In the early to mid-1960’s, my mom and I would walk a few miles from Orlo Vista to the Pine Hills Shopping Center. From there, we would catch a bus to downtown where we would always shop at McCory’s and Woolworths, which were located on the left (east) side of Orange Ave. We would have lunch at one of the little diners that were in each of the stores.
Each year the two of us would make an annual pilgrimage to the Orange County Fair, which was held in a large field near Central Ave. My school let us out of school an hour early as a special day to attend the fair. My favorite ride was the Scrambler, which you sit in. It swings in and out, and left and right. My mom preferred the exhibits. I always had to get cotton candy, and always went home with a prize goldfish in a plastic bag. I cried when it died a few weeks later, and looked forward to next year’s goldfish.
ABOVE: This postcard shows Orange Avenue heading north from south of Pine. You can make out the names of several stores: Schwobilt, McCrorys, Yowell Drew Ivey.
ABOVE: This postcard shows the buildings on Orange Avenue south of Pine heading North. You can make out the names of several businesses: First National Bank of Orlando, F. W. Woolworth Company, McCrory’s, McElroy Drugs in the foreground and the San Juan and Angebilt Hotels and Yowell Drew Ivey department further up the street.
ABOVE: This print of an original water color by artist Richard Lewis depicts Orange Avenue in downtown Orlando, circa 1968, from Robinson Street looking south. On the left you can see the bell tower at St. James Catholic Church and the Angebilt Hotel down the street. The San Juan Hotel (no longer there) is on the right and the CNA Building is in the back.
Read more about the Orang County Fair now called the Central Florida Fair.