May 7, 2020: This week in history

Check out what was taking place in West Orange County's past.

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75 years ago

The Red Cross War Fund drive for 1945 in Orange County was a success and a record breaker. Locally, Winter Garden collected $4,868.98, Windermere collected $1,088.07, and Ocoee collected $874.02.


45 years ago

Four West Orange County residents began serving as directors or officers of the Orange County Farm Bureau: Jack Ross, of Oakland; and William S. Arrington III, Lester M. Austin III and George Howard, all of Winter Garden.


40 years ago

Kenneth B. Morris was named managing editor of The Times weekly publication, effective May 1, according to an announcement by publisher George Bailey. He joined The Times in 1975.

The Times moved its newspaper offices to 720 S. Dillard St., just south of Prosser’s Texaco and across from the bowling lanes.


30 years ago

The city of Ocoee honored two of its own — former Mayor Tom Ison and former Commissioner Vard “Junior” Hager — when they were inducted into the Ocoee Famous Folks Hall of Fame for their years of dedication and service to the city.

The Housing Authority held a dedication ceremony for the new Bay Pointe subdivision, a government-subsidized rental housing project for low-income families. The community featured 62 units located at 11th and Bay streets in Winter Garden.

Beth Owens, a Lakeview Middle School sixth-grader, won first place in the Wekiva State Park Earth Day Poster Contest. She competed with hundreds of students from Orange and Seminole counties, and her winning prize was two tickets to Adventure Island in Tampa.

Nine months after Dr. K. Fay DeSha’s retirement as pastor, the congregation at the First Baptist Church of Winter Garden called the Rev. William H. Faulkner Jr. to become the church’s new minister.



Winter Garden Times

May 11, 1951

In the 1950s, it was tradition to buy the high school graduate a set of luggage. Tom Cox Inc. Men’s & Boys’ Wear, in downtown Winter Garden, sold merchandise other than clothing, and in the May 11, 1951 issue of the Winter Garden Times, the owner advertised individual pieces of Samsonite luggage.

The pieces were available in sapphire blue, natural rawhide, saddle tan, Bermuda green, Colorado brown and admiral blue; and they were “slim, trim, in a modern tempo” and had “a tastefully lined interior.”



This setting from the 1950s shows seven members of the Winter Garden Garden Club admiring arrangements of long-stemmed blooms: Rubie Roper, left, an unidentified woman, Isabel Fowler, Ella Mae Roberson, Gen Russ, an unidentified woman and, seated, Grace Hawthorne. Anyone who knows the identity of the two women is asked leave a message for Jim Crescitelli at the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation, (407) 656-3244, or a comment on the WGHF Facebook page.

Today’s Bloom & Grow Garden Society was formed in 1997. A member of the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs, the society fosters through its gardening legacy many community projects, including West Orange Habitat For Humanity, the Wekiva Summer Youth Camp, the Path of Life on the West Orange Trail, scholarships to University of Florida Plant Science students, the Oakland Nature Preserve, Nehrling Gardens, the Reading Reindeer, the West Orange Christian Service Center and the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation.



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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