This week in West Orange County history: Sept. 7, 2023

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

  • West Orange Times & Observer
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90 years ago

Mr. and Mrs. Harlow Rederick, formerly star radio performers in Chicago, entertained the Winter Garden Rotary Club Tuesday afternoon.

The Windermere school was set to open Oct. 2 with the same teachers who taught last year: Mrs. Mildred R. Cherry, principal and primary grades, and Mrs. Ella Mae Robinson, upper grades.

85 years ago

W.E. Booker, connected with South Lake Apopka Citrus Growers Association, was painfully injured last Saturday morning when the car he was driving struck a palm tree in front of the R.D. Keene offices.

Local tennis enthusiasts laid plans for organization of the Winter Garden Tennis Club.

The D. Varner Lot, located at Joiner’s Service Station on East Plant Street, advertised the following: 1937 Plymouth Touring sedan in pink of condition for $595, 1938 Deluxe Chevrolet Coupe for $695, 1937 Ford Tudor for $495, 1936 Willis pickup for $295, 1936 Chevrolet Panel for $395 and 1931 Ford Tudor for $165. E.C. Blair was manager of the car lot.

82 years ago

The formal opening of the Winter Garden First-Aid Station was held at the first station.

50 years ago

A 17-acre mobile home park received approval for development on North Park Avenue just north of the Winter Garden KOA Campground. The 108 spaces were to make up Orange Tree Mobile Home Park, in Winter Garden.

45 years ago

A reception was given by the Dillard Street and Winter Garden elementary PTAs in honor of their new principal, Jefferson “Jake” Voss.

35 years ago

Teddy C. Ryan Jr., city manager of Ocoee, announced Jean Grafton was appointed city clerk for the city of Ocoee. Mayor Tom Ison was pleased with Grafton’s appointment, praising her as loyal, hard-working and deserving of advancement.

30 years ago

Orange County Chairman Linda Chapin and the Board of County Commissioners held community meetings regarding the design of the West Orange Trail, a 17-mile recreational path extending from the Orange-Lake County line to Apopka. The linear park was expected to open in 13 months.

Members of the West Orange Chamber of Commerce learned about the 130-acre Lake Lotta Mall (later named West Oaks Mall) in Ocoee.

20 years ago

Ocoee Middle School was chosen as a national pilot for a technology program, and 150 seventh-graders were among the first students in the country to have round-the-clock access to learning resources. Dr. Kate Clark, principal, said some of her students would be assigned their own personal Tablet PCs for school and home use.


SEPT. 9, 1993

In 1993, a new place to hang out opened in the Tri-City Shopping Center, at the corner of West Colonial Drive and Dillard Street. Diamond Sue’s Good Times Rodeo opened at 1009 S. Dillard St., in what is now Kensington Church.

An advertisement in the Sept. 9 issue of The West Orange Times announced Diamond Sue was back! The establishment was hiring and was looking for female mud wrestlers, cowboy strippers, husky bouncer boys, Southern country bands, dance instructors, cocktail waitresses and bartenders.


Forty-four years ago, The West Orange Times published this photograph of Boy Scouts Stephen Wenke, Mike McNatt and Tom Nelson receiving the rank of Life Scout. This is the second-highest rank attainable, between Star and Eagle. Life is awarded when a scout serves actively in the troop, team or crew; performs in a position of responsibility for at least six months; and contributes six hours of community service.

The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation preserves a wealth of history related to scouting — donated uniforms, badges, guidebooks and clippings are available for research. Call (407) 656-3244 to scout through our collection.


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