The waterfront of Orange was transformed shortly before - and during – the First World War. Italian immigrant Henry Piaggio built a shipbuilding plant here on the Sabine River, where 17 large wooden ships were built – including one named The City of Orange. Orange, which one newspaper described as “one of the deadest towns in the South” turned into a boomtown seemingly overnight.
In 1940, as the US prepared for entry into World War II, The US Navy awarded shipbuilding contracts to the City of Orange. As a result, Orange's population expaned from 7,000 to over 70,000 within months. After the war, the shipbuilding yards continued to produce marine craft for military and industrial applications. Today, visitors to Orange may view the shipbuilding yards from the vantage of a boardwalk and pavilion, which also houses a collection of Texas Historical Markers that recount Orange's role in World War II.
Watch the following videos to learn more about Texas' naval legacy and Orange's World War II shipbuilding yards. This video was produced for inclusion in the World War II on the Texas Home Front mobile tour found in our Texas Time Travel mobile app. Learn more about the tour and the app on the World War II theme page at the following link: http://texastimetravel.com/travel-themes/main-world-war-ii
Boardwalk and Riverfront Pavilion
Daily, sunrise to sunset