Orange, New Jersey

City of Orange
—  Township  —
Map of City of Orange in Essex County. Inset: Location of Essex County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Orange, New Jersey
Coordinates: 40°45′57″N 74°12′43″W / 40.76583°N 74.21194°W / 40.76583; -74.21194Coordinates: 40°45′57″N 74°12′43″W / 40.76583°N 74.21194°W / 40.76583; -74.21194
Country United States
State New Jersey
County Essex
Incorporated November 27, 1806
 – Type Faulkner Act Mayor-Council
 – Mayor Eldridge Hawkins, Jr. (term ends 2012)[1]
 – Administrator John Mason[2]
 – Total 2.21 sq mi (5.7 km2)
 – Land 2.21 sq mi (5.7 km2)
 – Water 0.00 sq mi (0.0 km2)  0.00%
Elevation[4] 164 ft (50 m)
Population (2010 Census)[5][6]
 – Total 30,134
 – Density 13,635.3/sq mi (5,286.7/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 – Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 07050-07051[7]
Area code(s) 862/973
FIPS code 34-55020[8][9]
GNIS feature ID 0885200[10]

The City of Orange is a city and township in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township population was 30,134. Orange is often joined with neighboring East Orange, South Orange and West Orange and referred to as part of "the Oranges".

Orange was originally incorporated as a township by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on November 27, 1806, from portions of Newark Township. Portions of the township were taken on April 14, 1834, to form the now-defunct Clinton Township. On January 31, 1860, Orange was reincorporated as a town. Portions of the town were taken to form South Orange Township (April 1, 1861, now known as Maplewood), Fairmount (March 11, 1862, now part of West Orange), East Orange Township (March 4, 1863) and West Orange Township (April 10, 1863). On April 3, 1872, Orange was reincorporated as a city.[11] In 1982, the name was changed to the "City of Orange Township" to take advantage of federal revenue sharing policies.[12][13]



According to the United States Census Bureau, Orange has a total area of 2.21 square miles (5.7 km2), all of it land.[3]


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 8,877
1870 9,348 5.3%
1880 13,207 41.3%
1890 18,844 42.7%
1900 24,141 28.1%
1910 29,630 22.7%
1920 33,268 12.3%
1930 35,399 6.4%
1940 35,717 0.9%
1950 38,037 6.5%
1960 35,789 −5.9%
1970 32,566 −9.0%
1980 31,136 −4.4%
1990 29,925 −3.9%
2000 32,868 9.8%
2010 30,134 −8.3%
Population sources:
1920[14] 1930-1990[15] 2000[16] 2010[6]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 32,868 people, 11,885 households, and 7,642 families residing in the township. The population density was 14,903.7 people per square mile (5,742.3/km2). There were 12,665 housing units at an average density of 5,742.8 per square mile (2,212.7/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 13.20% White, 75.10% African American, 0.34% Native American, 1.26% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 5.21% from other races, and 4.79% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.47% of the population.[16]

There were 11,885 households out of which 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 30.7% were married couples living together, 26.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.7% were non-families. 30.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.38.[16]

In the township the population was spread out with 27.7% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 32.2% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 10.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 86.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.1 males.[16]

The median income for a household in the township was $35,759, and the median income for a family was $40,852. Males had a median income of $33,442 versus $29,520 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $16,861. About 15.4% of families and 18.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.6% of those under age 18 and 16.7% of those age 65 or over.[16]

As part of the 2000 Census, 75.10% of Orange's residents identified themselves as being African American, one of the highest percentages of African American people in the United States, and the fourth-highest in New Jersey (behind Lawnside at 93.6%, East Orange at 89.46%, and Irvington at 81.66%) of all places with 1,000 or more residents identifying their ancestry.[17]

Orange has a large Haitian American population, with 11.4% of residents identifying themselves as being of Haitian ancestry, the highest of any municipality in New Jersey and the eighth-highest in the United States.[18]

Although still a small percentage of total residents, Orange and East Orange have the largest concentrations of Guyanese Americans in the country. In the 2000 Census, 2.9% of Orange residents identified as being of Guyanese ancestry. While Queens and Brooklyn had larger populations in terms of raw numbers, Orange and East Orange (with 2.5%) had the highest percentages of people of Guyanese ancestry as a portion of the total population of all places in the United States.[19]


Municipal Building

Local government

Central fire station

Orange is governed under the Faulkner Act (Mayor-Council) form of municipal government, with a directly elected mayor and a City Council consisting of four ward representatives and three at-large representatives. Councilmembers serve four-year terms of office on a staggered basis with the four ward seats and the three at-large seatscoming up for election on an alternating cycle, and are elected on a non-partisan basis every two years.[20]

As of 2011, the Mayor of Orange is Eldridge Hawkins, Jr.[21] Members of the City Council are Council President Hassan Abdul-Rasheed (West Ward, 2014), Council Vice President Edward B. Marable, Jr. (South Ward, 2014), Elroy A. Corbitt (At-Large, 2012), Tency A. Eason (North Ward, 2014), Linda Jones-Bell (East Ward, 2014), Rayfield Morton (At-Large, 2012) and Donna K. Williams (At-Large, 2012).[22]

Federal, state and county representation

Orange is in the 10th Congressional district and is part of New Jersey's 27th state legislative district.[23] The borough was relocated to the 34th state legislative district by the New Jersey Apportionment Commission based on the results of the 2010 Census.[6] The new district was in effect for the June 2011 primary and will be for the November 2011 general election, with the state senator and assembly members elected taking office in the new district as of January 2012.[23]

New Jersey's Tenth Congressional District is represented by Donald M. Payne (D, Newark). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Frank Lautenberg (D, Cliffside Park) and Bob Menendez (D, Hoboken).

27th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature, which is represented in the New Jersey Senate by Richard Codey (D, Roseland) and in the New Jersey General Assembly by Mila Jasey (D, South Orange) and John F. McKeon (D, West Orange).[24] The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham).[25] The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).[26]

Essex County's County Executive is Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr.[27] The executive, along with the Board of Chosen Freeholders administer all county business. The county's Board of Chosen Freeholders consists of nine members, four elected on an at-large basis and one from each of five wards, who serve terms of office on a concurrent basis.[28] As of 2011 Essex County's Freeholders are Freeholder President Blonnie R. Watson (at large)[29], Freeholder Vice President Ralph R. Caputo (District 5)[30], Rufus I. Johnson (at large)[31], Donald M. Payne, Jr. (at large)[32], Patricia Sebold (at large)[33], Samuel Gonzalez (District 1)[34], D. Bilal Beasley (District 2)[35], Carol Y. Clark (District 3)[36] and Linda Lordi Cavanaugh (District 4).[37][38]


On the national level, Orange leans strongly toward the Democratic Party. In 2008, Democrat Barack Obama received 96% of the vote here, outpolling Republican John McCain, who received around 4%.[39]


Orange had its origins in Connecticut's New Haven Colony. In 1666, barely three decades after settling there, 30 of New Haven's families took the perilous journey by water to found "a town on the Passayak" River. They arrived on territory now encompassing Newark, the Oranges, and several other municipalities. The area was situated in the northeast portion of a land grant conveyed by King Charles II of England to his brother James, Duke of York. In 1664, James conveyed the land to two proprietors, Lord John Berkeley and Sir George Carteret. Since Carteret had been Royal Governor of the Isle of Jersey, the territory became known as "New Jersey."

Orange was initially a part of the city of Newark, but it was originally known as "Newark Mountains". On June 7, 1780, the townspeople of Newark Mountains officially voted to adopt the name Orange.[40] At the time, there was a significant number of people in favor of secession from Newark. However, this would not occur until November 27, 1806, when the territory now encompassing all of the Oranges was finally detached. On April 13, 1807, the first government was elected, but not until March 13, 1860 was Orange officially incorporated as a city. Immediately, the new city began fragmenting into smaller communities, primarily because of local disputes about the costs of establishing paid police, fire, and street departments. South Orange was organized on January 26, 1861; Fairmount (later to become part of West Orange) on March 11, 1862; East Orange on March 4, 1863; and West Orange (including Fairmount) on March 14, 1863.

Orange lay on the Newark and Mount-Pleasant Turnpike, the main road from Newark to Morristown, and ultimately to Easton, Pennsylvania. The town became a busy thoroughfare for travelers, and hotels abounded. Initially, the stagecoach was the primary method of transportation. Omnibuses of the Eclipse and the Morris & Newark Lines serviced Orange. The Morris and Essex Railroad arrived in Orange in November 1836, its first cars drawn by horses. On October 2, 1837, the first steam locomotive appeared, and the horses were, with minor exception, relegated to pasture. The "M&E" later became a vital part of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad (DL&W), and survives today as New Jersey Transit's busy Morristown Line. Trolley cars appeared much later, with the Orange and Newark Horse Car Railroad Company running its first car up Main Street in May 1862. The Orange Crosstown Line, eventually extending from Morris Street, Orange, to Bloomfield, was started in June 1888. (The first electric trolley in the State of New Jersey operated over a section of this line.) Eventually, all of the trolleys, and the buses that replaced them, became part of the sprawling Public Service Coordinated Transport System.

Orange was an industrial city from the outset. Early settlers found a profuse growth of hemlock trees, an ideal supply of tannic acid for the tanning industry, and boot and shoemaking factories soon flourished.

Hatmaking was the essential industry, and can be traced to 1792. By 1892, 21 firms were engaged in that trade, employing over 3,700 people in plants valued at nearly $1.1 million. Nearly 4.8 million hats left Orange that year alone, bound for all four corners of the globe. By 1921, however, only five firms were left, and by 1960, all had departed for places such as Norwalk and Danbury, Connecticut.

Beer was a major revenue producer in Orange beginning in the early 1900s, when the three Winter Brothers of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, arrived in the city and built the first brewery. The Orange Brewery was constructed in 1901 at a reported cost of $350,000. The production of beer ceased with prohibition in 1920, and after the repeal of the Volstead Act in 1933, the brewery was sold to John F. Trommers of Philadelphia. Trommers brewed beer under that label until 1950, when the concern was again sold to Liebmann Breweries, Incorporated, which bottled Rheingold Beer. Eventually, after several additional owners, the plant was closed permanently in 1977.

Other notable firms located in Orange were the Monroe Calculating Company, manufacturers of the patented adding machines of the same name, and the Bates Manufacturing Company, producers of office accessories such as staplers and stampers. The United States Radium Corporation was a notorious resident of Orange. This firm refined ore and extracted the radium used to make luminous paint for dials and hands of watches and other indicators. It was only years later that the terrible carcinogenic effects of this material became known, and the polluted site of the factory became a thorn in the side of the city.[41]

Orange has produced such notables as baseball's Monte Irvin and Heavyweight Boxer Tony Galento. Actor William Bendix lived and worked here for a short while. It was once the barmaking capital of the United States, as several brothers founded the "No-Name Hat Company," before one of them moved on to make fedoras in Philadelphia under the family name, "Stetson". Presidents, presidential candidates, and governors visited. Orange threw a grand party on its 100th anniversary, and another when it turned 150.

Once a multiethnic, economically diverse city, Orange suffered indirectly from the 1967 riots in Newark (even though Newark and Orange do not share a border) and directly from the construction of Interstate 280 through the heart of the downtown area, triggering middle-class "white flight" from aging industrial towns to the new automobile suburbs being built in western Essex County and elsewhere. By the end of the 1970s, Orange had many of the urban ills normally associated with larger cities.

In 1982, citizens voted overwhelmingly to change the designation of Orange from a city to a township, thereby making it eligible for National Revenue Sharing funds as well as eliminating the stigma of having a city designation.[13] In 1985, the State of New Jersey named Orange as a State Urban Enterprise Zone, creating tax breaks and investment incentives.

Source: City of Orange Township History


Orange Middle School
Lincoln Avenue School

The Orange Board of Education serves public school students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The district is one of 31 Abbott Districts statewide.[42]

Schools in the district (with 2008–09 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[43]) are eight elementary schools serving grades PreK/K-6 (except as indicated) — Central School (304 students; grades PreK-6), Cleveland Street School (329; K-6), Forest Street School (272; K-6), Heywood Avenue School (385; PreK-6), Lincoln Avenue School (455; K-7), Rosa Parks School (612; K-8, formerly Main Street School), Oakwood Avenue School (285; PreK-6) and Park Avenue School (272; K-6) — Orange Preparatory Academy for grades 8-9 (438, formerly Orange Middle School) and Orange High School for grades 10–12 (1,089).

The Orange Public Library collection contains 150,000 volumes and circulates 56,000 items annually.[44] Built as the Stickler Memorial Library, [45] the imposing structure designed by McKim, Mead, and White opened in 1901.[46]


Portions of Orange are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment within the Zone, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3½% sales tax rate (versus the 7% rate charged statewide).[47]


The Orange and Highland Avenue stations provide New Jersey Transit train service along the Morris & Essex Lines (formerly Erie Lackawanna Railway). Service is available via the Kearny Connection to Secaucus Junction and Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan and to Hoboken Terminal. Passengers can transfer at Newark Broad Street or Summit to reach the other destination if necessary.

New Jersey Transit buses in Orange include the 21, 24, 34, 41, 44, 71, 73 and 79 routes providing service to Newark, New Jersey and local service on the 92 and 97 routes.[48]

Notable residents

Notable current and former residents include:

Points of interest

See also

  • Radium Girls, the name given to a group of women who were harmed, and ultimately died, from radiation exposure at a factory in Orange.


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  16. ^ a b c d e Census 2000 Demographic Profile Highlights: City of Orange township, Essex County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed October 6, 2011.
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  35. ^ D. Bilal Beasley, Essex County, New Jersey. Accessed January 3, 2011.
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  37. ^ Linda Lordi Cavanaugh, Essex County, New Jersey. Accessed January 3, 2011.
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  50. ^ Giants Select Penn State DT Jay Alford in Third Round, New York Giants, April 28, 2007. Accessed May 1, 2007.
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  56. ^ Staff. "Crotty sailing along nicely", The Deseret News, January 4, 2002. Accessed August 19, 2011. "'Guys believe in what I'm doing, so they're going to hit me for the open pass, and trust that I'm going to make the right play,' said Crotty, an Orange, NJ, native who makes his home in Miami, one of six cities in which he's played during a 10-season NBA career."
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