This week in West Orange County history

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

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85 years ago

Mrs. Franklin W. Chase and baby son returned from Asheville, North Carolina.

Birthday greetings to Jane Britt and Ella Sadler.


80 years ago

Franklin Cappleman was set to leave Sunday for Quantico, Virginia, for candidates’ class for a commission in the Marine Reserve.


70 years ago

The women of the Episcopal church met for organization with the rector, George L. Granger. Officers elected were Mrs. George Barley, president; Mrs. Hearn Ficquette, secretary and treasurer; and Mrs. Virginia Thomas, who was appointed to the altar.


50 years ago

Following a special buffet luncheon for local officials, a formal groundbreaking ceremony was held at the Winter Garden Inn to mark the beginning of a major expansion program.

Local high school band members were part of a 1,076-member band scheduled to play Walt Disney World’s grand-opening day. From Lakeview High: Robert Hall, Randy Dollar, Doug Donhey, Brett Engstrom, Dennis Matthews, Kevin Shepherd, Louis Chatham, Doug Ball, John Perko, Jerry Bolton, Mike Smith, Randolph Chatham, Reid Revels, Tommy Bozeman, Johnny Harrell, Randy Hayes and Karen Tucker. From Ocoee High: Denny Johns, James Hazel, John McAdory, Randy Rogers, Barry Sommerset, Larry Sommerset, Ronnie Sargent and Bruce Dyer. Two special groups were the Herald Trumpet Group, with Rickey Bullington and Todd Engstrom; and the Toy Soldier Group with Jon Bekemeyer, Mike Sanders and James McKey.


20 years ago

Dr. Albert Gleason, who celebrated a birthday with 200 family and friends, was still practicing medicine and his golf swing at the age of 90.

Bill Thompson, who had been a staple at Dr. Phillips High School since it opened in 1987, retired from the athletic director position.



Oct. 21, 1971

Webb’s Pharmacy had two locations in West Orange County — the West Orange Shopping Center, in Winter Garden, and in the Ocoee Shopping Center. A 1971 advertisement in The Winter Garden Times offered a variety of products for less than a dollar, including throat lozenges for 77 cents, eye drops for 99 cents, a waterless shampoo for dogs for 48 cents, a two-roll pack of bathroom tissue for 19 cents and a large bag of assorted Halloween candy for 79 cents.



The Citrus Crate Label Show is captured in this setting from October 1998. The Winter Garden Heritage Museum had opened that year in the former Atlantic Coast Line railroad depot, and a bright orange-and-yellow tractor was placed in front, drawing the attention of collectors and passersby. The white fence posts at right outlined a parking lot that was to become, 17 years later, the site of the new Winter Garden Heritage Foundation History Research, Education and Visitors’ Center. The tall communications tower at the Sprint building had not yet been constructed, nor had the Chesapeake & Ohio caboose been placed next to the museum.

The history of West Orange County is available to all those interested in the local legacy. Call (407) 656-3244 to schedule a research 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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