County Seat: Chelsea
Year Organized: 1781
Square Miles: 689
5 Court Street
For William of Orange, later William III of England.
Jacob Bayley, a Revolutionary War general, helped settle the region, notably by founding Newbury in 1763 and by
building the Bayley-Hazen Military Road in 1776–79. The county was formed in 1781 and named for William of Orange
(William III of England). Randolph developed with the coming of the railroad in 1848. Tunbridge is the site of the
century-old annual Tunbridge World’s Fair.
Chelsea, chief town. This county is bounded N. by Washington and Caledonia counties, E. by Connecticut river, S. by Windsor county, and W. by Addison and Washington counties. Area, 650 square miles. Population, 1820, 24,169; 1830, 27,285. Population to a square mile, 42. Incorporated, 1781. The eastern range of the Green mountains extends along the northwestern part of the county. The principal rivers, besides the Connecticut, are the Ompomponoosuc, Wait's, branches of the White, and Stevens' branch of the Onion. The lands in Orange county are generally good for grazing, and supply many cattle and all the varieties of the dairy, of which a large amount is annually sent to market. In 1837 there were 99,346 sheep within its limits. This county contains some excellent tracts of land on the banks of the Connecticut. Iron and lead ores, slate and granite, are abundant.
From Hayward's New England Gazetteer of 1839
According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 692 square miles (1,792 km2), of which, 689
square miles (1,783 km2) of it is land and 3 square miles (8 km2) of it (0.46%) is water.
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