This week in West Orange County history

How much do you remember about these names, faces and places in West Orange County's history?

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80 years ago

Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new Lakeview High School gymnasium were held with Harry M. Smith acting as master of ceremonies. The program launched with the playing of the “Star-Spangled Banner” by the Lakeview band, followed by the invocation delivered by the Rev. Albert A. Stulck. The Lakeview Glee Club sang “Let All the Nations Praise the Lord.” Speakers included Bud Owens, mayor of Ocoee; Mr. Garland, Lakeview principal; Mr. Walker, superintendent of public instruction; Mr. Johnson, chairman, Orange County School Board; Mr. Burcham, chairman, Orange County Board of Trustees; and the Honorable J.B. Rodgers, state senator.


70 years ago

Den One, Cub Scouts, met recently with den mothers Mrs. Cecil Dees and Mrs. Durwood O’Neal. Don Wheatley, scout counselor, met with the cubs and instructed them in making airplanes. Cubs present were Art Dees, Butch O’Neal, Jesse Walker, Jimmy Kerr, Ralph Rodgers, Johnny Rodgers and Sonny Howard.


35 years ago

Ann and John Harrell, owners of the Winter Garden Loan Co., were the recipients of the Downtown Business Association’s Worked Like a Dog Award for April.

Gotha heralded its second century with an exciting day filled with fun, food and fellowship. The Shriners parade was fun, and it almost caused a traffic jam on Hampel Avenue. Flo Johnson was given a big thank-you as chairperson of the Centennial Celebration.


30 years ago

West Orange High School’s DCT Club won the state DCT title for the third time. They competed against more than 200 high schools at the Cooperative Education Clubs of Florida’s state contest in Orlando and won 10 top state awards, more than any other school in Florida.



May 23, 1974

The Focal Point camera shop, located in the Tri-City Shopping Center in Winter Garden, advertised in The Winter Garden Times in hopes of selling some equipment and accessories to the parents and grandparents of graduating seniors. The Kodak Pocket Instamatic 60 Special Outfit included a pocket camera, case, a box of film and a box of MagiCubes flash cubes, which allowed the photographer to take four photos per cube. Anyone looking for cassette tapes were in luck, too, as a large selection of TDK and Capitol tapes were only 95 cents.



A group of tourists pose beside their recreational vehicles at Trailer City in the 1930s, soon after the facility opened. It was established under Mayor George Walker with funding from the Works Progress Administration under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. One of many civic projects in Winter Garden that were funded by the Federal government, this social program put many people to work and drew visitors to the city during the Great Depression. Trailer City, located on the south shore of Lake Apopka along Crest Avenue, drew anglers attracted to the bounteous large-mouth bass that filled the lake.

Trailer City still exists today, though the portable vehicles have been replaced by manufactured housing. For more information about the many New Deal projects still in use in Winter Garden, check out the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation’s Facebook page.



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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