Where We Came From
The Orange Depot, a Victorian-style building erected in 1902, was a bustling and indispensable part of life in Orange up until passenger train traffic through the region diminished in the middle of the 20th century. It has not served its original function since the 1960s; for a while, it was leased as an office space, but has now stood vacant and deteriorating for years. When writer and television producer Carrie Joiner Woliver, a former resident of Orange, passed by the decaying building on a visit in 2012, she was very disturbed at seeing such a vital part of Orange history fall into neglect. Woliver had recently authored the book The Train Stopped in Orange: A Captivating Family History Revealed through 1917 Texas Diaries, based on her grandparents’ lives, in which the railroad and depot had played an important role, and she and her husband Ron decided to take action to save the structure.
They formed the non-profit 501(c)(3) Friends of the Orange Depot in November 2013 and donated the funds for the Friends to purchase the Depot and to get fundraising operations off the ground. Having raised enough funding to renovate the building, the organization held a groundbreaking ceremony on 4/23/16 and will finish the renovations by the end of 2016. In the meantime, we are continuing to raise funds to outfit the museum, to make improvements to the grounds, and to raise some operating funds..