This week in history

See what was happening this week in West Orange County history.

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85 years ago

Ad of the Week from Ficquette Brothers: Good beef roast, 12 cents a pound; spare ribs, 2 pounds for 35 cents; hamburger, 2 pounds for 25 cents; fresh back bone, 20 cents per pound; best native steak, 15 cents per pound; and rib and brisket stew, 10 cents a pound.


50 years ago

The Charles R. Drew Training Center in Winter Garden held its first graduation exercises in the school’s library. The commencement speaker was William S. Maxey, retired principal of the former Drew High School.


45 years ago

L. Frank Roper, founder and longtime president of Diamond R. Fertilizer Company, was honored at a special ceremony in Diamond R’s rose garden.

New officers of the Ocoee Elementary School PTO were Linda Harper, secretary; Connie Maxey, treasurer; Judy Henry, president; Byron Baird, principal, second vice president; and Carolyn Alexander, first vice president.


30 years ago

More than 1,000 local seniors graduated from Dr. Phillips and West Orange high schools. WOHS held ceremonies for about 470 seniors in Valencia Community College’s West Campus Field House. Addressing their classmates were the four valedictorians, Dana Tanner, Jeff Strickland, Shelley Wells and Matthew Vail. DPHS, the largest high school in Orange County, graduated about 650 students at the Orlando Arena. Valedictorians were Kathi Brooks, Lara Davis and Catherine Comia.

Universal Studios Florida prepared for its opening day June 7 with convincing sets, exciting shows and a fully functional movie studio.


20 years ago

Nearly 1,700 students at West Orange and Dr. Phillips high schools graduated — WOHS at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex and DPHS at the TD Waterhouse Centre (former the Orlando Arena).



May 26, 1950

Most old print newspapers have a classified advertisement section toward the back, with ads submitted by residents looking to sell or buy items. Realtors advertised lots and homes for sale, and residents let readers know they had homes, apartments or rooms for rent. In the May 26, 1950, issue of Winter Garden Times, one could find some great deals: a house with five rooms, two garages and two upstairs apartments for $7,500; a lovely four-room, one-bath place for $4,500 on Lake Butler; or a three-bedroom home, furnished, for $50 per month.



The popular and award-winning Winter Garden Farmer’s Market has its origins in an earlier version organized by Main Street Winter Garden in the early 1990s. Grants provided by the Main Street program helped small cities revitalize their deteriorating downtown districts, ultimately drawing attention — and shoppers — to architecturally significant historic districts. Main Street Winter Garden transformed into the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation in 1994, which led to the preservation and resurrection of the Edgewater Hotel and the Garden Theatre.

The farmer’s market in the photograph was held near buildings that no longer exist, once located in the vicinity of today’s splash pad.



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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