This week in West Orange County history: March 14, 2024

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

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80 years ago

Truck drivers who were having difficulty locating replacement parts and tires needed to put essential vehicles back on the road were able to appeal to the Office of Defense Transportation for assistance.

Shoe Stamp No. 18 in Book One and Stamp No. 1 in Ration Book 3 were valid immediately. Loose stamps were accepted for mail orders only.

Clyde E. Roberson left for Jacksonville for his boot training in the Navy.

70 years ago

Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Cappleman, Mrs. Judson Moore and Mrs. Johnnie Griffin made a business trip to Jacksonville last week.

The Winter Garden Commission voted to inaugurate a four-way stop at the intersection of Dillard and Washington streets.

50 years ago

The six-cent postcard went the way of the nickel cup of coffee and the five-cent cigar when the new postal rates went into effect and the postcard price went to eight cents. Also getting two-cent hikes were the first-class postage, which went from eight to 10 cents, and Air Mail stamps, which went from 11 to 13 cents.

A Donkey Basketball game was planned in the Lakeview High School gym pitting the men from local civic organizations against faculty and students from the school. Part of the proceeds were to help the band pay for its upcoming trip to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C.

Susie Dorman of Windermere was the top speller for a second year at Windermere Elementary School.

Burger Chef opened in Winter Garden’s Tri-City Shopping Center, offering its delicious burgers and fries from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and until midnight on Fridays and Saturday for the late-night snackers.

The West Orange Branch YMCA’s advisory board of directors surprised former board chairman Homer Craig with an engraved plaque expressing appreciation for his “outstanding service” in 1972 and 1973.

40 years ago

Winter Garden resident Mark Parker, the 19-year-old Orange County corrections officer who was paralyzed by a gunman in the Orange County Courthouse, received a medal of valor from Sheriff Lawson Lamar.

Food World celebrated its 10th anniversary with buy-one-get-one-free specials, as announced by George Faulker, meat department manager, and Jim McCoy, store manager.

30 years ago

City Manager Ray Creech retired after 15 years in that position and 43 as an employee with the city, and officials recognized his years of dedication to Winter Garden by proclaiming Friday, Feb. 25, Ray Creech Day. He also received a key to the city from Mayor Jack Quesinberry.


MARCH 7, 1974

Winter Garden Travel Center was celebrating its grand opening with specials on all sizes of recreational vehicles, including Concord, Cobra, Superior, Vogue and Sightseer. With a price range of $3,885 to $20,595, there was an RV to suit any size family, from the 18-foot Cobra to the 28-foot Vogue.

Everyone purchasing an RV during the grand opening also received a free color television and air-conditioner.

The business was located at 280 W. Highway 50 in Winter Garden, and this was before all addresses were switched from Highway 50 to West Colonial Drive. Note the phone number area code was 305, long before the switch to area code 407.


This postcard, dated March 13, 1900, was mailed from Oakland to Mr. Tom Beaty of Seffner, Florida. Part of the message is missing due to the torn corner, but we can read “Hello Tom. How are you getting along. Here is the picture of some of the stores of Oakland. But it’s not all… Write to me soon, Box 27.” 

The Great Freeze of 1894-95 wiped out citrus farming in the region, and the industry did not recover for approximately 10 years. Growers who didn’t abandon the region planted vegetables and engaged in truck farming in the interim. This image captures a slumbering Oakland, drowsing through the very end of the 19th century.

These wooden shops stood along the south side of Oakland’s “square,” formed by Tubb, Daniels, Petris and the railroad tracks. They apparently burned in a 1912 fire, soon to be replaced by a two-story building attached to a hardware store.



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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