This week in West Orange County history

Do you recognize these names, faces and places from West Orange County's past?

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70 years ago

Editorial on phone rates going up: But, oh, boy, I wouldn’t be without a phone for anything in the world! It saves hours of our time and relieves many an anxious fear and worry! And this direct service to Orlando, isn’t it wonderful?


65 years ago

Mrs. Henry Britt Jr., chairman of the Youth Center organization, went before the City Commission to get a final answer on the purchase of a lot for a Youth Center adjacent to the tennis courts. The commission voted to sell a lot to the organization for $1,000.


50 years ago

On the second floor of the old Black Building in Winter Garden, a weird concoction is on the drawing board. The plans will go to Mill Fabrication in Ocoee and become a seven-story steel tree, assembled by Ward Theisen. From there it will be moved to Walt Disney’s theme park and become the home of Swiss Family Robinson.


45 years ago

Winter Garden Elementary students celebrated Arbor Day by planting seedlings. John Rosich and Jody Cooper held posters while Nancy Heidt, Mark Walker and Chris Knighton watered the plants.


40 years ago

Barbara Bush, wife of Republican presidential candidate George Bush, was the guest speaker at the Orlando Jaycees luncheon.


20 years ago

Four sisters, all in their 90s and as lovely and gracious as they were sharp-minded and witty, were honored in Ocoee. Willie Fields, named Ocoee Citizen of the Year, was 99; Estelle Johnson was 94; Lillian “Bato” Reese was 92; and Mozelle Pitzer was 90.

The walls went up for the Ocoee Middle School replacement facility, which was opening as a State Demonstration School.




The West Orange Times

Jan. 25, 1990

If you lived in West Orange County in the 1980s and ’90s, you, no doubt, are familiar with the Winter Garden Rotary Club’s annual Pancake Supper. For years, it was held in the West Orange High School cafeteria — better known to students at the Commons.

It was one of the annual events in West Orange where you were guaranteed to see dozens of people you knew. And you always received a fluffy stack of pancakes.

The money raised was given to local charities selected by Rotary members.




This photograph of a South Lake Apopka Citrus Growers Association picking crew was received from Florence Fain, who worked for the company from 1924 until her retirement in 1987. The association’s packinghouse (still standing, though repurposed) on Tildenville School Road was served by two railroad lines. The reverse of the photo is inscribed “Me and Cooper and part of the crew.” It is one of thousands of photographs in the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation’s collection depicting the men and women who worked in the citrus industry. If any readers can further identify the men in the photograph, contact the WGHF at (407) 656-3244.



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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