Winter Garden Heritage
             Central Fl RailRoad
             History Research Center
             self-guided tours

“Through exhibitions, viewers stop and take notice of what makes this community unique.  Hopefully this will foster a desire to maintain the character, ambience, and appeal of our city for future generations.”

Kay Cappleman, founding  member and Director
of Education

Since 2008, Winter Garden Heritage Foundation has presented exhibitions that illuminate the history and heritage of Winter Garden and surrounding communities.


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.




 Dave Starr: Orange County’s Colorful Sheriff

Winter Garden Public Library     November 3 – November 14, 2014

Winter Garden City Hall                   November 17 – February 13, 2015

The life and times of Dave Starr, Orange County’s longest-serving sheriff, is shown through 24 narrated photographs from the Dave Starr Collection that is housed and preserved at the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation’s History Research and Education Center. Don’t miss this opportunity to witness how radically life changed during the decades of Starr’s tenure!




Past exhibitions have included:


Through Winter Garden: Then & Now, visitors experienced history by visually comparing familiar contemporary sites to the same site, photographed just after the turn of the 20th century.  The body of work explored the growth and change experienced in the small city since 1900, when early settlers began constructing storefronts along the Atlantic Coastline Railroad.  Contemporary photographs were taken by Peter Schreyer, internationally exhibited documentary photographer.  Narratives explaining the history of each site and the people who lived and worked in the structures accompanied each piece.
Curated by Kay Cappleman.

Plein-air is a French expression used to describe the act of painting outdoors. Paintings depicted the cultural and architectural heritage of the downtown Winter Garden historic district. The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation, in partnership with Crealde School of Art, presented Winter Garden in Plein-Air in the historic Edgewater Hotel. Exhibited paintings were available for sale and many became part of the collections of Winter Garden residents.
Curated by Kay Cappleman.

For Rod Reeves, there was never a doubt about his life’s passion. His 160-plus books crammed with illustrations of people and places attest to that.  Even to this day, he carries a sketchbook everywhere he goes. “I don’t ever remember a time when I didn’t like to draw.  When I draw, I sit there and think about the living that’s gone on inside of the building or the people who have come and gone over time,” says Reeves.

In addition to Brinkley’s work, the exhibit provided a brief look at the history of Lake Apopka. The once crystal-clear lake was a source of life to the Native American Timucua tribe and the “large-mouth bass capital” to anglers from around the world. Now it is among Florida’s most polluted waters due to agricultural practices. Thanks in large part to dedicated citizens who advocated for its restoration, the lake is currently in the midst of a massive clean-up process. Scenes of Lake Apopka was a collaborative project of the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation, Oakland Nature Preserve and Friends of Lake Apopka. Exhibited prints were available for sale.
Curated by Kay Cappleman.


Lost Decades: Winter Garden in the 1980s and 90s
February – May 2010

This exhibition displayed archived photographs taken by documentary photographer Peter Schreyer of downtown Winter Garden during the economic decline of the 1980s and 90s. Schreyer found enchantment in the forlorn structures of the forgotten historic district when few others did. The photographs were chosen for both their historic and artistic value and provided a remarkable interpretation of beauty in the midst of decline.
Curated by Kay Cappleman.




Up From the Ashes– A Photograph Exhibition

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

Winter Garden Library– February 15, 2013 through April 30, 2013

As part of the city of Winter Garden’s Art in Public Places exhibitions, we will be presenting this fascinating collection of narrative photographs from the archives of the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation. Help us celebrate Winter Garden’s 110th. anniversary celebration as we pay homage to J.L. Dillard and A.B. Newton, two of  the visionaries who rebuilt the city’s downtown after the fires of 1909 and 1912.




The Photographs of B.P. Hannon–

        A Retrospective of Lives Lived Locally

Winter Garden Library– June 3, 2013 through August 18, 2013

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.




Shipping Gold: The Packinghouses of West Orange County

Opened at Winter Garden City Hall February 3, 2014





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