After a few weeks of cold winter weather, I was ready to shed my cabin fever and explore. While in Orange, Texas, near the Lamar State College-Orange, I happened upon the Heritage House Museum. I’ve known about this house-museum for a while, but time constraints and scheduling hampered my ability to visit it sooner. A visit was therefore long overdue.
As we entered the house, I couldn’t help but compare it to the Vuylsteke House (Port Arthur) and Chambers House (Beaumont). These three houses share a similar quality: unlike the vast wealth, multiple china plate settings, and dark wood of the Stark House, most of you reading this blog would probably be able to see yourselves or your descendants living in these houses. For this reason, they are definitely my favorites. It’s kind of like going back in time and visiting Grandma.
The Jimmy Ochlitree Sims home was originally built on Front Street in Orange but was moved in 1975 after it was acquired by the City of Orange. According to the Heritage House Museum’s website, the house was “given by contract to the Heritage House Association of Orange County, with the provision the house would be moved and renovated as a historical museum for Orange County.” The house was thus restored to its 1919 splendor. Most of the furnishings are from the Sims family, but there are some items that have been donated by the community over the years.
One of my personal highlights is the small phonograph on display. I’ve seen many Victrola’s but never one like this. Another favorite is the tin ceiling in the kitchen. Again, I have never seen this type of craftsmanship before.
There are so many beautiful pieces and furnishings throughout this house that they should be seen in person to fully appreciate them. As I mentioned earlier, these types of houses are my favorites and love to visit them regularly—and so should you!
The Heritage House Museum of Orange County is located at 905 W. Division Street Orange, Texas.
Museum tours are conducted Tuesday through Friday from 10:00AM – 4:00 PM. Group tours must be scheduled by appointment. Phone (409) 886-5385 to arrange a group tour.
Adults 50+ $2.00
Children’s Groups $.50
Source: Heritage House Museum of Orange County
Please also visit our Flickr page for photos of this tour and our tour of the Lutcher Memorial Building.