This week in West Orange County history

These are the names, places and faces of West Orange County's past.

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70 years ago

John Luff, a Windermere town councilman, became one of the first public officials in Orange County to resign his position to return to the Armed Forces since the outbreak of the Korean War.


45 years ago

J.J. “Bud” Grice of Windermere joined The Winter Garden Times staff as advertising manager.

Jimmy Carter, former Georgia governor and Democratic presidential candidate, visited Winter Garden and was photographed on the steps of City Hall with City Commissioner Ralph Fulford.

Classes were set to begin Sept. 2 for our seven area elementary schools, two junior high schools and the new West Orange High School.


40 years ago

More than 1,200 people from at least 30 states attended the official grand opening of the Florida Auto Auction at its new $3 million facilities in Ocoee.


30 years ago

Winter Garden Elementary School, built in 1916, took its final bow as the wrecking crew began its three-day demolition project. Many residents and former students had hoped the building could be saved, but it was full of asbestos and couldn’t be salvaged.

Habitat for Humanity was officially affiliated in West Orange County. It has been spearheaded by the Rev. Deckerd Guess of First Presbyterian Church of Oakland.


20 year ago

With the hiring of two new officers, the Oakland Police Department had a total of seven full-time positions, including the first two female officers in the town’s history — Nicole Torres and Dawn Beninato.

Winter Garden City Manager Hollis Holden, a retired captain in the U.S. Navy, returned to his submarine — the USS L. Mendel Rivers — a final time to participate in an inactivation ceremony in Norfolk, Va.



Aug. 23, 1946

An article on the front page of The West Orange News on Aug. 23, 1946, brought up a topic that seems commonplace today. It was determined to be important for homes and offices to display their address number “so when strangers come to the city they can find locations they wish without seeking a search warrant in getting correct addresses.” Anyone needing numbers could visit City Clerk E.M. “Doc” Tanner to get theirs free.



The Winter Garden Fire Department was established in July 1913 with Chief A.B. Ames, Assistant Chief M.Y. McMillan, Ben Ewing, G.T. Raden, O. Reams, Leo Borgard, R.E. Waterman and O.A. Dunaway. In 1920, Hoyle Pounds became chief and served for more than 40 years. The Winter Garden Fire Station was built in 1938 at 127 S. Boyd St. Designed by Franklin Cappleman, it was constructed with W.P.A. funding and serves today as the home of the Winter Garden Art Association.

The present fire station is located on Palmetto Street. The photograph, dated Aug. 21, 1997, shows one of the trucks.



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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