The History of West Orange, NJ

The car accident lawyers in West Orange, NJ at Garden State Justice Group invite you to discover the neighborhood's rich history.

West Orange

The township of West Orange is situated in the center of Essex County in New Jersey. It takes up 7,872 acres, including 76.8 acres of water, including the Rahway River, the Orange Reservoir, and Cable Lake. The neighbors that share a border with the township include the City of Orange, Verona, Roseland, and Maplewood. The Essex Highway travels across the community along with Pleasant Valley Way and Northfield Avenue. 

Early History

The township was initially part of the Native American Hackensack territory. The Hackensack was part of the Unami tribe of the Lenni Lenape Native Americans. A totem of the Turtle represented their tribe. Like many of the Natives, they were hunter-gatherers and lived off of natural resources. Northfield Ave and Old Indian Road were originally Hackensack trails and footpaths. They commonly traveled to the ocean and the mountains to hunt for food. The Passaic River and Watchung Mountains were major landmarks before industrial development began in the region.

The township's location on the peak of the Watchung Mountains was a vantage point allowing for views over the valleys. This view was crucial for the Lenni Lenape warriors and later for the troops of General George Washington during the American Revolution. The South Mountain Reservation has large rocks shaped like turtles and is the reason it is known as Turtle Back Rock Picnic Area and how Turtle Back Zoo is named. These rocks were sacred to the Native Americans.

Places of Interest

The Thomas Edison National Historical Park, located on the corner of Main Street and Lakeside Avenue, was once home to the historical inventor. The property contains his former residence along with a laboratory. There are as many as 300,000 items on display at the museum, including:

  • Thomas Edison's library
  • Thomas Edison's historic vehicles
  • machines
  • a music room

Parks and Recreation

The 400-acre Eagle Rock Reservation is located in the northern section of the township and is the head of the Lenni Lenape Trail. The park has many hiking trails and recreational areas for visitors to enjoy the views of the Manhattan skyline.

Rock Springs is located at the bottom of Turtle Back Rocks in the southern region of the community. Water from these springs have been said to hold curing powers. This area makes up the northern tip of the South Mountain Reservation. 


In 2010 the township had 46,207 residents that formed 16,790 households and 11,753 families. The diverse community included the following breakdown of the races: 

  • 57.15% white
  • 16.20% Hispanic or Latino
  • 26.58% African American
  • 0.38% Native American
  • 0.02% Pacific Islander
  • 7.96% Asian
  • 3.09% two or more races
  • 4.82% other races

The median income was $88,917 per household in 2010. This was an increase from $69,254 in 2000. The neighborhood is predominantly a white-collar town with common professions including:

  • 11.99% management occupations
  • 11.82% office and administrative support roles
  • 8.18% healthcare professions

Keep reading: Discovering Roseland, NJ

Our Local Office

If you have recently been hurt in an automobile collision, the experienced West Orange, NJ, car accident lawyers at Garden State Justice Group can fight to recover the compensation you rightfully deserve. Schedule your free no-obligation consultation today.

Garden State Justice Group
2035 Hamburg Turnpike STE K
Wayne, NJ 07470
(862) 310-6392

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Shane Sullivan, Esq.
Date Published: September 29, 2021
Shane Sullivan, Esq. is a New Jersey Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer that represents those who were injured or the family's of those killed by the negligence of others in personal injury lawsuits throughout New Jersey.
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This website is by DiLeonardo Law LLC d/b/a Garden State Justice Group. We have offices throughout the state of New Jersey with attorneys licensed to practice law in New Jersey. Use of this site does not form an attorney-client relationship and information herein shall not be construed as legal advice. This website is to be considered as ATTORNEY ADVERTISING. Past settlement and verdict values are no guarantee of similar future outcomes. This firm may retain local counsel for prosecuting cases. Results may vary from case to case depending on the specific circumstances of the case. This website has not been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
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