is a prosperous suburban district of the New York Metropolitan Area located in South Orange township in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the United States 2000 Census, the township population was 16,964. Seton Hall University is located in South Orange.
"The time and circumstances under which the name South Orange originated will probably never be known," wrote historian William H Shaw in 1884, "and we are obliged to fall back on a tradition, that Mr Nathan Squier first used the name in an advertisement offering wood for sale" in 1795.
Of the 566 municipalities in New Jersey, South Orange Village is one of only four with a village form of government; the others are Loch Arbour, Ridgefield Park and Ridgewood.
South Orange Village dates back to May 4, 1869, when it was formed within South Orange Township (now Maplewood). On March 4, 1904, the Village of South Orange was created by an act of the New Jersey Legislature and separated from South Orange Township. In 1981, the name was changed to "South Orange Village Township" to take advantage of federal revenue sharing policies. The change was intended to allow South Orange to qualify for a pool of federal aid allocated to municipalities that allowed townships to receive as much as double the revenue-sharing aid per capita received by the four other types of New Jersey municipalities — borough, city, town or village.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 2.9 square miles (7.4 km
). 2.8 square miles (7.4 km
) of it is land and aside from the East branch of Rahway River, none of it is covered by water.
The East branch of the Rahway River flows through the entire length of the township. Most of the year it is a trickle but can be heavy at times. In the past it would occasionally overflow its banks and flood low-lying parts of town. United States Army Corps of Engineers flood control projects remediated that in the mid 1970s.
The western part of the town sits on the eastern slope of South Mountain (elevation <660 feet (201 m)), leveling into a small valley near the central business district. At the top of the slope, the western edge of the town runs along the eastern border of South Mountain Reservation. The Montrose neighborhood with its large Victorian houses is in the northeast quadrant. Seton Hall University is located in the southeast quadrant near the border of Newark.