This week in West Orange County History

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

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80 years ago

The best fishing of the summer season was enjoyed by Lake Apopka fishermen. Both dock and boat fishermen were lucky; bass up to 8 ¾ pounds were among the reported catches from the dock.


70 years ago

The Winter Garden Welfare League held a swimming party and supper at the Lake Butler home of Mrs. John Harrell in lieu of the regular business meeting. Mrs. L.A. Phillips and Mrs. Herbert Davis co-hosted the party with Mrs. Harrell.


55 years ago

Marian Alice Hawk, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Hawk of Winter Garden, graduated from Florida Southern College with ah music degree and was presented the Gaylor Music Medal. She planned to teach music in the public schools.


45 years ago

Dr. Marc A. Hall, DVM, opened a small-animals practice on Bluford Avenue in Ocoee. Dr. Hall, his wife, Denise, and their 2-year-old daughter, Erin, planned to live in Windermere.

Editorial: The Class of 1976 at West Orange High School has helped write a new chapter of history for our area. It is the first class to graduate from our new high school. The class began its senior year on the old Lakeview High campus and moved at mid-year into the new facilities.


40 years ago

West Orange High junior varsity cheerleaders were named: Barbara Spears, Laura Auffant, Suzie Massa, Susan McCroy, Ann Dempsey, Dayna Maddox, Peggy Watters, Julie Ezzard, Salerina Bennett and Wendy Cooper.


20 years ago

The city of Ocoee broke ground for the city’s new Family Aquatic Center with Mayor Scott Vandergrift and commissioners Rusty Johnson, Danny Howell and Scott Anderson among those handling the dirt-turning shovels.



June 11, 1981

Helmy Furniture in Winter Garden advertised its huge Father’s Day sale in the June 11, 1981, issue of The Times. What dad doesn’t want a plush swivel rocker recliner with built-in heaters and vibrators? And they were available in all variety of colors — and even a few patterns — too. The store was at 1010 S. Dillard St., now occupied by the Edgewood Ranch Thrift Shop.



Juneteenth is an observance held every June 19 to remember when Union soldiers enforced the Emancipation Proclamation and freed all remaining slaves in Texas on that day in 1865 — two-and-one-half years after the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1863.

Today, we also honor retired Lt. Col. Sylvester Johnson, who served his country on three continents during a military career that saw 20 years of service beginning in 1955. While a major, Johnson, one of three brothers who fulfilled military duties in Southeast Asia, served alongside fellow Major Colin Powell.



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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