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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Mar. 30, 2022 4 months ago

This week in West Orange County history: March 31, 2022

These are the people and events in the past that shaped our corner of the world.
by: Amy Quesinberry Community Editor


85 years ago

E.M. Tanner, Winter Garden city clerk, started moving into the new City Hall, another asset made possible by PWA funds. The old City Hall, which had been in use since about 1922, was turned over to the fire department for its use for the next 12 months.


80 years ago

Orchid of the Week was given to Mrs. H.E. Fowler Sr., who was knitting her 34th sweater for the Red Cross.

Miss Dewey Vick was re-elected mayor of Oakland. Mr. Harold Henschen, on the Town Council since 1917, was re-elected, and Carson Mink prepared to start a new term.

Mr. and Mrs. C.W. Irrgang Sr. entertained members of the younger married set. A buffet supper was served at midnight. Mr. and Mrs. Irrgang were planning to return to Chicago next week.


70 years ago

The Windermere Players presented “The Zinnia Circle,” a three-act play by Pamela Horrell, at the clubhouse. Playing lead roles were Hardy Sullivan, Dr. Paul Ducharme, Evelyn Keers, Betty Grady, Mickey Korrohan, Valerie Scott, Joe Burch, John Naboris, Col. E.L. Brackney and Sandy Huppel.


40 years ago

Lakeview Junior High cheerleaders attended the World-International Championship finals in Chicago. Making the trip were Lisa Reagan, Mary Ballant, Karen Julian, Rena Heckman, Kris DeKeyser, Jennifer Maynes, Robin Barber, Terri Hahn, Monique Clowes, Susan Janis and Coach Lois Moores.

Construction continued on four major pavilions in Epcot Center Mexico, World of Motion, the Universe of Energy and Spaceship Earth — all part of Epcot Center, Walt Disney World’s vast new showplace for today’s nations and tomorrow’s achievements. Four thousand construction workers were pushing hard to complete the $800 million addition by its Oct. 1 opening.

Dillard Street Elementary students Jodi Fulmer, French horn; Stacey Bryan, clarinet; and Lynn Trombly, clarinet, were chosen for All-County Honors Band.


30 years ago

One of Winter Garden’s most prominent citrus industry leaders, the late L.F. “Mr. Frank”  Roper, was honored at the 68th annual Government Day Luncheon and Florida Citrus Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Roper was described as “a most interesting and dedicated pioneer who had a compulsion for quality citrus and who helped Florida to become a world power in citrus.”

The Orlando Fire Department recognized three young men — West Orange High students Clayton Studstill and Matt Hodges and rowing coach Keith Carsten — for their role in saving the lives of two fishermen at Turkey Lake.



MARCH 18, 1982

Sam’s Union 76 gas-tire-battery station advertised its giant tent sale in the March 18, 1982, issue of The Times, calling it the “greatest sale on Earth.” Customers could get deals on Union batteries ($37.76), Union 76 motor oil ($15.76), steel radial tires ($44.95), and 10 gallons of gas were given away every hour.

The station was owned by Winter Garden residents Sam and Merlynn Wright and was located at the northeast corner of West Colonial Drive and Avalon Road in Winter Garden.



The home at 612 S. Boyd St. in Winter Garden was constructed around 1922. The Griffith family lived here from 1928-1947: Joe and Tennie Griffith raised five children here, Noel, Marjorie (seen on her bicycle in this 1942 setting), Wilson (former city mayor), Robert and Donald.

The house originally stood in the center of the block. Joe Griffith owned one of the first radios in the area, and, on Sundays after church services, friends and neighbors would gather on the Griffith front porch (not enclosed at the time) for churned ice cream and the radio news. Joe’s crystal radio had no speakers, although an antenna was affixed to the roof. The setup featured earphones, and the people would take turns listening. After the broadcast they would each share the part of the news they had heard.

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Amy Quesinberry is the community editor of the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. She was born and raised in Winter Garden, grew up reading the community newspaper and has been employed there as a writer, photographer and editor since 1990....

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