Who were the people and what were the events making headlines in West Orange County's past?
85 years ago
The 50th anniversary of the Oakland Presbyterian Church was observed with an all-day service.
Mr. and Mrs. W.C. Stephens of Sorrento moved into the J.Z. Eckles cottage near Ocoee. Mr. Stephens was the new Atlantic Coast Line railroad depot agent.
50 years ago
The Winter Garden Planning & Zoning Board members deferred action on a request to annex 670 acres south of the Sunshine State Parkway and along road 535-S. This would have increased the size of Winter Garden by about 50% and created a need for an additional fire station, six additional full-time firefighters, more volunteer firefighters and higher fire insurance premiums for residents.
Also at the P&Z meeting, members approved a dimensional variance for the Lawson Apartments at 164 S. Main St. Twenty-one living units were proposed on the one-acre property.
40 years ago
Twenty-seven Lakeview Jr. High School ninth-graders visited The Times and Times Printing offices as part of a seven-hour course in the basics of American economics. The students were learning about the free enterprise system, competition, supply and demand, and the wide variety of businesses in their own community.
West Orange High School announced its Homecoming Court. Vying for king and queen were Djuan Rivers, Tim Cox, Rodney Narramore, David Skowron, David Fleming, Greg Hovey, Darlene Morss, Courtney Brown, Alison Kerr, Kelley Rodgers, Sarah Christensen and Patti Johnson. Cox and Johnson were crowned Warrior royalty during the Homecoming game.
Members of Brownie Troop 561 and Girl Scout Troop 290 took a grand tour of the Ocoee Pizza Hut. The leaders and 49 girls learned about the pizza business, toured the kitchen and made their own pizzas — all while earning merit badges.
30 years ago
Winter Garden Police Sgt. Buddy Nash and his sidekick, McGruff the Crime Dog, visited preschoolers at First Baptist Church Winter Garden.
20 years ago
Dr. Phillips High School celebrated Homecoming with a 21-14 win against West Orange High in the annual Ol’ Orange Crate Game. Bonita Bagley and Chad Marshall were crowned queen and king.
Earl Brigham moved into a 1930s-style barber shop in the Edgewater Hotel in downtown Winter Garden. Hotel co-owner Max Blanchard remodeled the room to resemble the original barber shop that once occupied the space. The mirrors that hung on the new barber shop walls and the sinks and many of the old fixtures came out of Brigham’s former shop, which he purchased from siblings Ed and Dock Reeves.
Oct. 27, 1977
Eckerd Drugs once was a shopping destination for everything from camera film and holiday decorations to toiletries, birthday cards and snacks. The chain establishment advertised its October deals in The Winter Garden Times.
Wouldn’t you love to see these 1977 prices again? There were so many bargains for under $1: hairspray for 69 cents, toilet paper for 88 cents and chocolate-covered cherries for 89 cents. It’s almost Halloween, and back in 1977, parents could purchase a jack-o’-lantern flashlight for 99 cents, sugary candy corn for 39 cents and a plastic pumpkin for collecting candy for 68 cents.
FROM THE WINTER GARDEN HERITAGE FOUNDATION ARCHIVES
Halloween 1958 is forever preserved in Winter Garden history thanks to photographs taken at a Halloween party held at the home of Tom and Mozelle Cox. Both operated a clothing store on Plant Street for many years. This photograph portrays Ed and Mary Alice Hanlon, cleverly and tastefully decorated as a pair of salt and pepper shakers; the spice rack would never be the same.
The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation preserves thousands of photographs depicting life in West orange County. Call (407) 656-3244 for a research appointment.
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