Orleans was first settled in 1693 by Pilgrims from the Plymouth Colony who were not happy with what the soil conditions that they found in Plymouth. The town was incorporated in 1797 and named for the Duke of Orleans in remembrance of Frances’ support for the colonies during the American Revolution. Fishing, whaling and salt works were early industries with tourism taking hold in the mid-19th century. In late 19th century the transatlantic cable was brought to Orleans and helped facilitate communication between Europe and America.
During President Kennedy’s administration in the early 1960s the National Seashore was created that and spans 43,607 acres on the outer cape. It includes nearly 40 miles of Atlantic-facing seashore in the towns of Orleans, Chatham, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown. Additionally the National Seashore features ponds and woods. It is a national treasure offering recreation and enjoyment for all.
Orleans offers saltwater beaches including Nauset, Skaket, and South Beach as well as Fresh water beaches of Pilgrim Lake, Crystal Lake, and Bakers Pond.
Villages of Orleans include East Orleans, South Orleans, and Rock Harbor.
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