Orleans was first settled in 1693 by Pilgrims from the Plymouth Colony who
were dissatisfied with the poor soil and small tracts of land granted to them.
Originally the southern parish of neighbouring Eastham, Orleans was officially
incorporated in 1797. Orleans was named in honour of Louis Philippe II, Duke of
Orléans, in recognition of France's support for the 13 colonies during the
American Revolution, and because the town did not want an English name, as they
had been captured twice by the British during the war.
Early history, like much of the Cape,