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By Margaret Toal
For the Record 

Depot Day Saturday helps historic train station

 

Last updated 4/30/2024 at 9pm

Ten years ago, the century-old Southern Pacific Railroad station was long abandoned. Weeds grew a foot high and white paint was peeling off the sides of the brick.

Then came former Orange resident Carrie Woliver of Houston, who remembered her grandparents living by the train depot and named her memoir "The Train Stopped in Orange." She started a non-profit group to purchase and restore the train depot-station, which is now an official Texas Historical site.

Saturday, May 4, the non-profit group Friends of the Orange Train Depot will have their annual Depot Day fundraiser with family-friendly events, including an evening street dance.

The event will be on vacant land along Green Avenue to the east of the depot across 11th Street. Food vendors, games, and rides will be set up for the public. Starting time is 11:30 a.m. with Orange Mayor Larry Spears Jr. and members of the city council to attend and present a proclamation.

Admission is free with rides and activities costing $1 each or $5 for six. Pony rides, a trackless miniature train, and a balloon twister. Businesses and individuals have donated items, including cash cards, to be given away in raffles with tickets $1 each or six for $5.

Orange County philanthropist Gisela Houseman is expected to attend the opening and may be taking on the mayor and other council members in a game of cornhole.

Entertainment during the day will include the Orange Community Players and the Orange Blossom dancers. The Stark Museum of Art is providing a special memory game.

The street dance is a new addition to the fundraiser and will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is $5 per couple. Music will be by DJ Chas White. Free State Winery will be set up to sell adult beverages. People are invited to bring lawn chairs for sitting outside during the dance.

Local donations, grants, and sponsors, including the convention and visitors bureaus from the city of Orange and Orange County helped the train station be renovated. It is now rented as an events venue and for community activities. More information is available through the website orangetraindepot.org.

 

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