This week in West Orange County history: July 20, 2023

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

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110 years ago

A.B. Newton was putting a bathroom and lavatory into his house.

Compiled from The Winter Garden Progress, by W.B. Burch: “We are sorry to say Hoyle Pounds, one of our baseball boys, got his nose broken during the game at Winter Park. The score was 15-4 in favor of Winter Park.

90 years ago

Raymond G. Dickson Plumbing Company moved from the Garden City Garage to 24 E. Plant St.

The possibility of closing the Ocoee High School and sending its students to Winter Garden was disclosed by members of the County Board of Education when members inspected the local high school building. According to Superintendent Judson B. Walker, there was a new state ruling that if two high schools were within 10 miles of each other, one would be closed.

Winter Garden went on the air with a program from 8:30 to 9 p.m. over station WDBO, Orlando.

Members of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan of Orange County announced a rally at the Winter Garden American Legion Hall.

Mr. and Mrs. Joe Griffith announced the arrival of a son born at the Griffith home. The young child was named Donald Morris.

The First National Bank of Winter Garden listed its resources at $283,221.11, according to J.S. Fairchild, cashier.

60 years ago

The pink ladies of West Orange Memorial Hospital Auxiliary were in the throes of planning to publish a cookbook.

The West Orange Federal Savings and Loan Association announced 4.25% per annum current rate compounded quarterly.

50 years ago

The Ocoee Fire Department rolled out its “emergency room on wheels.” The department had 11 volunteers who qualified as emergency medical technicians. The EMTs were on call once the vehicle was in full service, and any one of them was capable of handling many types of emergencies with the sophisticated gear on board. The EMTs were expected to make arrangements with West Orange Memorial Hospital to take a course on the electrocardiogram machine, which the ambulance carries to monitor a person’s heartbeat.

Doug Chaulk and R.M. “Best” Downing began operating a mobile home sales lot called D & B Mobile Homes, which specialized in bank-repossessed mobile homes. It was located on South Bluford Avenue in Ocoee.

Dr. L. Linton Deck Jr., new superintendent of Orange County Public Schools, spoke to the Rotary Club of Windermere. He was welcomed by club president Dave Bergman and introduced by Don Shaw, principal of Hiawassee Elementary School.


JULY 19, 1973

Entertainment was hard to come by in West Orange County in the 1970s, and only a handful of businesses offered live music and theater productions. In the July 19, 1973, issue of The Winter Garden Times, two venues advertised their entertainment.

Patrons of the Winter Garden Inn could enjoy 60-cent drinks during Happy Hour while listening to Steven Douglas work his magic on the organ in the Gold Lion Room.

Across town, at Once Upon a Stage, a dinner theater centrally located at Par and Edgewater, dreamy stage, screen and TV star Fabian was performing in the comedy “The Tender Trap.”


A Waverly Brands citrus truck and four employees are seen in this photograph. At left: Joe B. Austin, the brother of citrus grower Lester Austin Sr., who grew citrus in the Winter Garden area and shipped from the South Lake Apopka Citrus Growers Association. Three unidentified men stand to Austin’s left.

Waverly is located in southern Polk County, where citrus cultivation is practiced despite many challenges. Photo courtesy of Valerie Bronson, who shared the image with the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation.


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