This week in history: May 26, 2022

How well do you know these stories from West Orange County's past?

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80 years ago

Winter Garden had its first surprise blackout. Luckily the town was completely black in a period of only minutes.

Lakeview High School graduated 32 students at the annual commencement exercises.

West Orange’s Defense Canning Kitchen opened in the room formerly occupied by the Ocoee Trade School. Persons were allowed to go and do their canning under the personal supervision of a canning expert.


75 years ago

Joe Burch of Winter Garden, not wanting to spend a dull summer at home, was on his way to Alaska with three friends from college in Lakeland. They expected to make it to Fairbanks and back in a 1934 Ford.


70 years ago

Mr. and Mrs. Russell Pounds and children moved to the Pounds Camp on Lake Butler for the month of May.

The primary department of the Winter Garden Elementary School hosted the children of the community who would be entering school in the fall. Among those participating were Susan Neff, Ralph Girvin, George Wright and Judy Ezzard.

Mrs. Luther Shaw and her children, Don and Sue, spent a week in Daytona.

Fifty-four students graduated from Lakeview High School at annual exercises held in the school auditorium.

The opening date for the West Orange Memorial Hospital was set for June 16.

Little dancers from Winter Garden taking part in the Ebsen Dance recital were Steve Akin, Linda Akin, Billye Austin, Patty Moore and Sharon Griffin.


55 years ago

The newest addition to Winter Garden’s ever-growing attractions for sportsmen was the establishment of the new driving range at 601 W. Story Road.


50 years ago

The West Orange Chamber of Commerce sponsored a barbecue at the Winter Garden Recreational Park to pay tribute to retired Orange County Sheriff Dave Starr, who served for 23 years.

Fred Savage, who taught biology and chemistry at Lakeview High School, was honored as Outstanding Science Teacher of Orange County by the Central Florida Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The award was announced at the annual meeting held at McCoy Air Force Base.


45 years ago

The Rev. Charlene Payne Kammerer, formerly of Winter Garden, was the first woman to receive full ministerial orders of the United Methodist Church.


30 years ago

Ocoee Middle School students in David Rhea’s Industrial Technology Club used their skills to renovate a home in Oakland. Students leveled the house, remodeled the kitchen and bathroom, and repainted the home belonging to Alberta Cook and her daughter, Rosa Lee Mosby.

Jim Passilla announced his retirement after 28 years with Walt Disney World. The senior vice president of human resources of Disney Worldwide Services Inc. planned to step down that October.

Buster Dodd was named Winter Garden Elk of the Year.



May 28, 1992

Winter Garden was selected for the Florida Main Street USA program in 1991, and Main Street Winter Garden was established. This program was administered by the Florida Bureau of Historic Preservation to help small and medium-sized cities reverse downtown blight. The following year, the Community Redevelopment Agency was created.

MSWG morphed into the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation in 1994, and a historic property survey was conducted. The first phase of the West Orange Trail was created. The next year, an architectural, structural and marketing analysis of the vacant Edgewater Hotel for potential future use. Downtown Winter Garden received designation as a historic district in 1997.

From 2001 to 2003, a $4.5 million streetscape enhancement project changed the face of Plant Street. The Garden Theatre was refurbished and opened in 2008. Also that year, a new, modern City Hall was constructed and the Winter Garden Farmers Market started. In 2011, the open-air pavilion was built, and the splash park was created.



We will always remember the men and women who died while serving in our country's armed forces. Their sacrifice is greatly appreciated.

Photographed is the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall, which was exhibited at the West Orange VFW Post 4305 in Winter Garden in 2006.



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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