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October Happenings at the History Center

Published on Sep 30, 2021

Bartow, Fla (Sept. 30, 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:

• Oct. 9, 11 a.m. – Zoom & Vroom: Etched in History: A Study of Polk's Historic Cemeteries
    o This program will be presented live on the Polk County Government Facebook page, PolkCountyGovFL and available for replay on the PGTV YouTube page. Cemeteries may be our most recognizable monument to the departed, but have they always been places of quiet contemplation? Join us in exploring the history of contemporary burial practices and some of Polk’s oldest cemeteries in your neighborhood. Don’t forget to Trick-or-Treat at the History Center and pick up your Zoom and Vroom adventure pack.

This program includes both a virtual component and a self-guided driving tour. Contact Jayme Jamison to find out more information at or (863) 534-4381.

• Oct. 16, 11 a.m., Architectural Tour
o 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’s focus is on wiring the courthouse for electricity. The architectural tour occurs at 11 a.m. on the third Saturday of each month.

• Oct. 30, 10:30 a.m., Seven Deadly Sins: Objects of Intrigue within the Collection

     o Embrace the spirits of the season and unearth the sins within the everyday objects found in the collection. Presented by J. Lenora Bresler, the Daughters of the American Revolution’s Museum corresponding docent, this unique and light-hearted program looks at artifacts through the themes of envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth and wrath. This presentation is based on the 2009 National Daughters of the American Revolution Museum exhibit “Seven Deadly Sins: Fables and Early American Temptations.” This will be a hybrid presentation, and registration is required. Interested attendees may attend in person at the Polk County History Center (with a limit to 20 people for social distancing) or may participate virtually on Zoom. Contact Jayme Jamison to register at or (863) 534-4381.

• Oct. 30, 10 a.m., Genealogy Speaker Series: “Researching and Transcribing the Freedmen’s Bureau Digital Records Collection,” presented by Hollis Gentry 
     o Hollis Gentry is a genealogy specialist with the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives, National Museum of African American History and Culture branch where she coordinates genealogy reference and research services. She also serves as the research and content specialist for the Freedmen’s Bureau Digital Records projects. For this month’s program, Gentry will provide an in-depth look at how to research and transcribe these valuable resources that can be found on the Smithsonian’s digital collection.
     o This is a virtual program and reservations are required. For Zoom details, contact Preston Petermeier at (863) 534-4604 or 
     o Did you know you can help the Smithsonian to transcribe these records and more? Visit the Smithsonian archives and become a digital volunteer.

• Oct. 14, 2:30 p.m., Polk County Historical Commission and Marker Committee Meeting
     o The Polk County Historical Commission and Marker Committee will meet in the Boardroom at the County Administration Building 330 West Church St., Bartow. Meetings are open to the public.

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