This week in West Orange County history

The area's past is full of interesting characters and stories.

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80 years ago

Hopes for an emergency seaplane base on Lake Apopka suffered a setback when a report was received from the Navy Department.

A military flag dedication, a ceremony seldom witnessed by persons not connected with military service, was held at Ocoee Trade School. The flag was donated by Gen. Charles P. Summerall, Florida’s only general, now in command of the Citadel, famed military school.


75 years ago

Mrs. Bassie Roper is enjoying a three-week vacation from First National Bank. Her two young sons, Jimmy and Stanley, underwent tonsillectomies in Orlando.


70 years ago

Catalina swimsuits and summer dresses are reduced 30% at Mozelle’s Shop in the Edgewater Hotel building.

The U.S. Army engineers have been petitioned to make a study of water levels and controls in all lakes and streams in the Oklawaha River Valley from Moss Bluff Dam to Lake Apopka and to approve an inexpensive, temporary dam to be constructed in the Apopka-Dora Canal, so as to relieve the present low-water emergency in Lake Apopka.


65 years ago

Salk polio vaccine will be distributed in Florida under the direction of a special committee on a voluntary plan.

At the Garden Theatre: James Cagney and Doris Day in “Love Me or Leave Me”; Barbara Stanwyck in “Cattle Queen of Montana”; and Charlton Heston and Fred McMurry in “Far Horizons.”


50 years ago

The Winter Garden Times has been purchased by George R. Bailey Jr. of Dallas. Bailey will be the publisher. No major changes in editorial philosophy or physical format are envisioned.

Subscription to The Winter Garden Times is $3 in the county, $3.50 out of the county and $2.50 for students.



Winter Garden Times

July 14, 1950

In 1950, General Electric introduced a novelty in the kitchen — a sink that disposes of garbage. For $179.75, customers at Dickson’s, a GE dealer, could buy a 42-inch cabinet of gleaming white porcelain with a sink and Garbage Disposall Unit. One could simply “flush the refuse from preparing meals and scrape the leftovers down the drain — everything from potato peelings to corn husks, and even bones, are ground into fine particles and disappear.”

Dickson’s, which advertised this new product in the July 14, 1950, issue of the Winter Garden Times, was located at the corner of Boyd and Plant streets. The GE sign still hangs on the corner of the building.



Between about 1907 and 1912, at least two major fires burned in the vicinity of Plant and Main streets in Winter Garden. The original wooden shops and offices, along with a packinghouse located on the north side of the Tavares & Gulf railroad tracks, were gone by 1912 — and brick structures rapidly grew to replace the former business buildings. James Lafayette Dillard was responsible for the construction of many of the structures that still stand today.

The photograph shows the newly minted intersection, looking south along Main.

The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation has reprised its exhibit “Up from the Ashes: Winter Garden Before and After the Fire of 1912” in the Art in Public Places gallery located in City Hall’s rotunda, showcasing 24 images that document the city’s earliest architectural history. The exhibit will be on display through Aug. 31.



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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