November Happenings at the History Center

November Happenings at the History Center

Bartow, Fla. (Nov. 5, 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:

  • November Family Program – Curators of Curiosity - All Month
    •  To commemorate Thanksgiving, Curators of Curiosity will create hand turkeys. Children will trace their hands on paper to make a turkey and its feathers. Little curators that can read and write may want to add what they are thankful for on each of the feathers. The holiday reading series continues at 10 a.m., Nov. 13. Cintia Ally, curator of education and programming, will read, “Five Silly Turkeys,” by Salina Yoon. The holiday reading series, a new feature of Curators of Curiosity, is offered on the second Tuesday of the month through the month of December.
  • Nov. 9, 5 – 7 p.m. – Festival of Wreaths and Silent Auction Opening Night
    •  Take in the sights and sounds of the season and enjoy the Eighth Annual Festival of Wreaths. On opening night, the History Center will be open from 5 to 7 p.m. Enjoy the melodious a cappella voices of the Frostproof Middle-Senior High School Chorus from the second floor rotunda with performances at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Santa Claus also will visit to announce the wreaths selected for Santa’s Choice honors, and to share the history of Santa at 6 p.m. Opportunities for selfies with Santa will also be available.

The colorful and unique wreaths that fill the halls of the History Center are decorated and donated by local businesses, individuals and organizations. They are available for purchase through an online silent auction with proceeds benefiting History Center programming. The wreaths will be on display through Dec. 13.

  • Nov. 11, 11 a.m.-- Bells of Peace
    •  Described as the war to end all wars, World War I ended on Nov. 11, 1918 with the signing of the armistice and the ringing of church bells that erupted across Europe. Now, 100 years later, the tradition of ringing bells in memory of the World War I veterans who sacrificed everything is still observed throughout the world. This event is nationally sponsored by the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission. At 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, bells across the country will ring 21 times with a five-second interval between tolls. The 21 tolls of the bell symbolize the nation's highest honor based on the 21-gun salute.

Bok Tower’s carillonneur, Geert D’Hollander, gets to sit center stage as his composition, “A Sacred Suite,” is shared with carillonneurs from around the world. Bell towers and carillons around the world will also perform D’Hollander’s composition “A Sacred Suite” as part of the global Veteran’s Day ringing of the bells tradition.

  • Nov. 17, 11 a.m. – Architectural Tour
    •  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 at 11 a.m. on the third Saturday of each month.
  • Nov. 20, 12:15 to 1 p.m. – Lunch and Learn – A History of the Third Seminole War by John Missall and Mary Lou Missall, Authors and Seminole War Historians
    •  Join authors and historians John and Mary Lou Missall as they take us through the history of the Third Seminole War, a little-known conflict that raged through pioneer Florida in the 1850s. Much of the war was fought in the Peace River Valley and adjacent areas, with one of the most important battles taking place in Fort Meade. The Missalls are co-authors with Dr. Joe Knetsch of the “History of the Third Seminole War 1849-1858,” a richly-detailed history of the war, and “The Seminole Wars: America’s Longest Indian Conflict.” They are also authors of two award-winning novels about the wars, and several other non-fiction works on the subject.
  • Book Club Recommended Reading is, “History of the Third Seminole War,” by Joe Knetsch, John Missall and Mary Lou Missall
    •  Seminole war historians, Joe Knetsch, John Missall and Mary Lou Missall, have written about the third and most neglected Seminole war. Their account of the war is a detailed narrative and includes firsthand information from participants in the war. This is a must read for anyone interested in Florida, Native American or Military history.                                                                       

    History Center Holiday Closures
  • The History Center will be closed on Nov. 22 and 23 for the Thanksgiving holiday. The History Center will re-open at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 24. 

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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