This week in West Orange County history

These are the people and events that shaped our community.

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85 years ago

Joe E. Brown starred in “Earthworm Tractors” at the Winter Garden Theatre, and admission was 10 cents.

The members of the Idle Hour dance club were entertained at the Pounds Camp on Lake Butler with Lucy and Hoyle Pounds acting as hosts.


80 years ago

There were several parties given in honor of bride-elect Lela Henderson and her fiancé, Wilson Griffith. Miss Dottie Lu Hall and Miss Ruth Grafton held a luncheon for Lela, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Cone had a dinner party for the couple, and Mrs. Evans Jones and daughter Thelma held an informal party for the two.

Miss Viola Lincoln with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington, D.C., was here to visit her parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.C. Lincoln, for 10 days.


70 years ago

Mrs. Herbert Schley was hostess at an informal coffee for a group of friends. … Mrs. James Bock entertained at a breakfast bridge at her home in Winter Garden, and the day’s high-score winner was Jean Pitchford. … Mrs. Willis Hall entertained her bridge club in Oakland, and Mrs. Jimmy McKey was high-score winner there.

The Baptist Training Union of the First Baptist Church was given boat rides, a swim and a picnic at Fish Lake in Ocoee.


45 years ago

Marilyn Pearson of Crest Avenue in Winter Garden was seriously injured in an airplane mishap at Maguire Airport near Windermere when her Cessna 172 stalled during takeoff and crashed into trees at the south end of the runway.


40 years ago

A new face at the Winter Garden Post Office is that of Joe Morabito, who recently transferred here from Winter Park.



Aug. 11, 1966

The Star-Lite Drive-in was the hot spot on East Plant Street in Winter Garden for decades. In the Aug. 11, 1966, issue of The Winter Garden Times, the movie theater advertised its films for the week. On the big screen were “Mary Poppins” and “Johnny Reno,” with “Hold On!” and “The Tramplers” scheduled for the following week.

On Fridays, children who attended were given free candy.

The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation is working on the next heritage museum exhibit, “At the Movies: Winter Garden’s Silver Screens,” which will trace the history of the city’s movie houses.



Owners Joe and Ruth Valdes are pictured at the entrance to Modern Stationery in downtown Winter Garden. Once located at 56 W. Plant St., the shop offered everything from formal wedding invitations to toys and games. The Valdes family also operated a printing business — Valbro — that was located on North Main Street in what was once a Coca-Cola distribution warehouse.

Interested in researching the history behind a West Orange County business? Call the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation at (407) 656-3244.



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.