This week in West Orange County history

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

  • West Orange Times & Observer
  • Neighborhood
  • Share


85 years ago

The Winter Garden store of the Bumby Hardware Co., opened in 1917, will be discontinued.


75 years ago

Word comes from China that Elmer Youngblood, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Youngblood, has been promoted to first lieutenant. He is serving with the Air Force and, incidentally, is growing a mustache.


70 years ago

The Ocoee-Apopka road may get rebuilt the entire distance, Winter Garden’s county commissioner, A.D. Mims, revealed. The original plan was to build a 22-foot road from Ocoee to Boy Scout Road with an estimated cost of $101,000. There was not enough right of way, so the commission decided on a 20-foot road instead that would cost only $60,000. With the extra $41,000 the road could be completed all the way to Apopka.


20 years ago

West Orange County celebrated the opening of the first segment of the $237 million Western Expressway (State Road 429). The 10.6-mile toll road from U.S. Highway 441 in Apopka to West Colonial Drive in Ocoee eventually would be extended south to Florida’s Turnpike and to a connection with Interstate 4.

During the West Orange Airport Authority’s Citizens Advisory Board, residents expressed concern about a proposed project that would bring an airport to the community. Most who attended were from the communities of Lake hickory Nut and Lake Avalon.

Friends were present to witness the passing of the gavel to Charles. T. Wells, a longtime Windermere resident and new chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court.

Dene Aldridge retired after 32 years at Windermere Elementary School, where she worked as reading laboratory teacher, reading resource teacher and curriculum resource teacher.



June 27, 1974

The Winter Garden Times

If you were a hip guy in the 1970s, then you definitely wore the Levi’s Blue Denim Bells, because they were what to wear “for your good times.” The HIS Stores for Men advertised its selection of men’s duds in The Winter Garden Times’ June 27, 1974 issue. The shop was located in the south building of the West Orange Shopping Center, on Dillard Street in Winter Garden.



The Thomas Claude and Mary Lucy Hawthorne home stood on Chicago Avenue, just north of Maine Street in Minorville, a community located at the intersection of State Road 50 and Bluford Avenue in Ocoee. A small depot for the Florida Midland Railway Company also was constructed near there. The neighborhood was named for the Minor family, many of whom built homes there and in Crown Point, a few miles to the north. This home was constructed around 1924 to replace the 1919 original that was lost in a fire. The Hawthorne family owned and operated Tomahawk Nurseries, located nearby.

The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation preserves a substantial collection of photographs and objects on Ocoee history. Email [email protected] to add to the collection.



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.

Latest News