Orange is a town in, and county seat of, Orange County, Virginia. The population was 4,721 at the 2010 census, representing a 14.5% increase since the 2000 census. Orange is 28 miles (45 km) northeast of Charlottesville, 88 miles (142 km) southwest of Washington, D.C., and 4 miles (6 km) east of James Madison's plantation of Montpelier.
This area of the Piedmont was occupied by Siouan-speaking peoples at the time of European encounter. Tribes located in coastal areas generally spoke Algonquian languages.
The present-day Town of Orange was known as the Town of Orange Court House prior to the late 19th century. Following the establishment of Culpeper County from a part of Orange County in 1749, the courthouse was relocated to Orange Court House from elsewhere in the county. The court convened in the house of a man named Timothy Crosthwait until 1752; after Crosthwait deeded the two acres to the county, it constructed a new courthouse on the property. The town at that time consisted of the courthouse and its related public buildings, a few houses and stores, a tavern and little else. The first U.S. Post Office was constructed in the town in 1796.