This week in West Orange County history: Jan. 18, 2024

These stories and residents were making headlines in West Orange County's past.

  • West Orange Times & Observer
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80 years ago

Mr. O.L. Sands, director of the Orlando municipal airport, strongly urges Winter Garden to build an airport, saying officials should begin at once to get this as a post-war project.

The police department found a lady’s purse containing a ration book in the name of Annie M. Peterson and hoped the owner would call and pick it up.

Mrs. Buster Rosser, of Windermere, received word that her husband, Pfc. Buster Rosser, was overseas.

Charles McMillan, son of Mr. and Mrs. M.Y. McMillan, was home on a 10-day furlough from Eglin Field.

Pfc. John Tomyn, who recently returned from overseas service in the Aleutians, spent two weeks with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. D.M Tomyn in Ocoee.

Arnold’s Feed and Seed Store, phone 195, was featuring certified North Dakota-grown Red Bliss potatoes as well as cucumber seeds.

An enemy alien who is a German, Hungarian, Romanian or Bulgarian citizen or national could be inducted into the Armed Forces of the United States and assigned to a war theater in which he would not normally be required to fight against fellow nationals or blood relatives, under a recent revision of Selective Service and War Department policies.

Mr. and Mrs. R.T. Taylor, who were visiting Mrs. Taylor’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. J.A. Striping, during the holidays, returned to their home in Atlanta.

Retail ceiling prices of 10 cents and 15 cents a pair of rubber heels sold to consumers who desire to attach them to shoes in their own homes were established by the Office of Price Administration.

Sugar rations for home use was to remain the same for another two-and-one-half months. Sugar stamp No. 30 in War Ration Book Four became valid Jan. 16 and was to be good for buying five pounds of sugar through the month of March.

Mrs. P.H. Britt Jr. was selling automobile tags at City Hall earlier this month.

During 1943, approximately 5,000 Orange County women volunteered their services to the Red Cross.

70 years ago

George Barley, chairman of the building fund committee for the Church of the Messiah, Episcopal, reported considerable progress on the efforts to establish a new Episcopal church here in Winter Garden.

The Rev. R.G. Lemp, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, addressed members of the Winter Garden Rotary Club in a luncheon meeting, stressing the need for Christian leadership in America today.

45 years ago

Goals for West Orange: restoration of Lake Apopka, a good north-south traffic artery, a modern airport, a community theater, a wine and cheese shop, four-laning of Silver Star Road west to Ocoee, redevelopment of downtown Winter Garden and preservation of the Butler Chain of Lakes.

It was deemed official that Gibbs Ashley really did retire. To all those for whom “going to Gibbs” was synonymous with “taking the dog to the vet,” it really is the end of an era. Dr. Ashley sold his more-than-40-year-old Winter Garden practice to Dr. John Miller and continued to work part-time with Dr. Miller for a few months.

20 years ago

The original Edgewater Hotel sign made it back to the hotel after being removed in the 1970s. The sign, which was on permanent loan from the museum, was to be displayed inside the hotel temporarily and later was to be placed back on the front of the hotel.


JAN 18, 1973

The first of the new year brings discounts to auto shoppers, and Al Ewing Ford and John Lamb Chevrolet were among the local dealerships offering deals on cars and trucks.

The Ford lot offered a 1972 Pinto for $2,099, a 1969 Toyota Corona for $999, a 1971 Fiat 850 Sport at $1,499, a 1969 Datson 510 for $999 and a 1972 Maverick for $2,499.

Over at the Chevy lot, a 1971 Chevelle was available for $2,295, a 1969 Ford LTD for $1,595, a 1967 Fiat for $575, a 1971 MGB GT at $2,695 and a 1963 two-ton Ford truck for $2,195.                              


Many newcomers to Winter Garden ask about whether the Winter Garden Heritage Museum is housed in the only surviving railroad depot that stood along Plant Street. Actually, the brick ACL depot you visit today is the third railroad depot to stand in the vicinity! An original 1890s Orange Belt Railway station was located about a block east; this photo shows the large wooden Atlantic Coast Line depot that was constructed in 1906. A Pullman passenger car can be seen on the tracks that eventually were replaced by the West Orange Trail in the early 1990s. The museum today is located in the ACL station that rose in 1923; the wooden 1906 depot was moved to the east end of the block to handle freight until it was dismantled in the 1960s.


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