This week in West Orange County history: Feb. 29, 2024

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

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80 years ago

The main problem facing the parents and friends of Lakeview High School was the fact that for years the school tried to have a band. Once it got the band, it needed 22 uniforms to be purchased at $30 apiece.

70 years ago

The West Orange Memorial Hospital Auxiliary held its annual azalea sale in front of the Winter Garden Times office on North Boyd Street.

The recently formed fortnightly bridge club met Tuesday night with Mrs. Henry Britt Jr. in her home. The members present were the wives of Malon Wright, Tommy DeLoach, Comer Nelson, Russell Pounds, Ed Petris, George Henry and Ward Britt.

50 years ago

Carl D. Patterson of Windermere Realty Inc. announced Gretchen Boyd joined his firm as an associate. The firm had just moved into its handsome new office, just north of the Windermere Post Office.

After months of planning and preparation, Joe Miller, a 25-year-old antique car buff from Winter Garden, announced the opening of his antique car museum on Beulah Road off Highway 50. The large structure had about 25 restored antique cars on display, and the scene was enhanced by mannequins dressed in clothes from by-gone eras, racoon coats and novelty items from the past.

A letter to the editor from A.M. thanked the office staff for reminding her it was time to renew her subscription. She wrote: “Surprisingly, it was my teen-aged daughter who urged me to resubscribe, for she enjoys it as much as I do. When she asked me to send our copies to her next year when she is in college, I got the idea that we would give her a subscription for one of her graduation gifts. Through the paper she will keep in touch with her hometown, and it may help prevent the homesickness that many young people feel when away from home. … I thought you’d be glad to know that your paper appeals to youth. This is quite an accomplishment, for the young are the greatest ‘critics.’”

20 years ago

A new outdoor mall was announced that would change the landscape of Winter Garden. The preliminary plans called for a 1.3- to 1.5-million-square-foot, open-air mall that would include retail space, a 24-screen movie theater, office space, 50 residential units and 125 hotel rooms.

The West Orange Times recognized readers who were Leap Year babies: Ruby Clifton, born 1906; Nancy Harger, 1924; Ray Aldridge and Susan Derringer, 1928; David Kilborn, 1952; Kathy Glasser, 1956; and Isaac Johnson, 1996.


FEB. 22, 1954

Oh, to have these prices again! In 1954, Piggly Wiggly advertised “Super Week-End Savers” in the Winter Garden Times on quality meats and an assortment of cooking ingredients.

A 3-pound can of Wesson Oil Snowdrift shortening was 83 cents; a 16-ounce can of Armour’s Star chili, with beans, cost just 23 cents; a pint of Kraft Miracle Whip salad dressing was 30 cents; 10 cans of frozen concentrate orange juice was just under one dollar; and a dozen large eggs was 58 cents.

In the meat department, how about a pound of sliced bacon for 69 cents, smoked hams for 59 cents per pound or lamb legs for 59 cents per pound? Two pounds of margarine was 39 cents, but if you wanted real butter, the Land O’Sunshine brand would set you back 60 cents per pound.


Honoring Women’s History Month — Resident Kathy Beyers poses with an unknown wearing a clown costume during the “Save Our Star-Lite” Drive-In Theatre campaign in 1996. The beloved theater — also affectionately known as Peavey’s Passion Pit — unfortunately closed shortly thereafter.

Beyers and her valiant attempt to help preserve the Star-Lite are featured in the newest exhibit — West Orange Women: Making History, Part Two — which debuts at the Winter Garden City Hall Art in Public Places Gallery on Friday, March 1. The exhibit features many of the women who helped improve and nurture local society in many fields of endeavor. Stop by from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.



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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