Orange County, New York
Orange County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 372,813. The county seat is Goshen. This county was first created in 1683 and reorganized with its present boundaries in 1798.
Location within the U.S. state of New York
New York's location within the U.S.
|Coordinates: 41°24′N 74°19′W|
|Named for||William III of Orange|
|• Total||839 sq mi (2,170 km2)|
|• Land||812 sq mi (2,100 km2)|
|• Water||27 sq mi (70 km2) 3.2%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||471/sq mi (182/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
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.
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.
During the American Revolutionary War the county was a hotbed of Loyalist and anti-Patriot activity. Claudius Smith was a Loyalist marauder whose team robbed and terrorized citizens; he was hanged in Goshen in 1779 for allegedly robbing and killing Major Nathaniel Strong; two of his sons were also executed for similar crimes. The Mathews family of Blooming Grove were active Loyalists; Fletcher Mathews was a sympathizer and sometime associate of Smith, and his brother David Mathews was Mayor of New York City during its British occupation for the entirety of the war.
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 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
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 372,813 people residing 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.
As of 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.
Law and government
Originally, like most New York counties, Orange County was governed by a Board of Supervisors. Its board consisted of the 20 town supervisors, nine city supervisors elected from the nine wards of the City of Newburgh, and four each elected from the wards of the cities of Middletown and Port Jervis. In 1968, the board adopted a county charter and a reapportionment plan that created the county legislature and executive. The first county executive and legislature were elected in November, 1969 and took office on January 1, 1970. Today, Orange County is still governed by the same charter; residents elect the county executive and a 21-member county legislature elected from 21 single-member districts. There are also several state constitutional positions that are elected, including a sheriff, county clerk and district attorney. Prior to 1 January 2008 four coroners were also elected; however, on that date, the county switched to a medical examiner system.
The current County Officers are:
- County Executive: Steven M. Neuhaus (Republican)
- County Clerk: Annie Rabbit (Republican)
- Sheriff: Carl E. DuBois (Republican)
- District Attorney: David M. Hoovler (Republican)
The County Legislature and its previous board of supervisors were long dominated by the Republican Party. However, since the late 20th century, the Democrats have closed the gap. During 2008 and 2009 the legislature was evenly split between 10 Republicans, 10 Democrats, and 1 Independence Party member. In 2009, the legislature had its first Democratic chairman elected when one member of the Republican caucus voted alongside the 10 Democratic members to elect Roxanne Donnery (D-Highlands/Woodbury) to the post. At the November 2009 election, several Democratic incumbents were defeated. As of the convening of the legislature on January 1, 2012, there are 12 Republicans, 8 Democrats ,and 1 Independence member.
|Louis V. Mills||Republican||January 1, 1970 – December 31, 1977|
|Louis C. Heimbach||Republican||January 1, 1978 – December 31, 1989|
|Mary M. McPhillips||Democratic||January 1, 1990 – December 31, 1993|
|Joseph G. Rampe||Republican||January 1, 1994 – December 31, 2001|
|Edward A. Diana||Republican||January 1, 2002 – December 31, 2013|
|Steven M. Neuhaus||Republican||January 1, 2014 – Present|
|1||Michael Amo||Independence||Central Valley|
|2||Melissa Bonacic majority leader||Republican||New Hampton|
|3||Michael Pillmeier chairman||Republican||Florida|
|5||Katie Bonelli||Republican||Blooming Grove|
|6||Patrick J. Berardinelli||Republican||Newburgh|
|9||L. Stephen Brescia||Republican||Montgomery|
|13||Thomas J. Faggione||Republican||Deerpark|
|14||James DiSalvo||Republican||Highland Falls|
|15||Christopher Eachus||Democratic||New Windsor|
|18||Roseanne Sullivan||Democratic||Pine Bush|
|19||Michael Paduch minority leader||Democratic||Middletown|
|21||Thomas Pahucki||Democratic||New Hampton|
In 1970, the county switched from government by a Board of Supervisors, consisting of the elected heads of town governments, to having a 21-member elected county legislature and executive. The sheriff, district attorney and county clerk have always been elected. All serve four-year terms, with elections in the year following presidential election years, save the sheriff, whose election is the following year.
The current county executive is Steven Neuhaus, former town supervisor for Chester. Frank Phillips, Annie Rabbitt and Carl DuBois are the incumbent district attorney, clerk and sheriff respectively. All are Republicans, and as of 2012 the legislature has a 13–8 Republican majority.
Only one Democrat, Mary McPhillips, has served as county executive. She failed to win re-election after a single term in the early 1990s. For several years in the late 2000s, one Republican legislator's decision to become an independent and caucus with the Democrats led to a 10-10-1 effective Democratic majority, with Roxanne Donnery as chair. The Republicans regained their majority in the 2009 elections.
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, JetBlue Airways and Norwegian Air Shuttle. AirTran Airways stopped providing service to the airport in late 2008. Norwegian Air Shuttle began in 2017.
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.
George W. Bush won 54% of the Orange County vote in 2004 reflecting a solid Republican edge in county politics. However, Barack Obama carried the county by a 51% margin four years later. It was the first time a Democrat had carried Orange County when first elected to the presidency. That year the number of registered Democrats in the county exceeded Republicans for the first time. Obama carried the county again in 2012. However, Donald Trump won the county in 2016, thus making it one of 206 counties across the country to vote for Obama twice and then Trump.
The presidential election results give the county a Cook PVI of R+1, consistent with county voters' willingness to sometimes elect Democrats, such as U.S. Rep. John Hall. From 2007 on, when Hall represented the 19th district, which covered most of the county, Orange's representation in Congress was exclusively Democratic, as Maurice Hinchey had represented the towns of Crawford, Montgomery, and Newburgh as well as the city of Newburgh, all of which were in what was then the 22nd district, since 1988.
In the 2010 midterms, Hall was defeated by Nan Hayworth. In 2012, after Hinchey's former 22nd district was eliminated in redistricting following his retirement and all of Orange County was included in the current 18th district. Hayworth was defeated by Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton and the first openly gay person to be elected to Congress from New York. Maloney won a rematch against Hayworth in 2014; in 2016 he was again re-elected over Phil Oliva, and in 2018, despite running in the Democratic primary for New York Attorney General, he won re-election again over James O'Donnell.
At the state level, Republicans had held onto Senate seats (until 2018) while Democrats have made inroads in recent years on the Assembly side. Two State Senate districts—the 39th, held by James Skoufis and 42nd, held by Jen Metzger—cover the county.
Democrats have made significant gains in the county's State Assembly seats. The 98th district, which includes the far western part of the county as well as the Town of Warwick, is represented by Karl Brabenec, and the 101st district, which includes the Towns of Crawford and Montgomery, was until 2016 held by Claudia Tenney, both Republicans. After Tenney left her seat to run for Congress that year, Brian D. Miller, another Republican, was elected to replace her. Colin Schmitt represents the 99th district, while the other two are Democrats: Aileen Gunther in the 100th district and Jonathan Jacobson in the 104th district.
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.
Orange County Youth Football League (OCYFL)
The Orange County Youth Football League (O.C.Y.F.L.) is a non-profit organization that allows youth age 6 through 14 to play competitive American football. The League encompasses 15 towns with over 100 teams in Orange County and surrounding areas including Chester, Cornwall, Goshen, Highland Falls, Marlboro, Middletown, Minisink Valley, Monticello, Newburgh, New Windsor, Pine Bush, Port Jervis, Valley Central, Wallkill, Warwick and Washingtonville. It is composed of 4 Divisions, divided by weight restrictions, and a "Mighty Mite" Flag Football division for 6 & 7 year olds. In each division, there is additionally a complete cheerleading program for each team. There is a comprehensive annual schedule of play within each division for all teams, culminating in a divisional Championship game, often played in Michie Stadium or Shea Stadium at the historic United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.
In popular culture
- Heavy: Port Jervis
- Super Troopers: parts of the movie were filmed in the 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.
- George Washington, 1st President of the United States, leader of the American Revolutionary War, from April 1782 until August 1783.
- William Seward, U.S. Secretary of State.
- 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, may have been born but also lived in Mathewsfield (now Blooming Grove)
- Willie the Lion Smith, stride jazz pianist
- Denzel Washington actor, attended the now defunct Oakland Military Academy
- Whoopi Goldberg, Academy Award-winning actress
- Marisa Anderson, psychic who works with Police and CID; featured in Hans Holzer, Elaine Mercado, John Sutton, Sherry Suib-Cohen Books.
- Paul Teutul, Sr., custom motorcycle builder of Orange County Choppers
- Paul Teutul, Jr., custom motorcycle builder of Paul Jr. Designs
- Geraldine Ferraro, 1984 U.S. Vice-Presidential Candidate, U.S. Congresswoman
- Jay Westervelt, environmentalist
- Brad Mehldau, jazz pianist
- James Patterson, author
- Al Sarrantonio, author
- Spencer Tunick, photographer
- Noah Webster, lexicographer, author
- Elizabeth Marie Pope, author of The Sherwood Ring
- Stephen Crane, author of The Red Badge of Courage
- Pierre Lorillard, tobacco magnate
- Tony Gilroy, writer, producer, director.
- James Mangold, screenwriter, director.
- Armand Assante, actor
- Emily Post, author
- Barry Bostwick, actor
- Jimmy Sturr, polka musician
- Saul Williams, musician, poet, actor and artist; was born and raised in Newburgh
- Cage Kennylz, rapper was raised in Middletown
- Derek Jeter, New York Yankees captain, purchased Tiedemann Castle in Warwick
- Cyndi Lauper, used to spend summers in Tuxedo Park
- Greg Anthony, former New York Knicks player
- Tim Hummel, former major league baseball player for the Cincinnati Reds.
- Mike Aviles, baseball player for the Kansas City Royals and Boston Red Sox
- Matt Morris, former baseball pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates
- Joe Nathan, baseball player for the Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers
- Dee Brown, former Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball player.
- Rob Bell, former Major League Baseball pitcher.
- Jason Motte, former Major League Baseball pitcher who won a World Series ring as the closer for the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals.
- 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
- Rose Thompson Hovick, mother of Gypsy Rose Lee and June Havoc
- Nathaniel White, serial killer
- Solomon Townsend, industrialist and State Legislator
- J. Hector St. John de Crèvecœur, 18th century writer, author of Letters from an American Farmer
- Frank Shorter, Olympic gold medalist
- Emily DiDonato, fashion model, spokesmodel for Maybelline
- General David Petraeus, Retired four-star general of the U.S. Army. Former Director of the C.I.A. and commander of U.S. forces in Iraq.
- Mel Gibson, attended school in Washingtonville the year before his family moved to Australia in the 1960s.
- Tomás Estrada Palma, first President of Cuba, lived in a home on Route 32 in Central Valley.
- Benedict Arnold, revolutionary war general and defector
- Andy Grammer, musician
- 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.
- Vérité, musician
- William Moran, a retired United States Navy Admiral and Vice-Chief of Naval Operations (2016-2019).
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- Washingtonville Grads at Oscars
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- Scott Pioli Bio
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- "Hudson Valley Magazine".
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