July Happenings at the History Center

Bartow, Fla (June 28, 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:

  • July’s Family Program – Curators of Curiosity - All Month
    •  Celebrate the Fourth of July this month at the History Center. All month long, young students will make their own American flags to wave. History Time Tots, a story and activity time, designed for ages five and under, will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 6, and Tuesday, July 9. Cintia Ally, curator of education and programming, will read, “The Night Before the Fourth of July,” by Natasha Wing.
  • July 16, 12:15-1 p.m. – Out of the Archives Speaker Series – “The Who, What, Where, and Why: A Look at City Directories,” by Preston Petermeier, research and genealogy historian, Polk County History Center
    • Continuing the Out of the Archives series, Preston Petermeier will present the unique information found in the Historical and Genealogical Library’s collection of local city directories. These directories  date back to the 19th century and contain a wealth of information that can be used as a helpful tool in genealogical research.

  •  July 20, 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 intricate and colorful stencils found throughout the building. The architectural tour is at 11 a.m. on the third Saturday of each month.

  • July 26, Noon – Historical Marker Dedication Ceremony - Union Academy High School
    • In a partnership between the Union Academy High School Alumni Association and the Polk County Historical Commission, a historical marker for Union Academy High School will be unveiled and dedicated at noon, July 26. The ceremony will take place at the present site of Union Academy Middle Magnet IB School at 1795 E. Wabash St. in Bartow. The site is the location of the former Union Academy High School, founded in 1897, and operated as a segregated African American school, before its termination as a secondary school in 1969. The marker is the 26th marker to be installed in Polk through the historical marker program of the Polk County Historical Commission.
  • July 27, 10-11:30 a.m. - Genealogy Workshop - Introduction to Genealogy Research by Preston Petermeier
    • Preston Petermeier, Research and Genealogy Historian for the Polk County History Center’s Historical and Genealogical Library, will guide participants on how to begin their family history research. The workshop also will include tips on compiling sources, organizing findings and uncovering mysteries. After the presentation, learn more in the Historical and Genealogical Library where trained staff and volunteers will be available for additional assistance with research. Feel free to bring laptops as there are a limited number of computers available on site. Call Preston Petermeier at the Polk County History Center at (863) 534-4604 to reserve your seat.

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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