October Happenings at the History Center

Bartow, Fla (Oct. 1, 2019) -- 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:

  • October’s Family Program – Curators of Curiosity - All Month
    • To commemorate the fall season, celebrate the pumpkin by making pumpkin cards and learning how to count pumpkins. History Time Tots, a story and activity time designed for ages five and under, will take place at 10 a.m. Oct. 5 and Oct. 8. The featured book for story time is, “The Runaway Pumpkin: A Halloween Adventure Story,” by author Anne Margaret Lewis and illustrator, Aaron Zenz.


  • Oct. 15, 12:15-1 p.m. – Out of the Archives Speaker Series, “A Few of My Favorite Things,” by Maria Trippe, curator of collections & exhibitions, Polk County History Center
    • Maria Trippe will present some of her favorite artifacts from the archives to show and tell, along with a discussion on her curatorial duties as they relate to the American Alliance of Museum’s best practices. Some of the featured artifacts include a diving bell, elephant tusks, taxidermy and a set of large Polk County dignitary portraits.


  • Oct. 19, 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. This month’s tour includes special emphasis on the cornerstones and ceremonial blocks located on or around the History Center building. The architectural tour is at 11 a.m. the third Saturday of each month.


  • Oct. 22, 11 a.m. – Ancestry 101 Genealogy Workshop at the Winter Haven Public Library, 325 Avenue A, NW, Winter Haven
    • The website has one of the largest and most complete database collections in the world, making it a valuable resource for genealogical research. Whether you are just getting started researching your family history or are an experienced researcher, this class, led by Dorinda Garrard, the senior library assistant at the History Center, will help you have a better understanding of the records and basic tools that offers.


  • Oct. 26, 10 a.m. - Genealogy Workshop - Utilizing the Library Special Collections by Preston Petermeier, research and genealogy historian
    • Preston Petermeier, research and genealogy historian at the History Center, details the vast resources available at the Historical and Genealogical Library. The library houses familiar records such as city directories and local history books; however, it also contains records such as plat maps, historic newspapers and special collection items that can be just as useful, but are more uncommon. The presentation will conclude with a behind-the-scenes tour of the library and its archives.


  • Oct. 17, 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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