This week in history

Check out these names, faces and places from West Orange County's past.

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85 years ago

Several months ago we front-paged an editorial on the inadvisability of spending money on a canning plant here. We reasoned that the people here were just not the canning type. Evidently, we were wrong. The canning plant that opened three weeks ago has been busy.


75 years ago

Contributors to the West Orange Memorial Hospital fund met to elect a permanent board of governors.


70 years ago

Purchasing the right-of-way for highways is an expensive piece of business, County Commissioner Maynard Evans told the Winter Garden Lions Club. Fifty buildings have been torn down or moved from the four-mile stretch of right-of-way from Minorville to Tildenville for the Cross-State Highway.


50 years ago

Cindy Littler, Pam Hannon, Scottie Smith, Barbara Belflower and Lynn Freeman were the color bearers at the Mother-Daughter Tea sponsored by Girl Scout Troop 729.

Mary Mashburn was the Winter Garden Inn’s new dining room hostess. She had been in the restaurant business for 18 years.

Jessie Brock retired as principal of Winter Garden Elementary School. She served from 1928 to 1931 and then from 1935 to the present.


45 years ago

“Windermere Now and Then,” a play written by the Sage of Windermere, Winston K. Pendleton, was presented by students of Windermere Elementary in the school’s auditorium.


40 years ago

Dr. Gregory Winters of Windermere accepted a Walt Disney World Community Service Award on behalf of the Butler Chain Conservation Association.

Internationally recognized jazz musician Zoot Sims appeared in the Walt Disney World Village Lounge with the Bubba Kolb Trio.


30 years ago

The town of Windermere voted to issue vehicle passes to residents for display at the town’s boat-launch sites to control parking at these locations.



Winter Garden Times

May 16, 1952

In the 1950s, if you wanted a new or used piece of furniture, W.T. Zeigler, in downtown Winter Garden, was the place to go. An advertisement in the May 16, 1952, issue of the Winter Garden Times announced a deal for anyone who purchased a Thor washer with the “famous Hydro-Swirl action: a free weekender case.

The travel piece, made of “rich, simulated alligator” and valued at $39.50, was filled with beauty aids and a “priceless makeup guide” titled “The Way to Loveliness.”

The furniture store was on South Main Street.



The 1956 Central Florida Fair in Orlando featured this eye-catching display constructed by Winter Garden’s citrus and vegetable growers.  The decade was the city’s “Golden Age,” a time when agricultural bounty fueled West Orange County’s economy. Packinghouses and the juice plant employed hundreds of workers who toiled year-round packing and shipping citrus fruits, concentrate and fresh vegetables all over the world.

The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation preserves a large collection of agriculture-related items in its archive. Interested in finding out more, or sharing your photos and stories? Email [email protected].



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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