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As in other towns in New England during a part of the eighteenth century and through the nineteenth century, water power was utilized in Orange, particularly on the Wepawaug, although to some extent Race Brook and branches of the Indian River contributed. As far back as 1776, Garett N. Dewitt had a saw mill at the place where the Derby Turnpike crosses the stream. Whether he built it or bought it from others does not appear in the record. At about the same place, Zeri Alling had a grist mill, which was called ''the old red mill.'' He ground into flour the rye and buckwheat grown by the farmers. For payment he retained a certain portion of the flour--a most generous portion, so the farmers thought. He also ground yellow corn into meal. When cooked, this dish was called ''samp.'' This miller also kept a pen of hogs, and because of the abundance of feed, his animals were larger and fatter than any others.
On March 5, 1819, Amos Alling became the owner of the mill run by Garrett Dewitt. His son, Charles W. Alling, succeeded him on March 26, 1834. Before many years, the son enlarged the scope of the business by building a mill for weaving cloth. At that time the spinning-wheel and hand-loom were chiefly depended upon to clothe the people. One person who used to go around to the houses with her hand-loom was called ''Aunt Parney.'' She was very indignant at Mr. Alling for starting a factory, for she claimed he was taking away her livelihood. In 1823 Mr. Alling built a three-story building for dressing cloth and carding wool. This gave employment to thirty-five or forty people. In 1840, six years after his