MMHS NEWS - September 2015
Dear MMHS Members and Friends,

Despite temperatures in the 90s and humidity (who knows how high), much progress on the schoolhouse was made in August. Jim Rafferty and his volunteers have been faithfully prepping  and the Mandarin Rotary Club painted the entire outside of the structure in one day. We had our highly successful Yard Sale and made $1000. for the schoolhouse. Our heartfelt thanks to Hope Ferrigno, Don Carter, Pat Wojiechowski, Karen Roumillat, Barbara Rogers, Adam Naworal, Paula Suhey, Marie Tobias, and Carol Ann Rafferty for spending many days getting ready and then manning the store the day of the event. What heroes all of you are!
Third Thursday Lecture was a big success!
One hour before the August lecture started we endured a heavy rainstorm and worried that it would keep everyone at home for the evening. But fortunately, no! There was a great turnout and lots of enthusiasm for Mary Atwood's talk about her book "Historic Homes of the Florida's First Coast."  She showed slides of about 20 homes and gave fascinating stories about each and their owners. Samples of her photographs lined the tables and Mary autographed books. All in attendance enjoyed the information very much. (We do carry this book in our museum Gift Shop.)

As she ended the presentation, Mary totally surprised the audience with the announcement that she was going to gift her two gorgeous B&W framed photos from inside the Webb farmhouse to MMHS. This was a very special and meaningful gift to our collection. We were honored that she selected our farmhouse to include in her photography exhibit and her book and we will be honored to hang her work for people to enjoy in the future.

Thank you Mary for being such a wonderful friend to MMHS!

Join us for
Smithsonian's "Museum Day LIVE!"

Smithsonian Magazine offers their 11th Annual "Museum Day LIVE!", when they encourage members and readers to go out on September 26 and discover their local museums, with free admission.

Since Mandarin Museum is always free, we offer our member discount on gift shop purchases to all visitors who present a Museum Day ticket, which must be downloaded and printed. Click here to get your ticket.

On this special day: all buildings in the park will be open from 9-4, the Maple Leaf Divers will be in the museum from 12-4 and there will be some acoustic music on the porch between 11 and 2. Come on out and pay us a visit and enjoy your Mandarin history!
Brownie troop enjoying last year's Museum Day with Dr. Holland.
Volunteer Bill Morrow leading a school group tour in the Store and Post Office.

Did you know that MMHS offers tours for school students, Scout groups, and adult organizations like church and senior groups?

For the small sum of $7.00/person you can bring your group for an informative, guided,  3-hour tour of the Mandarin Museum, the Walter Jones Historical Park, the Webb farmhouse,  the 1911 Store and Post Office, and soon the Schoolhouse. Walking and standing are necessary, but there are benches throughout the park and chairs can be placed for anyone who needs one in the buildings.

Tours are usually booked from 9-12 on weekdays, but other options can be considered as well.

Please click here for more information. You may email us at or call Bruce Vacca at 268-4612 or the museum at 268-0784 for more information and to book your tour.
Schoolhouse Update

  • Thanks so much to First Coast Scaffolding for placing OSHA-approved scaffolding all the way around the building. It made it SO much easier, faster and safer for volunteers from the community to prep and paint the building.
  • After weeks of individuals coming to prep the whole outside, the Mandarin Rotary came out to paint the entire building in one day on August 29. Our gratitude to all of those who helped. What a great community effort!
  • Our great appreciation goes to many folks who are helping do research and advising us for the exhibits of the future: Karen Droege, Sherry Brown, Pat Wojciehowski, Autumn Martinage, Dr. Charles Clossman, Gabriele Dempsey,Jay Smith, LeeAnn Arndt, Bob Nay, Joyce Brown and Sandy Arpen. And the Sisters of St. Joseph!
  • And thank you to Jim Rafferty for taking this project on as Project Manager - he has done a fabulous job planning and  coordinating all aspects of the work.

Jim Rafferty - Project Coordinator Extraordiaire! 
Membership is our FOUNDATION!

Some of you remember when MMHS first became a non-profit organization in 1990 and immediately restored the 1911 Store and Post Office and leased it from the Mandarin Community Club in order to offer it as a museum. Some of you remember when the Mandarin Museum building was built by the City of Jacksonville in the new Walter Jones Historical Park and MMHS was asked to house our collection in it and bring the park to life with educational activities and programs - we opened the doors in 2004.

Since those times we have continued our mission in Mandarin with gusto. In the last year alone, we are so proud that we have celebrated the 150th Anniversary of the Maple Leaf and were able to lead a coalition of organizations to bring the 19th Century Schoolhouse to the park.

We are fortunate and appreciative that we have the partnerships we do with the Mandarin Community Club and the City of Jacksonville Parks, Recreation and Community Services, and the Cultural Council of Northeast Florida. We would not be able to operate our historical museums without them.

BUT, it costs alot to run these facilities and programs. We are essentially a volunteer organization, but desire to hire a professional Director in the future. We NEED the support of the community through annual membership donations, as our membership support really is our financial foundation since we do not charge admission.

Our sincere thanks to our current members - please watch for your renewal letter in December.

For those of you who have yet to become a member, please consider doing it today! If you do, your new membership will be valid from now through 2016! It is easy - just click here to learn more about the benefits of membership and to access a secure on-line membership form.

Being a Mandarin Museum & Historical Society member will give you the satisfaction and pride of being part of a team of organizations, families and businesses who cherish the history of Mandarin and the people and events that were here before our time - and want future generations to be inspired as well.

that an internationally known pianist and composer was a Mandarin resident and is buried at Mandarin Cemetery?

Hans Barth was born in Leipzig, Germany on June 25, 1897. At the age of six, he received a scholarship and studied under Carl Reinecke at the world famous Leipzig Conservatory, founded by Felix Mendelssohn in 1843.
Barth moved with his family to New York in 1907 and a year later made his recital debut. While still 12 years old, he performed 13 recitals in a single season. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1912.

In all, Barth performed in over 500 recitals in the United States and Europe, including at Carnegie Hall. He was the featured artist for the first musical event in Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., where he performed on November 2, 1929, before the largest concert audience to have assembled in that city.
Barth was inspired by a visit with Ferruccio Busoni, who predicted in 1907 that future music would include a division of the octave into more than twelve degrees. Barth began experimenting with new scales and quarter-tone music, in which each note is divided into four steps, not two. In 1928 he worked with George Weitz of the Chickering Piano Company to develop and build a quarter-tone piano. The project was financed, in part, by noted composer Charles Ives.
On March 28, 1930, he performed his composition Concerto for Quarter Tone Piano and Strings with the Philadelphia Symphony, Leopold Stokowski conducting.   He composed at least two other concertos, as well as the operetta Miragia (1938), the Drama Symphony and the Prince of Peace Symphony (both 1940) and Ten Etudes for Quarter-Tone Piano and Orchestra (1944.) Barth also composed two chamber pieces, two piano sonatas and two suites, plus numerous songs.
An accomplished pianist, Barth was the primary performer on at least seventeen Victor recordings. Two of his performances may be heard on the Library of Congress "National Jukebox."
 For the last eleven years of his life, Barth lived on Mandarin Road with his wife, Lois. He taught music at Jacksonville Junior College, now Jacksonville University. He died on December 8, 1956 and is buried in Mandarin Cemetery.

Mr. Barth is one of the ten Mandarin residents featured in our Mandarin Cemetery Walking Tour. There are brochures in the museum and at the Cemetery gate which tell you about each person and guide you to all ten (well marked) graves.  

Check out this special exhibition put on by our friends from
 First Coast Plein Air Painters 

September 6 - NO "Music Under the Oaks" - Labor Day weekend
September 26 - Smithsonian "Museum Day LIVE!" with Meet the Maple Leaf Divers Day (12-4) and all buildings open
September 27 - Yoga on the River - on the Boardwalk - 9am - bring a mat and water
October 4 - Music Under the Oaks 2-4 in front of the museum
October 17 - "Meet the Maple Leaf Divers Day" - 12-4
October 25 - Yoga on the River - on the boardwalk - 9 am - bring a mat and water
November 1 - Music Under the Oaks 2-4 and opening of the schoolhouse (no exhibits yet - watch for Grand Opening in 2016)
November 14 - Meet the Maple Leaf Divers 12-4
November 19 - Third Thursday Lecture - St. Johns River Alliance
November 22 - Yoga on the River 9 am
December 5 - 16th Annual Winter Celebration in Walter Jones Park, with Maple Leaf divers and lots of activities for the family to enjoy throughout the park. Will include the December "Music Under the Oaks" jam on this day instead of Sunday.
December 26 - Museum CLOSED

Mandarin Museum (11964 Mandarin Road) is open every Saturday (except Dec. 26) from 9-4 in Walter Jones Historical Park .

NOTE: The Mandarin Store and Post Office (12471 Mandarin Road)  will be closed until we get the AC fixed.
Follow us on Facebook. You do not need to be a member of Facebook to view our public page. Click here to check it out.   

The butterfly garden is attracting so many butterflies, humming birds and bees this year. Please stop by and take a look at all the beautiful flowers which have lovingly been planted and tended by volunteer Betty Taylor.

Interested in being a volunteer?
Contact Paula Suhey at  
or 403-5024 


Mandarin Museum & Historical Society 

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