This week in West Orange County history

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

  • West Orange Times & Observer
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85 years ago

The city hall under construction was scheduled to be completed by December, Mayor Walker said, and the office and administration building for Trailer City was underway.


80 years ago

Mrs. Edna Ingold, of Ocoee, spent the week in Jacksonville attending the music convention.


75 years ago

Miss Ruth Grafton left for New York City to accept a position with Eastern Airlines.


70 years ago

Mrs. John Rees entertained a group of children in her home in Winter Garden honoring her little son, John Newton Rees Jr., on his second birthday.

The county road crew began work on Dillard Street starting at the Cross State Highway and working into the city limits. The crew was tasked with leveling off the hospital grounds and taking the sand cleared from the lots to fill in Dillard Street.


55 years ago

An enthused group of sportsmen believed they discovered the reason why Lake Apopka had declined as a fisherman’s paradise. In the first seining of the lake, more than 2,000 pounds of rough fish were taken in an area less than 60 acres.


50 years ago

James J. “Bud” Grice was busy putting shingles on his new fix-it shop located between the Windermere Post Office and the VW repair garage.


40 years ago

Dolores and Lester Monk purchased Shaw’s Flowers & Gifts, one of the most attractive stores in downtown Winter Garden, from Jerry Thompson and Bob Thompson. They owned it for 15 years. Jerry purchased the store from Mamie Shaw of Windermere.


20 years ago

An estimated crowd of 15,000 people attended the 8th Annual Founders’ Day Festival. Country music star Tracy Lawrence was a popular headliner.



OCT. 31, 1947

Many local residents took their Ford vehicles to Winter Garden Motor Company, located on East Plant Street in the 1940s. The company placed an advertisement in The West Orange News offering free estimates and the skill to fix dents and scratches, which can “reflect upon your ability as a driver.”

The dealership promised Ford-trained mechanics, factory-approved methods, special Ford equipment and genuine Ford parts. To call the business, residents dialed 236.



Halloween 1956 as celebrated by a group of revelers at a costume party held by Tom and Mozelle Cox. Guests included building contractor Ken Ison, left, and his wife, Joanne; and citrus grower-Realtor Charles McMillan and his wife, Mary Ann. The Coxes operated apparel shops on Plant Street.

The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation collects and preserves a wealth of photographs shared by area residents. Call (407) 656-3244 to check your Family File.



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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