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April Happenings at the History Center

Published on Mar 31, 2021

Bartow, Fla (March 31, 2021) -- Journey into Polk history this month at the Polk County History Center. The following programs and events will be held virtually and are open to the public and free of charge:

  • April 3, 11 a.m., Oak Hill Cemetery Tour
    • Join us on our end-of-season walking tour of the historic Oak Hill Cemetery in Bartow. Listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 2003, the cemetery is awash with the memory of Polk pioneers beneath a canopy of live oak trees. The tour starts at the History Center with a short walk of about 1 mile and includes historic landmarks along the route to the cemetery. The cemetery ground is uneven and visitors are advised to wear appropriate footwear. The cemetery tour is offered at 11 a.m. the first Saturday of every month, November through April.
  • April 17, 11 a.m., Architectural Tour
  • Join us for an architectural tour of the History Center and discover the neoclassical architectural elements that define this iconic Polk County landmark. This month, we focus on the historic clock. The clock residing in the dome of the History Center was designed by E. Howard & Co., Boston in 1908. Before being converted to electricity, the clock was wound by several striking weights that weigh up to 350 pounds. The architectural tour begins at 11 a.m. on the third Saturday of each month.
  • April 24, 10 a.m., Genealogy Speaker Series – “Unique Genealogical Sources at the State Archives of Florida,” by Dr. Josh Goodman, Archives Historian, State Archives of Florida
    • Overcoming brick walls in family history research often requires turning to unusual sources for help. The State Archives of Florida hold many records that document the activities of everyday Floridians dating back to the earliest years of the territorial era. Tax rolls, election returns, prison registers and state homestead applications are just a few of the unique records available that generally can't be found in other places. In this presentation, archives historian Josh Goodman will explore some of the state archives' most valuable records for tracing Floridian ancestors when more traditional tools aren't getting the job done.

The Polk County History Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at 100 E. Main St. in Bartow. Visit or call (863) 534-4386 for more information on exhibits and programming. All programs and events are free and open to the public.