A walk through the Town of Orange Historic Commercial District illustrates the magnificent diversity of our past. This can be seen by its architecture...reflected by a collection of 19th and early 20th century buildings. The variety of architectural styles and the use of its buildings illustrate the Town's heritage as a courthouse town, a railroad town, and an automobile town.
In 1854 the Orange & Alexandria Railroad rolled into town on tracks laid right through the original public square, forcing a relocation of the courthouse to its present site.
As rail traffic increased new commercial enterprises grew up around the tracks and station that not even the great fire of 1908 was able to disturb.
The advent of the automobile forever altered the railroad's future, changing the pattern of travel and construction in Orange. Within two decades, construction of facilities for the sale and service of automobiles surpassed all other purposes combined.
In 1999 the district National Register of Historic Places, following its 1998 listing on the Virginia Landmarks Register. The Historic Commercial District contains most but not all of the oldest public, religious, and commercial structures in the Town of Orange.
We hope you enjoy your walking tour through the Orange Commercial Historic District.
The full walk will take approximately 1 1/2 hours after which you might enjoy dining at one of our delightful restaurants or browsing through our galleries and shops.