August Happenings at the History Center

Bartow, Fla. (July 30, 2018) – Journey into Polk history this month at the Polk County History Center. The following programs and events are open to the public and free of charge:

• August Family Program – Curators of Curiosity - All Month – Walk Through History
o Begin the one and a half mile walk at the Polk County History Center with the downloadable Florida Stories Bartow application. Learn what life was like in Central Florida between 1850 and the 1930s. The narrated tour includes 12 stops, complemented by a unique soundtrack and historic photos that create an immersive experience.

• Aug. 18, 11 a.m. – Architectural Tour
o Join us for an architectural tour of the History Center and learn about neoclassical architecture, the construction of the building and the stories behind the iconic Old Polk County Courthouse. The architectural tour is on the third Saturday of each month at 11 a.m.

• Aug. 21, 12:15 to 1 p.m. – Lunch and Learn – “Key Moments in Florida’s Environmental History,” by Dr. Jack E. Davis 
o University of Florida environmental historian Jack Davis offers a survey of Florida history from the pre-Spanish period to the present which illustrates how nature has shaped the course of human events. 

Davis is a professor of environmental history and sustainable studies at the University of Florida. He is the author or editor of several books on Florida, including, “An Everglades Providence: Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the American Environmental Century,” and the 2018 Pulitzer Prize winning book, “The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea.” 
• Book Club Recommended Reading is, “The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea” by Jack E. Davis
o Environmental historian Jack E. Davis spent more than seven years meticulously researching and writing this comprehensive history about the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf has historically been one of the world’s most diverse and productive marine environments, supporting human life for millennia. Davis starts from the premise that nature lies at the center of human existence and takes readers on a compelling and, at times, wrenching journey from the Florida Keys to the Texas Rio Grande. The book is a New York Times Notable Book, winner of the 2017 Kirkus Prize and winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for History. 

• Polk County History Center Interior Plaster Repair Update
o A $150,000 project to repair or replace segments of the interior plaster walls of the History Center is almost complete. Some exhibits will be closed through the end of August. Please call the History Center when planning your visit to get an up-to-date list of gallery closures. The project is funded by a grant from the Department of State, Division of Historical Resources, the state of Florida and the Polk County Board of County Commissioners. 

• Aug. 23, 2:30 p.m. – The Polk County Historical Commission and Marker Committee will meet at the Polk County History Center. The 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.

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