This week in West Orange County history: April 14, 2022

These are the people and events from the past that helped shape West Orange County.

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80 years ago

Jerry Brown of Winter Garden was elected vice president of the student body at the University of Florida.

One of the most successful projects ever undertaken by the local ladies was the opening of a room in the Edgewater Hotel for the benefit of soldiers who were stationed near here. Madge Peters was general chairman. Local girls were invited to come in any night, and chaperones were on hand. Dancing, games and refreshments were available.

Mr. and Mrs. L.W. Iserman entertained with a supper party aboard their boat on Lake Apopka.


70 years ago

Mrs. Glenn Joiner entertained with a dessert bridge in her home Tuesday night.


50 years ago

Kitty Osburn, Kelly Hicks, Elaine Beebe, Dottie Walker and Marjorie Hill were busy on the Junior Service League’s new service project — hand-puppet shows at the West Orange Library in Winter Garden every other week.


40 years ago

Orange County Commissioner Vera Carter turned one of the first spadesful of earth at groundbreaking ceremonies for the Dr. Phillips Marketplace. The major shopping center was designed to serve Bay Hill, Sand Lake Hills, Orange Tree and Windermere.

The Windermere-Dr. Phillips Rotary Day festivities were successful despite the rain. Chris Cardwell, 12, was the first female to complete the road race and was 65th out of about 600 runners. Dick Douthitt finished first overall. John Brownlee, Rotarian from Sand Lake Hills, finished in a threesome with sons Will, 7, and John, 10.

Former Winter Garden City Commissioner Ernest Crawford confessed to philately in the recent “first of April” issue. In fact, he had been a philatelist for 32 years — but he wasn’t ashamed of it. After all, why should anyone be ashamed of collecting stamps?


20 years ago

The Winter Garden City Commission hired Edward DeAguilera as the coordinator for the 2003 Centennial Celebration.

Orange County Commission Teresa Jacobs wielded a sledgehammer to help the county and town of Oakland clean up the community by demolishing a condemned crack house on Postell Avenue. Also present were County Chairman Richard Crotty, Oakland Mayor Jon VanderLey and County Undersheriff Malone Stewart.

Lakeview High School celebrated 75 years with a show at the Winter Garden History Center. The display included old photographs, cheerleader uniforms, trophies and school newspapers.

Seven Scouts with Varsity Troop 225 advanced to the rank of Eagle Scout: Kevin Lee, B.J. Hempling, Michael Irwin, Lee Dobson, Robert Mueller, T.J. Oakes and Steve Winn.



APRIL 13, 1972

Before the advent of the internet, realty companies relied on The Winter Garden Times’ real estate section to advertise their properties and homes for sale. In the April 13, 1972, issue of the paper, homebuyers could shop Realtors and find out where the latest “for sale” signs were located around West Orange County.

A Windermere home could be picked up for $41,900, a Winter Garden house was selling for $34,000, and a residential lot in Ocoee was going for $2,500.



The mail began to move through this region more than 160 years ago. Missives brought by pack mules, fast horses and efficient wagons began to arrive at post offices established in the tiny agricultural communities mushrooming along the fertile south shore of Lake Apopka.

The Killarney Post Office, constructed more than a century ago, still stands on State Road 50 in the tiny rural community. 

The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation is preparing an exhibit featuring the post offices that served as lifelines to a pioneer population living hundreds or even thousands of miles from major cities. Included will be letters and announcements heralding births, weddings and the beginning of World War II in the United States. Collectors will enjoy viewing philatelic items related to moving mail efficiently and quickly over the years.



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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