This week in West Orange County history

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

  • West Orange Times & Observer
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120 years ago

J.D. “Jimmy” Pounds was one of the members of the 1901 Stetson football team that defeated the Florida Agricultural College at the Jacksonville Fair in the initial intercollegiate athletic attraction played in the state of Florida. Pounds scored the first touchdown ever scored in intercollegiate football.


85 years ago

Oranges drew an average price of $2.51 a box. Grapefruit in standard boxes averaged $1.87.


80 years ago

According to local critics, the best play ever to be staged in West Orange was “Top o’ the World,” presented at the Lakeview High auditorium.


70 years ago

City Judge Jim Pounds was one of five surviving members of the 1901 Stetson football team honored with a testimonial dinner in DeLand.

The William F. Cappleman Sr. Sunday school class of the Methodist Church raised $567.50 with a Silver Tea given at the home of Mrs. Phil Peters. The money was to be used to furnish a room at West Orange Memorial Hospital.


50 years ago

Miss Eddie McIntyre was honored at Ocoee High School Homecoming festivities as one of the four students in the Class of 1925. She noted there was no football team then.

Brownie Troop 902, led by Connie Holland and Wilma Aubry, held its investiture. The new Brownies were Karen Aubry, Kathy Aubry, Sandy Holland, Katrinka VanDeventer, Vicki Dasher, Leslie Ballant, Nancy Barber, Carla Crosslin, Wendy Daughtry, Pamela Fulmer and Rhonda Hartel.

New auxiliary officers at West Orange Memorial Hospital were installed by Dorothy Wurst: Toni Cappleman, president; Pat Smith, immediate past president; Billie Davis, president-elect; Exlie Mae Bolton, treasurer; Flossie Neff, recording secretary; and Miriam Reid, corresponding secretary.

Winter Garden C.H. Johnson announced 22 new all-electric apartment units on South Woodland Street, bringing the total to 40 rental units at the complex he and his wife, Betty, own. To clear the site for the new apartment units, Johnson sold and relocated four houses in the area.


45 years ago

The long-awaited expansion of the Tangerine Bowl from 17,000 to 52,000 was completed.


20 years ago

Dillard Street Elementary celebrated its 50th birthday with invitations to former students, teachers and principals. The celebration included music and a balloon release, and each grade level contributed an item to a time capsule. The school was built in 1951 to relieve overcrowding at Winter Garden Elementary School and opened the following year with eight teachers and 250 students.



NOV. 19, 1981

Before there was social media, print newspaper was one of the few ways Realtors could let the community know what lots, houses and commercial properties were for sale. Realtors from all parts of West Orange County advertised for their clients, and multiple pages of real estate listings were available to readers.

In 1981, homes in the Bay Hill community were listed for as low as $156,500. A new house in Winter Garden with “a microwave oven” and “French doors to the patio” was listed at $64,900. And homes in Ocoee — on corner lots with shade trees, a pool and plush carpet — were going for an average of $37,000.



This photograph was published in The West Orange Times in October 1979 — more than 42 years ago. It shows Windermere resident George Becker pointing out features on a model of Florida Festival, a dining, shopping and entertainment complex that was to be constructed at Sea World. As the theme park’s vice president and general manager, Becker led the popular Florida attraction after serving a similar stint at Sea World Ohio. He was also instrumental in the late-1980s creation of Sea World in San Antonio, Texas. Becker died in February 2012.



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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