This week in West Orange County history

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

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85 years ago

Winter Garden’s city dock on a recent day attracted a large crowd of fishermen and holiday sightseers — some of the parties coming from faraway points. Every boat was in use, and sportsmen hooked probably 100 pounds of bass. The crowds showed no little interest in the new trailer site laid out by Mayor George Walker.

Winter Garden city authorities began marking traffic lanes and parking spaces on principle streets in the business district. Police were instructed to strictly enforce the ordinances. People frowned upon the zigzag parking characterized by police and neighboring cities as “Winter Garden parking.”


80 years ago

A total of 150 acres of iceberg lettuce was planted by Roper Brothers. Frank Roper was the promoter of this experiment. The acreage was located near Lake Apopka. Growers in years past had relied on the Big Boston variety of lettuce. Roper Brothers had been watching the iceberg lettuce in the Carolinas and wanted to bring it to our area.


70 years ago

Mr. and Mrs. Bob Kerr gave a pretty party for their children Jimmy and Susan.


35 years ago

Popular Ocoee residents Tommy and Jannett Ritten purchased the Gabriel’s Sub Shop in the new Village Marketplace shopping center at the corner of Highway 50 and Maguire Road.


20 years ago

The West Orange Times sang the praises of retiring Ocoee city manager Ellis Shapiro. The editorial said the city was transformed under his guidance and many impressive projects were carried out on his watch. These included the Clarke Road north-south corridor, West Oaks Mall the Maguire corridor, Forest Lake Golf Course and the Health Central medical complex.




Dec. 27, 1946

The city of Winter Garden wished its residents a happy 1947 with happy hearts, happy faces and a happy day — while advertising the new dock on Lake Apopka in The West Orange News. Paul Taylor, dock manager, handled sales of new and used boats and the rentals for motor and row boats.




Dated Jan. 5, 1912, this color postcard depicting a celery field in Terra Ceia, Florida, was mailed to Luther Willis Tilden, a prominent West Orange County citrus and vegetable grower. He and his family lived in what was later named Meadow Marsh, the stately home still standing south of the intersection of Tildenville School Road and the West Orange Trail. A message on the reverse from Jacksonville’s E.O. Painter Fertilizer Company thanks Mr. Tilden for his order of Jan. 2, 1912.



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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