ORANGE (inc. 1928), is a village 15 miles east of Cleveland. Bounded on the north by WOODMERE, on the east by MORELAND HILLS, on the west by WARRENSVILLE HTS., and on the south by SOLON, it occupies 4.5 sq. mi. It was originally part of Orange Twp., formed in 1820, which also included the modern communities of Moreland Hills, Woodmere, PEPPER PIKE, HUNTING VALLEY, and part of CHAGRIN FALLS. Serenus Burnett was the township's first settler, arriving in 1815. The name Orange honored the Connecticut hometown of several early settlers. By 1820 the population of the thriving agricultural community (see AGRICULTURE) was nearly 300. Before 1850, framed homes replaced log houses; steam sawmills and cheese factories developed into major businesses by the turn of the century. The main road, SOM Center Rd., derived its name from Solon, Orange, and Mayfield townships. In the early 20th century, ORIS P. AND MANTIS J. VAN SWERINGEN began buying farmland as part of their plan to develop the entire district from SHAKER HTS. to the CHAGRIN RIVER. As population increased, the desire for separate governmental representation led to the creation of the various communities. All were incorporated as villages between 1924 and 1929, with the exception of Woodmere (1944). In contrast, the Hunting Valley, Moreland Hills, Pepper Pike, Woodmere, and Orange public schools consolidated into the Orange School System. Actually located in Pepper Pike, the Orange Branch of the CUYAHOGA COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY SYSTEM served Orange as well as other neighboring communities. In the 1980s, FIGGIE INTERNATIONAL, INC., and Jacobs Group planned Chagrin Highlands, a corporate park, on 630 acres of land on both sides of I-271. The Orange portion of the development was slow to materialize. In the 2000s, hotels, restaurants, and the University Hospitals Minoff Health Center opened on Orange Place, a freeway frontage road. In 2018, Pinecrest, a modern “lifestyle center” combining upscale retailers and housing, opened at Harvard Road and Orange Place. In recent decades, Orange and neighboring suburbs attracted a sizable Jewish population. In 2008, TEMPLE EMANU EL left its home of fifty-four years in UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS for a new synagogue in Orange. Orange had a population of 3,236 in 2000 and 3,323 in 2010 and operated under the mayor-council form of government.
Updated by Mark Souther
Last updated: 6/19/2019
Fant, Kathleen Griffin. Orange Township . . . Orange Community, A History from 1815-1824 (ca. 1982).