February Happenings at the History Center

Bartow, Fla. (Feb. 2, 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:

  • February’s Family Program – Curators of Curiosity - All Month – Black History Month Scavenger Hunt
    •  Follow the national theme of “African Americans in Times of War” during Black History Month. Go on a Scavenger Hunt through multiple History Center exhibits and take special note of the vital contributions made by Polk’s African American population to war efforts and to the early development of our county. Pick up a complimentary copy of, “The Florida Black Heritage Trail,” and expand your knowledge of black history beyond the borders of Polk.
  • Feb.3 – 11 a.m. – Oak Hill Cemetery Tour
    • Learn about the pioneer families and World War I veterans interred at this historic Bartow cemetery. The tour starts at the History Center with a short walk of about one mile and includes historic landmarks along the route to the cemetery. Oak Hill Cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003 with the earliest recorded burial dating to 1860. The cemetery tour begins at 11 a.m. the first Saturday of every month, November through April.

  • Feb. 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 with special emphasis on the Baroque dome design. The architectural tour is on the third Saturday of each month at 11 a.m.
  • Feb. 20, 12:15 - 1 p.m. – Lunch and Learn – The Great Florida Cattle Drive: Authors Nic and Elam Stoltzfus
    • Ride along as father/son filmmakers Elam and Nic Stoltzfus take you on the Great Florida Cattle Drive 2016. The presentation is based on their documentary of a contemporary Florida cattle drive that occurred just south of Orlando. Discover the excitement and mishaps of the two while on the week-long drive, and find out what it is like making a documentary while riding on a horse. Hear stories from the cattle drive and learn about Florida’s cattle history - Florida was the first state in the U.S. to have cattle almost 500 years ago.
    • Book Club Recommended Reading is, “The Great Florida Cattle Drive: Unbroken Circles,” by Elam Stoltzfus (Afterword),‎ Nic Stoltzfus (Author),‎ Doyle Conner Jr. (Foreword),‎ Patrick Smith Jr. (Foreword)
    • “The Great Florida Cattle Drive: Unbroken Circles” is a companion book to the documentary on a contemporary Florida cattle drive. In the mood for adventure? This full-color 132-page coffee table book is a must-have for anyone interested in Florida’s cow culture and forgotten cattle drive history.

  •  Feb. 28, Polk County History Day Competition at the Polk County History Center
    •  Students from Polk County Schools will be participating in the 19th Annual Polk County History Day competition, themed as, “Conflict and Compromise in History,” at the History Center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28. The History Center will remain open for patrons; however, please anticipate larger crowds and reduced parking around the building. Additional parking is available at the Oaks Parking Lot south of the Bartow Post Office between Central Avenue and Wilson Avenue at East Parker Street.

  • New Temporary Exhibit – Bartow Art Guild Dimensions Exhibit features the creative talents of local Bartow Art Guild artists, focusing on different artists with different skillsets and multiple mediums on display. On display in the south activity gallery from Feb. 17 through April 19.
  • New Temporary Exhibit – Polk County Kids Tag Art features a mobile collage of license tag art created by 5th grade art students throughout Polk County. The Polk County project is part of a statewide program that teaches children art design while raising much needed monies for classroom art supplies in collaboration with individuals, businesses, and community groups. The exhibit features the top 174 tag designs from a total of 7,000 student designs submitted from 81 Polk County elementary schools. On display from Feb. 2 through March 2.

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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