orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

March 9, 2014

Friends of the Orange Depot speak at Orange County Historical Society meeting

Dawn Burleigh
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — Save the depot!

Michael Hoke, member of the Friends of the Orange Depot, spoke during the Orange County Historical Society meeting Tuesday evening concerning goals to restore the station.

Hoke said an anonymous donor recently purchased and donated 2/3 of the lot next to the train station to the non-profit organization.

“We know we are going to restore it,” Hoke said. “We could not have done it without Carrie and Ron Woliver.”

Carrie Woliver, formerly of Orange, wrote a book titled The Train Stopped in Orange which features a picture of the station on the cover. A book based on the 1917 diaries of her grandparents, Will and Pearl Joiner.

The Joiners lived one block from the Southern Pacific Train Depot in 1917, which was always teeming with activity when the train stopped in Orange.

In December 2012, Woliver and her husband traveled to Orange for a book-signing event and saw the condition of the depot.

The Wolivers founded the Friends of the Orange Depot, non-profit organization, for the purpose of raising funds for restoration to the depot as well as operating costs once the work is completed.

A historical analysis is underway to determine the age and era of furniture in the building.

“There is a rumor the benches are from Anderson School,” Hoke said. “That is something we are checking.”

Hoke said his main purpose for getting involved with the organization is to stop the deterioration of the depot.

“We are going to restore it,” Hoke said as he discussed the current fundraising efforts.

Fundraising goal for the restoration and subsequent operations expenses has been set at $600,000. An account has been established at First Financial Bank in Orange for donations.

To arrange a representative of the Friends of the Orange Depot to speak at an organizational meeting send a request to info@friendsoftheorangedepot.org

To become a volunteer go to http://www.friendsoftheorangedepot.org/website/volunteer.aspx