In 1749, the unincorporated town of Orange Court House became the county seat. The Town was incorporated in 1872; in 1890, the official name was shortened to Orange.
Historic Downtown Orange showcases a diverse collection of commercial buildings dating from 1830s to 1940s that reflect the development of Orange from its earliest days as a courthouse town and railroad stop, to its era of rebuilding after the devastating fire of 1908, to the transformation of the town during the modern era of the automobile.
Of note are the unique Italian Villa style courthouse constructed in 1859 and St. Thomas' Episcopal Church, the sole remaining example of Thomas Jefferson's ecclesiastical work that was also
Robert E. Lee's place of worship during his encampment in Orange in 1863-64.
Today, restored historic buildings house a variety of unique shops, art galleries, antique shops and restaurants.
The Orange Train Station, built in 1909, saw passenger train service until the '70s and is now home of the Orange County Department of Tourism and Visitors Bureau (122 East Main Street).