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The Historic District which includes the Orange Green and surrounding area is located at the approximate geographical center of the 18 square miles of the most [i.e., mostly?] rural area known as the Town of Orange. It is some 210 feet above sea level and is situated 5 1/2 miles west of the downtown City of New Haven and 11 miles from the center of Bridgeport. Nestled among seven hills which were favorite haunts of the area's indians, the District is also located about 4 miles north of the waters of Long Island Sound.

This District was part of the lands originally laid out for farm land in the north of Milford in 1687 and was part of the tract known as Bryans' Farms in the early 1700s. A simple meeting house was erected here in 1791 and a charter was received in 1804 as the North Milford Ecclesiastical Society. It was from this heritage of hard working, religious farmers that the Town of Orange evolved in 1822. The love of this rural environment by succeeding generations of land holders along with zoning foresight has helped to keep this center and most of the Town of Orange in an unspoiled stated [i.e., state].

The Orange Green and its environs stand today as good examples of an early New England town center. The simplicity and charm of the area are just as evident now as they must have been shortly after its settlement. The Green, which
is situated on a pleasant, rolling hill, is fronted by the ecclesiastical masterpiece of architect David Hoadley which replaced the original meeting house in 1810. Recognizing the area's esthetics, President Timothy Dwight of Yale wrote the following in his journal after a visit in 1811:

"After passing the Western boundry of the township of New Haven, we entered the parish of North Milford. The surface of this parish is formed of easy undulations..The people of North Milford, plain as they are, have built one of the handsomest churches in the county of New Haven and have shown that they have a just taste for the beautiful as well as the proper attachment to the useful."

The Historic District, which early became known as "The Center" and later as Orange Center was indeed the hub of the rural life of the inhabitants of the new town of Orange. It was here that they lived, farmed and met for religious or civil matters. Here they attended school, were married and here they were buried. The area at one time included several stores, a cobbler shop, a post office, a blacksmith shop, and a tavern. The first meeting of the new town was held here in 1822. It is thus obvious that this area is rish [i.e., rich] in the history and heritage of Orange.

Today this central district surrounding the green stands relatively unscathed by the modern improvements of man's twentieth century and remains as appealing as it no doubt was originally. The area today is a living example not only of the founding of the town, but also of its architectural progress through the 19th and 20th centuries. It was with an idea to preserve and protect this heritage and living history from the encroachments of modern society that the area first came under consideration as an historical district.

The ordinance establishing this district became effective January 13, 1978.