Location in Franklin County in Massachusetts
|• Type||Open town meeting|
|• Total||36.0 sq mi (93.3 km2)|
|• Land||35.1 sq mi (90.9 km2)|
|• Water||0.9 sq mi (2.4 km2)|
|Elevation||510 ft (155 m)|
|• Density||220/sq mi (84/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (UTC-4)|
|Area code(s)||351 / 978|
|GNIS feature ID||0618173|
Orange was first settled in 1746, created from lands in the towns of Royalston, Warwick and Athol. The lands were not fully settled until the latter parts of the century, becoming the District of Orange in 1783, and finally being incorporated as a town in 1810. It was named for William, Prince of Orange. In 1790, the Millers River was dammed within town, and industry began in the former farming community. Small industry grew within the town, with the town being considered more of a mill town by 1840. By the late nineteenth century the New Home Sewing Machine Company was the largest industry in town, putting out 1.2 million machines at its peak in 1892. In 1900, it was home to the pioneer automobile company Grout, considered the first automobile built in a factory in the United States.
Geography and transportation
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 36.0 square miles (93.3 km2), of which 35.1 square miles (90.9 km2) is land and 0.93 square miles (2.4 km2), or 2.58%, is water. Orange is drained by the Millers River, which flows through the center of the modern town. There are also several brooks within town, as well as several ponds and lakes, including Tully Pond, Lake Mattawa and part of Lake Rohunta. Only a small portion of the town is protected area, most of which is part of the Orange State Forest, with a small portion being part of the Warwick State Forest. Much of the northern half of town is spotted with swamps, and the town is home to three large hills, Temple Hill and Tully Mountain in the north and Chestnut Hill, the town's highest point, in the south.
Orange is the easternmost town within Franklin County along its border with Worcester County. The town center lies 18 miles (29 km) east of Greenfield, 40 miles (64 km) northwest of Worcester, 42 miles (68 km) northeast of Springfield and 72 miles (116 km) west-northwest of Boston. It is bordered by Royalston to the northeast, Athol to the southeast, New Salem to the south, Wendell to the southwest, a small portion of Erving to the west, and Warwick to the northwest.
The town lies along Massachusetts Route 2, the major east-west route across the northern part of the state. Except for the westernmost tenth of a mile, the entire road is a limited access highway through town. The highway portion ends at the junction of Route 2A, which passes just north of the Millers River near the town center, heading east into Athol and following Route 2's former right of way. Orange is also home to the southern terminus of Route 78 and the northern terminus of Route 122. Additionally, the western end of the concurrency between Route 2 and U.S. Route 202 is just within town.
The Springfield Terminal railway passes through town, crossing the Millers River several times in the western side of town. The only public transportation in town are two bus routes, the Athol/Greenfield Route of the Franklin Regional Transit Authority, and the Gardner/Orange Route of Montachusett Area Regional Transit, both of which provide service along Route 2A. The Fitchburg Railroad and later Boston and Maine once provided passenger rail service to Orange; however, these trains have long ceased operating and today only freight passes through the town. The Town of Orange owns and operates Orange Municipal Airport (IATA: ORE, ICAO: KORE), a small air service airstrip which also serves as a flight training center and parachuting center. The nearest national air service can be reached either at Bradley International Airport to the south or Manchester-Boston Regional Airport to the northeast.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,518 people, 3,045 households, and 1,979 families residing in the town. The population density was 212.6 people per square mile (82.1/km²). There were 3,303 housing units at an average density of 93.4 per square mile (36.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.29% White, 1.06% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.48% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.59% from other races, and 1.34% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.65% of the population.
There were 3,045 households out of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.6% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.0% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.02.
In the town the population was spread out with 26.7% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 23.4% from 45 to 64, and 14.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 92.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.7 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $36,849, and the median income for a family was $44,128. Males had a median income of $34,367 versus $23,967 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,361. About 5.8% of families and 7.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.4% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.
Notable natives and residents
- Myrtle Bachelder, chemist and Women's Army Corps officer who worked on the Manhattan Project
- Robert Dexter Conrad, naval captain
- Whitey Witt, baseball player
- Orange Center Historic District (Orange, Massachusetts)
- Grand Army of the Republic Hall (Orange, Massachusetts)
- Ralph C. Mahar Regional High School
- "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Orange town, Franklin County, Massachusetts". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved August 29, 2012.
- Clymer, Floyd. Treasury of Early American Automobiles, 1877-1925 (New York: Bonanza Books, 1950), p.14.
- Town of Orange, Massachusetts - A Brief History
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Orange town, Franklin County, Massachusetts". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved August 29, 2012.
- "TOTAL POPULATION (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1". American FactFinder, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts. United States Census Bureau. 2010.
- "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "1990 Census of Population, General Population Characteristics: Massachusetts". US Census Bureau. December 1990. Table 76: General Characteristics of Persons, Households, and Families: 1990. 1990 CP-1-23. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "1980 Census of the Population, Number of Inhabitants: Massachusetts". US Census Bureau. December 1981. Table 4. Populations of County Subdivisions: 1960 to 1980. PC80-1-A23. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "1950 Census of Population". 1: Number of Inhabitants. Bureau of the Census. 1952. Section 6, Pages 21-10 and 21-11, Massachusetts Table 6. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1930 to 1950. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "1920 Census of Population". Bureau of the Census. Number of Inhabitants, by Counties and Minor Civil Divisions. Pages 21-5 through 21-7. Massachusetts Table 2. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1920, 1910, and 1920. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "1890 Census of the Population". Department of the Interior, Census Office. Pages 179 through 182. Massachusetts Table 5. Population of States and Territories by Minor Civil Divisions: 1880 and 1890. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "1870 Census of the Population". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1872. Pages 217 through 220. Table IX. Population of Minor Civil Divisions, &c. Massachusetts. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "1860 Census". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1864. Pages 220 through 226. State of Massachusetts Table No. 3. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "1850 Census". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1854. Pages 338 through 393. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "The Cult of the Cloves". New York Times. September 29, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-05. "This weekend brings the North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival to Orange, Mass., near Amherst, and the Easton Garlic Fest to Easton, Pa. The Connecticut Garlic and Harvest Festival visits Bethlehem on Oct. 9 and 10."
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