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January Happenings at the History Center

Published on Dec 30, 2021

Bartow, Fla (Dec. 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:

  • Jan. 15, 11 a.m. - Historic Courthouse 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’s focus is on the Greco-Roman columns that are representative of the Beaux Arts influence in the original design. The architectural tour begins at 11 a.m. the third Saturday of each month.
  • Jan. 22, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. - Tin Can Tourists Vintage RV Display around the History Center
    • Step back in time to the nostalgic days of Florida’s early tourism industry when automobiles took to the road with campers in tow. In partnership with Main Street Bartow, visitors to downtown Bartow will enjoy an up close and personal look at many of the unique RVs and campers from the era of Tin Can Tourism. The RVs and campers will be parked along Davidson Street and Central Avenue around the History Center. Venture inside the History Center and learn more about Florida’s lost attractions and the “Montreal to Miami” Dixie Highway. Visit the History Center gift shop and purchase the book, “Tin Can Tourists in Florida 1900-1970,” by Nick Wynne.
  • Jan. 29, 10 a.m. - Historical Marker Unveiling and Dedication Ceremony – Kathleen School
    • In a partnership between the Kathleen Area Historical Society, the Friends of Kathleen School, the Polk County School Board and the Polk County Historical Commission, a historical marker for Kathleen Middle School will be unveiled and dedicated at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 29. The ceremony will be held at Kathleen Middle School, 3627 Kathleen Pines Ave. in Lakeland. The site is the location of the historic Kathleen School building, which was built in 1928 and served grades 1-12. The marker is the 28th marker to be installed in Polk County through the historical marker program of the Polk County Historical Commission and designates the school as a Polk County Heritage Site.
  • Jan. 29, 10 a.m. - Genealogy Speaker Series, “What’s Old is New Again: Lakeland Public Library’s Special Collections,” presented by LuAnn Mims
    • Take a virtual walk through the new Lakeland History and Cultural Center with LuAnn Mims, special collections librarian for the Lakeland History Room at the Lakeland Public Library. The special collections area was created during the city’s centennial in 1985 and has served as a repository for visitors to seek out historical and genealogical content. In its first update since its founding, the newly designed Lakeland History and Cultural Center will feature permanent displays and traveling exhibits that complement the collection.

This is a virtual program and reservations are required. For Zoom details, contact Preston Petermeier at (863) 534-4604 or

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.