Florida Citrus Crate Label Show

Hosted by the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation

1 North Main Street

Historic Downtown Winter Garden

Saturday, April 11, 2015

 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

 The show will feature numerous label and postcard collectors. Antique Florida citrus labels and historic postcards will be available to buy, sell, trade and show.

If you would like to sell, or show please contact WGHF.

In conjunction with the Label Show, the Bloom & Grow Garden Society will be hosting the 15th annual “Spring Fever in the Garden,” a two-day festival with plant, nature and wildlife-related vendors.

Saturday, April 11th, from 9am to 5pm and

Sunday, April 12th, from 11am to 4pm

For additional information, please contact the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation 407.656.3244


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Plant Street in downtown Winter Garden has always been a place to strut your stuff! Enjoy the photographic exhibit we have on display in our beautiful Heller Hall at the NEW WGHF History Research and Education Center.


Winter Gardeners put on parades for every occasion- Veterans’ Day, the Fourth of July, homecoming, Christmas… and more! Twenty photographs depict celebrations staged along Plant Street from 1918 through 2009… Don’t miss this display showing how we honor and celebrate our local events!

Daily from 11 to 5

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2015 WGHF Golf Tournament

Monday, May 11. Noon check-in. West Orange Country Club

Our 8th Annual Golf Tournament grows more successful each year, thanks to the generous support of our community. Funds raised during this event help underwrite the annual cost of hosting close to 3,000 students in our school education programs. The field trips teach local children about this area’s heritage and provide a valuable cultural excursion, including many students from low income and Title I schools.

(For more information about our education programs, visit wghf.org)

 There are lots of opportunities to contribute to the success of the golf tournament. Sponsors, goods and/or services for door prizes and auction… and lots of golfers are needed! Cost per player is $100; $400 per foursome. Both lunch and dinner are provided. And don’t forget the Golf Ball Drop, where you can win a chance at $1000 by purchasing a numbered ball that will hopefully be the first to drop into the hole from a hovering helicopter. Register at wghfgolf.com, or call 407-656-3244.

See you on the greens!

4th. of July Poster JPG

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Get to know downtown Winter Garden
up close and personal… after dark!
History and mystery meet
for an unforgettable experience…
tours run the last Saturday of each month.
American Ghost Adventures Tours…
Click here for times and details!
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Photo of Downtown Oakland taken from Cross St.

OAKLAND: Seeds of Growth Photographic Exhibit

A permanent exhibit.

Historic Oakland City Hall Building

220 North Tubb Street, Oakland, FL  34760

Monday – Friday, 8a.m. – 5 p.m., free

In the second half of the 19th century, towns across the country were working hard to lure railroad tracks in their direction. Those that did, prospered, while others off the path dwindled and were forgotten. Visionary Judge James Gamble Speer longed to put his little community of Oakland on the map. When he heard of Peter Demens’ plans to build the Orange Belt Railway in his direction, he contacted Demens, persuading him to include his community in the path and set up the railroad company’s headquarters in his town.

With the 1886 arrival of the Orange Belt, Oakland prospered. The railroad and company headquarters brought workers, company officials, new business, construction, and investment dollars. It seemed nothing could go wrong! But the dream lasted only a few short years before the town was hit with a triple dose of disappointment.

“Oakland: Seeds of Growth” is a photographic exhibition prepared by the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation presenting a rare collection of early Oakland images with historical narration outlining the town’s early days.



A Tribute to History Maker Hollis W. Holden

Wednesday, January 23, 2013   530-7 pm

Join us at Winter Garden City Hall as we honor Hollis W. Holden, former Winter Garden city manager, past mayor of Oakland and Commander of the nuclear submarine USS L. Mendel Rivers (1982-1985) during his service as in the U.S. Navy.



MusicFest 2012

Friday, October 5, 2012    6 to 11 pm

Saturday, October 6, 2012   NOON to 11 pm

Sunday, October 7, 2012   NOON to 5 pm

The Winter Garden MusicFest is like no other. It is a FREE three-day outdoor and indoor music celebration held on Plant Street in Historic Downtown Winter Garden. It’s the only music festival that showcases a diverse collection of Central Florida’s finest musicians performing in more than 30 genres: country, jazz, blues, Americana, classic rock, Southern rock, bluegrass, alternative, pop, folk, classical, opera, musical theater, choral, R&B, Zydeco, native American, music from many different ethnic traditions… and much more!
This year’s headliners are Edwin McCain (“Ill Be”) and Shawn Mullins (“Lullabye”). And this year MusicFest is adding an additional stage for featuring acoustic musicians! Don’t miss this three-day celebration celebrating Central Florida’s musical heritage… with a Winter Garden twist!



Saturday, April 13, 2013   9 am – 5 pm

Vintage citrus crate label and antique postcard collectors will be showing, buying, selling and trading in front of the Winter Garden Heritage Museum on Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm during the 2013 Spring Fever in the Garden festival. These colorful, iconic labels are reminders of what made Winter Garden and West Orange County famous. Stop by and claim your own piece of history!


An exhibit of rare photographs depicting Downtown Winter Garden both before and after the devastating fires of 1909 and 1912. Early pioneers rebuilt in brick– buildings that are still in use today, over a hundred years later!

The Winter garden Heritage Foundation and the City of Winter Garden are proud to present Art in Public Places at City Hall, featuring Up from the Ashes, a photographic retrospective of downtown Winter Garden before and after the fires of 1909 and 1912.

Don’t miss this exhibition of 25 rare images depicting our city as it grew up from the ashes of disaster…

Up From the Ashes– A Photograph Exhibition

Winter Garden City Hall– December 3, 2012 through February 14, 2013

Winter Garden Library– March 7  through April 18, 2013


Morse Day:  An enlightening and FUN day at the Central Florida railroad Museum!


APRIL 27, 2013
Florida Chapter members of the Morse Telegraph Club will gather at the Central Florida Railroad Museum, located at 101 South Boyd Street, Winter Garden, FL, to commemorate the birthday of Samuel F. B. Morse, the developer of electromagnetic telegraphy as we know it. Members will display and demonstrate antique and replica telegraph instruments and equipment. In addition, using a special computer program which turns the Internet into multiple telegraph circuits, they will exchange telegraphic greetings with members of other Morse Telegraph Chapters throughout the United States and Canada, and also with interested participants from all around the world. For the benefit of visitors who are not telegraphers, the computer program will also translate and display those exchanges on the museum’s big screen TV which will be used as a computer monitor for the day. Admission is FREE (donation) and the public is invited. Hours 10AM-4PM.



May 18 and 19, 2013… help celebrate the Britt Mansion’s 85th. birthday– your chance to tour the inside of one of West Orange County’s architectural gems!

Attire yourself in Great Gatsby style and help us celebrate the 85th birthday of the Britt Mansion! The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation, White Glove Services, and the American Butler School have joined together to host a party for the Grande Dame. Join us for a night of hors d’oeuvres, drinks, tours, and entertainment!

We’ll feature two days of events: Saturday we’ll hold the grand gala at our $50 ticketed event, and Sunday we’ll be offering $10 tours of the mansion.

Purchase tickets for each day easily at this link: http://brittmansionbirthday.eventbrite.com/?s=13458321


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Hosted in partnership with the Winter Garden Masonic Lodge and the Downtown Merchants’ Guild, this beloved event brings families out in red, white and blue to celebrate Independence Day. Breakfast is served at the Winter Garden Masonic Lodge (230 Bay Street) from 8-10 am.   Decorations are provided outside. Kids and adults adorn their bicycles, scooters, strollers and wagons, then walk or ride along Plant Street in the 10 am parade. Sorry- no battery-powered bicycles will be allowed.


Ann Ellis 8-6-2013

A Tribute to History Maker Ann Ellis

Wednesday, September 18, 2013   530-7 pm

Join us at Winter Garden City Hall as we honor Ann Ellis, the tireless Winter Garden resident who has dedicated so much time and effort toward preserving our architectural and cultural legacy.


The Music Returns: MusicFest 2013

2013 Music Fest citrus label

Friday, October 4, 6 – 11 PM

Saturday, October 5, NOON to 11 PM

Sunday, October 6, NOON to 5 PM

The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation will present its 8h annual MusicFest, a free, three-day music festival in downtown Winter Garden in October! Get excited! The city comes alive to the sounds of over 45 bands playing Blues, Country, Rock, Fusion, Latin, Jazz, Celtic, Top 40, Instrumental, Folk, Americana, Chorale and Gospel on three outdoor stages in charming historic downtown. The event celebrates Central Florida’s diverse musical landscape and features Florida’s finest musicians. MusicFest 2013 will include favorites such as Derek & the Slammers, Men with Mortgages, Smokin’ Torpedoes, the Jonnie Morgan Band, the Sweeney Brothers Band, Anita Drink, Margarita Boys, and many others. An area dedicated to young musicians will welcome local college, private and public school acts. Children’s games and rides and a variety of food vendors add to the exciting family-friendly atmosphere. For more information and a schedule of events, go to www.wintergardenmusicfest.com


 Stop In, Cool Off, and Enjoy this Free Exhibit at City Hall!

The Photographs of B.P. Hannon– A Retrospective of Lives Lived Locally

Winter Garden City Hall– August 19, 2013 through October 18, 2013

This summer we proudly present another exhibition in the city of Winter Garden’s Art in Public Places program. Winter Garden professional photographer B.P. Hannon documented his hometown via thousands of images taken from 1959 through 1974. He captured the people, places and things that all conspire to help make Winter Garden the dynamic little city we enjoy today. Photographs of parades, homecoming dances, aerial vistas, sporting events and so much more  serve as a priceless visual memoir for the people of West Orange County. Come and see B.P. Hannon’s indelible photographs from a time when citrus ruled supreme.

The 16th. Annual Oakland Heritage Festival
We’ll be featuring rare photos of Oakland’s past, many from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Our continuous slide show features images from our archives, many of them donated by Oakland families.  

You’re invited to join us for the

100th Anniversary Celebration of the  

 Tavares & Gulf Railroad Depot

Saturday, November 23, 2013    10 a.m. – 5 p.m.


The Central Florida Railroad Museum at 101 South Boyd Street in Winter Garden is housed in the original depot constructed

by the Tavares and Gulf railroad in 1913.

Join us as we celebrate the centennial of

one of this city’s most beloved structures.


Addresses by City Commissioner Bob Buchanan and Many Featured Speakers  

beginning at 2 PM


PLUS a birthday cake and refreshments, a scale model LEGO layout of downtown, rare large format photographs and memorabilia, the unveiling of the depot’s new commemorative plaque, hands-on train simulator computer programs,

and an operating telegraph display!


Come and help us welcome the T&G depot into its second century!

 File Photo 1 Dan Crusie's Painting

(Prints of this beautiful painting by Dan Crusie are available
at the Railroad Museum for $25)

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Presents the 2013


A Fundraiser benefiting

The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation

Matthew’s Hope             Nehrling Gardens

Date: Thursday, November 28 (Thanksgiving Day)

Time: 8:00 a.m. start

Place: Tri & Run of West Orange, 56 West Plant Street, Winter Garden, FL

Tri & Run and Fishback-Dominick Law Firm have teamed up for a fundraiser on  

Thanksgiving Day benefiting three great non-profit organizations.  

100% of all proceeds will go these charities. The morning activities will include a 40 minute  workout for runners and walkers. Event tees will be available to the first 300 participants,  

and entry is  a nominal donation of $15. Post workout beverages provided.

    As always this fun run/walk is open to anyone and everyone who wants to come out.
Register Online at www.trinrun.com
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Ring in the Season with Santa and a parade!

 Breakfast with Santa!

 Saturday, Dec. 7, 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.

 Winter Garden Masonic Lodge

 230 West Bay Street
Children Eat Free

 The Winter Garden Christmas Parade

 Dec. 7, 1:00 p.m. start time

 South Dillard and Plant Streets

 Colorful floats, marching bands, and more! 


And…  help us make a difference at...

 Make-A-Difference Monday

 Monday, Dec. 9, 4:00 – 10:00 p.m.

 Dine at the Tasting Room (99 West Plant Street)

 … and 10% of your tab benefits the
Winter Garden Heritage Foundation

 (Sales in The Chef’s table are not included.)


For online ticket purchases, please click on the link:


About Our Speaker

Lieutenant General Jay Garner was born in Arcadia, Florida and is a fourth generation Floridian. His military service began with the Florida Army National Guard.  He continued his service as an enlisted Marine and in 1962 was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army upon graduation from Florida State University.

Garner’s extensive military service included two tours in Vietnam, command at the battalion, brigade and corps levels in Europe, and commanding general of Operation Provide Comfort in Northern Iraq and the US Army Space and Strategic Defense Command.  Prior to his retirement in 1997, he was the Assistant Vice Chief of Staff of the Army.  He served as the first civilian administrator in post-war Iraq and was awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service by then President George W Bush.

Locally, he serves on the Board of Matthew’s Hope Ministries and is the Honorary Chairman of the Central Florida Veterans Memorial Park Foundation. He serves on several domestic and international boards which keep him involved in the Middle East and other parts of the world.

Thank you for your support!

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 A Tribute to History Maker


Paul Lewis


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

5:30 – 7:00 p.m. Winter Garden City Hall

Please RSVP to the WGHF at 407-656-3244

There is no charge to attend the event.

Honoree Paul Lewis has always had an appreciation for preserving the distinctive character of the small cities in which he has lived and worked during the course of his career. Upon his 1992 arrival in Winter Garden to serve as the District Manager for Florida Power, Paul immediately saw the potential and benefits of a revitalized downtown. He brought together a group of business and civic leaders to establish the community’s Main Street Project. The group later applied for and received the state’s Official Main Street designation. Paul also presented a request before the Orange County Commission for the establishment of a special downtown development taxing authority. Ultimately approved by Orange County and the city, it provided tax incremental funding for the downtown restoration project.

The lively and exciting downtown we enjoy today came about thanks to Paul’s love for his newly-adopted city and determination to establish a vibrant city center.

Featured Speaker:

Katy Moss Warner, President Emeritus of the American Horticultural Society and Past Director of Horticulture and Environmental Initiatives at Walt Disney World.

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Florida Citrus Crate Label Show



Hosted by the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation

1 North Main Street      Historic Downtown Winter Garden

Saturday, April 5, 2014     9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

 The show will feature numerous label and postcard collectors. Antique Florida citrus labels and historic postcards will be available to buy, sell, trade and show.

In conjunction with the Label Show, the Bloom & Grow Garden Society will be hosting “Spring Fever in the Garden,” a two-day festival with plant, nature and wildlife-related vendors.

Spring Fever Dates:

Saturday, April 5th, from 9 am to 5 pm and   Sunday, April 6th, from 11 am to 4 pm

For additional information, please contact the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation 407.656.3244

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Winter Garden Heritage Foundation

7th. Annual Golf Tournament

Monday, May 12, 2014

West Orange Country Club
3300 West Orange Country Club Drive
Winter Garden, FL

Enjoy a great day of golf while supporting the programs of the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation! The event includes a 4-person Scramble, light lunch, beverage cart and full dinner. Awards will be given in men’s and ladies’ divisions, as well as a 60+ men’s senior division. In addition, prizes will be awarded for hole-in-one, closest to pin, longest drive and longest putt contests. Every person attending the event goes home with a raffle prize!

AND, returning this year is the WGHF Golf Ball Drop! Buy a numbered ball for $5, or five balls for $20… if your lucky ball rolls into or nearest the hole, you win $1000

Can’t play in the event but want to support WGHF? Sign up to be an event sponsor or donate an auction or raffle item. All proceeds from this event support the programs of WGHF. Registration and  more info at www.wghfgolf.com.


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Our very popular and informative packinghouse exhibit will continue its run at the Winter Garden Public Library,

805 East Plant Street, through May 30, 2014


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It’s Parade Time !


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 Ninth Annual MusicFest 2014!

Check the website for performer updates…

and more!

MusicFest 2014


Featuring our headliner,





Please Join Us for A Tribute to History Makers

Ron Sikes, John Murphy, and Ward Britt 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014       530-7 pm

Successful organizations like the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation achieve great things because of great leadership. Since its inception in 1994, WGHF has been guided by people whose perseverance, foresight, and imagination helped to steer it forward over sometimes rocky roads.  Poised to embark upon our third decade, tonight we honor Ward Britt, John Murphy, and Ron Sikes for the qualities which helped nurture WGHF into a vital organization dedicated to “preserving our heritage and architecture while creating new cultural experiences.”

During the reception, you will have an opportunity to view our latest photographic exhibition highlighting the career of Orange County Sheriff Dave Starr.


History Research and Education Center



History Research and Education Center

… almost open!

Donors and Members Special Invitation

The heritage of West Orange County has a new home! WGHF will host two special events this month to welcome members, donors, and the public to our new building.

Friday, 1-9-1015         6-9pm

WGHF Donors and Members will be hosted at a special event celebrating the opening of the new History Research and Education Center. Have a drink, indulge in hors d’ouevres, tour the new facility, and enjoy a scavenger hunt through the archives! Check your mailboxes for your invitation! If you are not a member or donor and wish to become one, please call WGHF at 407-656-3244.

        Public Tour of the New Building

Sunday, 1-11-2015      4-6 pm

The public is invited to tour the brand new History Research and Education Center at        21 East Plant Street on Sunday, January 11, from 4 to 6pm.  Staff will be on hand to give free tours, answer questions, and tell how YOU can become a part of West Orange County history!

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Celebrating Black History Month

Despite the Obstacles

Celebrating Black History Month, through February 2015

Our exhibit at the WGHF History Research and Education Center, displayed in Heller Hall, features narrated photographs attesting to the efforts of African American educators in the decades before integration was established in Orange County. Historic images depict the men and women who succeeded in educating their students… despite the obstacles.

Also, be sure and browse the historic images posted in the display windows located on the right side of the History Research and Education Center.



Book Reading and Signing by Kathryn I. Knight

Tuesday, February 3, 5:30-7:00pm

History Research and Education Center, 21 E. Plant Street.

Seventh-generation Floridian Kathryn I. Knight will kick off her Fate & Freedom national book tour in her hometown of Winter Garden.   Please join us as we welcome Knight, the daughter of Billy and June Hall, to discuss the genealogical and historical findings that took her on a powerful journey and led her to pen the epic series.

Fate & Freedom, Book I – The Middle Passage will be released February 2015

File Photo 15 KNIGHT



Our newest curated photographic exhibit:

Dave Starr-

Orange County’s Colorful Sheriff



Dave Starr, Orange County’s longest-serving sheriff, witnessed two decades of phenomenal growth in Central Florida. His years of service, six consecutive terms beginning in 1949 and ending with his 1971 retirement, saw the transformation of Orange County from a small citrus farming community to a world-class destination.

Twenty-four photographs, complete with narratives, describe Starr’s life and legacy.

November 3 – 14     Winter Garden Public Library      805 East Plant Street

November 16 – February 13, 2015     Winter Garden City Hall     300 West Plant Street

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Contact Us
Winter Garden Heritage Foundation
PO Box 770657
Winter Garden, FL 34777


Copyright © 2011
Winter Garden Heritage Foundation

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Foundation Board Members
Lori Gibson, President
Julie Teal, Vice President
Andy Davis, Secretary
Arden Griffith, Treasurer
Phil Cross, Executive Board
Ward Britt, Executive Board
John Murphy, Executive Board
Ron Sikes, Executive Board
Mary Beth Asma
Gee Gee Bailey
Larry Cappleman
Ann Ellis
Betty Goodwin
Mark Griffith
Karen Grimes
Cara Hennen
Susan House
Joe Lehmann
Irv Lipscomb
Annie King Morris
Bill Richardson
Betsy Shaw
Brenda Smith
Annette Spigener
Peg Thomas
Henry Wright
Garden Theatre
City of Winter Garden
National Railroad Historical Society - Central FL
Downtown Historic District Merchants
Winter Garden Village
Oakland Nature Preserve
Edgewater Hotel
West Orange Trail
Green Mountain Scenic Byway
West Orange County Chamber of Commerce