This week in West Orange County history: March 28, 2024

These are the people and events making headlines in west Orange County's past.

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80 years ago

The Rev. Louis Calhoun, of Ashville, Alabama, is visiting his brother, Mayor W.H. Calhoun Sr., and family of Ocoee.

V.E. Bourland announced he is a candidate for re-election for county commissioner from District 3, which included Winter Garden, Ocoee, Oakland, Windermere, Orlo Vista, Vineland and precincts 22 and 22A.

At the new Lake Apopka docks, Mr. Patterson and a companion caught their limit of bass Monday. Patterson had an 8-pounder, and the others were 2, 3 and 4 pounds.

City Commissioner Glenn Joiner, in charge of the Honor Roll board, urged all those with relatives in the armed forces to turn in their names before March 28. The old list was lost, and the board was to be completed within a week.

Bert Roper, son of Mayor and Mrs. L.F. Roper, was one of seven juniors at Emory University, Atlanta, elected to the DVS, senior honor society. Membership was based on literary and scholastic attainments, leadership, ability, love for outdoor athletics and sports, and character.

70 years ago

Holler Motors was advertising a new 1954 two-door sedan delivered complete with tag and title for $1,853.

50 years ago

Smile contest winners at Winter Garden Elementary School were Christina Knighton, Lisa Fulmer, Mark Walker and Ward Theisen.

40 years ago

The Winter Garden Police Department purchased a talking puppet, McGruff, to use in elementary schools in its crime prevention and safety programs. The $300 puppet and $90 worth of tapes were bought with money contributed by the West Orange Women Jaycees and the Winter Garden Men’s Club (formerly the Winter Garden Sertoma Club).

35 years ago

Ellen Hemmert spoke to the Winter Garden Rotary Club about Rails to Trails, a program geared toward turning abandoned railroad rights-of-way into hiking and biking trails.

30 years ago

Folks who ever wanted to be on center stage wearing a queen’s sash and crown while throwing kisses to the adoring audience had their chance when Main Street Winter Garden put an all-call out for the Possum Queen Pageant at the Third Annual Florida Cracker Festival. Crystal Tucker was the first-ever Possum Queen in the city, and the honors went to Possum Queen Tommy Burnett in the second year. “Pageant participants need not be female, and they need not be cute, but having an aroma pleasing to a possum certainly could help a contestant win.” Burnett won with apple butter; Tucker, who worked at the Winter Garden Animal Hospital, wouldn’t divulge the winning ingredient.


MARCH 28, 1974

Scotty’s was a hardware store chain once located at the southwest corner of Bluford Avenue and West Colonial Drive in Ocoee. In a 1974 issue of The Winter Garden Times, the store advertised a “U-finish furniture fair” with deals on wooden pieces, such as desk chairs ($8.69), three-drawer desks ($29.95), encyclopedia bookcases ($23.59) and wagon seats ($29.95).

All of the pieces of New England-style Early American knotty pine furniture were kiln dried and sanded and ready to finish with stain, varnish, antiquing or paint.

The Spindle-Flex shelving unit, also on sale, was a staple piece in many 1970s homes, with its easy-to-add hardwood spindle system that allowed folks to create as much shelf space as the rumpus room could hold.


The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation is always happy to host the younger generations at its museums and history center and to see they’ve taken an interest in both local history and their family legacy. This photograph from March 28, 1996, features Lakeview Middle School eighth-grader Joshua Williford sharing a newspaper clipping with his friend, Michael Brown. Joshua’s mom, Joyce Watson Williford, was featured in The West Orange Times on the occasion of her wedding engagement.



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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