West Orange County in history

Read about the names and places in West Orange County's history.

  • West Orange Times & Observer
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75 years ago

New officers of the Winter Garden Rotary Club are Mark Britt, president; Judson Moore, secretary; and T.T. Cappleman, treasurer. Other board of directors members are Charlie Irrgang, Jim Cloughley, Bob Barr, Julian Sadler and the Rev. Albert A. Stulck.


65 years ago

Jean Pitchford entertained her bridge club at her home on Dillard Street. Attending were Joyce Austin, Bettie Jo Ellis, Barbara Daniels, Betty Burch (who captured the high score), Annette Arnold, Eva Walker, Lee Burch, Frannie Manning, Bobbie Taylor, Claire Burch and Virginia Dillard.


35 years ago

June Lynch has taken up her duties as principal of Windermere Elementary School, replacing Virginia McIntyre.


30 years ago

The old gym at Ocoee Middle School was built as a WPA project in 1937 for the Ocoee school, which then included grades one through 12. It came tumbling down, the victim of age and a wrecking crew. The gym, one of the oldest in the county, was replaced last year by a new auditorium named for longtime principal Robert W. Williams.

Two meetings were held at Palm Lake Elementary to brief parents on what is to be done to prepare for year-round school. Palm Lake is one of three elementary schools in Orange County slated to be in the pilot program beginning in 1990.      


10 years ago

The city of Winter Garden was completing its new recreation center, a place where all of the city’s rec activities could be held on one campus. The Jessie Brock Community Center is on North Dillard Street, in the old Dillard Street Elementary School building.

The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation made plans for its fourth annual MusicFest 2009, a free three-day outdoor music celebration featuring more than 30 musical artists.



The Winter Garden Times

Sept. 21, 1967

Badcock’s Furniture and Appliances once was located in downtown Winter Garden, at the southeast corner of Highland Avenue and Plant Street. In a 1967 issue of The West Orange Times, the furniture store advertised a special five-piece dinette for the low price of $39.88. For $3 down, you could own this table and four box-seat chairs with tapered leg styling and a black or bronze frame. And if you traded in your old dinette set, the store gave you a $10 trade-in allowance.



The new West Orange Healthcare District Art and History Center at Oakland, under construction on the town square, will share the town’s 134-year history with residents and users of the popular West Orange Trail. Scheduled to open in early 2020, the building incorporates the four remaining columns of an original 12-pillared pergola built by the Mather-Smith family in 1913 to beautify downtown Oakland.

The structure, along with two circular fountains, which are currently filled in and planted, was the focal point of Grace Park, named for Grace Mather-Smith. The remains of two cement posts also have been located, the only evidence of a fence that enclosed the park in order to keep large animals from wandering and destroying the flowers and trees.



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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