This week in West Orange County history

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

  • West Orange Times & Observer
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Morgan C. Britt, who constructed the mansion located on Plant Street east of State Road 429, made his initial fortune in vegetable farming. His truck farms were located in the vicinity of his home. Workers are shown tending to lettuce seed beds in this 1925 photograph. The frames containing fragile plants would be covered with cloth as protection against strong sun. 

The Winter Garden Foundation preserves thousands of images documenting West Orange County agriculture. For many years, the region was the world’s busiest produce and citrus shipping center.

The mission of the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation is to preserve the heritage and architecture of Winter Garden while creating new cultural experiences. The Foundation also preserves the material culture of West Orange County, using it to educate the area’s youth on the community’s rich history.

85 years ago

Winter Garden Theatre, the first theater in Central Florida built especially for sound, opened.

70 years ago
Many notable improvements around the grounds of the First Baptist church have been announced by the beautification committee. These improvements include the installation of a beautiful neon sign of the “Cross of Christ,” which flashes on and off.

50 years ago
Cam, age 4, and Matt, age 3, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Roper, celebrated their birthdays jointly when their mother, Marty, entertained for them with a picnic lunch and party at the City Park on the shores of Lake Apopka. Ruffles the Clown was the delight of the little guests when he arrived with his merry-go-round. Little friends helping in celebration were Sandy and Mark Holland, Kim and Kathy Hall, Glenn Joiner, Robin Barber, Larry and Mark Walker, Alison Roper, Cindy and Scott Kiphuth, Julie Jackson, George Emerson, Katrinka VanDeventer, Cindy Roper, and Karen and Mike Aubry.

Mr. and Mrs. R.C. “Dick” Phillips, North Main Street, have returned to Winter Garden from Adelphi, Maryland, to make their home. They are the parents of two little boys, Eddie and Bobby. Bobby arrived after his parents moved here, which makes him a native Floridian like his mother, the former Kay Petris.

45 years ago
The Winter Garden City Commission dedicated the newly remodeled Garden Avenue swimming pool and City Auditorium to the memory of Everett L. Farnsworth Jr. and E.M. “Doc” Tanner.

40 years ago
Charles McMillan, director of the West Orange Chamber of Commerce, requested left-turn signals be installed on State Road 50 at the intersections of Ninth Street, Dillard Street and State Road 535.

July 13, 1951

Winter Garden residents didn’t do their grocery shopping until they checked out the sales of the week in the Winter Garden Times. In the July 13, 1951, edition of the paper, Cappleman Bros. Grocery — the modern, home-owned independent establishment — announced some real deals in its “big value food festival.” Center-cut pork chops were 50 cents per pound, a 1-pound bag of Chase & Sanborn coffee was 69 cents, potatoes were 39 cents for 10 pounds, a 4-pound container of pure lard was 79 cents, and a large box of Ivory flakes was 25 cents.

Shoppers also could walk away with a real deal — if they bought a broom, they received a 5-pound bag of sugar.

Cappleman Bros. was located on Plant Street in downtown Winter Garden.



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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