This week in West Orange County history

These are the names, places and events that make West Orange County what it is today.

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70 years ago

Girl Scout Troop 3 visited Midget City. Those making the trip were Frances Ficquette, Linda Reams, Barbara Gail Stephens, Angilee Davis, Sue Britt, Sue Chicone, Rosalie Jarrett, Sandra Russ, Donna Gray, Kay Petris and Ann Barley.

The class in vocational agriculture at Lakeview High School, under the direction of Robert Hargraves, is in charge of the community exhibit for the Winter Garden area in the Central Florida Exposition in Orlando. Students in charge include Bob Freeman, citrus exhibit; Derwood Outlaw, vegetables; Sidney Johnston, fruits other than citrus; Harold Woodley, manufactured articles; Lowell Teal, bulbs and ornamental plants; Charles Beck, cut flowers; Donald Butts, dairy products; Sam Carpenter, poultry and rabbits; Gene Crabtree, citrus nursery stock; and Raymond Bruce, the best decorated booth.


50 years ago

The Red Devil Postal Express culminated its activities at Lakeview High School with two mail deliveries. The Valentine Box placed in the cafeteria contained many greetings and letters and a few packages. Postmen were Paul Teal, Gary Johnson, Derek Blakeslee, Craig Hartpence, Stan Lummus, Jimmy Taylor, Lynn Crooker and Valeria Norman.

The West Orange Branch Library held a Pioneer Night with Mr. L.F. Roper and Dewey Vick Matthews, both of whom were born in West Orange County. After a brief introduction by Judge Ted Van Deventer, president of the Friends of the West Orange Library, Roper shared recollections of his boyhood and early life in Beulah, with cane syrup, hogs, turpentine and trips to town by pony. Matthews told of her childhood in the more settled and progressive community of Oakland, with its railroad and fine hotels, and of her father’s frequent gatherings to share his Lake Apopka catches at a neighborhood fish fry.




Feb. 25, 1971

The Winter Garden Times followed closely the progression of construction at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. A front-page announcement showed side-by-side photos of Cinderella Castle in its initial stages, in 1970, and a year later, when the finishing touches were put on the iconic structure.



The Orgarlan Women’s Club Inc. was begun in 1975 when six charter members gathered to create an organization devoted to “reaching out into the community to help those in need and by spreading goodwill.” The name Orgarlan is composed of syllables from both Orlando and Winter Garden, as the club’s outreach extends throughout Orange County. Pre-Covid, the group held monthly meetings at the West Orlando Christian Center at the Church of God in Christ. Currently, the club holds meetings virtually, continuing its “mission of service to God through service to Mankind.”

Members include: back, Margaret Jefferson, left, Janice Hogan, Martha Stevenson, Frances King and Joyce Brown; front, Ferndale Jenkins, Dorothy Brown Matthews and Annie Bell Brown.



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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