This week in West Orange County history

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

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85 years ago

The Winter Garden store of the Bumby Hardware Co., opened in 1917, will be discontinued.


75 years ago

Word comes from China that Elmer Youngblood, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Youngblood, has been promoted to first lieutenant. He is serving with the Air Force and, incidentally, is growing a mustache.


70 years ago

Ocoee-Apopka Road may get rebuilt the entire distance, Winter Garden’s county commissioner, A.D. Mims, revealed. The original plan was to build a 22-foot road from Ocoee to Boy Scout Road with an estimated cost of $101,000. There was not enough right of way, so the commission decided on a 20-foot road instead that would cost only $60,000. With the extra $41,000 the road could be completed all the way to Apopka.


20 years ago

West Orange County celebrated the opening of the first segment of the $237 million Western Expressway (State Road 429). The 10.6-mile toll road from U.S. Highway 441 in Apopka to West Colonial Drive in Ocoee eventually would be extended south to Florida’s Turnpike and to a connection with Interstate 4.

During the West Orange Airport Authority’s Citizens Advisory Board, residents expressed concern about a proposed project that would bring an airport to the community. Most who attended were from the communities of Lake hickory Nut and Lake Avalon.

Friends were present to witness the passing of the gavel to Charles. T. Wells, a longtime Windermere resident and new chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court.

Dene Aldridge retired after 32 years at Windermere Elementary School, where she worked as reading laboratory teacher, reading resource teacher and curriculum resource teacher.



The Winter Garden Times

July 6, 1972

Davis Pharmacy was part of the downtown Winter Garden landscape for decades, providing medicine and health to residents of West Orange County. But it offered much more, including a place for high-schoolers to hang out, with its fountain drinks and milkshakes; sandwiches and candy bars; bus tickets; and newspapers, magazines and comic books.

Bob Davis purchased the drug store in 1934 from the previous owner. Davis sold it to Ken Fritz in 1974, and it closed in 1992.



Passengers appear unscathed after a derailment of a Tavares & Gulf Railroad train in 1916 or 1917. Mishaps like this were a frequent occurrence along the line, which ran south from Tavares in Lake County, past the west side of Lake Apopka and then turned east to its terminus in Ocoee. One of the busiest lines in the nation, the company shipped citrus and vegetables for almost a century.

The riders might have been on an excursion to Gourd Neck Springs, a favorite swimming spot located in the very southwest corner of the lake. While passenger trains no longer course through the region, vestiges of the Tavares & Gulf tracks can be seen along Tremaine Street in Winter Garden, where they end abruptly at the Central Florida Railroad Museum on South Boyd Street.



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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