Orleans, New York

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Orleans is a town in Jefferson County, New York, USA. The population was 2,465 at the 2000 census.[1] The town is located in the northern part of the county and is north of Watertown. Orleans is named after the commune of Orléans in France.



The Oneida tribe granted land, a hundred square mile tract, in the town to Peter Penet in 1788. The town was first settled around 1806.

The important community of La Fargeville was founded around 1816 by the construction of a mill on the Chaumont River.

The town was formed from part of the town of Brownville in the year 1821 at the same time as some other new towns.

Fordham University was founded as St. Johns College in La Fargeville in 1838 by a purchase of the lands and home of John La Farge. The college moved to New York City after a few years.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 77.8 square miles (201.5 km²), of which, 71.1 square miles (184.2 km²) of it is land and 6.7 square miles (17.3 km²) of it (8.57%) is water.

Part of the town is located at the St. Lawrence River and includes part of Wellesley Island, containing Dewolf Point State Park. The north town line is the international border of Canada (Ontario).

Interstate 81, a major divided highway, passes through the town to the Canadian border. New York State Route 12 follows the south bank of the St Lawrence River and intersects New York State Route 180, a north-south highway, at Fishers Landing. New York State Route 411 is an east-west highway in the south part of Orleans.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 2,465 people, 928 households, and 703 families residing in the town. The population density was 34.7 people per square mile (13.4/km²). There were 2,084 housing units at an average density of 29.3/sq mi (11.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.20% White, 0.77% African American, 0.77% Native American, 0.20% Asian, 0.24% Pacific Islander, 0.16% from other races, and 0.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.57% of the population.

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