Orange County is a rural area, approximately 341 square miles, with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and home to much history. Orange is located in the north-central Piedmont region of Virginia and is conveniently located to Washington, D.C. (85 miles) and Charlottesville (25 miles).
Orange County lies on the upper part of the Piedmont Plateau and wholly within the Piedmont physiographic province. In Virginia, this province lies between the Blue Ridge province on the west and the Central Plain on the east. Elevations range from 200 to about 500 feet, with higher areas scattered throughout the County. The Rapidan, North Anna, and Rivanna Rivers supply surface drainage in the County. Within an easy drive are Richmond and Virginia Beach. Orange County adjoins Spotsylvania, Albemarle, Culpeper, Madison, and Louisa counties. Orange County was ranked 63rd in the 100 fastest growing counties with 5,000 or more housing units in 2006.
Orange County is home to many Civil War battlefields, trails and historic homes. It is home to President James Madison’s Montpelier, the birthplace of President Zachary Taylor, and five Virginia governors (Alexander Spotswood, James Barbour, James Lawson Kemper, Hardin Burnley and Lindsay Almond). It is a short drive to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and James Monroe’s Ash Lawn. Many historical resources in Orange have been included in the “Journey Through Hallowed Ground” preservation effort (Waddell Memorial Presbyterian Church, Willow Grove, Orange County Courthouse, Ballard-Marshall House, Mayhurst, Montpelier, and the Gordonsville Exchange Hotel).
Orange County is also rich in Civil War history. The Exchange Hotel in Gordonsville was converted into a Receiving Hospital and treated over 70,000 men. Maplewood Cemetery is the resting place for approximately 700 Confederate soldiers. A portion of the Wilderness Civil War Battlefield is located in Orange County as well as Ellwood Manor, which was visited by Marquis de Lafayette, and which served as a Confederate Hospital and later as the Headquarters of three Union generals. It is the burial site of the arm of General Stonewall Jackson.
The school division has experienced increased growth over the past several years. With support from the Board of Supervisors, the school system has been able to maintain, improve and expand school facilities and instructional programs. Orange County is committed to providing a quality education and opportunities for all students to ensure they will be successful in their learning and working environments.