August Happenings at the History Center

Bartow, Fla (July 31, 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:

  • August’s Family Program – Curators of Curiosity - All Month
    •  This month at the History Center, students will celebrate the start of the new school year. The craft activity is a personalized schoolhouse picture. History Time Tots, a story and activity time designed for ages 5 and under, will take place at 10 a.m. Aug. 3 and 13. This month’s featured book is, “Maisy Goes to Preschool: A Maisy First Experiences Book,” by Lucy Cousins.

  •  Aug. 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. This month’s tour includes special emphasis on the clock tower. The architectural tour is at 11 a.m. the third Saturday of each month.
  • Aug. 20, 12:15-1 p.m. – Out of the Archives Speaker Series – “Behind the Scenes:  A Look into the Collection Rooms,” with Tom Bogacki, Polk County History Center docent
    • Volunteer and tour guide, Tom Bogacki, will conduct a behind-the-scenes tour of the third floor archives. This tour will highlight unique artifacts not currently on public display and will include a discussion about how the museum’s collection rooms are organized.
  • Aug. 31, 10-11:30 a.m. - Genealogy Workshop – “Using AncestryDNA Today,” by Drew Smith
    •  AncestryDNA continues to add new tools to help with matching other testers, categorizing the matches into groups and discovering the right relationships. This presentation focuses on how to use the latest AncestryDNA tools (ThruLines, groups, etc.) to identify relatives near and distant.

Drew Smith is an associate librarian at the USF Tampa Library and is the 2016 winner of the Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship, presented by the National Genealogical Society. He is past president of the Florida Genealogical Society of Tampa, and has served on the boards of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the Association of Professional Genealogists and the Florida State Genealogical Society. Drew is the author of the book, “Social Networking for Genealogists, Organize Your Genealogy: Strategies and Solutions for Every Researcher,” the co-author of the book, “Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques,” and has written extensively for a number of genealogical print and online magazines.

If available, bring a laptop 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.

Aug. 22, 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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