(4-19-17) One of the biggest mysteries in high school sports has to come from Illinois, why does Orangeville have purple and gold for its school’s colors? No orange, say its not true, after all the Orange (Calif) HS Panthers are ORANGE and black and the West Orange (Fla) HS Warriors are ORANGE and Royal Blue.
The mystery turns into a conspiracy when you realize that Orangeville High School is located at 201 South ORANGE Street.
The story starts with the founding of Bowersville (named after John Bower) in 1846, however; in 1854 a post office was established and the name of the village was somehow changed to “Orangeville.” Maybe they forgot to change the school colors when that took place. But no one in Orangeville seems to know why. Just for your information there are no Orange trees in town.
Why are the school colors ‘purple and gold‘, you guessed it ‘nobody seems to know why’.
We did ask and get some helpful insight from Rachel Heck (Secretary/Registrar) at Orangeville High School about the situation, see what you think.
‘I’ve been unable to find any school papers from back when the high school was formed (board minutes of course are long gone), and the few old yearbooks we have don’t say how colors were picked.’
Rachael even asked for some help.
I asked our former secretary who grew up her, her aunt who graduated in 1946 had purple and gold as the colors as well, so it must have been those from the beginning. Our former secretary’s husband, did have an idea though: He said that he thinks Orangeville may not have picked orange because Freeport (who is near us, much larger, and I think older as well) and University of Illinois has orange as one of their colors and that it would have made it difficult for Orangeville to get orange uniforms or apparel. He taught at Freeport HS for a good many years, and he said that even when he was there (late 70s – early 00s), they had a hard time getting coaching garb and especially sports uniforms for all the teams because U of I was a priority to the uniform companies, so they’d get their gear first. So, maybe we just wanted to avoid orange altogether due to the availability. It’s a thought!
I wonder if the folks in Freeport know what they did ‘way back when’. By the way the mascot at Freeport is a Pretzel, maybe they wanted Broncos and didn’t want to take that away from Orangeville.
Orangeville isn’t the only school to be ‘color blind‘ in the US, Ohio has a couple of real issues with it, Bowling Green (Bobcats) is scarlet and gray and Yellow Springs (Bulldogs) is blue and white.
In Kentucky, at Bowling Green the school colors are purple and old gold and their mascot is the Purples, huh????? The same colors as Orangeville, very interesting.
- Redlands (Calif) Terriers – Navy/White
- Blackford (Indiana) Bruins – Red/White
Proud of the Color in their name
- Gold Beach (Oregon) Panthers – Black, Vegas Gold, Kelly Green
- Silver (NM) Fighting Colts – Silver/Navy
- Mt. Blue (Maine) Cougars – Blue/Gold
- Green Valley (Nevada) Gators – Blue/Green/Silver
What is the future of the school colors at Orangeville and if there is a ever going to be a chance of ‘ORANGE‘ being added to the mix? We vote ‘YES’.
***Thanks to Rachel Heck for her help on this story—