- Saturday, Dec. 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. The architecture is especially stunning during December when the building is decorated to reflect the spirit of the season. The architectural tour occurs on the third Saturday of each month at 11 a.m.
- Saturday, Jan. 2, 11 a.m., First Oak Hill Cemetery Tour of the Year
- Kick off 2021 with a unique 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 to include 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, November through April.
- Saturday, Jan. 9, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. , Zoom & Vroom: A Formidable Fruit: Florida’s Citrus Industry in Polk County
Note the date change – Zoom & Vroom will be held on the 2nd Saturday of the month, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Program will run yearlong.
- Tune in and prepare to hit the road! Our popular Lunch & Learn series goes virtual in 2021 and includes interactive elements designed to get you and your “Quaranteam” out exploring Polk County. This month, we explore Polk’s historic citrus industry, looking first at the magnificent labels that once adorned the crates of fruit and then sending you out to discover an iconic roadside monument, a u-pick citrus farm and more. This is a virtual program, contact Jayme Jamison to register or find out more information, JaymeJamison@polk-county.net or 863-534-4381
- Saturday, Jan. 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 take particular focus on the dome and clock, both of which are embedded in the cultural identity of Bartow and Polk County. The architectural tour occurs on the third Saturday of each month at 11 a.m.
- Saturday, Jan. 16, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. – The Tin Can Tourists Return to Bartow
- In collaboration with Main Street Bartow Inc. and the Florida Tin Can Tourist Association, vintage RV’s will be parked and on display on the streets of downtown Bartow surrounding the History Center. Step back in time to the nostalgic days of Florida’s tourism industry when automobiles took to the road with these unique campers in tow. Venture inside the History Center to the Community Gallery and learn more about Florida’s lost attractions and the Montreal-to-Miami Dixie Highway. Pick up a copy of the Images of America title “Tin Can Tourists in Florida, 1900-1970” by Nick Wynne, available for purchase in the History Center Gift Shop.
- Saturday, Jan. 30, 10 a.m., Genealogy Speaker Series: “Save a Cemetery!: with Maps, Assessments, and Proper Cleaning” by Jeff Moates, Florida Public Archaeology Network
- Jeff Moates will discuss some of the basic steps we all can do to help preserve historic cemeteries in an inhospitable climate and the unrelenting environment of Florida development. This will be a hybrid presentation – registration is required. Interested attendees may attend in person at the Polk County History Center (with a limit to 15 people for social distancing) or may participate virtually on Zoom. Contact Preston Petermeier to register, PrestonPetermeier@polk-county.net or 863-534-4604.
History Center Holiday Closures