This week in West Orange County history

These are the names and events that shaped West Orange County.

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85 years ago

The Tin Can Tourists were being welcomed back to Trailer City.

Georgia Mink was chairman of the rummage sale being sponsored by the Winter Garden Welfare League for the benefit of Winter Garden Day Nursery. On her committee were Irene Britt, Rubie Harris and Kathryn Valdes.

The newspaper noted it was strange to have two holidays in the same week: Armistice Day and Friday the 13th.


75 years ago

Dr. Gibbs Ashley of Gainesville announced he was coming to Winter Garden to practice his profession, erecting a veterinary hospital in the Johnson subdivision on West Washington Street south of the baseball park.


70 years ago

The carnival sponsored by the PTA of the Tildenville school netted $400. An outstanding feature of the entertainment was the Dixie Dances given by Linda Milan, Karen Moran and Jane Prince.

The following Christmas greeting mailing rules were announced by Winter Garden Postmaster Ed Henderson: When addressed to box holders at the local P.O. and all other mailing of cards, including rural routes — sealed, 3 cents; unsealed 2 cents. Cards mailed at the 2-cent rate cannot be forwarded. Effective Jan. 1, 1952, 1-cent postcards will be discontinued and replaced by two-cent postcards.


50 years ago

Several women gathered to discuss plans for the popular annual Holiday Bazaar at Tanner Auditorium: Louise Battin, Episcopal Church of the Messiah; Mary Va. Tanner, First United Methodist Church of Winter Garden; Nellie Barnard, Ocoee United Methodist Church; and Nell Minor, Ocoee Lions Auxiliary. Also participating were the West Orange Memorial Hospital Auxiliary and the West Orange Garden Club.


40 years ago

A party was held at the Ice Skating Palace in honor of West Orange Debutantes Nancy Barber, Heather Field, Lisa Pinto and Sandy Holland. Hostesses were Carolyn Greer, Annette Spigener, Carol Dunn and Betsy Roper.

Malissia Cruese was guest of honor at a benefit held at St. Pauls A.M.E. Church sponsored by the Gospel Choir and the County-Wide Charity Club. Lillian Bing and Eddie Ruth Jackson were in charge.

A new school record was set by Lakeview Junior High’s Rena Heckman as she took first place in the girls county diving championship — despite having 10 stitches in her knee.


30 years ago

The Palm Lake Elementary fifth-graders formed a new opera company called Opera-tune-ities. The students went through a month of auditions.

Clarcona Elementary School celebrated its fifth birthday with all staff members wearing party hats.



OCT. 30, 1975

If you want to bring in the crowds, try offering a piece of birthday cake to folks. That’s what the Winter Garden McDonald’s did in 1975 to celebrate its first anniversary. An advertisement in the Oct. 30 issue of The Winter Garden Times invited the community to take part in the festivities.

The restaurant was a fun place for kids and included a full outdoor playground with a mini carousel, climb-in Officer Big Mac, Fry Kids ride-ons, a tall slide and other equipment.

Inside, patrons could sit on cheeseburger stools and even hold private birthday parties in a special area of the eatery.

The McDonald’s might look different today, but it sells burgers and fries from the same location 47 years after it opened.



Veterans Day honors both living service members and those who died serving their country. Nettie Love De Guay and Gladys Ungaro are seen with photographs of their sons, Charles Love and Dominic Ungaro, who paid the supreme sacrifice in Vietnam.

Today, pay a visit to Veterans Memorial Park in Winter Garden, located in the southwest corner of Park Avenue and Story Road.

If you have information or photographs of loved ones who served in the military, contact the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation to share: (407) 656-3244.



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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