This week in West Orange County history: May 5, 2022

West Orange County was shaped by people and events such as these.

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85 years ago

The annual experience luncheon of the Ladies Aid of Windermere was held at the clubhouse. Members were given dollars and told how they earned them — their “experience” giving the affair its name. Mrs. Frank Madsen was toastmistress.

Herbert Peacock, Ocoee, broke his arm on the school grounds while playing. His brother ran into him.


80 years ago

The nation’s first rationing of food by stamps was set to begin May 5 with the first stamp good for purchase of one pound of sugar during the period of May 5 through May 16.

The Winter Garden Welfare League sponsored a cut-flower sale and azalea plant sale on the Saturday prior to Mother’s Day.


70 years ago

Delegates and alternates of the Lions Club to the State Convention at Daytona Beach were Francis Loomis, Clyde Marden, Bobby Lyons, Doug Braswell, Herman Dreischerf, Ben Shuman, Red Ison, Paul Smith, Joe Valdes and Major Womack.

The kindergarten sponsored by the First Methodist church presented the first graduation at the church. The graduates were Lee Farnsworth, Sue Ann Starr, George Teel, Nora Sue Payne, Dickie Wiedenbeck, Candace Mann, Bruce Rowley, Judy Ezzard, Grover Ford, Jan Barrow, Julie Brantley and Ann Deariso. Susie Kannon and Mrs. A.E. Cowart were the teachers.


50 years ago

A major expansion program was set to begin in the summer at the West Orange Memorial Hospital in Winter Garden. Phase I was to be a new three-story structure in what was the employee parking lot. In addition to many new beds, the added space was to include a larger admitting office, new lab, X-ray pharmacy and new physical therapy setup. The building was to be built with the option to add a fourth floor.


45 years ago

Notice to residents: “Anyone interested in being considered for the position of city clerk in Winter Garden should contact Mayor Raymond Spears or commissioners Ralph Fulford, Lee Jones, David Harris or Julian Revels before Thursday night’s commission meeting.”


30 years ago

Orlando Fights Back, the anti-drug group that helped make Ivy Lane and Tangelo Park better communities, moved into Bay Pointe Apartments on Horizon Street to start its fight in Winter Garden.

Jimmy Pitchford, popular Winter Garden businessman and owner of Jimmy’s Thriftway, underwent surgery on his right knee and was making good recovery at home.


20 years ago

The Beech Center Aquatic Complex, Ocoee’s municipal pool, officially opened for its first full warm-weather season.



MAY 3, 1973

Ellis Inc. operated in downtown Winter Garden for decades and was a convenient place to go for all your appliance needs.

In a springtime edition of The Winter Garden Times, owner Bob Ellis advertised Eureka vacuums for sale — “just in time for Mother’s Day!”

The Eureka Dial-a-Nap was an upright vacuum with a dial that switched the brush from normal carpet height to high, patio or shag. Another option was the Custom Deluxe 2 1/3 Peak HP Cleaner with the new Roto-Matic motorized deep-cleaning attachment for carpets that was billed as “a real carpet saver!”



This 1958 photograph features a group of instructors celebrating May Day at the Holden School in Orlando: Edna Jones, left, chairman; Ruby Lee, co-chair (and long-time Winter Garden Heritage Foundation volunteer); and W.V. Nixon, principal. May Day is traditionally celebrated in Western countries on the first day of May to welcome spring and the resurrection of nature after the long winter months. It is normally marked with dancing around a Maypole decorated with ribbons and flowers, and festivals often include the crowning of a May king or queen.



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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