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Holiday is upon us

Just a heads up we will be closed on the 3rd and 4th of July for the holiday. If you have research needs by all means call 863-534-4380 and leave a message. I will get to you as soon as I can when we return on 7 July. Dorinda


I will be going on vacation from 28 May to 4 June. Feel free to send messages to the email address on this site but remember I won't get to them until my return. The library will be in some very capable volunteer hands so don't hesitate to call for research help if you choose at 863-534-4380. Back in a week.

Dr. Gary Mormino Featured Speaker of May 19 Lunch and Learn

For May's Lunch and Learn we are honored to welcome Dr. Gary Mormino as he presents “A New Florida: Dream or Sunset.” Explore some of the changes over time of Florida and the influences of tourism on the Sunshine State. Dr. Gary Mormino is a distinguished author and historian, co-founder of the Florida Studies Program at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg, and the Frank E. Duckwall Florida professor of history emeritus. Presentation is FREE, bring your lunch and join us!
Lunch and Learn - May 19th 12:15pm - 1:00pm, Polk County History Center in Bartow

New Titles

Thanks to the generosity of our donors we have several new books in the library for your use. We acquired four volumes of the Toe River Valley Heritage, these include Avery, Mitchell and Yancy counties North Carolina. We received volumes 1, 3, 7 & 11. We also have Rockcastle County, Kentucky Revolutionary War Veterans, Guardian Bonds, Marriage Records and Vital Statistics. Another new volume we received is the Evolution of African-Americans in Lakeland.

Architecture and Historic Properties

Want to learn more about the historic architecture of the Old Polk County Courthouse? The History Center offers a family friendly architectural tour of the History Center the third Saturday of each month. Join us and learn about the construction of the historic courthouse, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Afterward, visit the History Center's Historical & Genealogical Library where we have a variety of resources to help you research the background and architectural style of your own historic home or property. The tour is free and open to the public.

Polk County Heritage Trail

The Polk County History Center serves as the hub of the Polk County Heritage Trail. From our outstanding library resources to fascinating museum exhibits, we are the perfect place to start your research and learn more about local history. The History Center also connects visitors to area organizations, historical societies, research venues, and historic sites to highlight the valuable resources in local communities across the county. Stop by the History Center and start your journey on the Heritage Trail!

April 21 Lunch & Learn - Bob Grenier "Central Florida's Civil War Veterans"

Author Bob Grenier discusses his latest book, “Central Florida’s Civil War Veterans.” Grenier’s talk explores the experiences of veterans and their families who settled in Florida during the Reconstruction period. Mr. Grenier is Curator of the Lake County Historical Museum and vice mayor of Tavares. Research materials at the History Center are featured in the book. The event is free and open to the public - grab your lunch and join us!

April 21, 12:15 to 1 p.m. - History Center, Bartow

Dive Into Local History With Our New Interactive Water Kiosk

A new interactive kiosk featuring water themes is now in place in the Community Gallery. The kiosk is sponsored by the Florida Humanities Council and in conjunction with a new upcoming Smithsonian exhibit about the human experience with water. The History Center produced content highlighting Polk’s special connection to water, recounting the stories of Kissengen Spring and Cypress Gardens. Once finished with a tour through the exhibits, stop by the Historical & Genealogical Library located on the second floor of the History Center and learn more about Polk County's unique waterways and sites.

April 7 & 14 Book Club - Bob Grenier's Central Florida's Civil War Veterans

It's time for Book Club again and this month's installment focuses on the years following the Civil War. We will be reading "Central Florida’s Civil War Veterans" by Bob Grenier. As we near the sesquicentennial of the conclusion of the Civil War, we will explore the experiences of local veterans and their families who settled in Florida during the Reconstruction period.

Book Club is free and open to the public - join us for good books and conversation!

April 7 and 14, 12:15 to 1 p.m. - Polk County History Center, Bartow

Archaeology the subject of March 17 Lunch and Learn

March is Florida Archaeology Month and to celebrate, Jeff Moates, director of the West Central Regional Center of the Florida Public Archaeology Network, will present research featuring our state’s rich archaeological resources. The event will take place in the 1926 courtroom (second floor) and is free and open to the public. Grab your lunch and learn more about Florida's heritage!

March 17, 12:15 to 1 p.m. – Lunch and Learn: “Innovators of the Archaic”
The Lunch and Learn lecture series is held the third Tuesday of every month, January through November.