Join Jayme Jamison for a fascinating look into the history of Central Florida through this old cemetery, hosted by Polk History Center.
Oak Hill Cemetery Tour by Polk History Center
The Polk History Center’s curator of education gives a walking tour of the historic Oak Hill Cemetery in Bartow. Listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 2003, the cemetery is awash with the memory of Polk pioneers beneath a canopy of live oak trees. The tour starts at the History Center with a short walk of approximately one mile and includes historic landmarks along the route to the cemetery. The cemetery ground is uneven and visitors are advised to wear appropriate footwear.
The tour is held the first Saturday of each month, October through April.
What you’ll see
- Buirals with dates to 1860s
- Significant number of Civil War veterans
- Unique headstones include a Woodmen of the World monument for T. L. Marquis
- Bartow’s founding family, Readding Blount and children, Bartow was originally named Fort Blount
- Multiple examples of funerary art, including obelisks and headstone decorations including hands, chains, flowers, anchors and more
– Significant burials:
- Jacob Summerlin – Pioneer Cattleman instrumental in the found of Polk County and Orange County and development in Bartow and Orlando
- Clara Summerlin Mendenhall – WWI YMCA Volunteer who died from infection, only woman in the cemetery whose epitaph alludes to service in the great war
- Readding Blount and Riley Blount – Influential founders in Bartow and Polk County
For more information visit polk-county.net/history-center
You may also be interested in our blogs on Central Florida historic sites, and books on Central Florida History.