Orange County, New York

Not to be confused with Orange, New York.
Orange County, New York

Island Pond in Harriman State Park, near the Village of Harriman.


Map of New York highlighting Orange County
Location in the U.S. state of New York
Map of the United States highlighting New York
New York's location in the U.S.
Founded 1698
Named for William III of Orange
Seat Goshen
Largest city Newburgh
  Total 839 sq mi (2,173 km2)
  Land 812 sq mi (2,103 km2)
  Water 27 sq mi (70 km2), 3.2%
Population (est.)
  (2015) 377,647
  Density 459/sq mi (177/km²)
Congressional district 18th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Orange County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 372,813.[1] The county seat is Goshen.[2] This county was first created in 1683 and reorganized with its present boundaries in 1798.[3]

Orange County is included in the New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is in the state's Mid-Hudson Region of the Hudson Valley.

The County Executive is Steve Neuhaus.

As of the 2010 census the centre of population of New York state was located in Orange County, approximately three miles west of the hamlet of Westbrooksville.[4]


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.[5]


Downtown Newburgh, on the shoreline of the Hudson River.

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.[6]

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

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 2015377,647[7]1.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census of 2000, there were 341,367 people, 114,788 households, and 84,483 families residing in the county. The population density was 418 people per square mile (161/km²). There were 122,754 housing units at an average density of 150 per square mile (58/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 83.70% White, 8.09% Black or African American, 0.35% Native American, 1.51% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 4.09% from other races, and 2.23% from two or more races. 18.64% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 18.3% were of Italian, 17.4% Irish, 10.2% German and 5.0% Polish ancestry according to the 2000 census. 9.23% reported speaking Spanish at home, 3.29% Yiddish, and 1.20% Italian.[12]

By 2005, census estimates placed Orange County's non-Hispanic white population at 72.4%. African Americans were 10.2% of the population. Native Americans were at 0.4%, a change that was less than can be measured by the precision of the 2005 estimates being used for these figures. Asians were up to 2.2% of the population. Latinos had made the largest gain as an increase in their percentage of the population, and constituted 19.9% of the county's population.[13]

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

The Orange County Government Center in Goshen, N.Y., designed by Paul Rudolph.

Originally, like most New York counties, Orange County was governed by a Board of Supervisors. Its board consisted of the 20 town supervisors, 9 city supervisors elected from the 9 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:

Orange County vote
by party in presidential elections
Year Republican Democratic
2016 50.8% 72,129 44.4% 63,037
2012 46.5% 65,367 52.1% 73,315
2008 47.4% 72,042 51.5% 78,326
2004 54.7% 79,089 43.8% 63,394
2000 49.7% 62,852 46.0% 58,170
1996 40.1% 45,956 48.0% 54,995
1992 43.7% 53,493 37.5% 45,946
1988 62.4% 65,446 36.7% 38,465
1984 67.8% 69,413 31.9% 32,663
1980 56.7% 51,268 33.2% 30,022
1976 54.8% 49,685 44.5% 40,362
1972 71.0% 63,556 28.8% 25,778
1968 56.1% 44,955 35.1% 28,122
1964 38.8% 30,610 61.1% 48,244
1960 60.7% 48,646 39.2% 31,471

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.

Orange County Executives
Name Party Term
Louis V. Mills Republican January 1, 1970 – December 31, 1977
Louis Heimbach Republican January 1, 1978 – December 31, 1989
Mary McPhillips Democrat 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
Orange County Legislature
District Legislator Party Residence
1 Michael Amo Independence Central Valley
2 Melissa Bonacic majority leader Republican New Hampton
3 Michael Pillmeier chairman Republican Florida
4 Harvey Burger Democrat Newburgh
5 Katie Bonelli Republican Blooming Grove
6 Patrick J. Berardinelli Republican Newburgh
7 Myrna Kemnitz Democrat Monroe
8 Daniel Castricone Republican Tuxedo
9 L. Stephen Brescia Republican Montgomery
10 Albert Buckbee Republican Warwick
11 Matthew Turnbull Democrat Hamptonburgh
12 Kevin Hines Republican Cornwall
13 Dennis W. Simmons Republican Port Jervis
14 James DiSalvo Republican Highland Falls
15 Christopher Eachus Democrat New Windsor
16 Leigh Benton Republican Newburgh
17 Mike Anagnostakis Republican Maybrook
18 Roseanne Sullivan Democrat Pine Bush
19 Michael Paduch Democrat Middletown
20 Jeffrey Berkman minority leader Democrat Middletown
21 Thomas Pahucki Democrat 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, Donna Benson 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.


Short Line Bus provides most local and commuter bus service.

The county is served by Stewart International Airport, located two miles west of Newburgh, New York. The airport serves Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, American Airlines, and Allegiant Air. 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.[15][16]


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.

The two presidential election results give the county a Cook PVI of R+2, 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 has represented the towns of Crawford, Montgomery and Newburgh and 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.[17] Maloney won a rematch against Hayworth in 2014; in 2016 he was again re-elected over Phil Oliva.

At the state level, Republicans have continued to hold onto Senate seats while Democrats have made inroads in recent years on the Assembly side. Two State Senate districts—the 39th, held by Bill Larkin and 42nd, held by John Bonacic—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 Annie Rabbitt, 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. The remainder of the county's Assembly districts are represented by Democrats: James Skoufis in the 99th district, Aileen Gunther in the 100th district, and Frank Skartados in the 104th district. Skoufis is the youngest New York State legislator currently serving.


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.

College sports

The Army Black Knights of the United States Military Academy in West Point field NCAA Division I teams in 24 different sports. The Orange County Community College Colts compete in the National Junior College Athletic Association. 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 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.[18] 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.


Expansion in Kiryas Joel, driven by the rapidly growing Orthodox Jewish population.




Census-designated places


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.

Notable residents

See also


  1. 1 2 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 10, 2015. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  3. "New York: Individual County Chronologies". New York Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. 2008. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
  4. "Center of population of New York as of 2010 census (Google Maps)". Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  5. Headly, Russel, (1908), The History of Orange County New York, Skeel, Adelaide, and Barclay, David, (1900), Major Patrick MacGregorie, Green, Frank Bertangue, (1886), The History of Rockland County.
  6. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  7. "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  8. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 11, 2015. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  9. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  10. "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  11. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  12. "Language Map Data Center". 2013-04-03. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  13. Orange County QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau
  15. "COMMUTER BUS SERVICE". Transit Orange. Orange County. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
  16. "Commuter Bus - Newburgh, Beacon & Stewart". Leprechan Lines. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
  17. Bolcer, Julie (7 November 2013). "Gay Congressional Winner Makes History in New York". Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  18. OCYFL
  19. Rothman, Robin A.; Tomcho, Sandy (9 April 2007). "'Sopranos' hits the Hudson Valley again". Times Herald-Record. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  20. Michael Clayton (2007) - Trivia - IMDb
  21. Lussier, Germain (13 April 2008). "State budget brings films back to N.Y.". Times Herald-Record. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  22. "Washington's Headquarters State Historic Site". New York State Parks Department.
  23. "Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings. Washington's Headquarters (Hasbrouck House)". National Park Service. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  24. Glyndon G. Van Deusen, "The Life and Career of William Henry Seward 1801-1872"
  25. "Biographies of the Secretaries of State: William Henry Seward". U.S. Dept. of State, Office of the Historian. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  26. 1 2 Washingtonville Grads at Oscars
  27. Genovese, Peter (January 2012). "Hidden New Jersey: Greenwood Lake". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  28. "Tiedemann Castle". Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  29. "Joe Nathan". Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  30. "Dee Brown". Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  31. "Rob Bell". Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  32. "Dave Telgheder". Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  33. Scott Pioli Bio
  34. "David H. Petraeus". Central Intelligence Agency. Archived from the original on October 19, 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  35. "Hudson Valley Magazine".
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Coordinates: 41°24′N 74°19′W / 41.40°N 74.31°W / 41.40; -74.31

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