The area now known as Orange was originally part of Milford, CT. As the population of Milford increased, residents desired to form their own, separate community, and the town of Orange was established in the 1820s. It is named for William III of England, who was Prince of Orange from birth. The town continued to grow and a proposed separation of Orange and West Haven was considered in the late 1840s, but was not made official until 1921. With the bulk of the urbanized population ceded to West Haven, this gave Orange a very rural feel. In the post-war years, however, Orange began suburbanizing at a rapid pace.
During the Cold War, Orange served as a location for the permanent deployment of Nike missiles for the defense of Greater New Haven. The site has since served as the home of the 103rd Air Control Squadron, a part of the Connecticut Air National Guard.
Today Orange has a population of 13,956 (as of the 2010 census) and is home to the headquarters for Southern Connecticut Gas, The United Illuminating Company, Tangoe, Inc., and the North American center of operations for Pez candies. The median income for a household in the town was $79,365, and the median income for a family was $88,583.
Orange’s school system includes 1 kindergarten/pre-school, 3 grammar schools, 1 middle school and is served by the regional Amity Regional High School in Woodbridge. The town is also home to Southern Connecticut Hebrew Academy, one of the foremost academies of Jewish learning in New England.
Orange’s rich history has yielded numerous points of interest such as the William Andrew House (1750), Col. Asa Platt House (1810), and Henry F. Miller House (1949), which was touted by the New Haven Register as “The House of Tomorrow.” The Orange Center Historic District, which is built around the town green, features the Orange Congregational Church designed by David Hoadley (1810), the Stone-Otis House (1830), and The Academy schoolhouse (1878).
The town also hosts two annual events: Orange County Fair and the Orange Volunteer Fireman’s Carnival. The county fair allows the town to show its rural roots, featuring horse, oxen and tractor pulls as well as exhibits of animals, flowers, fruits, vegetables and baked goods. The carnival is held in early August and raises funds to support the volunteer fire department. Both events are held at the fairgrounds at High Plains Community Center near the center of town.
Orange, CT is the perfect fit for anyone wanting to live a small-town lifestyle.