About Orient & East Marion
Since 1000BC, the area was home to the Orient Focus People, followed in 900 BC by the Corchaug Indians who called the area Poquatuc.
The Corchaugs were still present when six English families settled in 1661. You'll still meet some of the original families: King, Terry, Latham, Tuthill and Vail.
Oysterponds became the name of the area because of the abundant shellfish that they began to gather and sell to nearby communities. While farming remained the principle occupation, trading vessels began operating out of the sheltered harbor during the colonial period. Recently, renewed farming and fishing brought prosperity to Oysterponds. By 1840 more than 30 schooners were operating out of the harbor, carrying fish and produce.
Orient and East Marion originally were called Oysterponds Lower Neck and Oysterponds Upper Neck, respectively. In 1836, the two communities went their separate ways: Orient was chosen to reflect the area's easternmost position on the North Fork. East Marion was named for Gen. Francis Marion.
By 1870 the tip of the North Fork had become a well known resort. The Orient Point Inn, since 1796 (until the 1960s) played host to President Grover Cleveland, Walt Whitman, orator Daniel Webster, actress Sarah Bernhardt and James Fenimore Cooper, who wrote "Sea Lions," set in Orient.
The village of Orient is a beautiful collection of original wood homes, still reflecting the important history of this natural harbor town. Homes not just on historic Village Lane or Orchard Street are still in great demand. The natural beauty of the Bay shore is among the few places on the Eastern Shore of the US with original tidal wetlands intact. For birdwatchers, Orient is a unique place to watch a truly spectacular Bird Migration.
The ferries to New London, CT and Orient Beach State Park - make Orient a very convenient place for summer vacations for people from NYC to Boston, while East Marion is a quiet country hamlet with myriad bays and inlets, wildlife preserves and miles of rolling farmlands.