West Orange County in history

How many of these names, faces and places do you recognize?

  • West Orange Times & Observer
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75 years ago

Fulmer Cleaners, located on North Main Street, enlarged its plant, adding two more rooms using concrete blocks in the construction.


50 years ago

An open house was held to celebrate the 60th wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Stinnett, of Ocoee, at the home of their son, William E. “Bill” Stinnett.


40 years ago

L.E. “Larry” Cappleman Jr. was elected a director of the First State Bank of Winter Garden at a recent stockholders meeting.

The Windermere Town Council passed a motion directing Barbara Babair to write a letter to Orange County recommending installation of a traffic light at the busy and increasingly dangerous Conroy Road/Apopka-Vineland Road intersection.


30 years ago

West Orange Memorial Hospital CEO Richard Irwin presented detailed plans for the new hospital and health campus to members of the West Orange Chamber of Commerce. Construction was a few months away on the 40-acre orange grove in Ocoee for the new medical facilities, to be named Health Central.

Ocoee became the first city in Orange County to pass an ordinance requiring two people to be on duty in convenience stores, gasoline stations and other late-night businesses between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.

The Movie Scene advertised two coupons — rent one, get one free; and a free lifetime membership good at all locations. The movie-rental company had stores in Winter Garden, Ocoee and Pine Hills.

Moonlight Express was one of the headliners at the Spring Bluegrass Festival at the Withers-Maguire House in Ocoee. Members of the group, which formed in 1987, are Larry Cochran, Pat Moran, and Judie and Jack Lewis.

The Winter Garden Rotary sponsored its annual Arts and Crafts Festival in downtown Winter Garden.



The Winter Garden Times

April 15, 1971

The flat-roofed building on North Main Street once was the hub for all telephone service in Winter Garden. In 1971, Florida Telephone Winter Garden Exchange held an open house to offer residents a glimpse at the larger space and “millions of dollars’ worth of sophisticated telephone equipment.” Visitors were able to follow a call from the time a caller picks up the phone until the party answers and they could see how the Extended Area Service worked.



The Municipal Swimming Pool at Winter Garden’s Lakeshore Park opened in July 1934. Measuring 75 by 100 feet, with a depth that ranged from three to eight feet, it was one of the “finest swimming places in Central Florida,” according to The West Orange News. Among its amenities were 20 dressing rooms with lockers. By August, the pool complex was lit for night swimming. Swimmers were charged an entry fee of 10 cents, and use of the dressing rooms cost a nickel.

According to a 1938 brochure, “the water flowing from deep under the ground is 70 degrees – cool for the summer, warm for winter bathing. A wading pool for children is adjacent.”

In 1975, the facility was renamed Farnsworth Memorial Swimming Pool to honor Everette L. Farnsworth Jr., a Winter Garden city commissioner who served from 1967 until his death that year.




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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