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March Happenings at the History Center

Published on Feb 28, 2022

Bartow, Fla (February 28, 2022) -- 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:

  • March is Women’s History Month
    • Visit the Polk County History Center and discover the ways in which women have impacted Polk County’s rich history. History Center staff will provide interested guests a guide to women’s history across Polk County. 
  • March 5 –  51st Annual Bloomin’ Arts Festival
    • The picturesque dome of the Polk County History Center takes center stage as the backdrop for the 51st Annual Bloomin’ Arts Festival in Bartow. The all-volunteer art show  hosted by the Bartow Art Guild features judged competitions of works in a variety of media. The show kicks off with the Bloomin’ Bike Ride Saturday morning and continues through Sunday afternoon. The History Center’s featured artist, Ronald Malone, will  display works along Central Avenue at the east entrance of the History Center. Don’t forget to pop inside and visit the Arts and Cultural Gallery to discover more of Polk’s fine arts footprint.
  • March 5, 11 a.m., Oak Hill Cemetery Tour
    • Join our curator of education on a walking tour of the historic Oak Hill Cemetery in Bartow, which is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 2003. The tour starts at the History Center with a one-mile walk 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 begins at 11 a.m. the first Saturday of every month, November through April.
  • March 12, 10 a.m., Historical Marker Unveiling and Dedication Ceremony – Kathleen School
    • A historical marker for Kathleen Middle School will be unveiled and dedicated at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 12. The outdoor 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.
  • March 19, 11 a.m., Architectural Tour
    • Join History Center staff for an architectural tour of the History Center and discover the neoclassical architectural elements that define this iconic Polk County landmark. This month the focus is on the cornerstones for both 1908 and 1926. The architectural tour begins at 11 a.m. the third Saturday of each month.
  • March 26, 10 a.m., Genealogy Speaker Series: “Good Deeds: Finding Your Roots in the Land Records” By Joseph Grabas
    • Often overlooked in genealogical research is the information contained in the land records: deeds, mortgages, maps, liens, etc. Drawing upon over four decades of extensive research with real property documents, Joe Grabas explores how land title documents can open a window into the lives of our ancestors that other sources fail to reveal. As demonstrated in his award-winning book, Owning New Jersey: Historic Tales of War, Property Disputes & the Pursuit of Happiness, Joe will explain how to access the land records and how to interpret their meaning. Every deed is the end of one person’s story and the beginning of another’s.
    • Reservations are required. For Zoom details, contact Preston Petermeier at (863) 534-4604 or
  • March 10, 2:30 p.m., Polk County Historical Commission and Marker Committee Meeting
    • The Polk County Historical Commission and Marker Committee will meet in the Board Room 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.