This week in West Orange County history

Do you remember these names and faces and businesses of West Orange County's yesteryear?

  • West Orange Times & Observer
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65 years ago

When motorists cross Florida’s new Sunshine Skyway connecting Pinellas and Manatee counties, they will find the toll gates operated by nattily uniformed women. Public reaction to the renovation is favorable at least as far as male travelers are concerned, for it doesn’t seem as unpleasant to shell out $1.75 to an attractive girl who greets you with a smile.


50 years ago

Plans are being made by the Orlando Yacht Club to hold its 12th annual statewide All-Class Sailing Regatta on Lake Apopka in Winter Garden.


45 years ago

The United Appeal campaign got rolling in West Orange with a kickoff breakfast at the Winter Garden Inn. Sonny Sellers, manager of the new Montgomery Ward in the Tri-City Shopping Center, presented the store’s grand-opening ribbon containing 100 $1 bills.


40 years ago

Howard Phillips, president of Dr. Phillips Inc. and widely known Central Florida philanthropist, was killed in San Francisco by a 27-year-old drifter.

The West Orange Junior Service League held its annual luncheon to honor its past active and sustaining members. “Honored members” associated with the league for more than 25 years were Kathryn Smith, Kathryn Petris, Emily Keller, Ann Harrell and Rubie Roper.


35 years ago

It’s a familiar face and a well-known business, but people are just beginning to get used to seeing them matched up. Jerry Carris was a high-school teacher for so many years (at Lakeview and West Orange) that there have been more than a few double takes when he waves from his Hatley Pest Control truck. He is the new “troubleshooter” in charge of lawn and ornamentals quality control, and no one could be better qualified than the longtime Ag teacher.



The Winter Garden Times

Oct. 11, 1979

Did you ever shop at Georgiana’s in downtown Winter Garden? The dress shop originally was owned by Edith Smallbone, who sold it in the 1970s to Georgiana Hendrix. She advertised great Octoberfest savings on her stylish women’s clothing in the Oct. 11, 1979, issue of The Winter Garden Times.



This hand-tinted linen postcard of Trailer City, originally constructed as an “RV park” on the shore of Lake Apopka, dates from the late 1930s. The key on the reverse identifies these structures: A-B-C,   trailer parkway area; 1, office and modern rest rooms; 2, grapefruit and orange grove; 3, laundry; 4, swimming pool; 5, yacht basins; 6, fishing pier; 7, club house; 8, shuffleboard park; 9, tennis court; and 10, auditorium.

The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation preserves a large collection of original postcards showing images of Trailer City and many of the WPA projects built in Winter Garden under the administration of Mayor George Walker. Call (407) 656-3244 to make a research appointment.



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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