West Orange History

A look at history in West Orange County

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These Old Times

70 years ago

Officers of the Class of 1946 at Lakeview High are George Bekemeyer, president; Gerald Ayers, vice president; Emma Jean Kelley, secretary; and Jeanette Sadler, treasurer.

The first green stamp to be used by housewives for rationed foods became valid Nov. 1. Green stamp N-8 became valid along with the list of four red stamps in War Ration Book Four. Red stamps W-1 through Z-1 and green stamp N-8 will be good until Feb. 28.


45 years ago

Walt Disney World construction workers have started to build the Swiss Isle Tree House that will stand 80 feet tall and will be a major attraction in the Magic Kingdom theme park. Wardco in Ocoee has played an important part in the construction.


25 years ago

The Friends of Windermere have organized a house tour titled “Christmas in Windermere.” The organizers are Karen Ruenheck, Deanne Irwin, Ann Thompson, Donna Pounds, Kitty Gonzalez, Agnes Foote, Lorry Delfosse, Julia Strimple, Sandi Young and Joanne Dorr.

Orange County Public Schools dedicated its newest school in West Orange County. Windy Ridge Elementary’s mascot is the Silver Hawk, and the principal is Jenelle Bovis.


15 years ago

Elected to the Homecoming Court at West Orange High: Nancy Jones, Suehay Caban, Vanessa Basa, Melissa Moorman, Tiffany Wilhite, Jessica Alvarez, Brittany Lee, Kristen Chamberlin, Tara Thompson, Tiffany Castro, Leah Carter, Anthony Willis, Dean Anderson, Ben Bandor, Nick Carter, Adam Sunde, Dillon Strube and Oliver Dutton. Basa and Dutton were crowned.


10 years ago

Windermere is close to competing the renewal of its downtown business district and is planning a reopening celebration for Dec. 10. The additional of roundabouts and the bricking of Main Street are examples of how town leaders tackled difficult traffic congestion problems.


Throwback Thursday


The holidays are coming, and The Winter Garden Times was full of advertisements touting the latest styles for sale in local establishments, including Penny-Saver stores in the Ocoee and West Orange shopping centers, as well as Burgess Men’s Wear in the West Orange Shopping Center and The Leader Department Store in downtown Winter Garden.


From the WGHF



Most of Winter Garden’s theaters were established and run by Collie M. Biggers, a former Sanford motorcycle police officer and early cinema buff. He moved to town in the early 1920s to establish the first Winter Garden Theatre, which stood just east of the present Garden Theatre. The first establishment burned in December 1934, and the current building rose a year later. Biggers is shown here with a canine friend.


WGHF will soon be releasing the book “Flickers, Fires and Dreams: The Story of Winter Garden’s Theaters.” Penned by board member Irv Lipscomb, it provides details and some little-known history about Winter Garden’s movie houses.