Orleansis the only town on Cape Cod to have a French name. Most of the other towns were named after places in England. Formally the southern part of Eastham, it was incorporated in 1797. Like many other Cape towns it manufactured salt and was a major port for the fishing industry. In recent years it has become the business hub of the lower cape. There are still many historic sites and houses which are reminders of its early history. Orleans has a very small geographic area within the historic district.