West Orange is a township in central Essex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 46,207, reflecting an increase of 1,264 (+2.8%) from the 44,943 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 5,840 (+14.9%) from the 39,103 counted in the 1990 Census.
The township is set off by two large parks: the South Mountain Reservation along its southwestern borders with Maplewood and Millburn, and the Eagle Rock Reservation along its northeastern borders with Montclair and Verona. The township straddles the transition between the low-lying Newark Bay basin and the high terrain of the Watchung Mountains.
West Orange was initially a part of the city of Newark, and remained so until November 27, 1806, when the territory now encompassing all of The Oranges was detached to form Orange Township. On April 13, 1807, the first government was elected. On January 31, 1860, Orange was incorporated as a town, and on April 3, 1872, it was officially incorporated as a city. Almost immediately, Orange began fragmenting into smaller communities, primarily because of local disputes about the costs of establishing paid police, fire, and street departments. South Orange was organized on April 1, 1861, Fairmount (an independent municipality for less than one year that was later to become part of West Orange) on March 11, 1862, and East Orange on March 4, 1863. West Orange (including what had been the briefly independent municipality of Fairmount) was formed as a township on April 10, 1863, and was reformed as a town on February 28, 1900.
Llewellyn Park, the first planned community in America, is located within West Orange, and was designed by entrepreneur Llewellyn Haskell and architect Alexander Jackson Davis in 1857. Llewellyn Park is considered among the best examples of the "Romantic Landscape" movement of that period. Thomas Edison was one of the many residents.