Consolidated Independent School District’s Board of Trustees.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sabine River 1 Have you seen the Sabine?

    There is more to the Sabine River than meets the eye, if one only looks.

    July 27, 2014 6 Photos

  • T-Byrd Tracy Byrd schedules Labor Day weekend event

    Country music star Tracy Byrd is hitting the stage once again this summer.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Texas A&M launches new Family Nurse Practitioner program

    The Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Nursing has announced plans for a Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner (M.S.N.-FNP) graduate program.

    July 26, 2014

  • VIDEO: Hibbett Sporting Goods to open in Pinehurst

    Hibbett Sporting Goods, Inc., the national sporting goods retailer based in Birmingham, Alabama, announced the execution of a lease for a new store in the city of Pinehurst.

    July 26, 2014

  • Shop Talk BC officials begin budget talks

    City officials are already working towards a balanced budget in this Orange County community.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hello, Mr. Cosby Cosby opens Lutcher's 35th season in style

    The Lutcher Theater for the Performing Arts 35th season kicked off in fine fashion with two sold-out performances on Thursday and Friday nights by the legendary Bill Cosby. The capacity crowd laughed from start to finish as Cosby spoke about marriage, bodily functions, age, his hotel and the papermill. The Lutcher’s 35th season continues with the next production being Lyle Lovett and His Large Band on Tuesday, Sept. 9. Visit www.lutcher.org for more information.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Update: New information release on Bridge City shooting

    July 25, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide