West Orange History

See what happened this week in West Orange County's past.

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80 years ago

Miss Ruth Bekemeyer, whose marriage to Joe Valdes will be an event of next Friday, was honored guest Thursday when Mrs. Allan Bland and Mrs. C.P. Healon entertained with a miscellaneous shower. The party was held at the Community House at Lake Apopka.


65 years ago

For sale: One 1950 Tudor Champion Studebaker with leather upholstering, radio and overdrive. Low mileage. $825. See Herbert Pounds.


50 years ago

The annual Winter Garden Rotary Club Ladies Night and Awards Dinner was held at the Ramada Inn. Incoming president is Hardie Webb, and outgoing president is George Howard, who was presented his pin by Robert Foster. Among the plaques presented by Howard were those to retiring directors Everett Farnsworth, Jack Veech, Ken Fritz and John Nowell.

Mrs. O.J. “Lillie” Taylor is retiring from the faculty of Lakeview High School after 28 years.


40 years ago

The Rev. James A. Harnish began pulpit duties for the new United Methodist Church congregation currently meeting in the Epicenter on Sand Lake Road. Harnish, his wife, Marsha, and their two daughters moved into the new parsonage on Banyan in Sand Lake Hills.


10 years ago

The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation now features a new agriculture display at the Heritage Museum with a 1950s Case tractor, 1920s Continental Red Seal irrigation pump, a 1930s Case plow and a Briley sprayer.

The Oakland Police Department graduated its first students from the Citizens Police Academy program. Participants were Joshua Cope, Fred Shepherd, Lavonne Jones, Cherie LaFever, Kena Bracey, Jeannette Allen, Allen “Skip” Whitman, William Colvin and Maio Impellizeri. Police Chief Tim Driscoll and Lt. Wes Osselyn led the class.



June 20, 1952

Classified advertisements always have been part of newspapers. In the days before computers and social media, real-estate agents had to rely on print media to let potential homebuyers know what was on the market and to help sellers make the sale.

L.A. Grimes and Alma Johns were regular advertisers in The Winter Garden Times in 1952, when a two-bedroom home, with a garage and utility room, could be yours for $8,000. You also could own a three-bedroom, two-bath house with a double garage and a laundry house in downtown Winter Garden for $15,500.

Residents who were happy in their homes could purchase furniture or a 50-pound ice box by calling 1135 Blue, or they could visit Bradford Nursery, on the southern extension of Ninth Street, for a garden full of flowering plants.



From the WGHF archives
From the WGHF archives

Beulah Baptist Church stands in a neighborhood older than the city of Winter Garden. Founded in 1861, the church served the Congregationalists and the Methodists until it was organized as a Baptist church in 1913 under the leadership of the Rev. E.A. Milton of Lakeland.

As the membership grew, it became apparent that a larger sanctuary was needed. A building fund was begun, and a groundbreaking for the current sanctuary took place in 1944.

Beulah Baptist is one of many West Orange County churches featured in “Praise! From Tents to Temples: West Orange County Houses of Worship,” a Winter Garden Heritage Foundation exhibit currently showing at the Winter Garden Public Library on East Plant Street.



Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.

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