• 72°

And Now You Know: Granite for the church, salty water, new industry, waiting on a new rig; All part of Orange business in 1909

Mike Louviere
And Now You Know

The Orange Daily Leader reported in September 1909 that there was a lot happening in Orange, new granite for the new church, new streetlights, salty water, a new paper mill and a man waiting on his drilling rig.

The Daily Leader reported that the granite work on the Lutcher Memorial Presbyterian Church was nearly completed. Eighty-six carloads of finished granite for the structure, and seven cars of crushed granite and seven cars of sand for the floors had been used thus far on the church.

“There is probably not in all the South, or all the West, even to San Francisco, a church building as elegantly designed and constructed with the eye to durability as the Lutcher Memorial Presbyterian Church. It will not only be a thing of beauty, but it will last as long as granite and concrete, and granite and concrete get harder with age,” reported the Leader.

Originally, the dome of the church was translucent. The copper cover was installed in the 1940s. Inside the church was an electric light that was said to be seen, “from a great distance in every direction.”

“The inside finish will now begin will soon begin and will be keeping with the permeance of the granite walls and the beauty and grandeur of the great polished granite Corinthian columns which adorn the front,” reported the Leader.

The church was finished and put into service in 1912.

At the latest meeting of the city council an order was passed to relocate an “arc light” from its location at Polk and Market streets to a new location at Fifth and Division streets. The council also ordered the placement of a small light at the corner of Short and Henderson streets and another at the corner of Henderson and Border streets.

The arrangement of these lights would light up the darker places in town, Short Street from the opera house to the rice mill and Henderson Street to the Methodist church.

New equipment came in for the Yellow Pine Paper Mill. Five carloads of boilers had arrived. It was expected that there would be more equipment arriving for a total of 1,100,000 pounds or 550 tons. The freight charges would amount to $10,000.

When the mill was completed it would produce 30 tons of paper daily and employ 200 men.

Men in Orange had invested half a million dollars into the new industry.

Salt water had invaded the Sabine River from Sabine Lake. The salt water had caused problems in the operation of the sawmills.

At Port Arthur, the saltwater was so bad, they had to go to Orange for fresh water.

The motor launch Mississippi towing large water barge came into Orange for fresh water. The water was so salty that they had to go several miles above Orange to find fresh water. The water was to be used at the Port of Port Arthur.

The tug Albania, also towing a large water barge arrived in Orange to take on a load of fresh water for the Port Arthur rice mill.

H.W. Joachimi and his driller, a man named Allen, were in Orange awaiting a drilling rig to come in from Shreveport. He had information that the rig was at a station above Maurice(ville). The piping had arrived, and a derrick had been erected. When the rig arrived, all was ready to start drilling. Joachimi was confident that once drilling began, he would find oil.

“And now you know.”