This week in West Orange County history: Dec. 8, 2022

These are the names and events from West Orange County's past.

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40 years ago

Tom Ficquette, vice president of Sun Bank of Orlando, presented a $50 U.S. Savings Bond to Cheryl Davis, a fifth-grade student at Dillard Street Elementary. She was one of the seven winners in the statewide “Why I Like the Sun” poster-essay contest.

Residents in south Orange County were eager to see stores finally opening for business at The Marketplace on Sand Lake Road and Dr. Phillips Boulevard. Scheduled to open by the end of November were Floral Artistry, R&R Hallmark, Merrill Lynch Realty, Nice House of Music, Brass World, Marcy Lane, The Stretching Post, The Rhineland Ecke, Olvey’s and Gooding’s. By Christmas, the open stores were to include Frog’s Grog Shop, The House of Wine & Cheese, Barnie’s Coffee & Tea Company, Les Salons, HarvesTime Natural Foods, Collector’s Corner & Design, Blushes, Mahoe Design & Imports, dentist Dr. Alvin J. Bernard, The Eyeglass Gallery, Medallion Travel, Parkway Alimentare, Final Frontier Computer Software, Duffy’s Chiropractic Clinic, Lord’s Drycleaning, Sweet Paradise and Loomis Drugs.


30 years ago

As the new season of high school boys soccer opened, West Orange had a new head coach in Mike Armbruster.

Six buses lined the front of West Orange High School with signs in the windows, “Macy’s or Bust.” The buses, heading for New York and carrying 254 Warrior Band members and 46 chaperones, including Principal Sarah Jane Turner, were escorted by Winter Garden police to the first toll booth on Florida’s Turnpike. The band, directed by Harold Cooper, led the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade — “a dream come true” for Cooper.


20 years ago

The city of Winter Garden celebrated its downtown refurbishment and reopening of the West Orange Trail with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new clock tower. Participating in the program were Winter Garden Mayor Jack Quesinberry, City Manager Hollis Holden, Assistant City Manager Marshall Robertson, City Commissioner John Harriman, Rep. Randy Johnson, Bruce C. Hall of Glatting Jackson and Robert E. Lacey of Gomez Construction Co.

A doctor and a pharmacist were selected as grand marshals of the local Christmas parades. Dr. Charles Carter was chosen to lead Winter Garden, and Edwin “Doc” Pounds was named to lead Ocoee.

Scottish Highland dancers with Centre for Dance & the Performing Arts attended the first British Association of Teachers of Dancing Conference in Las Vegas. Attending were instructor Kathryn Austin and dancers Lee Sheets, Nicole Taladay, Sadie Stafford, Sarah Cappleman, Jillian Shepherd, Caitlin Snelson and Kristin Mitchell.



Nov. 18, 1982

Food World was a Publix subsidiary with multiple grocery stores in the area, including one in Winter Garden, in the 1970s and ’80s. In 1982, Food World advertised in The Times its new offering: discounted Colorifics stoneware.

The multicolored table settings — mugs, bowls and plates — could be purchased for a deal at $1.49 apiece. The best part was they were dishwasher-, freezer- and oven- and microwave-safe. The dishes came in nine fashion colors: Warm Earth (beige, chocolate and butterscotch), Cool Blues (ice gray, sky blue and royal blue) and Painted Desert (cranberry, lilac and dusty rose). To create a fun and eclectic table, shoppers could choose to purchase all of the colors.



Winter Garden’s Lakeview High School rose in 1927 on 17 acres of land donated by pioneer citrus grower Luther Fuller Tilden. It was built to replace the too-small Oakland-Winter Garden School that stood on Tildenville School Road. This postcard portrays the building at a dramatic angle, viewed from the west. When it was constructed in the Collegiate Gothic style three-tenths of a mile from the south shore of Lake Apopka, the adjacent landscape was surrounded by vegetable fields and stands of pine. Beloved by a succession of graduating classes, it served West Orange County through the class of 1975, when West Orange High School was built south of the city to accommodate a rapidly growing student population.  Lakeview was converted to a junior high and, in 1986, became the middle school that stands today.

Find out more about the venerable institution in “School Bells Are Ringing: Lakeview and Drew High,” on exhibit at the Winter Garden Heritage Museum through Feb. 28.



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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