This week in West Orange County history

How many names, faces and places do you remember?

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70 years ago

Fred Bekemeyer, 25, assistant postmaster under Mrs. J.S. Kirton, acting postmaster, was recommended for postmaster at the Winter Garden Post Office.

The Lake Apopka Sportsman’s Association is making plans to crack down quick and hard on violators of the fishing laws of the state by seining in Central Florida’s freshwater lakes, notably in Lake Apopka. After all the expense and labor expended in trying to clean out the bad fish and leave the good ones to be caught in the legal way and in lawful quantities, the association wasn’t going to stand by and watch “bootleg fishermen” at night go out and fill their boats with the precious bass.

Classified: For sale — four-room house with bath, near lake, two lots, $2,700. Malcom Bass, Box 835, Ocoee.

Classified: LADIES! We repair sewing machines, electric irons, toasters, grills, washers; lawn mowers sharpened, saws filed, shot guns cleaned and repaired. Our service is guaranteed. Winter Garden Hardware Co. Phone 208.

One of the most delightful social functions last week was the party given by Miss Rubie Harris in the parlors of the Edgewater Hotel. They were attractively decorated with gladiolas sent to the hostess by her bridge club Pollyanna.



June 16, 1950

A&P Super Markets on West Plant Street in Winter Garden made a revolutionary change to its store in an attempt to draw more customers. Managers put a price sticker on every single grocery-store item so customers could compare prices and keep track of their expenditures as they shopped. An advertisement in the June 16, 1950, Winter Garden Times, promised the best prices of the week.



Most new Windermere residents have no idea that a railroad once ran through the center of their town.

In 1893, brothers Sydney and Joshua Chase purchased a 46-acre parcel of land south of Windermere. They named it Isleworth or “Isle of Worth.”

The brothers continued to acquire grove land throughout the first half of the 20th century. Eventually they cultivated groves in both Orange and Seminole counties and, for a time in the 1920s, ran a packinghouse in Ocoee.

In this aerial view of the Isleworth packinghouse complex, the Florida Midland Railway tracks and Lake Bessie can be seen. The Florida Midland tracks originated in Longwood, headed west to Apopka and then south to Kissimmee. The railroad stop at Isleworth was often called Waco, possibly named for employee who lived at the complex. The Isleworth citrus complex also featured a small facility for the company’s black workers, complete with a chapel and a schoolhouse.

One of the packinghouse workers was a man named Lincoln Perry. After working for the Chase family as a young man in the 1920s, he moved to California and achieved notoriety as the first black movie star through the stage name Stepin Fetchit. (Courtesy of the Chase Collection, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida.)




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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