Orange — Villages
Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.
The villages proper in the town are but two,—Orange Centre and North Orange,—although there are several small settlements to which names have been given.
Orange Centre, the largest village, is a station on the Fitchburg Railroad, and is also located on both sides of Miller's River, from which it gains the fine water-power which makes it an important manufacturing point. It is charmingly situated upon gentle declivities, and its well-kept and bountifully-shaded, avenues make it a place well calculated to attract the attention and admiration of the lover of the picturesque. It has a population of nearly 2000, of which a large part is made up of employes of the manufactories.
It contains, besides many fine residences, the town-house, built in 1868, at a cost of $25,000; a high-school building, erected in 1877, at an expense of $15,000; Putnam Block (containing stores and a public hall), which cost $20,000; Whipple Block, built in 1848, and remodeled in 1875 at a cost of $6000; three churches, eight large factories, two hotels, a railway depot, a post-office, a graded school (with building costing $6000), a public library, a steam fire-engine and two hand-engine companies, water-works, and a numerous collection of stores of various descriptions.
North Orange is a pretty mountain village, and is the spot where the early settlers of Orange first concentrated. It has two churches,—one of which is supplied with a tower and clock,—one store, a post-office, and a collection of neat-looking dwellings, one of which, at least, may be noted as elegant and costly.
About a mile east is Furnace village, whose inhabitants are employes in Stowell's Furniture-Factory and Holden's Chair-Works, located at that point.
A mile south is Fryville, where Rufus Frost has a shoddy-mill. About a mile west of Orange Centre is West Orange, once a place of some trade; and south, near the Athol line, is a settlement called Eagleville, the location of the Eagle Mill Company's shoddy-factory*. In the north is a settlement called Tullyville, where some time' ago two furniture-factories flourished.
* Shoddy is recycled or remanufactured wool, usually considered to be of a lower quality, see Wikipedia for more info.
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03 Jul 2005