I love coming across little facts and figures, especially when it has to do with a place I'm very familiar with. The following is all about Orange County New York, the county which I grew up in:
The oldest carbon dated human settlement in North America (12,500 years old) is found here. More Mastodon skeletons have been unearthed here than any other place on earth.
The "Onion Capitol of the World" is the black dirt region of Pine Island, NY. (My father worked for years in Pine Island, at Ye Jolly Onion Inn.)
Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese was invented in Chester, NY (1872). (And you thought it was Phildelphia, didn't you??)
Velveeta cheese spread (1923) and Liederkranz cheese (1882) were invented in Monroe, NY. (My step-brother had a resturant on Lake Street in Monroe for years and I still have family living there.)
The first butter factory in America was in Campbell Hall, NY (1859).
The Brotherhood Winery is the oldest (1839) continuously operating winery in the United States and you can find it in Washingtonville, NY. (The majority of the years my father worked for the United States Post Office took place at the teeny post office right in the center of Washingtonville.)
The Tuxedo dinner jacket originated in Tuxedo Park, an enclosed community developed by Pierre Lorillard, an Old Gold tobacco magnate.
The daughter of Bruce Price, the designer of Tuxedo Park NY (1880), and also a resident, was Emily Post.
The Order of the Purple Heart was established by George Washington in Newburgh, NY (1782) which is now home to the Purple Heart Museum.
The first Registered National Historic Landmark (1850) is Washington's Headquarters in Newburgh, NY. (Been there, took pictures!)
The largest number (220+) of discount designer outlets in the United States is at Woodbury Commons in Central Valley, NY and they get 12 million visitors per year!
The world’s first, and still used, trotting track is in Goshen, NY. The Goshen Historic Track was established in 1838.
Nearly all trotters and pacers in the United States can trace their pedigree to the stallion named Hambletonian of Chester, NY (1849).
The largest living history museum in New York State is Museum Village in Monroe, NY. (Every student in Orange County has probably been here at least once on a school field trip!)
Bear Mountain State Park has more visitors annually than does Yellowstone National Park.
The main runway at Stewart International Airport (formerly Stewart Air Force base) is over two miles long (11, 818 feet) and is an alternate landing site for the Space Shuttle. It's located in New Windsor, NY.
The United States Military Academy, established in 1778, can be found in West Point, NY. (My brother got married here fifteen years ago at The Thayer Hotel. Situated right on the banks of the Hudson River, it was a spectacular affair!)
The largest Church Organ in the world is at the West Point United States Military Academy.
Stephen Crane wrote his most popular novel The Red Badge of Courage in Port Jervis, NY.
The Intersection of I-87 and I-84 in Newburgh, NY is known as the "Gateway of the Northeast".
The largest sculpture park in the United States is the Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, NY, featuring works from artists around the world.
The oldest (1919) continuously operating automobile racing dirt track in the United States is the Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, NY.
'American Chopper' on the Discovery Channel, is filmed at ' Orange County Choppers' in Rock Tavern, NY. (A stone's throw from where my family lives. I've even been to their shop!)
The Hudson River, the first explored and most beautiful river in the United States, passing through this area is called 'The Rhine of the Americas'. (Many beautiful mansions dot the banks of the Hudson River; take a look at picture I took at FDR's estate in Hyde Park, NY)
In 1683, the County of Orange, named for William of Orange (King William III, 1650-1702), was formed. In 1799, the residents of the southern part of Orange County petitioned the state and broke off to become Rockland County.
Orange County today is almost a half million acres in size and is dotted with dairy and produce farms, orchards, vineyards, horse ranches and bucolic villages set amongst vast areas of woodlands, rolling hills and glacier carved valleys. There are three cities within the county's borders: Newburgh, on the Hudson River; Port Jervis, on the Delaware River; and Middletown, halfway between the other two.
The County seat of Orange County, NY, is the Village of Goshen. (Where my Dad used to live and where many family members currently reside.)
Of the 10 Counties named Orange in the United States, Orange County NY is the oldest (1683).
It is 206 years older than Orange County California (1889).
169 years older than Orange County Texas (1852).
162 years older than Orange County Florida (1824).
133 years older than Orange County Indiana (1816).
98 years older than Orange County Vermont (1781)
69 years older than Orange County North Carolina (1752) and
51 years older than Orange County Virginia (1734).