This week in West Orange County history

How many of these names, faces and places do you remember from West Orange County's history?

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95 years ago

Baby Lillie Keene of Beulah has been real sick but is much better now.


70 years ago

Nine-year-old Reginald Tisdale, riding home from the Baptist Sunday School, was thrown against a telephone pole when his bicycle struck the curbing. He was completely “knocked out” for 18 minutes, his mother, Mrs. T.B. Tisdale, disclosed yesterday. He was given first aid treatment and rushed to Orange Memorial Hospital, Orlando; X-rays revealed a brain concussion. He returned to school exhibiting two black eyes and a badly cut lip.

City Clerk E.M. Tanner leased from the city of Winter Garden four acres west of Howard’s Grill (Lakeview and Division) and west of the old city docks road on Lake Apopka for the sum of $1 per year for five years. Mr. Tanner thinks the rich soil underneath the swampy weeds will yield abundant harvest as a farm.

Ad of the week: West Orange Department Store, men’s gabardine suits, $19.99; ladies’ shoes, 75 cents; table oil cloth, 25 cents a yard; and No. 2 and No. 3 wash tubs, $1.45.


50 years ago

Patricia M. Owens became Winter Garden’s first female police officer. Chief Nelson gave Pat her oath of office, and she assumed duties in the downtown area.

Oak Level Baptist Church in Ocoee held a “dinner on the ground” and a sing welcoming its new pastor, Walt Fowler, and his family and bidding farewell to the interim pastor, the Rev. John Wetmore.


30 years ago

The Winter Garden Recreation Advisory Board asked for suggestions on naming the new rec complex on Park Avenue. Those with a suggestion were asked to Rec Director Larry Caskey.



May 12, 1950

The owner of Winter Garden Hardware wanted to draw a crowd to the store in 1950 in hopes of selling the new Hotpoint automatic dishwasher. To do that, he brought in “8 leading Hollywood stars” from the film “The Philadelphia Story” and advertised their visit in the Winter Garden Times.



Six extended family descendants of Oakland pioneer James Gamble Speer — Marian Eskridge Sexton, left; Martha Speer Eskridge; Hillis Eskridge; Jack Ross; Jack’s daughter, Brenda; and Brenda’s daughter — visited the Citrus History room at the Winter Garden Heritage Museum in January 2003. Speer arrived in the Oakland area around 1860 and is credited with the naming of Orlando, Florida, by some historians; a reader of Shakespeare, Speer was particularly fond of Orlando, the protagonist of “As You Like It.”



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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