Welcome to the EDC
…a city known for its "Small Town Charm. World Class Culture." Orange, nestled in the southeast corner of the state, has been called "The Gateway to Texas" throughout much of its history dating back to the 1800's, being the first high ground of the west side of the Sabine River coming out of the swamps of Louisiana. Orange really is the "the first taste of Texas" for west-bound travelers out of Louisiana on Interstate 10, or the "last taste of Texas" for those traveling east-bound.
In the 1800's, Orange was dependent on agriculture, cattle and several small sawmills and shipyards for its livelihood. Suddenly, Orange changed into a thriving, prosperous city of lumber mills, larger shipyards, shingle mills, paper mills, railroads, and deep water shipping. The transformation of Orange during this time included banks, fine three-storied mansions, opera houses, lavish entertaining, and many new residents. During the 1940's, Orange experienced another transformation with the recruitment of the DuPont, Sabine River Works petrochemical plant, which began operations in 1946. As a result, other petrochemical plants went on line at what became known as "Chemical Row" to this day.
Orange offers water-related recreational activities with the proximity to the Sabine River, Sabine Lake, and the Gulf of Mexico. Within 60 miles, there are many lakes, golf courses, bird watching venues, and much more for those who enjoy outdoor activities. Orange has educational activities through Lamar State College-Orange, a 2-year public college that is part of the Texas State University System. World-renowned tourist attractions include Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, Stark Museum of Art, Stark House, and Lutcher Theater of Performing Arts. Another attraction, First Presbyterian Church-Orange, dedicated in 1912, was one of the earliest air-conditioned buildings in the United States. Major tourism related events include 'Art in the Park' during spring, 'Texas Cajun Heritage Festival' and 'Salt Water Fishing Tournament' during summer, and 'Southern Professional Outboard Racing Team' (SPORT) tunnel boat races on the Sabine River during fall.
An exciting new city-sponsored initiative currently in progress is the Downtown Master Plan, which includes a new outdoor performance pavilion, a new Senior Center/Meals on Wheels facility, riverfront boardwalk, retail development, and pedestrian walkways throughout the downtown area that has become referred to as the "Downtown Super Block." In addition, Orange has highly regarded Baptist Orange Hospital to meet the medical needs of its residents, and senior housing developments such as Palm Garden Apartments.
From "The Gateway to Texas" lumber mills in the 1800's, to the shipbuilding industries and "Chemical Row" expansions in the 1940's, to the cultural and quality-of-life enhancements in the 1990's and beyond, Orange welcomes all to experience and celebrate its "Small Town Charm. World Class Culture."