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

Here's a look back at West Orange County's past.

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85 years ago

Russell E. Brumbaugh Jr. celebrated his third birthday with a party given by his mother, Mrs. R.E. Brumbaugh, and grandmother, Mrs. S.A. Hutchins, at the Oakland Hotel.


80 years ago

According to the local rationing board, motorists would get an average basic ration of nearly four gallons of gasoline a week under the coupon book system. Other rational articles were automobiles, tires and tubes, sugar and typewriters.


55 years ago

The First United Methodist Church of Winter Garden was the scene of the marriage of Marian Hawk and Samuel L. Wagster. The bride’s father, the Rev. Ernest Hawk, co-officiated with the Rev. Lee D. Rustin.


50 years ago

The K&S Restaurant served frog legs to some of the breakfasters. Doc Reeves brought them from his new neighbor store, Henry’s Portion Meats. Red Ison would have no part of them, but Ward Britt, George Joiner and Homer Craig took care of Red’s share.


40 years ago

The Gotha Women’s Club installed new officers: Virginia Loew chaplain; Jaye Griffin, treasurer; Flo Johnson, president; Jackie Langrehr, vice president; and Caroline Childs, secretary.


30 years ago

Anthony Jordan helped beautify Winter Garden by painting the business district sign at the corner of Highway 50 and Dillard Street. The new colors, a forest green and beige-peach, coordinated with the Main Street Winter Garden colors which also were used downtown. Someone had attempted to paint the sign 15 years prior but stopped halfway, forcing passersby to look at a red and blue mess.

Ocoee and Dr. Phillips elementary schools began their multi-track year-round calendars with Orange County Public Schools.

A bunch of milestones — a “Big One” birthday party was held for eight local “youngsters” who turned 40. They threw the party for themselves early to avoid lots of surprise parties. Celebrating at the McMillan camp on Lake Butler were John McMillan, Steve Strube, Karen Britt, Steve Girvin, Susan Ficquette, John Ficquette, Jacque Dunnegan and Steve Dunnegan.

Lakeview High Class of 1974 graduate James Wilson appeared in the August issue of Playgirl, which had just hit the stands. He was living in Los Angeles, where he worked as a computer installer and part-time model.

Sammy Weir fans were excited at the news that he had been named head football coach at UCF. Sammy remained friends with many in West Orange County who remembered his coaching days at Lakeview High.


20 years ago

Teen singing group Divinity was enjoying a summer of booking gigs. Members were Erin Heckman, Brittany Kiah, Ashley Mutschler and Emily Roe.



July 22, 1982

Do you remember making taped copies on video cassette recorders? All Systems Go, located in the West Orange Shopping Center in Winter Garden, advertised in The Times its assortment of video enhancers.

For $89.95, you could tape four copies at one time “and get results that are as good as the original.” The MFJ-1410 video-audio distribution amplifier eliminated generation loss and signal degradation, and the built-in video and audio switcher let owners select from four video-audio sources.

The $109.95 MFJ-1420 video enhancer dramatically improved picture clarity, detail and sharpness; and it reduced jitter and improved faded or weak picture due to low VCR signals. It also had six-hour recording, an improvement over two hours.



Siblings Charles and Hilda Grafton shared this photograph of the Gulf Oil Distributorship operated by their grandfather, Joseph M. Grafton, in the 1950s to ’60s. The site, located at 681 W. Plant St., in Winter Garden, now is occupied by Century Link-Embarq, a communications provider. Visitors to the city often inquire about the distinctive Roman-curved rooftops on the two brick buildings.

Charles relates that, during the Crash of 1929, his grandfather was one of several local businessmen who convinced many First National Bank of Winter Garden depositors to not withdraw their savings, thereby helping the bank to avoid failing.

The Grafton family history is one of many preserved in the archive of the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation. If you have something to share, please call (407) 656-3244.



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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