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Orange #48: Central MA’s Best Communities

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

 

Orange

48th ranked Orange is home to the pioneering automobile company Grout, which built its first steam engine automobile in town in 1899, making the town the home of the first automobile factory. The town was also a leading producer of sewing machines, and the New Home Sewing Machine Company produced 1.2 million machines in its heyday.

The nationally known Peace Statue is located in Orange Memorial Park and depicts a veteran soldier from World War I explaining to a child the futility of war. First unveiled in 1934, the 12-foot statue is dedicated to the residents of Orange who served in the war. A bronze plaque at the base reads: "It Shall Not Be Again."

Orange ranks 12th in affordability, and 30th for restaurants, but its overall score is pulled down by its economic condition ranking (#65), safety ranking (#56) and education ranking (#52).
 

The Central School, in the early 1900s

Orange by the numbers

Established: 1810
Population: 7839
Median household income: $42,809
Median housing price: $83,799

2012 Best Communities rankings
Overall ranking: 48
Affordability ranking: 12
Education ranking: 52
Economic condition ranking: 65
Safety ranking: 56
Arts & Culture ranking: 39
Restaurant ranking: 30

History in a nutshell:

Settled in 1746, the town of Orange was named after the Dutch Stadholder of Holland who was also the King of Ireland and England. When a dam was erected in 1790 on the Millers River industry sprung up, particularly the New Home Sewing Machine Company, the largest industry in Orange. 

Famous residents:  

Myrtle Bachelder, Chemist within the Manhattan Project
Robert Dexter Conrad, Naval captain
 

Notable residents source: Wikipedia
Additional reporting by Grace Fenton

 

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