Orange is a quintessential New England town in New Haven County, Connecticut. The rolling hills and picturesque fields with grazing cows and cornfields inspired the town seal on Orange’s street signs: an ox-drawn plow, steered by a farmer.
Orange certainly has rural roots and has continued to maintain the tradition of a simpler way of life for its residents and visitors. Three percent of the towns 17 square mile area is regularly used for crops or cattle, per the Center for Land Use Education and Research at the University of Connecticut. Orange also takes great pride in its local farms. Field View Farm has been in continuous operation since 1639, under family ownership for 12 generations and ranks among the oldest farms in the country. Treat Farm encourages passers-by to drop in for a visit to enjoy its seasonal offerings. Buttermilk Lane Farm is a small family farm that sits peacefully among the rolling hills and a tranquil stream on one of the most beautiful properties in Orange. The staff always welcome visitors to enjoy the scenic views and country sunshine while experiencing the sights and sounds of a working farm.
Although this is a town that prides itself on a slower pace of life and a more tranquil setting, you also have the convenience of Post Road which provides ample shopping and restaurants. Another attractive feature of this town is its accessibility! Located just west of New Haven and 70 miles from Manhattan with easy access to Routes 1, 15, 34 and I-95 there are many possibilities for a reasonable commute to several large cities. The closest train station is the Metro-North New Haven line in Milford, about 15 minutes away by car.
The Orange public school system is known to be very highly rated and award winning. Mary L Tracy services pre-school and Kindergarten, Peck Place , Turkey Hill and Racebrook service first through sixth grades and Amity Middle School services grades 7-8. Orange is part of the Amity School district (along with Woodbridge and Bethany) with Amity Regional High School servicing grades 9-12. The average class size is 12 students per classroom and the town spends approx. $17,200 per student, per year with the national average being $12,900.
Strolling through this little New England town, what you might notice is the row of well-kept historic houses that overlook Orange Center Road, especially at its northern end where white colonials with dark shutters are set back along a grassy ridge or well planned residential neighborhoods with tree lined streets. When you dig a little deeper, what really stands out, is the close-knit community that takes pride in living a way of life that is a throwback to an easier time. The Case Memorial Library is a gathering place for locals and is known to feature art by local artists and one-man performances as well as summer reading programs and activities for children. Orange also hosts an annual county fair that features horses, oxen, tractor pulls, animal exhibits, flowers, fruits and baked goods. Every Thursday throughout the summer, the town offers a weekly farmers market that features wonderful vendors that are selling locally grown products.
If what you’re looking for is a place that is just off the beaten path, has a fantastic location, is family friendly, has a great sense of community and highly rated schools, Orange is a must-see. I do believe that this lovely town is one of Connecticut’s hidden gems!!
Minna Reid is The Broker - Owner of Reid Real Estate Group. Reid Real Estate Group is a full-service Connecticut residential real estate brokerage, specializing in helping homeowners with legal and financial challenges including short sales, probate sales and tax lien complications.