“As a nonprofit, the museum looks for ways to raise awareness and also raise money to help with the operations and the programs and the exhibits of the museum,” BHM Director Trey Gaines said. “So the bake sale idea, we came up with several years ago, was a way to talk about old-fashioned food ways while at the same time offering to the public these great pastries and baked goods from local establishments.
“... The community has been very supportive of the Bartow History Museum. We have a lot of folks come in to visit the museum and to support us through their admissions or through gift shop purchases but also just donating family artifacts to the museum and wanting to see those items preserved for generations. So we get a lot of support from the community in a variety of ways and we just appreciate all the community does for the museum day to day, and the bake sale is just one of those ways where you can show your support for the museum but also walk away with a tasty treat.”
Formed in 1987, the BHM welcomed more than 12,000 visitors last year. Since Dec. 10, 2010, the venue’s gift shop, multi-purpose room, and permanent and temporary exhibits have been housed in the 1869 Courthouse, 4 E. Church St. — under the Church Street bridge. Divided into six galleries, the permanent exhibits include “A Sense of Place,” “Bartow Beginnings,” “Community Champions,” “People at Work,” “The Coming War” and “Toward New Horizons.”
Along with donations from the museum’s supporters, this year’s bake sale will offer baked goods from various Bartow businesses, some of which include Barbecue Street, The City Cellar and Loft, Flavorful Events at Stonewall Manor, Grand Oaks, Jefferson’s, Johnny Mitchell’s Smokehouse and Swheat Market Deli. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the event also will feature author Joe Dabney, who has penned various books, such as “The Food, Folklore, and Art of Lowcountry Cooking” and “Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread, & Scuppernong Wine.”
“What’s fun about it is we never really 100 percent know what we’re going to get until the day before,” said Charity Chastain, BHM’s manager of programs. “Sometimes we’re lucky enough to have the recipes that go along with them. ... This year, we’ve kicked it up a notch. ... [Joe Dabney is] a really famous local author who’s won several awards for various cookbooks. So he’s going to be there.
“He has another book — that’s not a cookbook — that’s coming out next year. So he wants to be able to talk about that, but then he’s just going to be there to hang out, meet and greet with customers and the people coming in to buy and sign books if you want him to. ... [The bake sale’s turnout] always [has] been great,” she said, adding the benefit raised more than $900 in 2012. “Our members always come out, which we greatly appreciate. Their friends come out. Our families come out. People that have never had a chance to come in the museum come for it. And it’s gotten bigger every year. Last year, our sales doubled.”
For more information, visit www.bartowhistorymuseum.org or call Chastain at 770-382-3818, ext. 6288.