Welcome to the Polk County History Center, home to the historical museum and genealogical library.

The Polk County Historical Museum opened its doors on September 19, 1998, in the Old Polk County Courthouse, located in downtown Bartow. The Museum serves the Polk County Community through special events, volunteer opportunities, and educational programs. The Museum's exhibits and programs continue to grow and change as new information and artifacts become available.

The guided tour at the Polk County Historical Museum complements the 4th grade social studies curriculum, but is easily adaptable to other grade levels. The tour lasts approximately one hour and is designed to serve no more than two classes at one time. The program consists of the following:


Q: Is there an admission fee to visit the history center?

A: Admission to the Polk County History Center is Free!

Q: What are your days and hours of operation?

A: The museum is open:

  • Tuesday – Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Saturday 9:00am – 3:00pm
  • Closed Sundays, Mondays and all major holidays 


    The library is open:

  • Tuesday –  Saturday 9:00am – 5:00pm 
  • Closed Sundays, Mondays and all major holidays 



The Polk County Historical Museum has areas available for Private and Community rentals from Tuesday through Saturday. Download the   for detailed information on rental policies and procedures.

Available Rooms for Rent

Dixon Central Rotunda

The rotunda of the old 1908 Polk County Courthouse is the centerpiece of the museum. The entryway welcomes guests with its ornate stenciling and dome. The rotunda floor features a hand-laid tile rosette. This area is specially suited for small receptions.  View Rotunda Layout