William Burnette “W.B.” Burch is pictured in this photograph taken in France during World War I. Burch arrived in Winter Garden in December 1909 as a young boy and started publishing a city newspaper in 1919. He sold the West Orange Herald in 1922 to his editor, E.C. Harrington, but kept the production equipment and operated a printing business for a number of years until he learned that “there was more money in oranges.”
W. B. was a true historian and loved documenting tales of early Winter Garden. In 1940, he recounted the December day when he disembarked from the train at the Winter Garden ACL. He wrote: “Plant Street was a bed of sand filled with wagon wheel ruts; facing it and the railroad, as today, were stores with wooden frames and front porches. The front porches acted as sidewalks, and each porch had benches where the men could sit and whittle.”
The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation, which seeks to preserve our heritage and architecture while creating new cultural experiences, is celebrating its third decade with the debut of its new History Research and Education Center.