This week in West Orange County history

Do you remember these names and events from West Orange County's past?

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85 years ago

The local Red Cross made pleas for donations to help flood victims in the North. Meteorologists had records dating back as far as 1693 and said there had never been a flood as bad as the one in 1936.

Businessmen entertained members of the Albany and Harrisburg baseball teams at a barbecue dinner and outing party at George S. Merchant’s Johns Lake fishing camp: W.L. Story, president of the Winter Garden Chamber of Commerce; Bob Davis; Dr. F.L. Arnold; A.D. Mims, J.J. Chicone, Fred Gregory, H.E. Hall, Preston Carpenter; Bob Gadeburg; E.H. Ellis; Joe Kirkland; Neil Dale; W.P. Booth; J.S. Reddick; H.E. Fain; and Merchant.

Until April 6, when the registration books were returned to the Court House in Orlando, citizens could register to vote and pay poll tax at the office of City Clerk E.M. Tanner.


80 years ago

The seniors of Lakeview High launched a drive for the school’s greatest need: a gymnasium. The class asked the alumni for contribution and designated the proceeds from the play they were preparing.


70 years ago

Local school principals were renamed: James Garland was reassigned to Lakeview High, Roger A. Williams to Apopka High, Jessie N. Brock at Winter Garden Elementary, Annie Connell at Tildenville Elementary, Carroll B. Terry at Ocoee Elementary, Miriam B. Thomas at Gotha Elementary, Rubie Harris at Fairvilla and L.C. Clements at Pine Castle.


45 years ago

Because of the viral epidemic in the area, West Orange Memorial Hospital restricted visiting hours for patients.


30 years ago

The Dr. Phillips High Lady Panthers reached their season-long goal of returning to the state basketball tournament when they defeated Vero Beach in the sectional championship.



Florida Power was a frequent advertiser in The West Orange News and its subsequent newspapers. The ads typically promoted the latest products, but they also were indicative of the culture.

The ad in the March 14, 1947, issue of the paper reads: “I hope my wife sees this advertisement! Yes sir, I hope my wife reads this … and does something about it. I’m a little tired of trying to read by inadequate light.

“Maybe she’ll take heart and get rid of the dark lamp shades and put in larger bulbs. She knows eyesight is priceless and good light is cheap … here’s hoping she does something about it before I have to order a “seeing eye” dog.”



Twenty-six years ago, on March 18, Winter Garden artist Dorothy Kannon (1931-2007) created this sketch for a friend’s birthday. The pointillist ink rendering is labeled in typically exuberant Kannon fashion: "Ms. Is-a-Lily Z. doing her shake-it Spring Swing Hula-Bee." The artist masterfully combined mind with art to create hundreds of works in various media presenting her vision of the world in which she lived.

In its archive, the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation preserves the artistic legacy of Dorothy Kannon, which is available for study. Call (407) 656-3244 for an appointment.




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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