EXIT 41 I-95 to Marsh Road, Orange CT
OK kids. Get ready for a Road Test. First the fast facts: You are passing Orange Connecticut. Orange Connecticut is just as you would expect, a typically sleepy New England town. White clapboard churches, red brick schools, and surface to air missiles.
Yup you heard right. During the Cold War, Orange served as a location for the permanent deployment of Nike surface to air missiles for the defense of Greater New Haven and New York City against aerial attacks. I bet you always wondered if there was just such places around important cities -- and now you know. In fact, there is another missile site on the other side of New York City between Newark and Philadelphia defending that greater metro area.
Anyhow, Orange was purchased from the local Algonquin tribe in 1639 for six coats, ten blankets, one kettle, twelve hatchets, twelve hoes, two dozen knives and a dozen small mirrors. The Paugusset, an Algonquian people, once lived in the area that is now Orange.
The town is named after William III of England, who was Prince of Orange from birth.
A protestant, William is remembered for succeeding Catholic King James II. King James had been considered a tyrant in Connecticut; he had famously and unsuccessfully commissioned Edmund Andros to seize Connecticut's Constitution.
Orange is the home of the North American headquarters of Pez candies and was the home of Saab-Scania until 1992 when the company relocated to Norcross Georgia.
Pez Candies was invented in Europe as a cure for smoking. Pez does not cure smoking, but regardless the candies took off. Unlike Saab, the headquarters is still here. That cannot be said for Saab. It is no longer in business.
Orange was the home of the first computer camp held at the local Amity Jr. High School in 1977.
So you see, from Algonquins to English Kings to Nike Missiles, nothing much happens in these sleepy New England hamlets.
Now the Road Test: How many missiles were in the price to buy Orange from the Algonquin tribes? How many? If you got it right, the driver buys everyone dinner.... Keep your eyes on the road driver!