Orange Community Historical Society

Brochure Information, Circa 1990's

Founded in 1973 to serve as the focal point for those interested in the history of the Orange area, the Society and its 350 membership contribute to many community activities by providing information about our heritage and by supplying a written and photographic resource for those wishing to learn more about our legacy.

Florence Smiley Memorial Archives

The Society established the Florence Smiley Memorial Archives in honor of Florence Flippen Smiley, an esteemed pioneer and founder of the Society, to encourage citizens to collect, preserve and make available materials which document our city's rich heritage. As the collection grew, Orange National Bank agreed to house this valuable collection in their new Plaza office. In 1988 the Society and the City of Orange agreed to place the collection on "permanent loan" to the Orange Public Library where it could be better cared for, and more accessible to the public.

Combined Collections

As of this writing (1999), the combined collections of the Society and the Orange Public Library contain over 1,200 books, 2,000 manuscripts, local newspapers back to the 1880's, city and county directories, oral histories, Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps and hundreds of historical photographs. In addition, the collection contains well over 1,000 topical files which include material on such subjects as early pioneers, family biographies, architecture, schools and civic organizations.

Public Use

The public is invited to use this material, as well as to donate new items to the collection. To schedule an appointment to use the collection, contact the main branch of the Orange Public Library. Our hope is that in the future an Orange History room will be established with a state of the art facility designed for public research and document preservation.

Community Organization

The Orange Community Historical Society is a non-profit community organization, with a volunteer board of directors which coordinates our ongoing activities.

Besides presenting bimonthly programs on local history, the Society has hosted historic home tours and participated in various community anniversary celebrations. Each year the Society presents the Captain William T. Glassell Award to an individual or group which has contributed to preserving our local heritage.

Collections of Pioneer Recollections

Over the years, the Society has published historic post cards, posters, booklets and two collections of pioneer recollections. In 1996 a beautiful historic afghan was introduced, and an annual holiday ornament project was begun. In 1997, we celebrated the completion of the first full length history of Orange, titled "Orange: The City 'Round the Plaza" by Phil Brigandi.

Invitation to Participate

We invite you to share with us your photographs, documents, maps or ephemera; help us document today and preserve it for tomorrow.

Dated Contact Information

The 1999 Orange Community Historical Society President is Barbara Resnick. To contact the Society, call (714) 780-8701.