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March Book Club at the History Center - March 3 & 10

March is right around the corner and it's time for Book Club at the History Center. On March 3 and March 10 we will be reading ‘A Separate Country’ by Robert Hicks, based on the incredible life of Confederate War general John Bell Hood. Join us for good fun and great lunchtime conversation!

The book club meets at the History Center the first two Tuesdays every month from 12:15pm - 1:00pm. Free and open to the public.

Research Projects? Visit the History Center Library

Researching a history project for school or tracking down genealogy info on your family? Simply want to know more about the unique history of Polk County? Stop by the History Center’s Historical & Genealogical Library – we have the keys to help you get started on your research endeavors! We are open Tuesday through Saturday, 9am. until 5pm.

Baseball is the topic of Book Club at the History Center February 3 and 10

In February, we will slide into the history of baseball in “The Summer of 68” by Tim Wendell. In 1968, amid the challenges of national tragedy and social unrest, baseball greats like Mickey Lolich, Willie Horton, and Al Kaline propelled the Detroit Tigers to the World Series.
The book club meets at the Polk County History Center the first two Tuesdays every month – 12:15pm to 1:00pm. The event is free and open to the public.

Tour of Oak Hill Cemetery February 7

Attention history and genealogy fans - mark your calendars for the first weekend in February. The Polk County History Center will host a walking tour of the historic Oak Hill Cemetery in Bartow. Many pioneer families are buried in this cemetery, including Civil War veterans Jacob Summerlin and Gen. Evander M. Law. The tour begins at the History Center at 11:00 a.m. and is offered the first Saturday of every month, January – April 2015. The event is free and open to the public.

February 7 , 11 a.m. – Cemetery Tour

Promoting Preservation Workshop January 31 at the History Center

Join us at the Polk County History Center on January 31 for the third and final workshop in our preservation series.The final workshop will include information about the National Register nomination process, a presentation about heritage tourism in Polk County and tips for marketing historic sites. We will wrap up the workshop with a special tour of the Old Polk County Courthouse by restoration architect Tom Hammer.

Promoting Preservation: National Register of Historic Places, Historic Districts, and Heritage Tourism Marketing

Polk County History Center Book Club - January 6th and 13th

Bring your lunch and join the History Center for Book Club. In January, we will be reading “Lincoln’s Boys: John Hay, John Nicolay, and the War for Lincoln's Image” by Joshua Zeitz. The book draws on letters, diaries and memoirs to tell the story of Abraham Lincoln’s White House through the eyes of his two aides. Hay and Nicolay accompanied and advised Lincoln through the historic events surrounding the Civil War. Their biography of Lincoln created a lasting narrative and preserved a very intentional image of the president which lingers today.

Historic Preservation Celebration Month

January is Preservation Celebration month at the Polk County History Center. Interested in researching and preserving your historic home? In January, the Polk County History Center is hosting Preserving Polk Pride, a series of 3 preservation workshops offered free to the general public. The workshops will equip researchers with the necessary resources to start their journey to uncovering the past, making important connections between county and state agencies to promote historic preservation.


Greetings all! I was invited to the reopening of the Frostproof Historical Museum and Library down in Frostproof this past Saturday (4 October). Bea Reifeis is the new director, she and volunteers have worked diligently to upgrade both the building and the collection. I must say the building is a lot brighter than it used to be. There is new paint and a tile floor and all repairs were made as they went along. The exhibits are really informational and well done. If you get the chance go down for a visit. It is at 210 South Scenic Highway, Frostproof. Phone 863-635-7865.

Joe Spann Resigns

With regret, we would like to inform you that our long-time Library Manager, Joe Spann, has resigned his position with us. His efforts on behalf of the Library have accomplished much over the years and the collection has grown extensively under his guidance. He put in countless long hours and greatly advanced the work of recording and researching the history of the Southeastern United States and its families. He will be greatly missed. We wish him much success in his future endeavors and much happiness.

More New Online Resources

Even during this economic downturn the Polk County Historical and Genealogical Library continues to bring new online resources for researchers. We are very proud to announce the immediate availability of both the 1884 and 1885 Polk County tax digests at our "Online Resources" page. Just click on the "Online Resources" link to the immediate left of this blog posting. Happy searching!