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Margaret Normant Thornton

Margaret Normant Thornton

First generation Orlandoan born in 1893, in her grandfather’s home on Lucerne Circle. Mrs. Normant Thornton was also the mother of Betty Robinson and Peggy Petris.

This interview was conducted by Sandra Hinson on April 12, 1975 for the Friends of the Orlando Public Library’s Oral History Committee.

LISTEN 30:51
Part One


In part one, topics discussed include:

  1. Her parents (Lula West and Howard Thomas Normant)
  2. Stores in the Downtown Orlando area
  3. Farms in Delaney Park
  4. Her family before her birth
  5. Memories of Dr. Phillip’s home
  6. Members of her mother’s family
  7. Memories of church, including Sunday School and church attire
  8. Climbing orange trees
  9. Claire Robinson
  10. Swimming in Park Lake


LISTEN 30:53
Part Two


In part two, topics discussed include:

  1. Experiences at Park Lake
  2. Her father
  3. Congregational Church on Main and Robinson
  4. Church bells ringing when someone died
  5. School memories, including her 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Terry
  6. Moving homes
  7. Memories of Sunday School


LISTEN 30:51
Part Three


In part three, topics discussed include:

  1. Her daughter, Betty and her husband, Jim Robinson
  2. Sunday School trips to Tampa, Daytona and DeLeon Springs
  3. The ice plant on North Orange Ave.
  4. Keeping perishables cool
  5. Types of stoves used when cooking
  6. The Brown Cow
  7. Meeting her husband, Lawrence
  8. Skating at the opera house
  9. Types of music played at dances
  10. Clothing


LISTEN 30:53
Part Four


In part four, topics discussed include:

  1. A National Geographic article
  2. Construction in Orlando
  3. Hurricanes in Orlando
  4. Drug stores in Orlando
  5. Her high school graduation ceremony
  6. Her wedding, her married life
  7. Learning how to drive
  8. Schools
  9. Her grandchildren


We are grateful for the Orange County Regional History Center’s making this recording available for Orlando Memory.

Listen to other oral histories with other Orlando pioneers.

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