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W Orange

West Orange is a township in central Essex County, New Jersey.  As of the 2010 census, the township population was 46,207, and has a total area of 12.2 square miles, of which 0.1 square miles of it (0.90%) is water.

The highly residential township of West Orange supports a thriving commercial district for a convenient yet tranquil lifestyle.  West Orange encompasses Llewellyn Park, distinguished as the first private, planned residential community in the nation.   Glenmont, Thomas Edison’s famous estate, is also one of the township treasures that attracts visitors and residents alike.  The Essex County Park System provides such delights as the South Mountain Sports Arena, the Turtle Back Zoo, and the South Mountain Reservation that complement with other developed recreational facilities.  Recent business expansion outside the downtown district includes other retail centers and some industrial development.  Transportation efficiencies include access to Interstate 280 and bus service to New York City.

West Orange is marked by an eclectic mix of neighborhoods and housing types.  The township straddles a sharp transition between the urban core of Greater Newark and a region of wealthy, older New York City suburbs.  Generally, the township has three distinct neighborhoods--

- Downtown -- The oldest and most densely populated part of the township is Downtown West Orange, which lies in the low valley along the township's eastern border with the city of Orange.  Main Street, in this section, is home to the Edison National Historic Site, as well as the municipal building, police headquarters, and a branch post office.  The West Orange Public Library is located on Mount Pleasant Avenue, just west of Main Street.  Downtown has the most urban character of the township's neighborhoods, and is laid out in the pattern of a traditional town, and is formed around the western termini of two major east-west arteries of the Newark street grid: Central Avenue and Park Avenue.

- The First Mountain -- West of Downtown, the neighborhoods of the First Watchung Mountain become increasingly suburban as one ascends the steep hill along Northfield, Mount Pleasant, and Eagle Rock Avenues.  The housing stock in the neighborhoods of Hutton Park and Gregory is a mixture of Victorian and Jazz Age estates, Tudor-style houses, garden apartments, and post-World War II suburban houses.  Llewellyn Park, one of the country's first planned communities, is also located on the First Mountain.  These parts of township overlook downtown West Orange and many of the streets, often called terraces, provide sweeping views of the skylines of Newark and New York City.

- Pleasant Valley & The Second Mountain -- Beyond the high ridge of Prospect Avenue ("up the hill"), the township transitions to a predominantly post-war suburban neighborhood, interspersed with pockets of older homes, golf courses, and shopping centers, sloping back down toward Pleasant Valley Way.  Pleasantdale includes a business district and large Orthodox Jewish community.

The westernmost section of West Orange lies along the eastern face of the Second Watchung Mountain, and includes a large part of South Mountain Reservation. The post-war housing stock in this neighborhood resembles Pleasant Valley, bordering the townships of Millburn, Maplewood and Livingston.

The West Orange Public Schools serves students in Kindergarten through 12th grade, including a total of eleven school facilities.  Schools in the district are seven elementary schools (all K-5, except as noted) — Gregory, Hazel Avenue, Mount Pleasant, Pleasantdale (PreK-5), Redwood, St. Cloud, and Washington — three middle schools — Edison (grade 6), Liberty (grades 7-8) and Roosevelt (grades 7-8) — and one high school, West Orange High School for grades 9-12.[  In the 1990s, the West Orange school district was ranked among the top 1% of schools in the nation by The Washington Post.

Points of Interest include--
- The Jersey Rockhoppers Hockey Team -- Part of the Eastern Professional Hockey League, they have played home games at the Richard J. Codey Arena since Fall 2008.  The arena also used to be the practice facility for The New Jersey Devils, located in the 2,000-plus-acre South Mountain Reservation.
- Thomas Edison National Historical Park (U.S. National Park) -- This is the home of Thomas Alva Edison’s renowned laboratory, where the inventor worked on more than half of his patented inventions.  Our modern lives began at the turn of the century in West Orange, New Jersey.  Visitors to the Edison National Historic Site have access to the family’s mansion and grounds and laboratory.
- Llewellyn Park -- The first planned community in America, is located within West Orange. Designed by Llewellyn Haskell and A. J. Davis in 1857.  Llewellyn Park is considered the best example of "The Romantic Landscape" movement of that period.  Thomas Edison was one of the many residents.
- Turtle Back Zoo -- Host to bears, wolves and penguins, located in the 2,000-plus-acre South Mountain Reservation, which is a great place to picnic or hike.  A miniature train travels around the reservoir iin the reservation.
 - Eagle Rock Reservation -- Prospect Ave & Eagle Rock Ave, features scenic lookouts with unparalleled views of the New York City skyline, there is also a memorial to the victims of 9/11 there.
- West Orange Farmers Market -- Located at  66 Main Street, West Orange (Behind Town Hall) on summer and fall Fridays, 12pm-6pm.

Golf courses include--
- Montclair Golf Club -- 25 Prospect Ave, West Orange
- Essex County Country Club -- 1100 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange
- Rock Spring Club -- 90 Rock Spring Road, West Orange
- Crestmont Country Club -- 750 Eagle Rock Ave, West Orange

Some restaurants include--
- Highlawn Pavilion (American-New) - 1 Crest Drive, Eagle Rock Reservation, West Orange
- The Manor Restaurant (American) - 111 Prospect Avenue, West Orange
- Primavera Restaurant (Italian) - 350 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange
- Sweet Basil's Cafe (American-New) - 641 Eagle Rock Avenue, West Orange
- Pals Cabin Restaurant (American, Burgers, Steakhouse) - 265 Prospect Avenue, West Orange
- Fortissimo Osteria Pizzeria (Pizza, Italian) - 484 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange
- Pie~Zon Pizza Cafe (Italian, Pizza) - 410 Saint Cloud Street, West Orange
- Pepes Barbeque Charcoal (Barbecue, Pizza) - 101 Harrison Ave, West Orange
- Gaffers Pub (American) - 440 Main St, West Orange
- Cecil's Restaurant & Bar (Bar Food) - 364 Valley Road, West Orange
- Due Amici Ristorante (Italian) - 450 Main Street, West Orange
- Reggiano's Ristorante (Italian) - 500 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange
- Jimmy Buff's (Hot Dogs) - 60 Washington St, West Orange
- Number One of West Orange (Chinese) - 46 Main St, West Orange
- West Orange Pancake House and Diner (Diner, American, Greek) - 270 Main St, West Orange

The Oranges are a group of four municipalities in Essex County, all of which have the word Orange in their name.  All of these communities were named for the ruler of England, William III of England, also known as William of Orange.  The four municipalities are the City of Orange Township, City of East Orange, Township of South Orange Village and Township of West Orange.

Orange was initially a part of the city of Newark, but it was originally known as "Newark Mountains".  On June 7, 1780, the townspeople of Newark Mountains officially voted to adopt the name Orange.   At the time, there was a significant number of people in favor of secession from Newark.  However, this would not occur until 1806, when the territory now encompassing all of the Oranges was finally detached.

On April 13, 1807, the first government was elected. On January 31, 1860, Orange was incorporated as a town, and on April 3, 1872, it was officially incorporated as a city.  Almost immediately, Orange began fragmenting into smaller communities, primarily because of local disputes about the costs of establishing paid police, fire, and street departments.  South Orange was organized on April 1, 1861,  Fairmount (an independent municipality for less than one year that was later to become part of West Orange) on March 11, 1862 and East Orange on March 4, 1863.  West Orange (including what had been the briefly-independent municipality of Fairmount) was formed as a township on April 10, 1863, and was reformed as a town on February 28, 1900.

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