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September Happenings at the History Center

Published on Sep 1, 2021

Bartow, Fla (Sept. 1, 2021) -- 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:

  • Sept. 11, 11 a.m., Zoom & Vroom: Polk and Beyond: Bartow, Homeland and Fort Meade
    • This program is presented live on the Polk County Government Facebook page, @PolkCountyGovFL and available for replay on the PGTV YouTube page.

Polk County’s oldest continuous settlement, Fort Meade, anchors our exploration of Polk’s southeastern cities. Steeped in historic buildings and complemented by charming Main Street districts, there is a little bit of something for everyone in the family.

This program includes both a virtual component and a self-guided driving tour. Contact Jayme Jamison to find out more information at or (863) 534-4381

  • Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, Hispanic Heritage Month
    • To celebrate the diverse heritage of Polk’s Hispanic community, the Polk County History Center and PGTV are partnering with the Puerto Rican Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Polk County.

Programming will include an exhibit in the museum’s video gallery that features stories from members of the Hispanic community, including Polk County Commissioner Martha Santiago and Congressman Darren Soto. Weekly social media content will revisit the influence of Spanish colonization across the Americas and the unique and lasting cultural traditions that resulted from the Colombian exchange.

  • Sept. 17, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Constitution Day at Bartow Friday Fest
    • Celebrate the 234th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution at Main Street Bartow’s Friday Fest. Festivities at the event will include a reading of the preamble to the Constitution by Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles T. Canady and a brass quintet performance by the Lakeland Symphony Orchestra.
  • Sept. 18, 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’s focus is on the ongoing restoration work of the courthouse and resources for historic preservation. The architectural tour occurs at 11 a.m. on the third Saturday of each month.
  • Sept. 25, 10 a.m., Genealogy Speaker Series: “Finding the Birth Mother – A DNA Case Study” presented by Glenn York
  • Walk through the case study of a woman who was adopted at birth in the early 1950s and appeared to be related to the speaker’s second great grandparents. The discussion will include the steps used to analyze her DNA matches and then how these matches and family tree information were used to identify her birth mother.

This is a virtual program and reservations are required. For Zoom details, contact Preston Petermeier at (863) 534-4604 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.