This week in West Orange County history

These are the faces and places in the West Orange area's past.

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75 years ago

L.A. Grimes, real estate and insurance agent, announced his new location at 34 E. Plant St. Ray Kennedy was associated with the firm.

Citizens were able to get a peek at the new 1936 Ford V-8 at the local Ford dealer — $510 and up.

Griffin Chevrolet Co., Winter Garden, was advertising the new Chevrolet for 1936 at $495.


65 years ago

Mrs. James McKey entertained the Wednesday afternoon Bridge Club with three tables playing.


50 years ago

The first shipment of ’71 cars since the GM strike settlement has rolled into John Lamb Chevrolet on Highway 50 in Winter Garden.

Two of the original buildings at the old Windermere school site are in the process of being torn down as part of a modernization and beautification program.


45 years ago

Michael Hurley of Windermere and James McKey of Winter Garden were among the members of the Arthur and Hurley band appearing through Christmas at Walt Disney World’s Tomorrowland Terrace.

West Orange High School held its first Sports Banquet. Among the award recipients were Tom Lamb for outstanding defensive lineman and Byrd Ison for outstanding offensive lineman. Bill Cook, owner of Winter Garden Laundromat, was honored for his contribution of washing all the football uniforms after every game.


30 years ago

The West Orange Wildcats took possession of the trophy of the local Pop Warner Dog and Cat Bowl, taking the win over the Ocoee Bulldogs.

Downtown Winter Garden was the scene of a huge explosion — but it wasn’t cause for worry because it was merely a scene from the weekly television show “Superboy,” which was filming for a ratings sweep episode.




Dec. 15, 1950

In the 1950s, it was common for medicinal advertisements to run in the Winter Garden Times each week. They promoted the cures for ailments such as vitamin deficiency, prickly heat, diaper rash, asthma and athlete’s foot.

An ad in the Dec. 15, 1950, issue touted the benefits of Hadacol and suggested it would make a wonderful Christmas gift. Hadacol was patented as a vitamin supplement, but it contained 12% alcohol, listed on the bottle as a “preservative.”



Oakland’s newer residents may be interested to know that the downtown district once rivaled Orlando in importance and commerce. The town was home to the Orange Belt Railway offices and shops, a hotel and boarding houses, a large drugstore, an opera house, and many shops and businesses — all arranged around the two blocks situated west of Oakland’s Historic Town Hall (constructed as the Bank of Oakland in 1912). Victorian homes, many still standing, were built along Oakland Avenue, and a wooden Presbyterian church stood on Tubb Street.

The photograph shows wooden stores and offices that were located on the south side of what became West Petris Avenue; these burned and were replaced with brick structures beginning in 1912 — none of which survive today.

The Healthy West Orange Arts and Heritage Center at the Town of Oakland, in collaboration with the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation, will exhibit many more photographs and artifacts related to Oakland’s 125-year history when it opens to the public.



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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