Category Archives: Local History

Who was F. L. McClain of Orangefield Football Stadium

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It’s been a long time since ‘Mac ‘ McClain was commonly seen on the Orangefield ISD campus with his bright, blue eyes and dark, slicked back hair. Many Orangefield residents remember McClain well, while newer residents may wonder why his

Dome gets new lease on life

Here is the church;  Here is the steeple. Open the door; See all the people. Except this church has a dome rather than a steeple. The city of Orange Historic Preservation Commission met Tuesday afternoon to discuss and ultimately approve

Pearl Harbor Day remembered

The USS West Virginia (BB-48) was moored on “Battleship Row” when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. The West Virginia was struck by up to nine enemy torpedoes, tearing open her midships and forward hull and wrecking her rudder.

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, which is observed annually on Dec. 7, is to remember and honor all those who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. This week marks 72 years since the day that

Peal Burgess honored with two proclamations

Left to right  are Judge Courtney Arkeen, Sen. Robert Nichols, Mayor Roy McDonald, Precinct 1 Commissioner David Dubose and publisher of The Record Newspapers, Roy Dunn congratulating Pearl Burgess (center front) on the State and County Proclamations she received Tuesday evening for her poetry and other contributions to the community. RECORD PHOTO: Chris Gunn

Local poet and longtime Orange resident Pearl Burgess was left “speechless”  Tuesday afternoon as friends and relatives gathered at the courthouse to honor her and so she could receive two proclamations. Burgess was under the assumption she was at the

Rainbow Bridge nears 75-year anniversary

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When you look back, it’s amazing that the Rainbow Bridge was completed in under three years. It was naming the darn thing that took forever. It began as a solution for clogged roads caused by Dryden Ferry traffic. Seventy years

Battle of Sabine Pass Sesquicentennial

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Living history re-enactors will turn out to observe the sesquicentennial of  Battle of Sabine Pass.Dick Dowling Day Michael McGreevy is expecting “excellent troop strength” for Dick Dowling Days weekend, Sept. 7-8. Friends of Sabine Pass Battleground will present the event,

Orange family finally gets to bury family member 63 years later

Clement Thibodeaux Jr. stands outside at his brother’s house in Port Arthur in 1950. He would later die in a prison camp during the Korean War. It  would take nearly 63 years for his remains to return home to be buried with full military honors.

Like many young men of his generation, 17-year-old Clement Thibodeaux Jr. joined the military to fight in the Korean War and was killed in action. However, it would be more than 60 years later before his family would have the

Bellfield remembers civil rights movement, March on Washington after 50 years

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Near the end of August in 1963, three residents from Orange climbed on a bus headed to Washington D.C. It wasn’t just any bus trip. It was a trip into history. They were participants in the civil rights March on

Orange Oil Centennial huge success

Water was pumped through the derrick to simulate the oil gushing forth at the oil centennial Saturday

Saturday, the replica derrick blew at the dedication of the historical marker and again at 8:05 p.m., the time Bland number one spewed oil for the first time in the Orange Oil Field a century ago. A large crowd was

Orangefield centennial celebration almost here

A wooden derrick replica of the first oil well has been built on the Orangefield Cormier Museum grounds.

Oil was found in the Orange Oil Field at 8:05 p.m., Aug. 17, 1913. The Orange Oil Field Centennial Celebration will begin at 3 p.m., Aug. 17 with the opening of the Orangefield Cormier Museum. A dedication ceremony for the State

Orange man attempts to save log cabin

The Texas Travel Information Center was built in 1936 and was privately owned and was donated to the city in 2004. It was previously at various locations before the final stop in Simmons Drive. During Hurricane Rita in 2005 the cabin received extensive damage to the structure followed by Hurricane Ike in 2008. The city explored several options for restoring the structure, but it was determined the damage was too severe. As a result, the City Council at the June 25 meeting directed staff to move forward with the demolition and with the recommendation that any logs that are salvageable would be saved and possibly used in a future project. The demolition has been scheduled for the week of July 15.

A local Orange citizen is upset about the impending demolition of what he refers to as an “historical asset” to the community. Chuck Peterson recently let his feelings known about the former Texas Travel Information Center, also referred to as

Long Awaited Book on Harry Choates Now Available

Harry Choates lets loose with his trademark ‘Eh-Ha-Ha.’ This publicity photo was used in the San Antonio area around 1949. courtesy Photo: Port Arthur Historical Association.

Harry Choates died 62 years ago, yet the memory of this fiddler still is as real as it was during his lifetime. Choates was born in Cow Island, La., in Vermillion Parish, the child of tenant farmers. In 1929 Choates

Historical finds await in murky Sabine depths

Earl Ennis and Barney Anders show a large, heavy, metal chain believed to date back to the late 1800s found on the banks of the Sabine River in Orange  which may give some clues as to what lies in the dark, murky water below.

The Sabine River and surrounding waterways were once the mode of travel to move cargo from one location to another. Like all modes of transportation, there are risks. Vehicles are involved in wrecks, trains derail and ships sink. For members

Dannarriah Finley: Still no arrest eleven years later

The gravesite where Dannarriah Finley is now the final resting place for the little girl who once stole the hearts of many.  RECORD PHOTO: Debby Schamber

Orange still mourns the loss of a little girl who was taken from her home on July 4, 2002 and her lifeless body found four days later near the water’s edge in a remote part of Pleasure Island in Port

BC First Police Chief

Wilson Roberts, Bridge City's first police chief.

Time may have moved on, but crime has always been an issue for local police. Wilson Roberts, 75, the first Bridge City police chief, kept his officers striving to make the city a better place to live. Wilson became the

Bridge City turns 43

P.M. "Red" Wood in 1970.

Caught in the crossfire of annexation a community conscious group of citizens in 1970 initiated a movement to incorporate the town of Bridge City. Forty-three years ago on July 7, marks the anniversary of their success. By the late 1960’s

Over the decades, three officers killed in the line of duty

Danny Gray was killed in June 1974 in the line of duty while attempting to thwart a jail escape and protecting his fellow officers.

Recently, across the county, police were taking time to reflect on their fellow brethren who have lost their lives in the line of duty. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed May 15th as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and

2002 triple murder still considered worst in SETX history

Perry Stevenson

Stevenson’s crime spree began in the early morning hours on Jan. 28, 2002. He shot and killed his girlfriend, Mirian McElroy, 51, of Orange. Stevenson then set fire to the trailer house he shared with her at 2700 Barbara Street.

Knights of Columbus, No. 1680 celebrates 100 years

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The Knights of Columbus, Orange Council, No. 1680 has faithfully served St. Mary’s Parish and the community since 1913 and will celebrate their 100th anniversary on April 14. The celebration will be begin following the 10 a.m. mass at St.

Capistrano: ageless favorite hangout

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The train whistling down the tacks as it goes past the Capistrano has meant many things over the years from signaling for shots being a $1 to hundreds of sailors arriving in Orange because their ship was ready. Henry Bland

Triple slaying in 1967 is still on the minds of many

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A horrific crime was committed in January 1967 by a 14-year-old boy when three people were murdered as they slept. Ronnie Lee Ozio had lived in Groves with his mother since his parents had been separated for several years. But,