November Happenings at the History Center

Bartow, Fla (Oct. 29, 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:

  • November’s Family Program – Curators of Curiosity - All Month
    • To commemorate Thanksgiving, celebrate the turkey and make a paper bag turkey hand puppet. History Time Tots, a story and activity time, designed for children five years old and younger, will take place on at 10 a.m. Nov. 2 and 12. The featured book for story time is, “How to Catch a Turkey,” by Adam Wallace.
  • Nov. 2, 11 a.m. - Oak Hill Cemetery Tour
    • Regularly scheduled walking tours of historic Oak Hill Cemetery resume this month.Oak Hill Cemetery is a historic cemetery in Bartow, which was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 2003. The early gravesites date to 1860, and people interred there include Confederate Gen. Evander M. Law, Bartow land donor Jacob Summerlin and Polk pioneer settlers like the Blount, Parker and Varn families. The tour begins at the History Center with a short walk of about one mile which includes 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.
  • Nov. 7, 5-7 p.m . - Festival of Wreaths and Silent Auction Opening Night
    • Take in the sights and sounds of the season and enjoy the Ninth Annual Festival of Wreaths. The History Center will be open from 5 to 7 p.m opening night, Nov. 7. Enjoy the melodious a cappella voices of the Frostproof Middle-Senior High School Chorus from the second floor rotunda with performances at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Santa Claus is comin’ to town too, with his first stop of the holiday season at Opening Night festivities. Opportunities for selfies with Santa and one of his elves also will be available. The colorful and unique wreaths that fill the halls of the History Center are decorated and donated by local businesses, individuals and organizations and will be available for purchase through an online silent auction process with proceeds benefiting History Center programming. The wreaths will be on display through Dec. 13 when high bidders begin picking up the wreaths to decorate their homes across Polk County.

  • Nov. 15, 6 p.m. – Santa’s Christmas Traditions with Magic on Main
    • Santa Claus returns to the History Center to share the story of “Christmas Traditions” in conjunction with the Main Street Bartow Magic on Main Street activity. Santa’s stories will be followed by the lighting of the tree at 7 p.m. on the south lawn of the History Center. The History Center will close at 6:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 16, 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 original electrical breaker box which was preserved during the 1990s restoration project. The architectural tour is at 11 a.m. the third Saturday of each month at 11 a.m.
  • Nov. 19, 12:15-1 p.m. – Out of the Archives Speaker Series: “Filling the Pages of the Polk County History Center’s Family Bibles”
    • What is a Family Bible and what information can you find it? Does your family own one? Join Preston Petermeier, Polk County History Center research & genealogy historian, as he introduces the History Center’s Family Bible collection. He will explain the history of these books as well as the valuable information they contain. These fantastic resources can be extremely beneficial for anyone researching their family’s history.
  • History Center Holiday Closures
    • The History Center will be closed on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 28 and 29 for the Thanksgiving holiday. The History Center will re-open at 9 a.m., Nov. 30 at 9 a.m.

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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