This week in West Orange County history: March 3, 2022

Here's what was happening throughout West Orange County years ago.

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80 years ago

Local girls enrolled in defense courses at Florida State College for Women were Helen Iserman, taking auto mechanics, and Elizabeth Ezzard, taking communications.

Jack, the five-quart-per-day milk goat of J.Z. Eckles, announced the birth of three normal nanny goats named Mary Pickford, Mae West and Greta Garbo.


50 years ago

The weather wasn’t so good, but the Lakeview High band, under the direction of Harold Cooper, scored a big hit then it played in the Orlando Presents concert series at Eola Park.

Fifty-nine patients in Wing 2 of the Medic Home Health Center in Winter Garden had a lot of spare time and were feeling a little left out. Here’s why: Not long ago, a color TV and stand was donated to Wing I. Those patients were overjoyed, but the patients in Wing 2 were more than a little jealous. They started working to change their situation by making swans out of coat hangers and netting, dolls, and wall plaques that were sold for $2 apiece.

The board members and team mothers of the West Orange Little League Auxiliary met at the home of President Barbara Fulmer. Team mothers were Betty Duppenthaler, Cardinals; Anette Hudson, Cubs; Betty German, Nationals; Connie Joiner, Pirates; Ann Hale, Reds; and Virginia Rogers, Tigers. It was decided that each week, one team mother of the home team would furnish baked goods to be sold in the concession stand. Players were to bring in $3 for the season so they could enjoy a Coke after each game.


40 years ago

Ocoee Junior High School FFA chapter won a first-place trophy for a second in a row in the schools competition for its agricultural exhibit at the Central Florida Fair. The Winter Garden Elks Cub exhibit won first place in the community agricultural booth competition.

An internal request by the developers of Lake Butler Estate for annexation into the town of Windermere received mostly positive reactions from town residents. With 592 acres, the community was larger than the town’s 400 acres.


30 years ago

Dr. Phillips High students were able to link up to the media center from home thanks to a new Linkup program and an idea DP media specialist Connie Maxey had. With 11 computer terminals, seven in the media center and four in classrooms, students and teachers could connect their homes or their classrooms to the library. All they needed at home were a modem and a compatible computer with 64K of memory.




MARCH 6, 1969

The front page of the March 6, 1969, Winter Garden Times announced the news of an early-evening blaze that destroyed a warehouse at the corner of East Tilden Street and James Drive. The warehouse was owned by Youngblood and Sons. Heat from the fire buckled both ends of the building outward, and water hitting the steel turned to steam. Firefighters were on the scene for more than five hours cooling down the ashes and wetting hot spots.

The entire contents of the 35-foot-by-60-foot Quonset hut-type building was destroyed. The largest single loss was an inboard runabout and trailer. Other contents included thousands of cardboard orange juice containers, boxes, tires and fuel tanks.



Ara Taylor, Dec. 20, 1923 – Feb. 11, 2022

Ara Taylor and Rod Reeves are seen at Davis Pharmacy, reminiscing about her many years behind the soda fountain at the popular local hangout. It was Taylor’s last day working at the business, which was located on West Plant Street where Winter Garden Pizza currently is located. Reeves is a local historian and was the original director of the Winter Garden Heritage Museum and art instructor at Lakeview and West Orange high schools.



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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