Orange County, New York facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Island Pond in Harriman State Park, near the Village of Harriman.
Location within the U.S. state of New York
New York's location within the U.S.
|Named for||William III of Orange|
|Largest town||Palm Tree|
|• Total||839 sq mi (2,170 km2)|
|• Land||812 sq mi (2,100 km2)|
|• Water||27 sq mi (70 km2) 3.2%|
| • Estimate
|• Density||474.1/sq mi (183.1/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
Orange County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2020 census, the population was 401,310. The county seat is Goshen. This county was first created in 1683 and reorganized with its present boundaries in 1798.
Orange County is part of the Poughkeepsie–Newburgh–Middletown metropolitan statistical area, which belongs to the larger New York–Newark–Bridgeport, NY–NJ–CT–PA Combined Statistical Area. It is in the state's Mid-Hudson Region of the Hudson Valley Area.
The County Executive is Steve Neuhaus.
As of the 2010 census the center of population of New York state was located in Orange County, approximately 3 mi (4.8 km) west of the hamlet of Westbrookville.
Orange County was officially established on November 1, 1683, when the Province of New York was divided into twelve counties. Each of these was named to honor a member of the British royal family, and Orange County took its name from the Prince of Orange, who subsequently became King William III of England. As originally defined, Orange County included only the southern part of its present-day territory, plus all of present-day Rockland County further south. The northern part of the present-day county, beyond Moodna Creek, was then a part of neighbouring Ulster County.
At that date, the only European inhabitants of the area were a handful of Dutch colonists in present-day Rockland County, and the area of modern Orange County was entirely occupied by the native Munsee people. Due to its relatively small population, the original Orange County was not fully independent and was administered by New York County.
The first European settlers in the area of the present-day county arrived in 1685. They were a party of around twenty-five families from Scotland, led by David Toshach, the Laird of Monzievaird, and his brother-in-law Major Patrick McGregor, a former officer of the French Army. They settled in the Hudson Highlands at the place where the Moodna Creek enters the Hudson River, now known as New Windsor. In 1709, a group of German Palatine refugees settled at Newburgh. They were Protestants from a part of Germany along the Rhine that had suffered during the religious wars. Queen Anne's government arranged for passage from England of nearly 3,000 Palatines in ten ships. Many were settled along the Hudson River in work camps on property belonging to Robert Livingston. A group of Dutch and English settlers arrived at Goshen in 1712. Additional immigrants came from Ireland; they were of Scots and English descent who had been settled as planters there.
In 1798, after the American Revolutionary War, the boundaries of Orange County changed. Its southern corner was used to create the new Rockland County, and in exchange, an area to the north of the Moodna Creek was added, which had previously been in Ulster County. This caused a reorganization of the local administration, as the original county seat had been fixed at Orangetown in 1703, but this was now in Rockland County. Duties were subsequently shared between Goshen, which had been the center of government for the northern part of Orange County, and Newburgh, which played a similar role in the area transferred from Ulster County. The county court was established in 1801. It was not until 1970 that Goshen was named as the sole county seat.
Due to a boundary dispute between New York and New Jersey, the boundaries of many of the southern towns of the county were not definitively established until the 19th century.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 839 square miles (2,170 km2), of which 812 square miles (2,100 km2) is land and 27 square miles (70 km2) (3.2%) is water.
Orange County is in southeastern New York State, directly north of the New Jersey-New York border, west of the Hudson River, east of the Delaware River and northwest of New York City. It borders the New York counties of Dutchess, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester, as well as Passaic and Sussex counties in New Jersey and Pike County in Pennsylvania.
Orange County is the only county in New York State which borders both the Hudson and Delaware Rivers.
Orange County is where the Great Valley of the Appalachians finally opens up and ends. The western corner is set off by the Shawangunk Ridge. The area along the Rockland County border (within Harriman and Bear Mountain state parks) and south of Newburgh is part of the Hudson Highlands. The land in between is the valley of the Wallkill River. In the southern portion of the county the Wallkill valley expands into a wide glacial lake bed known as the Black Dirt Region for its fertility.
The highest point is Schunemunk Mountain, at 1,664 feet (507 m) above sea level. The lowest is sea level along the Hudson.
National protected areas
- Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River (part)
- Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge (part)
- Ulster County – north
- Dutchess County – northeast
- Putnam County - east
- Rockland County – southeast
- Passaic County, New Jersey - southeast
- Sussex County, New Jersey - south
- Pike County, Pennsylvania – southwest
- Sullivan County – northwest
|U.S. Decennial Census
At the 2010 United States Census, there were 372,813 people living in the county. The population density was 444 people per square mile (171/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 77.2% White, 10.2% Black or African American, 0.5% Native American, 2.4% Asian, and 3.1% from two or more races. 18% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. According to the 2000 United States Census, 18.3% were of Italian, 18.1% English, 17.4% Irish, 10.2% German, and 5.0% Polish ancestry. According to the 2009–13 American Community Survey, 76.57% of people spoke only English at home, 13.39% spoke Spanish, 4.03% spoke Yiddish, and 0.83% spoke Italian.
During the 2000 Census, there were 114,788 households, out of which 39.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.90% were married couples living together, 11.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.40% were non-families. 21.50% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.85 and the average family size was 3.35.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 29.00% under the age of 18, 8.70% from 18 to 24, 30.00% from 25 to 44, 21.90% from 45 to 64, and 10.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.50 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $52,058, and the median income for a family was $60,355. Males had a median income of $42,363 versus $30,821 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,597. About 7.60% of families and 10.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.80% of those under age 18 and 8.00% of those age 65 or over.
Despite its rural roots, Orange County has been among the fastest-growing regions within the New York City metropolitan area.
Per the American Community Survey's 2018 estimates, there were 381,951 residents within Orange County. 63.5% of the county was non-Hispanic white, 12.95 Black or African American, 0.8% Native American, 2.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.0% from two or more races, and 21.0% Hispanic or Latino of any race. 24.4% of Orange County's residents spoke another language other than English at home.
There were 126,776 households in 2018 and an average of 2.90 persons per household. The owner-occupied housing rate was 68.0% and the median gross rent of the county was $1,223. The median homeowner cost with a mortgage was $2,280 and $909 without a mortgage.
The median income for a household from 2014-2018 was $76,716 and the per capita income was $33,472. 11.5% of the county's inhabitants were below the poverty line in 2018.
The county is served by Stewart International Airport, located two miles west of Newburgh, New York. The airport serves American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Allegiant Air, and JetBlue Airways. AirTran Airways stopped providing service to the airport in late 2008.
Ground transportation within Orange County is provided primarily by Leprechaun Lines, Monsey Trails, NJ Transit, Short Line Bus, and Metro-North Railroad's Port Jervis Line, as well as amenities such as senior citizen busing and car services, which usually restrict themselves to their respective town or city.
Major routes in Orange County are freeways Interstate 84, Interstate 87, State Route 17 (Future Interstate 86), and the Palisades Interstate Parkway, and surface roads U.S. Route 6, U.S. Route 9W, and U.S. Route 209. There are two Hudson River crossings in Orange County: the Bear Mountain Bridge and the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge.
- Cornwall on Hudson
- Goshen (county seat)
- Greenwood Lake
- Highland Falls
- Kiryas Joel
- South Blooming Grove
- Tuxedo Park
- Beaver Dam Lake
- Fort Montgomery
- Mountain Lodge Park
- New Windsor
- Orange Lake
- Pine Bush
- Salisbury Mills
- Vails Gate
- Walton Park
- Washington Heights
- West Point
In popular culture
- In and Out: Warwick
- Heavy: Port Jervis
- Super Troopers: Parts in Newburgh area
- The Sopranos parts of season 6-b, Episode 1: Warwick and Tuxedo
- Michael Clayton: Moodna Viaduct (Cornwall), South Blooming Grove, and Stewart Airport (New Windsor/Newburgh area)
- The Human Footprint: parts filmed in the Hudson Valley region; aired on National Geographic Channel in 2008
- American Chopper: Montgomery, NY
- Final Destination 1& 2: Parts of plot takes place in Otisville, NY and Greenwood Lake, NY - Shown by patches that police officers wear and television news program that is played.
- The OA: Partially filmed in Central Valley, NY
Points of interest
Points of interest in Orange County include the United States Military Academy at West Point; Brotherhood Winery, America's oldest winery, in Washingtonville; the birthplace of William H. Seward in Florida; the home and birthplace of Velveeta and Liederkranz Cheese in Monroe; the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame in Goshen; the Times Herald-Record newspaper, the first cold press offset daily in the country, in Middletown; the Galleria at Crystal Run, in Wallkill; the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Monroe; and the Orange County Fair in Wallkill. The only state parks include Goosepond Mountain State Park, Harriman State Park and Sterling Forest State Park. It is also the location of Orange County Choppers, the custom motorcycle shop featured on The Discovery Channel television series American Chopper.
Delano-Hitch Stadium in Newburgh has played host to various professional and amateur baseball teams from various leagues since opening in 1926. The stadium is currently home to the Newburgh Newts.
High school sports
High schools in Orange County compete in Section 9 of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association along with schools from Dutchess, Ulster, and Sullivan counties.
The Army Black Knights of the United States Military Academy in West Point field NCAA Division I teams in 24 different sports. Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh fields 15 teams in the Eastern College Athletic Conference and the Skyline Conference of NCAA Division III. Orange County Community College Colts in Middletown compete in the National Junior College Athletic Association.
- Jan Rodriguez, interpreter for Dutch West India Company (in NYC), began working in OC & the surrounding area in 1612
- James Dolson, (Minisink area) settler 1600s, beaver-pelt trader
- Sarah Wells, 1712, first female settler of European heritage in the interior of Orange County, at age 16. She and husband William Bull, built a stone house in the (now Town of Goshen) wilderness, and raised 12 children to adulthood. Died in 1796, aged 100 years, 15 days, with 335 descendants. Matriarch of the Bull Family
- William Bull, built Knox's Headquarters in New Windsor
- "Bette", emanumated slave 1700s, Historical diarist
- J. Hector St. John de Crèvecœur Chester Greycourt colonial farmer and agricultural author Letters from an American Farmer
- Thomas Young (American Revolutionary), organizer of Boston Tea Party, born New Windsor
- Henry Wisner, Orange County delegate to the First and Second Continental Congress
- David Mathews, Loyalist Mayor of New York City under the British during the American Revolution, resided in Mathewsfield (now Blooming Grove)
- Noah Webster, Lexicographer, Webster's dictionary. Founded a private school, circa 1783, catering to wealthy parents in Goshen.
- George Washington, resided/stationed in Hasbrouck House in Newburgh, NY, from April 1782 until August 1783, during the waning days of the American Revolutionary War
- Benedict Arnold, revolutionary war general turned "traitor"
- James Varick founder AME Zion church & 1st bishop, born Newburgh
- William H. Seward, U.S. Secretary of State, under Lincoln, a 2 term federal Senator & 12th governor of NY, born & raised Florida, NY.
- Albert J. Myer, born Newburgh Sept 20, 1829. Surgeon & US Army general 1854-1869. Known as the father of the U.S. Army Signal Corps and the U.S. Weather Bureau.
- Elizabeth Marie Pope, author of The Sherwood Ring
- Stephen Crane, wrote part of The Red Badge of Courage in Port Jervis, ostensibly based on Orange Blossoms battle at Chancellorsville
- Zane Grey practiced dentistry in Middletown, before his literary career
- Pierre Lorillard IV, tobacco magnate, founded Tuxedo Park in 1886
- Emily Post, author
- Tomás Estrada Palma, first President of Cuba, lived in a home on Route 32 in Central Valley.
- David Moffat, railroad developer, Washingtonville native
- Webb Horton, industrial tanner, early 20th Century, built Webb Horton House & WH church (1918 Middletown)
- Babe Ruth, summered at Glenmere Mansion & Greenwood Lake
- Solomon Townsend, industrialist and State Legislator
- Horace Pippin Black artist/painter, Goshen resident
- Rose Thompson Hovick, mother of Gypsy Rose Lee and June Havoc
- Jolie Gabor mother of Gabor sisters, resided Goshen, NY
- Elise McAbee, US Army materials engineer
- Frank Shorter, 1972 Olympic Marathon gold medalist
- Ed Banach 1984 Olympic wrestling gold medalist, Port Jervis native
- Lou Banach 1984 Olympic wrestling gold medalist, Port Jervis native
- Bill Bayno 1980 Burke grad, 1990s champion UNLV college coach, astn. NBA coach
- Stefanie Dolson WNBA player & 2021 Olympic 3x3 Gold medalist, Minisink High grad
- Nick Abruzzese of Slate Hill, 2022 US Olympic Hockey Team, Harvard grad, NHL Toronto Maple Leafs 2019 draftee
- General David Petraeus, 1970 Cornwall grad, retired four-star general of the U.S. Army. Former Director of the C.I.A. and commander of U.S. forces in Iraq.
- William Moran, a retired United States Navy Admiral and Vice-Chief of Naval Operations (2016-2019).
- Geraldine Ferraro, 1984 U.S. Vice-Presidential candidate, U.S. Congresswoman
- Benjamin Gilman, US Congressman, 1973-2003, lifelong Middletown resident
- Louis B. Mills 1st elected OC Executive (1970s), "rediscovered" Bannerman Castle in 1990s, then secured $10 million Conservation land trust for it via Gov. G. Pataki
- Harvey Burger 1st Black OC Legislator
- Frederica Warner Newburgh community activist, local founder of area Meals On Wheels
- Audrey Carey 1st elected Black female mayor (1991 Newburgh) in NY State
- Michael Sussman, Harvard educated, civil rights attorney Show Me a Hero, Chester resident (1982–present)
- Joel Teitelbaum, Grand Rabbi of Satmar Hasidic community, spent final years and is buried in Kiryas Joel
- Aaron Teitelbaum, current Grand Rabbi of Kiryas Joel faction of Satmar Hasidic community.
- Jay Westervelt, environmentalist
- Dr. Richard Hull, lifelong Warwick resident, NYU History professor & local historian
- James Skoufis, New York State Senator
- John Bonacic, 30 year politician, State Assembly then Senate
- Willie the Lion Smith, jazz "stride" pianist, born Goshen 1897
- James Emery, Warwick resident, since 2000s, jazz guitarist of String Trio of New York
- Jimmy Sturr, lifelong resident Florida, NY, 18x Grammy winning, polka musician
- Andy Grammer, musician
- Brad Mehldau, jazz pianist
- Cyndi Lauper, 80s pop singer, spent summers in Tuxedo Park
- Saul Williams, musician, poet, actor and artist; was born and raised in Newburgh
- Vérité, musician
- Cage Kennylz, rapper, raised in Middletown
- James Patterson, author
- Al Sarrantonio, author
- Spencer Tunick, photographer
- Emily DiDonato, fashion model, spokesmodel for Maybelline
- Mel Gibson, attended school in Washingtonville the year before his family moved to Australia in the 1960s.
- Tony Gilroy, writer, producer, director.
- Denzel Washington actor, attended the now defunct Oakland Military Academy
- Whoopi Goldberg, Academy Award-winning actress, owns a Tuxedo Park home
- Robert DeNiro Academy Award-winning actor, home in Tuxedo Park
- James Cromwell actor 1970s-2020s, political & environmental activist, Warwick resident since 2000s
- James Mangold, screenwriter, director.
- Armand Assante, actor
- Barry Bostwick, actor
- Johnny Brennan - Salisbury Mills resident 1980s & early 90s, comedian/actor The Jerky Boys, Family Guy (voices Mort)
- Aaron Tveit, actor/singer, Broadway star, reared in Middletown
- Satella Waterstone - author and composer
- Paul Teutul Sr., reality TV star, owner Orange County Choppers
- Paul Teutul Jr., custom motorcycle builder of Paul Jr. Designs
- Shotsie Gorman - American tattoo artist
- Derek Jeter, New York Yankees captain, purchased Tiedemann Castle in Warwick
- Greg Anthony, former New York Knicks NBA player
- Tim Hummel, former MLB player Cincinnati Reds.
- Mike Avilés, baseball player for the Kansas City Royals and Boston Red Sox, raised Middletown
- Matt Morris, former all star pitcher St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates, Valley Central graduate
- Joe Nathan, MLB player for the Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers
- Dee Brown, former Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball player.
- Rob Bell, former MLB pitcher.
- Jason Motte, former MLB pitcher, closer for the 2011 Champion St. Louis Cardinals, Valley Central graduate
- Dave Telgheder, former MLB pitcher for the New York Mets and the Oakland Athletics.
- Brian Cashman, General Manager, New York Yankees
- Scott Pioli, NFL executive, former General Manager of the Kansas City Chiefs