This week in West Orange County history: Oct. 20, 2022

These are the people and events that shaped West Orange County, Florida.

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95 years ago

Ed Petris was captain of the 1926 Oakland-Winter Garden High School Yellow Jackets. Only two team members had ever seen a football game.


85 years ago

Lakeview High School held its first Homecoming. The queen was Carolyn Peters, and her court members were Gertrude Martin, Jane Ruth Fairchild, Wilma Tilden, Bobbie Jo Henderson and Christine Kitchen. Gridiron stars were Hector, Lucretia, Dynamite, Sprat and Duff, better known as H.G. Tubbs, Russell Pounds, Wilson Griffith, Jack Keller and Ralph Sessions.


80 years ago

Capt. Richard Ezzard of Tildenville piloted a flying fortress in the Oct. 5 raid over Rabaul. He started his Air Corps training in 1938 at Randolph Field in Texas.

Hearn A. Ficquette was commissioned a second lieutenant upon graduation from the anti-aircraft artillery school at Camp Davis, N.C.

W.H. Wurst Jr., city clerk, treasurer and tax collector in Ocoee, resigned following his enlistment in the Navy.


45 years ago

The West Orange Chamber of Commerce swore in its first female chief executive as Doris Grimes (Mrs. Hugh O.) of Wingard Land Co. took office as president.


40 years ago

Tim Cox and Patti Johnson were selected Homecoming king and queen at West Orange High School.

Five juveniles were responsible for about a dozen reports of vandalism in Winter Garden. When the youth had completed the rampage, the fountain in front of Dr. Wayne Godbold’s office on North Dillard Street had been broken and graffiti had been spray painted on the walls at Dillard Street Elementary School.

The Westside C.B. Radio Club held a car wash at Hatley Pest Control at the corner of Dillard Street and Story Road for $1 per vehicle. The club sponsored The Russell Home for Atypical Children.

The West Orange Memorial Hospital Cookbook, “Sharing Our Best,” was for sale.


20 years ago

Thornebrooke Elementary School in Ocoee was dedicated with parents, students, teachers, staff, city officials and Orange County School Board members in attendance. Principal Danny Axtell, Ocoee Mayor Scott Vandergrift, School Board Member Karen Ardaman and Superintendent Ron Blocker cut the ribbon.

Khare Hawkins and Lindsay Mitchell were crowned Homecoming king and queen at Olympia High School.

Sam Wagster, a teacher and guidance counselor at Lakeview Middle School, was chosen as one of three finalists in the Professional category by the Orange County Board of County Commissioners for the 2002 Children Must Count Award. He was described as “a backbone” of the school.



Oct. 19, 1972

If you went fishing in West Orange County in the 1970s, chances are high you stopped by Ray’s Live Bait & Tackle Shop before heading out to the water. The sporting business advertised in The Winter Garden Times to let folks know of all the deals taking place inside the shop, located at 334 E. Bay St., Winter Garden.

Bait and tackle weren’t the only items sold there; fishermen also could rent boats and motors and buy rods and reels. Folks not into fishing could still find bargains with shotguns, rifles and pistols and all the required ammunition. Hunting and fishing licenses also were sold.



Twin brothers Ric and Mic Hutchinson, seen here in 1968, graduated from Lakeview High School the previous year. Both played on the varsity football team, helping to lead the Red Devils to a walloping 9-1 record, plus a victory over Lake City in the Sunshine Bowl. They were also members of Interact, a high school affiliation of the Winter Garden Rotary Club. 

The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation is preparing its next exhibit, which will present the histories of two city high schools: Lakeview and Charles R. Drew. The extensive archive will present photographs and artifacts showing how area youth contributed to the region’s legacy.



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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