The Friends of the Orange Depot received several items of good news at their monthly meeting on Tuesday night at the City of Orange Community Center.

Carrie Joiner Woliver, president of the organization, reported to a round of applause an anonymous donor purchased the property across the depot. She believes this property could be used fund-raisers in the future.

It is anticipated other developers will become interested in the property.

The Friends, likewise, also received their first donation of $100 from someone in Colorado. The organization will have a lowboy trailer with a depot banner on it, too, for the Mardi Gras parade on February 22 and a booth at Art in the Park.

Jay Trahan, director of the Orange Economic Development Corporation, said the response has been phenomenal since Art in the Park was moved from Stark Park to the Pavilion at the boardwalk. There’s a waiting list for food vendors and there will be entertainment all day at the event.

A big Save the Depot banner will also soon be placed on the depot itself.

A brochure for The Friends should be available in three weeks as well as a brick sale fund-raiser. Prices for the bricks will soon be set.

The brochures will be distributed at local merchant establishments.

PowerPoint presentations about The Friends will be presented to local groups interested in the depot.

The group is waiting to receive word if they will be a tax exempt nonprofit 501(3)(c) organization.

The Friends’ goal is to raise $600,000. Most of the major funding will come from business leaders and corporations contacted with a personal visit.

Joiner Woliver said once the organization reaches $300,000 in donations, she expect others to join in.

Other future fund-raisers are a fun run, a train ride and a children’s play at the Orange Community Players.

The Friends of the Orange Depot T-shirts will be sold at Art in the Park too.

Additionally, the group has two websites at and A Facebook page is also in the works.

A non-profit organization group was formed to purchase and restore the Southern Pacific Railroad Depot on Green Avenue, as reported in the November 26, 2013 issue of The Record.

Leading the efforts in the Friends of the Depot group is Carrie Joiner Woliver and her husband Ron.

Some people may remember Carrie Woliver as the author of “The Train Stopped in Orange: A Captivating Family History Revealed Through 1917 Texas Diaries.” The book was written after she discovered four valuable diaries from 1917-18 written by her grandparents, Will and Pearl Joiner, after the death of her mother.

The journals held a treasure trove of history that she knew she had to share them with others. Their diaries, a portrait of Americana, revealed the rich history of Orange when train depots were the heart of the bustling city.

Carrie Joiner-Woliver is a native of Orange and a graduate of Lutcher Stark High School

The depot goals are:

1. To preserve the train depot for the public benefit of the citizens of Orange, by utilizing it as a community center for receptions, a museum, a gift shop, and a conference room for local clubs. The grounds may be used for special events.

2. To promote community involvement in the process of fund-raising to fund the costs of restoration and operations.

3. To use the restoration of the depot to revitalize downtown Orange by promoting  tourism as the “Gateway to the Historic District.”