​To access information, please click on the links below under the time period.

The video “Right Here in Orange County! by Frank Walker and Phil Audibert is an overview of the uniqueness of Orange County History.  

local history
for educators

This site was updated on November 19, 2023                   Use the CONTACT US  page for suggestions.                 

Thank You, the Webmaster

© 2021 The Orange County Historical Society, Inc.                    130 Caroline Street, Orange, Virginia 22960-1533

(540) 672-5366

Welcome! The Orange County Historical Society is committed to the teachers of Orange County in their quest to teach a comprehensive history of the United States supported by the richness of local history. History taught in schools is usually focused on US or world history but those histories ignore the places that students see everyday. Local history is found in the names of streets and roads, the buildings and schools, and roadside markers passed daily by students in buses. Knowing and incorporating local history into US and world history gives meaning to broader events and helps students understand and appreciate their own world.

This page is in its infancy, and new material is being added continually. If you have specific questions or seek facts that are not currently displayed, please see the comment block at the bottom of the page, and we will research it for you. Please allow two weeks for research to be completed.

For further information, please check out other tabs on the Orange County Historical Society website including History-To-GoNewsletters, and Orange Oracle

If you have specific questions or seek facts that are not currently displayed, we can research it for you! Contact us by email at, and be sure to include:
Name of Teacher
School and Grade
Date of Request
Date Needed

Question or Comment

​​Early Orange County

     OC and Global Politics, ca 1734.pdf

     1734 formation of OC


​     Historic maps of OC

​     1734 Postcard Map of OC

     Orange County Forms a Government, 1735

     Fords over the Rapidan
Early Roads
Early Land Patents

     Fords over the Rapidan, 1864

 ​    Map of Early Roads  


     The Beginning of Germanna

     County's First Citizens

     Travel in Early Virginia.pdf

     Trivia_ Early OC Language Groups.pdf

     Native American Notes.pdf   

Colonial Times

     James Waddell & Church of Blind Preacher

     Nathaniel Gordon and the Town of Gordonsville

     Leland-Madison Park
Elections in 1777 and How Madison Lost One

     The Taylor-Madison Connection

     James Madison, President
Brief Chronology of the Life of James Madison
James Madison's Political Life

     Paul Jennings

     Colonel James Taylor II

     Orange Courthouses over Time

     Philip Pendleton Barbour

     Witchcraft in Early Orange County

     Video: Washington and His Women


     Trivia_ Was Chicago in OC_.pdf       

Revolutionary War 

     Pre-Revolution Action by OC Men
OC Men Fight in the Revolution
The British in OC during the Revolution

     Marquis de Lafayette
     Orange County's Committees of Safety

Orange County Before the Civil War

     The Fried Chicken Ladies of Gordonsville

     Exchange Hotel

     Gold Mining

     Dolley Payne Todd Madison, First Lady

     The Taylor-Madison Connection

​     Zachary Taylor Short Biography

     Zachary Taylor, President,  March 1849- July 1850

     The Mystery of Zachary Taylor's Birthplace

     The Mystery of Zachary Taylor's Death

​     Zachary Taylor's Military Career
Margaret Mackall Smith Taylor, First Lady

     Drinking and Gambling, 1803

     Orange County in 1852--Was it Really This Bad?

     Road to the White House.pdf


Civil War & Reconstruction in OC

     Nannie Helen Burroughs
     Orange Graded School

     The Fried Chicken Ladies of Gordonsville

     Robert E. Lee in Orange County 

     Lee's Encampment during Winter 1863-64

     ​Robert E. Lee and St. Thomas's Episcopal Church

     Photos of the Wilderness (Mathew Brady)

     Shelter for Civil War Soldiers

     Recreation for Civil War Soldiers

​     Civil War around Woodberry Forest

     Dawn to Dust, A Day in the Life of a Soldier

     Rapidan Line

     Jeb's Narrow Escape

     Freedmen's Bureau in Gordonsville

​​     Mine Run Campaign
Map of Mine Run Campaign

     Mine Run Campaign: A Soldier's View

     Note Written by Civil War Soldier

     Video: Little Petersburg

     George Gilmore

     Freedman's Communities

     The Town of Orange, 1872

     President Hayes Visits Orange, 1878

     The Hospital at Ellwood Manor.pdf


Turn of the 20th Century      

     Main Street, Gordonsville, 1909

     Turn-of-the-Century Orange

      Black Horse Racing in Orange.pdf

     Gordonsville Swept by Flames.pdf

World War I
     World War I Veteran H.C. Lonergan

     The World War I Memorial

Roaring 20s & Depression
     Prohibition and Anti-Saloon League

     Edna Lewis

     Orange County and the Roaring 20s

     Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt Visits Orange

World War II

​     American Silk Mill

     Andrew Maples, Jr.

     Andrew Maples Update

     Staff Sergeant William Breckenridge Grymes

     D-Day Veterans Remembered

     From Luxembourg to Germany

     The Gipson Boys WWII 

     William “Billy” Barton Mason, Jr WWII   

     Hezekiah Clarence Turner

     Tech 5 Edward Hill Richardson, Sr

     Sergeant Tyrus Heber “Ty” Tisdale

     PFC Charles Franklin Grasty

     TSgt Robert Paul Mason Wiltshire

     Master Sergeant William McKendree Andrews

     Sgt Jesse Cleveland Lohr (1)

     Staff Sgt Edward Wallace Hughes

      Tech 5 Edward Parker Harris (1)

      William Randolph Clatterbuck.pdf

Korea & Vietnam

Civil Rights

     End of Segregation: A Black Boy Scout Troop in Orange

     Gussie B. Taylor

OC in the 20th Century
     African American Baseball

     Video: Eva Starks

     Video: Margaret Ware

    Trivia_ History of the Orange County Seal.pdf

OC Schools

     School Days, ca.1900

     Shady Grove School

     Prospect Heights Middle School


     Five Virginia Governors from Orange County

​      George Lewis.pdf


​     Historic maps of OC

​     VA counties (without names)

     VA counties (with names)

     1734 Postcard Map of OC

     Rapidan Line

      Fords over the Rapidan

     Prohibition Map of Virginia

     Map of Early Roads


    OC Economy through Time-an Overview (1).pdf

    Martin Van Buren Connection.pdf

Orange County Books and Miscellaneous Items Available at the Orange County Historical Society