Orange County, North Carolina is located in the north-central portion of the state. Over 130,000 people call the county home. Orange County has been in existence for more than three centuries.
The county was formed in 1752 from portions of Johnston, Granville and Bladen Counties. It was named after William V of Orange, whose mother Anne was the daughter of the Dutch Republic regent King George II of Great Britain. English Quakers were some of the area’s first settlers in the mid-1700s.
The county seat of Orange County is Hillsborough. The town was founded in 1754. The city was originally named Corbin Town in honor of land agent Francis Corbin. It was later renamed Childsburgh to recognize North Carolina attorney general Thomas Child. Its permanent name of Hillsborough was selected in 1766 to pay tribute to Willis Hill, the British secretary of state for the new colonies who was also the Earl of Hillsborough.
Orange County History
Hillsborough played a pivotal role in the pre-Revolutionary War Regulator Movement (or War of the Regulation, as it was also known). The movement was an uprising in the British colonies from 1765 to 1771 against several colonial officials who many townspeople considered to be corrupt. The majority of Orange County’s citizens at the time participated in the movement.
Farmers and other citizens concerned about unfair tax collection. the income divide between the middle and upper classes and those who were upset over then-Governor William Tyron’s construction of a lavish new governor’s mansions took things into their own hands.
They armed themselves and closed the Hillsborough court. Several of them rang the church bell and dragged the allegedly corrupt officials through city streets. The Regulators were eventually defeated at the Battle of Alamance in May 1771.
Hillsborough housed North Carolina’s state legislature during the American Revolution. British General Charles Cornwallis used the city as a military base in 1781. North Carolina ratified the United States Constitution on November 21, 1789, and became the twelfth state in the union.
Homes for Sale in Orange County
More About Orange County, NC
Construction began for the University of North Carolina in 1793 at Chapel Hill, after it was approved by a charter from the North Carolina General Assembly four years earlier. The university opened in 1795. It is the oldest public university in the United States. The University of North Carolina was also the only university in the nation to award degrees to its graduates in the 1700’s.
The university was one of the few schools that stayed open during the Civil War, as many of the county’s residents went off to war to support the Confederacy. North Carolina Governor David Lowry Swain convinced the Confederate president Jefferson Davis to continue the school’s operation. However, the school later had to close temporarily during the Reconstruction from 1870 to 1875 as its enrollment numbers had suffered greatly following the conflict.
Hillsborough also figured prominently in the Civil War. Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston stayed at the Dickson home in the winter of 1865 just outside of the city limits.
The building is now Hillsborough’s welcome center. A significant part of Tennessee’s Confederate army were headquartered between Hillsborough and Greensboro, North Carolina until the Confederate surrender ended the conflict.
Things to Do in Orange County, NC
Occoneechee Speedway opened near Hillsborough in 1949. It was one of NASCAR’s very first race tracks and remained in operation until 1968.
The Morehead Planetarium also opened in 1949 at the University of North Carolina. At the time, it was one of only a select few planetariums in the entire country. Astronauts trained at the planetarium during the Apollo, Gemini and Mercury space programs.
Living in Orange County
The median value of homes for sale in Orange County, NC is just under $316,000. This is an increase of 1 percent from 2019. The median list price for real estate per square foot in Orange County is $180.
The median list price for homes currently for sale in the county is $405,000 and the median sale price is a little over $326,000.
Education in Orange County
There are two school districts in Orange County: Chapel Hill-Carrboro and Orange County Schools.
Between them, there are more than 30 elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and alternative learning centers combined in the county.
There are also several colleges, universities and technical institutions in Orange County and surrounding areas.
Orange County, North Carolina is a nice place to live and work. The area is always growing, and there are always new things to see and do. It’s a great place to spend.
It’s also a very popular tourist destination. Visitors come from all corners of the globe every year to explore what the county has to offer.
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