This week in history: Dec. 16, 2021

These are the people and events that shaped the West Orange County we know today.

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85 years ago

A turkey escaped from Cappleman’s Cash and Carry store and headed for the front door of the Edgewater hotel, where the closed plate-glass doors offered no resistance. Except for a few tail feathers lost in the struggle at the hotel entrance, the turkey was unhurt.

The Winter Garden Welfare League, which met at the home of the president, Mrs. W.L. Story, elected officers for the coming year: Mrs. C.W. Irrgang Jr., president; Mrs. Curtis Britt, vice president; Mrs. T. Mark Britt, secretary; and Mrs. M.A. Foster, treasurer. New members were Mrs. C.M. Biggers, Mrs. J.E. Moore, Mrs. Henry Britt Jr., Mrs. Joel Bell, Mrs. Billy Tilden, Mrs. J.C. Sayer and Mrs. John Harrell.


80 years ago

From The Social Whirl by Agnes: Seven enthusiastic girls met at the FPS Lounge to organize a Red Cross Motor Corp. All had first aid and were about to start their 10 hours of mechanics. Billy Davis was chair; other m embers were Benny Lou Pease, Flaudie Still, Julia Mae Brantley, Kathryn Sims, Betty Joiner and Mary Nye.

According to Postmaster W.H. Reams, postal delivery service was to begin soon.


70 years ago

E.M. Henderson, Winter Garden postmaster, announced the new postal rates to be in effect Jan. 1. One-cent postal cards were to be replaced by two-cent cards. Other first-class mail was to remain the same.


50 years ago

H.P. Patton and Leo Patton unloaded large trees for the Kiwanis Christmas Tree sale at Dillard Street and Highway 50. The trees were driven from Canada.

Sally Osburn, 4, was describing a Christmas picture she made at nursery school to her parents, Kitty and Karl: “This is the baby Jesus, and this is Joseph, and Mary has gone shopping.”

Jimmy Pitchford read in the newspaper about a family in Kingsford, Michigan, that had four brothers stricken with muscular dystrophy. The brothers had a special Christmas dream of seeing Walt Disney World. Pitchford sent $1,000 toward the expenses for the family to make the trip to Orlando and then tried to help raise an additional $1,000 toward the total needed.


20 years ago

The Oakland Police Department made what town officials called the biggest drug bust in town history. Officer Chris Rapp conducted a traffic stop on West Colonial Drive, and inside the vehicle the officer found more than 160 pounds of cannabis with a street value of $160,000.



DEC. 16, 1971

Al Ewing Ford had the perfect Christmas present for “the lady in your life”! His car lot had Ford Pintos, advertised as “carefree,” including a two-door sedan and a three-door runabout with hatchback.

Samuel Albany “Al” Ewing opened his Ford dealership franchise in 1967 on West Highway 50 (Colonial Drive), just east of Carter Road and moved it across the highway to a custom tiki-style set of buildings in 1974.

Rumor has it when the Ford Pinto model was introduced, Ewing used a crane to hoist one onto a raft in the Holiday Inn swimming pool in Ocoee.



“Greetings from the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation to all our partners, readers, supporters, members and friends. As we prepare to finish another year collecting, documenting and exhibiting your history, we’d like to wish you all the happiest and healthiest holiday season.”



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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