Orange’s origins are thanks to a group of 30 people out of New Haven, Connecticut, who traveled down the Passayak River, looking for a new place to settle. King Charles II of England owned the area in which they did. He gifted the land to his brother James, Duke of York, who he later gifted to landowners – Lord John Berkeley and Sir George Carteret. It was Carteret’s title in the Isle of Jersey that led to the area’s official name, “New Jersey.”

At one time, Orange, which got its name from William IV, Prince of Orange, was a part of Newark, called the Newark Mountain.  However, to get the name changed and secede from Newark, residents voted to change the name to Orange. It wasn’t until another 20+ years that all the Orange communities could break away from Newark.

The first government was elected in 1807, but the city wasn’t officially founded until 1860. Disagreements over paying entities led to the city’s fraction, and smaller Orange cities were founded – South Orange, East Orange, West Orange and Fairmount. Although each town’s characters were different and, despite their differences, Orange often comes together with West Orange, South Orange and East Orange. When this happens, they are called “the Oranges.”

Orange was later designed as a city in April 1872.

Orange became one of four Essex County cities to vote on a referendum that would allow it to become a township. If passed, it would join 11 other cities that had made the change. With the passage, it meant over a dozen cities in Essex County would be considered townships, which enabled them to benefit from federal revenue-sharing policies that give more government aid to towns on a per-capita basis.

Thus, Orange became a township in the county of Essex. And, in the 1990 census, 29,925 people were living here.

Here’s a map of Orange, NJ:

Orange Transportation

Orange is another centralized location in New Jersey, as it’s located along the Newark and Mount-Pleasant Turnpike. Travelers can access Newark, Morristown and Easton, Pennsylvania, with this road, which is why many hotels can be found along it.

Before the automobile became commonplace, stagecoaches would use the road. Orange was serviced by two companies: Morris & Newark Lines and Omnibuses of the Eclipse. In November 1836, the Morris and Essex Railroad appeared with horse-drawn cars. In October 1837, the town saw its first steam locomotive; many horses were sent to the pasture. 

M&E was acquired by Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad (DL&W). 

It wasn’t until May 1862 that trolleys made an appearance with the introduction of the Orange and Newark Horse Car Railroad Company. The trolley would run along Main Street. Other lines began to operate but were replaced by buses, which are now a part of the Public Service Coordinated Transport System.

Orange’s Rich Industrial History

From the very beginning, Orange was a vast industrial city. The early residents would many uses for the hemlock trees and tannic acid. Before long, the area was home to several shoe and bootmaking factories.

It was also the capital of hatmakers for the U.S., going back as far as 1792. In 100 years, 21 companies were involved in that industry, with more than 3,700 people working in plants making nearly five million hats.  Brothers co-founded Orange’s “No-Name Hat Company” before one brother moved off to Philadelphia to pursue a dream to make fedoras. By the early 1920s, there were just five hatmakers left in the community, with most moving to places such as Danbury, Connecticut. They were all gone by 1960.

Another huge industry to come to Orange was beer. The industry was born after three Winter brothers from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania came to Orange and developed the first brewery factory in 1901. Beer produced stalled in 1920 due to prohibition, and the factory was sold to Philadelphia resident John F. Trommers when the Volstead Act was repealed. Trommers continued to produce beer until the 1950s and sold it to Liebmann Breweries.

The plant finally closed in 1977 after exchanging hands multiple times since then.

Orange is or has been home to several manufacturing companies:

  • Monroe Calculating Company (patented and manufactured adding machines)
  • Bates Manufacturing Company (manufactured office accessories like stampers and staplers)

In Orange, NJ

Monte Irvin Orange Park – S Center St. & South Harrison St.

Colgate Park – 257 New St.

Orange Garden Center

To get to our office at 20 Valley Street. #340, South Orange, follow these directions:

We’re a security service headquartered in South Orange, NJ supplying unarmed security personnel, access control systems, video surveillance, security consulting and much more.

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