This week in West Orange County history: Dec. 21, 2023

These are the people and events who made headlines in West Orange County's past.

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85 years ago

Among the Ocoee college students returning for the holidays were misses Kathryn and Edith Eckles and Lillian Bowness, from Florida State College for Women; and Sidney West Jr. and William Mathews from the University of Florida. Miss Lillian Maguire, a member of the UF faculty, returned to spend the holidays with her mother, Mrs. M.F. Maguire.

Winter Garden Mayor George Walker received a wire from Oliver French, president of the Rochester Ball Club of the International League, announcing it will establish training quarters in Winter Garden in the spring.

60 years ago

Robert Brett Ogilvie, a handsome little lad of 6 months, was the darling center of attention when he was baptized at Windermere Union Church with Dr. Frederick Nelson officiating. Robert’s parents were Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ogilvie, and his godparents were Mr. and Mrs. James M. Pitchford.

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Curtis purchased the Oliver Rowley trailer in the lake section and planned immediately to move into their new home.

50 years ago

The Orlando Public Library’s Bookmobile brought books and other library materials to 30 neighborhood stops throughout Orange County, many of them in the West Orange area.

Members of the Lakeview High School basketball team, coached by Warren Little, were Sylvester Scott, Jimmy Jones, Wilburn Harp, H.M. Harp, John Harrell, Willie Harp, Willie Kemp, Danny Siplin and James Taylor.

40 years ago

Local students included in the 17th annual edition of “Who’s Who Among American High School Students” were Bethanie Joy Davenport, Janet Leake, Mary Muszynski and Kimberly D. Morgan, of Winter Garden; Amy Atkins, Pradip Gayen, Shanna Branch and Dayna Maddox, of Ocoee; and Mike Danielson and Charles Schley, of Windermere.

“The time to do this job right is NOW!” stated Ocoee’s newly elected mayor Tom Ison, after he opened the City Commission’s sewage agreement workshop.

Charles Schley was chosen as Most Spirited on the West Orange Warrior football team.

30 years ago

As a student at the University of Florida, Craig Brown became involved in the college ministries of the Episcopal Diocese of Florida, and this led to a leadership role in the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. It was as a member of this multidenominational organization that he planned to spend a year-and-one-half in the city of Ivano-Frankovsk in Ukraine.

20 years ago

Students, teachers and administration at Dillard Street Elementary School were preparing to make the big move into a new school facility just across the street.


DEC. 16, 1971

During the holidays, many shops advertise their wares and services in hopes of drawing in more customers. In a 1971 issue of The Winter Garden Times, businesses such as Modern Stationery, Shaw’s Flowers and Gifts, Al Ewing Ford and the Camera Shop invited patrons into their storefronts to purchase photography equipment, cars, music boxes, floral arrangements and more.


Winter Garden Mayor Jack Quesinberry and his wife, Gloria, were spreading good cheer and glad tidings during a Christmas parade along Plant Street. After serving for 10 years on the Planning and Zoning Board, Jack led the city as its mayor from 1991 to 2008, overseeing the many changes that would help make Winter Garden the vibrant hometown and destination of today.

The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation wishes its friends and supporters a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and the best of health and happiness in 2024.


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