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April Happenings at the History Center

Published on Apr 6, 2022

Bartow, Fla (April 1, 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:

  • April 2, 11 a.m., Oak Hill Cemetery Tour – Last tour until October
    • Join our curator of education on a 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 approximately one 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, October through April.
  • April 3 – 9, Celebrate National Library Week at the Historical and Genealogical Library
    • First observed in 1958, National Library Week is celebrated in libraries across the country. This year’s theme, “Connect with Your Library,” promotes the idea that libraries are places to get connected to technology by using broadband, computers and other resources. Libraries also offer opportunities to connect with media, programs, ideas and classes. Most importantly, libraries connect communities to each other.
    • The Polk County Historical and Genealogical Library offers many digital resources, including the 1950 Federal Census, released April 1 by the National Archives and Records Administration. This is a valuable digital resource for family historians as it presents a new decade of genealogical information. Visit the library to explore the Census, to research your family history or to explore the other vast resources that the library offers.
  • April 16, 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 basement of the courthouse. The architectural tour occurs at 11 a.m. the third Saturday of each month.
  • April 30, 10 a.m., Genealogy Speaker Series: “Paul Newman: The Genealogy of Hollywood’s Favorite Son,” by Deborah A. Abbott, Ph.D.
    • During this lecture, learn little-known facts about one of America’s best-known actors, Paul Newman, through the eyes of a genealogist. Born and raised in Ohio, Newman starred in more than 60 movies and won an Oscar for his role as Fast Eddie Felson in the 1986 movie, “The Color of Money.” In addition to acting, Newman was a director, race car driver, auto racing team owner and a philanthropist. He co-founded “Newman’s Own,” a food product line that donates all after-tax earnings to charity.
    • Deborah A. Abbott, Ph.D. is a professional genealogist who specializes in African American research, manuscript collections and genealogy methodology. She is an instructor who has taught at several genealogy institutes around the country and published articles in the Ohio Genealogy News and Family Tree Magazines.
    • Reservations are required. For Zoom details, contact Preston Petermeier at (863) 534-4604 or
  • April 30, 10:30 a.m., “For the Fun of It, “presented by J. Lenora Bresler 
    • J. Lenora Bresler, corresponding docent for the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum, explores what childhood meant for early American families. Spanning the 18th through 20th centuries, the curated collection reveals the shift in attitude from children being treated as small adults toward recognizing childhood as a special part of life with different needs. Join us after the presentation for a curated look at 19th and 20th century toys in the collection of the Polk County History Center.
    • This is an in-person program held in the 1926 Courtroom at the Polk County History Center. Reservations are encouraged but not required. For details, contact Jayme Jamison at (863) 534-4386 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.