Echo is on the Southern Pacific Railroad three miles northeast of Orange in eastern Orange County. During the late 1870s the Texas and New Orleans Railroad began in earnest its long-awaited efforts to establish a direct rail link between Houston and New Orleans. The parent company chartered the Louisiana Western Extension Railroad in 1879 to complete the task. Finding the lands immediately east of Orange too swampy for construction, the company pushed the line to the north and east, thus crossing the Sabine River near a site that they named Echo because sounds reverberated in the nearby river swamp. A quarantine station was established there in 1880, but H. C. Schwaner's townsite plat was not filed until 1903. Although the quarantine station was later removed, Echo continued to be an important industrial site. In the mid-1930s Echo had fifteen dwellings. In 1964 shallow draft commerce on the Sabine River at Echo was 219,000 tons; much of that trade stemmed from the Alpha Portland Cement Company plant. Echo served as a freightyard for the Southern Pacific in 1981. Maps in the early 1980s showed a church and two businesses at the site, which by then was within the city limits of Orange. In 1990 Echo reported a population of twenty-five.
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