South Orange is a quaint residential community boasting authentic Tudor, Colonial, and Victorian homes, streets dotted with gaslights, beautiful parks, and a bustling Village center. The history of the town dates back to May 21, 1666, when Connecticut settlers landed on the shores of the Passaic River. Guided by Captain Robert Treat and Lieutenant Samuel Swaine, the group purchased land, now known as Newark, from the Lenni Lenape Indians on July 11, 1666. Those families wishing to farm moved westward into South Orange and surrounding areas. In 1678, the Lenapes sold the settlers a second parcel of land running from the East Branch of the Rahway River to the mountain top. South Orange was part of Newark until 1806, when what is now the Oranges and Maplewood were set off as “Orange Township.” The name Orange came into use in the second half of the 18th century, and was officially adopted by a meeting of the inhabitants in 1780. The name South Orange first appeared in print in a newspaper ad in 1793 in “Wood’s Gazette.” It replaced such old names as Chestnut Hill and the Mountain Plantation.
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