This week in West Orange County history: March 30, 2023

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

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85 years ago

The Arnold Feed and Seed Store of Winter Garden asked its patrons to remember the special showing of the educational motion picture “Eggs” shown at the Legion Hall.

50 years ago

Bobby Ficquette, Trinity Prep’s ace hurler, boosted the Saints to an early 2-0 season, averaging 13 strikeouts per game.

Frank Whitcomb, a senior at Ocoee High School, won first place in the Merchandise Display contest at the 13th annual State Leadership Conference for the Distributive Education Clubs of America.

Homer Craig was hit by surprise with a major chore. Since the high school was unable to prepare the eggs for the traditional Lions Club Easter Egg Hunt, he had to boil and dye 225 dozen eggs in order to be ready for the eager youngsters gathered at the Winter Garden City Auditorium.

45 years ago

The Windermere 10,000-meter road race drew some 500 runners of all ages. Tracy Dent, co-owner of the Track Shack, helped organize the event. Gene Murphy and Rans Black were co-chairmen of the Windermere Rotary Auction.

40 years ago

Dave Bergman was named president of the Rotary Club of Windermere.

At the Bay Hill Classic golf tournament, a $5,000 college scholarship was awarded to West Orange High School student David Fleming, son of Ray and Ruby Fleming of Valencia Shores in Winter Garden.

35 years ago

With a surge of growth in the student population and increasingly crowded school facilities, Orange County officials were looking at a bold new idea for expanding the use of school facilities — the year-round operation of the schools.

30 years ago

The magnificent Life of Chris Mosaic was unveiled on Good Friday at Woodlawn Memorial Park.

20 years ago

“The Orange County boat ramp on Conroy-Windermere Road has been in the headlines for years. As one of only two ramps for the public to access the pristine Butler Chain of Lakes, it is a critical topic for local boaters and water enthusiasts, as well as conservationists. Traffic, parking and environmental concerns are among the issues that have made the ramp controversial.” … Orange County staff was looking at parking options, including parking at Chain of Lakes Middle or Olympia High with shuttle buses being considered.

Elizabeth Tyrrell, 17, organized a Rally for America event at Veterans Memorial Park in Winter Garden. The afternoon included patriotic music, speeches by military veterans, the tolling of the bell and hundreds of American. Donations collected were used to purchase items for overseas troops.


April 12, 1973

A Blue-Light Bonanza Sale meant savings for customers at Webb’s pharmacy in Winter Garden in 1973. The business advertised in The Winter Garden Times the “biggest sale in their history.”

Shoppers who followed the in-store flashing blue light received “unbelievable buys,” such as Maalox for 96 cents, Geritol for $1.68, Heaven Scent for $1.50, Fast home permanents for 68 cents, Gillette Trac II razors for 25 cents, 8-track tapes for 99 cents and Sylvania flash cubes for 89 cents.


This photograph, taken in March 1968, shows Hal Bekemeyer standing in front of Almyra, the house built by his grandparents Harold and Isobel Fowler. Harold’s great-uncle, Albert H. Thomas, homesteaded the original 160-acre site, rewarded to him by President Chester A. Arthur in 1882 in appreciation of Thomas’ service as a Union soldier during the Civil War. Thomas planted an orange grove that he named Almyra, a combination of his and his wife Lamira’s names. Winter Garden Village at Fowlers Groves, which opened in 2007, occupies the site of Almyra.


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