The City of Orange is a township in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 30,134, reflecting a decline of 2,734 (-8.3%) from the 32,868 counted in 2000, which had in turn increased by 2,943 (+9.8%) from the 29,925 counted in the 1990 Census.
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. In 1982, the city was one of four Essex County municipalities to pass a referendum to become a township, joining 11 municipalities that had already made the change, of what would ultimately be more than a dozen Essex County municipalities to reclassify themselves as townships in order take advantage of federal revenue sharing policies that allocated townships a greater share of government aid to municipalities on a per capita basis. The city derives its name from William III of England or William IV, Prince of Orange.
Despite the differences in the character of the municipalities, Orange is often joined with neighboring East Orange, South Orange and West Orange and referred to as part of "the Oranges".
Orange had its origins in Connecticut's New Haven Colony. In 1666, a group of 30 of New Haven's families traveled 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. 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 is located 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 part of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad (DL&W), which exists today as NJ Transit's 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.
Orange was once the hatmaking capital of the United States. The industry can be traced there to 1792. By 1892, 21 firms were engaged in that trade, employing over 3,700 people in plants that produced about 4.8 million hats, which had a combined value in excess of $1 million. Several brothers founded the "No-Name Hat Company" in Orange before one of them moved on to make fedoras in Philadelphia under the family name, "Stetson." By 1921, however, only five hatmaking firms were left, many having departed for places such as Norwalk and Danbury, Connecticut. By 1960, all had left.
Beer was a major industry 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.
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. Presidents, presidential candidates, and governors visited. Orange held major celebrations for its 100th anniversary, and another when it turned 150.
Once a multi-ethnic, 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. However, the city still includes well-maintained homes and streets.
In 1982, citizens voted overwhelmingly to change the designation of Orange from a city to a township, thereby making it eligible for federal Revenue Sharing funds. In 1985, the State of New Jersey named Orange as a State Urban Enterprise Zone, creating tax breaks and investment incentives.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 2.201 square miles (5.700 km2), including 2.199 square miles (5.694 km2) of land and 0.002 square miles (0.005 km2) of water (0.09%).
The East Branch of the Rahway River travels through Orange.
Orange borders the Essex County municipalities of East Orange, Glen Ridge, Montclair, South Orange and West Orange.
The 2010 United States Census counted 30,134 people, 11,202 households, and 6,878.028 families in the township. The population density was 13,705.7 per square mile (5,291.8/km2). There were 12,222 housing units at an average density of 5,558.9 per square mile (2,146.3/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 12.80% (3,857) White, 71.83% (21,645) Black or African American, 0.57% (173) Native American, 1.51% (455) Asian, 0.02% (6) Pacific Islander, 9.95% (2,999) from other races, and 3.32% (999) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.67% (6,531) of the population.
The 11,202 households accounted 31.0% with children under the age of 18 living with them; 28.6% were married couples living together; 24.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.6% were non-families. 32.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.38.
In the township, the population age was spread out with 25.0% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 30.5% from 25 to 44, 23.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34.4 years. For every 100 females, the population had 89.0 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 84.1 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $40,818 (with a margin of error of +/- $1,616) and the median family income was $44,645 (+/- $4,033). Males had a median income of $34,986 (+/- $3,168) versus $36,210 (+/- $2,706) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $19,816 (+/- $1,027). About 16.2% of families and 18.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.6% of those under age 18 and 20.6% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census 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% Black or 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 93.60%, East Orange at 89.46%, and Irvington at 81.66%) of all places with 1,000 or more residents identifying their ancestry.
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.
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.
Orange is governed within the Faulkner Act, formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law, under the 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 are elected to serve four-year terms of office in non-partisan elections on a staggered basis with the four ward seats and the three at-large seats coming up for election on an alternating cycle every two years.
As of 2020, the Mayor of Orange is Dwayne D. Warren, whose term of office ends July 1, 2020. Members of the City Council are Council President Tency A. Eason (North Ward, 2022), Council Vice-President Donna K. Williams (At-Large, 2020), Kerry J. Coley (East Ward, 2022), Christopher G. Jackson (At-Large, 2020), Harold Johnson Jr. (West Ward, 2022), Jamie Summers-Johnson (South Ward, 2022) and Adrienne Wooten (At-Large, 2020).
The City of Orange Township is located in the 10th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 34th state legislative district. Prior to the 2011 reapportionment following the 2010 Census, Orange had been in the 27th state legislative district.
For the 116th United States Congress, New Jersey's Tenth Congressional District is represented by Donald Payne Jr. (D, Newark). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (Paramus, term ends 2025).
For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 34th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Nia Gill (D, Montclair) and in the General Assembly by Thomas P. Giblin (D, Montclair) and Britnee Timberlake (D, East Orange). Timberlake was sworn into office on January 29, 2018 to fill the seat of Sheila Oliver, who had resigned from office on January 9, 2018 to become Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey.
Essex County is governed by a directly-elected County Executive, with legislative functions performed by the Board of Chosen Freeholders. As of 2018, the County Executive is Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. (D, Roseland). 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 three-year terms of office on a concurrent basis, all of which end December 31, 2018. Essex County's Freeholders are Freeholder President Brendan W. Gill (D, at-large; Montclair), Freeholder Vice President Wayne L. Richardson (D, District 2 – Irvington, Maplewood and Newark's South Ward and parts of West Ward; Newark), Janine G. Bauer (D, District 3 - East Orange, Newark's West and Central Wards, Orange and South Orange; South Orange, appointed to serve on an interim basis), Rufus I. Johnson (D, at large; Newark), Lebby C. Jones (D, at large; Irvington), Leonard M. Luciano (D, District 4 – Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Fairfield, Livingston, Millburn, North Caldwell, Roseland, Verona, West Caldwell and West Orange; West Caldwell), Robert Mercado (D, District 1 – Newark's North and East Wards, parts of Central and West Wards; Newark), Carlos M. Pomares (D, District 5 – Belleville, Bloomfield, Glen Ridge, Montclair and Nutley; Bloomfield) and Patricia Sebold (D, at large; Livingston). Constitutional officers elected countywide are County Clerk Christopher J. Durkin (West Caldwell; D, 2020), Sheriff Armando B. Fontoura (Fairfield; D, 2018) and Surrogate Theodore N. Stephens II (D, 2021).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 14,943 registered voters in Orange, of which 8,490 (56.8%) were registered as Democrats, 302 (2.0%) were registered as Republicans and 6,147 (41.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were no voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 96.7% of the vote (9,828 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 2.9% (291 votes), and other candidates with 0.4% (42 votes), among the 10,230 ballots cast by the township's 16,243 registered voters (69 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 63.0%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 95.5% of the vote (10,001 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 3.8% (397 votes) and other candidates with 0.3% (27 votes), among the 10,476 ballots cast by the city's 15,388 registered voters, for a turnout of 68.1%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 89.6% of the vote (8,000 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush with 9.1% (811 votes) and other candidates with 0.5% (67 votes), among the 8,931 ballots cast by the city's 14,409 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 62.0.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Democrat Barbara Buono received 85.0% of the vote (3,809 cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 14.4% (643 votes), and other candidates with 0.6% (27 votes), among the 4,560 ballots cast by the township's 16,607 registered voters (81 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 27.5%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 91.7% of the vote (4,993 ballots cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 5.5% (302 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 1.4% (74 votes) and other candidates with 0.6% (31 votes), among the 5,442 ballots cast by the city's 14,891 registered voters, yielding a 36.5% turnout.
The City of Orange is served by the professional firefighters of the city of Orange Fire Department (OFD). Founded in 1872, the OFD operates out of two fire stations, located at 419 Central Avenue and 257 Washington Street. The current Director of the Fire Department is Kenneth M. Douglas. The fire apparatus fleet consists of three engines, one ladder and numerous other special, support, and reserve units. Apparatus: Engine 1 is a 2007 Rosenbauer pumper with a 65' aerial ladder. Engine 2 is a 2015 Ferrara pumper painted black over red. Engine 3 is a 1996 Spartan pumper. Spare Engine 4 is a 1995 KME pumper painted lime green and once served the US Navy in Virginia. Spare Engine 5 is a 2008 American LaFrance pumper. Ladder 1 is a 2015 Ferrara 102' ladder truck painted black over red. Spare Ladder 2 is a 1993 Pierce 103' ladder truck. There is also the battalion chief's and deputy chief's SUVs, and the mask service/cascade unit's '16 Ford pickup style truck.
The Orange Board of Education serves public school students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. The district is one of 31 former Abbott districts statewide, which are now referred to as "SDA Districts" based on the requirement for the state to cover all costs for school building and renovation projects in these districts under the supervision of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority.
As of the 2017–18 school year, the district, comprising 11 schools, had an enrollment of 5,648 students and 470.1 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.0:1. Schools in the district (with 2017-18 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Orange Early Childhood Center (173 students; in PreK), Cleveland Street School (292; K-7), Forest Street Community School (382; PreK-7), Heywood Avenue School (364; PreK-7), Lincoln Avenue School (708; K-7), Newcomers Academy (K-5), Oakwood Avenue Community School (234; PreK-7), Park Avenue School (455; K-7), Rosa Parks Central Community School (980; PreK-7, formerly Main Street School and Central School), Scholars Academy (K-5), Orange Preparatory Academy (559; 8-9 - formerly Orange Middle School), Orange High School (960; 9-12) and STEM Innovation Academy of the Oranges (22; 9-12).
The Orange Public Library collection contains 200,000 volumes and circulates 43,000 items annually. Built as the Stickler Memorial Library, the imposing structure designed by McKim, Mead, and White opened in 1901.
Portions of the city are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ), one of 32 zones covering 37 municipalities statewide. Orange was selected in 1983 as one of the initial group of 10 zones chosen to participate in the program. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment and investment within the Zone, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3.3125% sales tax rate (half of the 6 5⁄8% rate charged statewide) at eligible merchants. Established in November 1992, the city's Urban Enterprise Zone status expires in November 2023.
As of May 2010, the city had a total of 44.64 miles (71.84 km) of roadways, of which 39.14 miles (62.99 km) were maintained by the municipality, 4.43 miles (7.13 km) by Essex County and 1.07 miles (1.72 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
Interstate 280 is the most significant highway in Orange.
The Orange and Highland Avenue stations provide NJ 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 station to reach the other destination if necessary.
NJ Transit buses in Orange include the 21, 24, 34, 41, 44, 71, 73 and 79 routes providing service to Newark and local service on the 92 and 97 routes.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Orange include:
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