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According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 17.4 square miles (45.1 km2), of which 17.2 square miles (44.5 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.6 km2), or 1.38%, is water. It is bordered on the south by Milford, on the east by West Haven, on the north by New Haven, Woodbridge and Derby and on the west by the Housatonic River and Shelton. The town limits include Wooster Island in the Housatonic River. The Wepawaug, Oyster and Indian Rivers flow through the town.
The Paugusset, an Algonquian people, once lived in the area that is now Orange. In 1639, the Rev. Peter Prudden purchased the land from the Native Americans for six coats, ten blankets, one kettle, twelve hatchets, twelve hoes, two dozen knives and a dozen small mirrors.When originally settled by English colonists, Orange was the northern and eastern district of the now neighboring city of Milford; however, by 1822, the population of the area had grown to the point where residents desired to form their own separate community, thus forming the town of Orange.
The town is named after William III of England, who was Prince of Orange from birth. William is remembered for succeeding James II, deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. James II had been considered a despot in Connecticut; he had famously and unsuccessfully commissioned Edmund Andros to seize Connecticut’s Charter.