Christmas Gifts in Orange, 1904 Style

Published 9:06 am Saturday, December 24, 2016

By Mike Louviere

The Orange Leader

The Orange Leader Citizen-Record Consolidated edition of December 23, 1904, was a wealth of information about what was available for purchase for the Christmas season.

Creager, Miller and Company, located next door to the Orange National Bank listed “Holiday Goods of Every Kind and description”. Mostly toys, the list included steam engines, doll go-carts and sleepers, doll cabs, velocipedes, express wagons, galloping horses, felt, wool, and fur covered animals.

The Orange Furniture Company said, “We are showing the handsomest lines of furniture, fine mattings, rugs, and art squares ever brought to Orange. We also have sideboards, bookcases, dressing tables, chiffoniers, rocking chairs and fine parlor, bedroom, and dining room suites in all styles. There is a special line of crockery with hand painted Japanese designs in both individual and tea sets. Our prices are the lowest and our goods are the best. We invite the people of Orange County to give us a call before making their holiday purchases.”

  1. S. Carnes, proprietor of the Gem Café boasted that he had the nicest lines of Christmas confections and fancy candies for the holidays ever seen in Orange. There was something for the sweetheart, wife or sister…fine fruits and nuts of all kinds. Carnes even advertised oysters served in any style and hot drinks of all kinds.
  2. P. McFarland, Quality Jeweler, had holiday goods of every description, at least in the jewelry and glassware lines. He had “the most elegant line of glassware and the latest novelty gold jewelry. Silverware of all kinds, and ‘diamonds in profusion’…..No trouble to find something here for the sweetheart, wife, sister, mother, brother, father or husband.”

Christmas presents for men and boys could be found at the store operated by D. Mossiker. He had a full line that included mufflers, handkerchiefs, neck ware, suspenders, gloves, fancy house shoes, smoking jackets, lounging robes, fancy vests, umbrellas, dress suitcases, military brushes, genuine ebony toilet articles, and many other useful things. (Seems men dressed a bit different 112 years ago)

C.A. McLeod was located in the Link Building on the corner of 5th and Main Streets. He advertised toys that were beautiful, at low cost, and wonderful value. There were toy automobiles, dolls, go-carts, games, self propelled steel toys, and “many other wonderful items.”

Fireworks, candies, fruit, and nuts, along with the cleanest stock of choice groceries, extracts, spices, etc. were available at the store operated by N. Burton, Sr.

The Orange Bakery operated by Messrs. Beauchamp and Pavell sold fruitcakes and pastries along with fruits, nuts, and candies.

Curry, Johnson and Curry, grocers, covered all the bases with fruitcake ingredients, fireworks, Christmas fruits, crackers and cakes, new country syrup, Lowney’s Candies, and Seal Brand Coffee. They stated that both their phone numbers were 15 and that they had their own delivery wagon.

The City of Orange wrote a letter about good things happening during the season; They were hoping for a deep water channel across Sabine Lake so that water trade from Orange could be opened to the world by ships direct from Orange to the Gulf of Mexico. (That did not happen until 1913)

City Fathers were thankful that work had begun on a large dry dock, and that the Orange and Northwestern Railroad had been connected to the Cotton Belt Railroad at Newton, opening rail traffic to wider markets.

There was the possibility of a factory being built that would produce a cereal made from rice.

A recent discovery that the waste slabs of yellow pine, scraps from the sawmills, could be used to make paper led to the construction of a paper mill. New equipment was expected about the first of the year (1905) that would make possible the daily production of eight tons of high grade wrapping paper.

Construction of a new city hall was in the planning stages and should make it possible for the city government to move out of the “tenement” they were currently in by the next Christmas. (1905)

The city was hoping there would be some farmers wanting to grow oranges since there had been a discovery that there were oranges that could stand the cold weather in the area.

The letter closed by stating: “ Orange will celebrate Christmas with a glad heart, for the season has brought her a number of good things in the way of enterprises that will add much to her prosperity.”

That’s the way it was 112 years ago, when Christmas came to Orange…..

“And now you know”