This week in West Orange County history: June 1, 2023

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

  • West Orange Times & Observer
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90 years ago

Brilliantly colored parasols that reflected sunburn but let the violet rays through — that’s Mrs. R.P. Howard’s invention. Brilliantly polished nails for the lady who carried the parasol — that’s A.A. DeLage’s invention. The two inventors, both Winter Garden residents, were busy planning the marketing of their products. Howard, who has a boarding house, had offers from several manufacturing companies, and DeLage, who was a guest at Howard’s and used to be the pharmacist at Dr. Hoover’s, was going to Chicago to demonstrate his polisher in a booth at the fair.

85 years ago

Ocoee High seniors were looking forward to class night when the class prophecy was to be read and a three-act royalty comedy, “Along Came Peggy,” was presented by a large cast.

The Rev. S.L. Hunter was called to the pastorate of the Oakland Presbyterian Church.

Amateur night, sponsored by members of the Ocoee Junior Woman’s Club, netted more than $30 for the treasury.

60 years ago

The Cancer Crusade drive opened in Winter Garden with a kickoff coffee held at the American Legion Hall. Tena Britt was Winter Garden chairman and was assisted by Mrs. A.E. Cannon, Mrs. Eva Partee, Mrs. Burford Tyson, Mrs. R.C. Lewis and Mrs. Lee Bekemeyer.

The City Commission at its regular meeting drafted an ordinance to govern the disposal of discarded television tubes, florescent light bulbs and any other material that may be harmful or dangerous.

50 years ago

Project Pride took another important step forward as the city of Winter Garden was given a parcel of land for parking. The land, north of Joiner Street and west of South Woodland Street, would provide much-needed off-street parking. Among those who contributed toward the land acquisition were Dock and Ed Reeves of Reeves Bros. Barber Shop, Jim Hendrix of Tibbals Drugs Inc., Don Andrews, Danford Shoe Shop, L.A. “Larry” Grimes, First National Bank, Jimmy Pitchford, A.W. Hogue, Roy G. Fulmer Jr., Bill Cook, Billy and Scott Burch, Charles W. McMillan, McMillan Bros., W.T. Zeigler and Evadne Arney.

30 years ago

The small community of Oakland — which had no property tax — usually conducted its business at sparsely attended council meetings in the Town Hall. But when word spread of a proposed new tax ordinance, an overflow crowd of unhappy townspeople gathered at the fire station to voice their disapproval. Mayor Jake Voss called for a 4-mill ad valorem tax, which would generate about $100,000. The ordinance passed.


MAY 20, 1993

The West End Bar & Grill at the Holiday Inn – Orlando West was the fun place to be on Wednesday nights when the hotel in Ocoee began its “The Singing Machine – U.S. Karaoke Show” in 1993.

Patrons could take the spotlight on stage and acting out their singing star fantasies as solos, duos, trios or groups. All the top hits from the 1950s to the 1990s were available on the song list, and those who participated got to take home a free cassette recording of their singing debut.

The hotel was at Highway 50/West Colonial Drive and Maguire Road. The advertisement ran in the May 20, 1993, issue of The West Orange Times.


On May 25, 1978, Odessa Bradford was crowned Ms. “Queen” of West Orange Manor. The healthcare facility was established in 1966 as Medic-Home, an arm of the West Orange Memorial Hospital that was once located along Division Street. It was later renamed the West Orange Convalescent Center, then West Orange Manor and is currently known as Health Central Park.


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