It was a group of 30 people from New Haven, Connecticut that helped to found the town of East Orange. The families, traveling along the Passayak River, came upon the territory that now includes the Oranges, Newark and other cities. The area sat in the northeast part of a land that King Charles II of England granted to his brother James, Duke of York.

Map of East Orange.

How East Orange Became A City

James would later convey land to two others – Sir George Carteret and Lord John Berkeley. Due to Carteret being an Isle of Jersey Royal Governor, this territory was called New Jersey. Once a part of Newark, East Orange was once called Newark Mountains. It was the Newark Mountain residents who voted to change it to Orange officially. Around this time, the residents wanted to secede from Newark, but it wasn’t until all the Oranges detached that East Orange was able to do the same (Nov. 27, 1806).

Its first government was elected in April 1807, but Orange wasn’t officially a city until 1860. It began to break apart into smaller cities as a new city due to disputes about payments to fire, police, and street departments. As such, Orange broke into four smaller communities – South Orange, Fairmount, West Orange and East Orange.

East Orange officially became a city of its own Dec. 9, 1899.

The city was, and continues to be, well-known for the shade trees along its residential streets.

East Orange Geography, Neighborhoods & Important Landmarks

East Orange is surrounded by Bloomfield, Glen Ridge, Orange, South Orange and Newark. However, it also includes some unincorporated places such as Brick Church and Ampere.

East Orange was quite wealthy at one time. One prime example of this wealth was the Ambrose-Ward mansion, which was built in 1898. Today, it’s the site of the Black United Fund of New Jersey located at 132 S Harrison Street.

Just up the road you’ll also find the East Orange Municipal Court. Further down S Munn Ave, you’ll get to East Orange General Hospital at 300 Central Ave.

There are actually five developments within East Orange. Still, unofficially, the division is broken down into neighborhoods; many of them have homes and streets taken great care of.

  • Ampere – Ampere got its name from the defunct train station and was founded by the Orange Water Works. This development came about thanks to the Crocker Wheeler Company plant that led to the growth in population. The defunct station was named after Andre-Marie Ampere, who pioneered electrodynamics and helped rebuild the Renaissance Revival station in the early 1900s. Ampere is surrounded by Bloomfield to the north, North Grove Street on the west, 4th Avenue to the south and Newark and Lawton Street to its east.
  • Doddtown (Franklin) – It’s aptly named for John Dodd, the founder of this part of the “Wateseeing Plain.” Once the home of the Upsala College campus, it is currently the site of the East Orange Campus High School and a new housing subdivision. Orange surrounds it on the West, Park Avenue to its south, Garden State Park on its East and Bloomfield to its north.
  • Elmwood – You can find this area in the southeast part of East Orange. Here is Elmwood Park with seven tennis courts, a swimming pool, basketball court, baseball field, softball field, a renovated field house and a walking track. It’s also home to a surviving Carnegie Library – the East Orange Public Library, which opened in 1912.
  • Greenwood (Teen Streets) – Greenwood gets its name from Greenwood Avenue and all the teen streets running through it. With the construction of the Garden State Parkway and Interstate 280, there was much destruction. It is home to the now Grove Street Station, once the DL&W Railroad, located at Main and Grove Streets. It’s adjacent to 4th Avenue on its north, North Grove Street to the west, Eaton Place/NJ Transit Morris & Essex lines to the south and North 15h Street/Newark to its east.
  • Presidential Estates – This area is now aptly named for all the street names coming after the early U.S. presidents. It is the site of multiple large, well-taken-care-of older homes located on streets with extremely old and large shade trees. This is very usual for what you see on this side of the city. It’s adjacent to Garden State Parkway on its west. Springdale Avenue to its south, North Grove Street to the East and Bloomfield to its north.

If you’re by the East Orange General Hospital, you can get to our office location via the following map.

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