Bartow, Fla. (Feb. 26, 2016) – 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:
March’s Family Program – Curators of Curiosity – All Month
o In honor of Women’s History Month, learn about the Poppy Lady, Moina Belle Michael, a schoolteacher from Georgia. During World War I Michael worked to establish the red poppy as the symbol to honor and remember soldiers, a symbol that remains strong today. Create your own poppy to take home with you.
March is Women’s History Month
o On March 1, 1987, the United States Congress passed a resolution designating March as Women’s History Month. Celebrate women’s history at the History Center by participating in the “Hidden History Tour.” Explore multiple exhibits and take special note of the vital contributions made by local women to the early development of Polk and during World War I and World War II.
Special Weekend Hours for Bloomin’ Arts Festival and Quilt Show, March 3, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and March 4, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
o The 1926 Courtroom will have more than 50 quilts on display representative of all skill levels. The History Center’s Medallion Quilt will be on display in the Rotunda. The quilt was a gift of Keightley Stringfellow, with hand quilting completed by Melody Clyatt. The medallion rosette uses more than 10,800 squares to recreate the tile decoration in the rotunda of the History Center.
March 3, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Second Annual Book Sale
o From the south porch of the History Center, the Second Annual History Center Book Sale will be offered by the Polk County Historical Association (PCHA), including older and duplicate books (fiction and non-fiction) which range in price from $1 to $5. This is a cash-only event for unique and limited books. The PCHA will also be selling newer books priced as marked by the publisher, featuring local history titles. The aassociation supports local history and heritage education through programs such as the Pioneer Luncheon/Annual Meeting, History Center events and quarterly publication of Polk Proud History.
March 3 – 11 a.m. – Oak Hill Cemetery Tour
o Learn about the pioneer families and World War I veterans interred at this historic Bartow cemetery. The tour starts at the History Center with a short walk of about one mile and includes historic landmarks along the route to the cemetery. Those with mobility issues may drive to the Cemetery for the tour, located at West Parker Street and South Dudley Avenue. Oak Hill Cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003 with the earliest recorded burial dating to 1860. The cemetery tour begins at 11 a.m. the first Saturday of every month, November through April.
March 17, 11 a.m. – Architectural Tour
o 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. The architectural tour begins at 11 a.m. the third Saturday of each month.
March 20, 12:15 to 1 p.m. – Lunch and Learn – “OH FLORIDA! How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country,” by Craig Pittman.
o The state that is sometimes paradise and sometimes a punchline makes for a humorous and entertaining lecture topic by Craig Pittman. Pittman is a native Floridian and long-time environmental reporter for the Tampa Bay Times. His book of the same title won the Gold medal for Florida Non-Fiction at the 2017 Florida Book Awards.
Book Club Recommended Reading – “OH FLORIDA! How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country,” by Craig Pittman
o Florida is touted as a care-free paradise, yet the state is also known for its perils – alligators, sinkholes, pythons, hurricanes and sharks, to name a few. It attracts 90 million visitors a year, some drawn by its impressive natural beauty, others bewitched by its man-made fantasies. Oh, Florida!, by award-winning journalist Craig Pittman, explores those contradictions and shows how they fit together to make this the most interesting state.
On-going Temporary Exhibit – Bartow Art Guild Dimensions Exhibit
o Features the creative talents of local Bartow Art Guild artists, focusing on guild members with different skillsets and multiple mediums. On display in the south activity gallery through April 19.
March 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.
About the Polk County History Center: The Polk County History Center is located at 100 E. Main St. in Bartow and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Visit www.polkhistorycenter.org or call (863) 534-4386 for more information on exhibits and programming. All events and programming are free and open to the public.