This week in West Orange County history: Feb. 15, 2024

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

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80 years ago

Housewives were warned they might not get five pounds of canning sugar by using stamp No. 40 in War Ration Book Four. OPA announced an additional canning sugar later will be available on application to local boards.

Livestock farmers were given an additional month to slaughter hogs without a permit or license and to deliver any quantity of pork to persons not living on the farm.

Billy and Bob Davis were all smiles again after the birth of another boy at Orange General Hospital — a 7-pounder named James.

70 years ago

Cpl. Fred Shephard with the 307 Army Band, stationed at Fort McClellan, Alabama, was home to spend the weekend with his wife.

50 years ago

The city of Winter Garden was celebrating Hoyle Pounds Day with a free community fish fry at the City Auditorium. The event was to honor the “tractor dealer, inventor, industrialist and good citizen.” Prior to the celebration, Pounds had been earlier feted on the football field at the University of Florida homecoming game and was given a standing ovation as the oldest living Florida varsity football player. He played end on the 1913 Gator team.

J.L. “Lee” Bekemeyer Sr. has opened Bekemeyer Realty in the Orange Federal Savings & Loan Association building on Dillard Street. His associates are M.G. “Sonny” Howard and H.L. “Hal” Bekemeyer Jr.

The Tri-City Shopping Center on South Dillard Street announced its grand opening with the following businesses: Happy Holiday Travel, J.B. Beauty Salon & Wig Boutique, Mr. D’s Bootery, Burger Chef, Orlando Metro Realty Inc., General Electric Center, Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio & Boutique, TG&Y Family Centers, Food World, The Whiffletree, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Main Place, Griffin’s Men’s Wear, Winter Garden Sports Center, First State Bank, Cock-a-Doodle-Doo Gifts Flowers & Cards, The Focal Point, and White Stores Inc.

45 years ago

The Ladies Auxiliary of the West Orange Memorial Hospital Tax District made possible the purchase of a van from Century Chevrolet for West Orange Manor.

40 years ago

The Butler Chain of Lakes was designated “Outstanding Florida Waters” by the Environmental Regulation Commission, which met in Orlando.

Lakeview Junior High School announced its Valentine Court: Kim Bowen, Bradi LaPenta, Julianne Morris, Shannon Rein, Beth Pruden, Kim Craven, Holly McDowell and Ramsey Wharton.

30 years ago

The Woman’s Club of Ocoee celebrated its 70th birthday with a special luncheon. Club president was Alison Resnik. Members decorated tables according to the months of the year, and themes included June weddings, Christmas, autumn and the Fourth of July. A fashion show featuring clothing from Gerry’s Dress Shoppe of Orlando followed the meal.


Feb. 5, 1954

Leader Department Store, in downtown Winter Garden, advertised its once-a-year sale in the

Winter Garden Times in 1954. It was celebrating the business’ 21st anniversary and trying to rid the storefront of its fall and winter merchandise to make way for the spring goods.

For children, patent leather dress shoes and white high-top shoes were $1.98, saddle oxfords were $2.98, and tennis shoes were $1.49. Overalls for boys and girls were priced at $1.49 to $1.98.

Girls’ dresses in the Nannette style were $1.98 to $2.98, and the Cinderella style were a bit more at $2.49 to $3.59. Boys’ flannel was reduced to a low $1.49 for shirts and $1 for pajamas, and slip-over knit shirts were a buck as well.

Women’s shoes were priced $3.98 and below, and 51-gauge Pretty Shade nylon hose was a mere 49 cents. Women still in need of sweaters could find them on the sale table for $1.69 to $2.69, and they could buy jackets in corduroy and gabardine for $3.98 to $5.98.

Men in the market for a new hat could grab one for $1.98 to $2.98; all dress pants could be had for $4.98 to $6.98; and men’s shirts were $1.98 for flannel, $3.98 for corduroy and $2.98 for gabardine.


The Richardson-Marsh packinghouse was located in Ocoee where West Tree Service was located in 2020 at the northwest corner of Oakland Avenue between the former Tavares & Gulf and Atlantic Coast Line tracks. Women worked inside the plant, grading and packing fruit; men worked in the groves. The company itself operated from Orlando in the vicinity of Orange Blossom Trail and Princeton Street where a major development is being constructed at present. Named The Packing District, it will occupy an area where major citrus packinghouses stood along the railroad tracks.



Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.

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