Mandarin Museum & Historical Society
August 2014
Dear members and friends,

We are getting so close and we hope that before September is gone we will have the historic One Room School House moved to the Walter Jones Park! We are very thankful that this community of Mandarin loved history enough to help save this significant structure and give it a new life and a new purpose. The new purpose will involve education, just as it did over 125 years ago.

We will let you know as soon as we have a "move" date. We anticipate that the rolling of this structure down Mandarin Road will create much interest all over town. It will be so much fun!
Hot off the press!
Ron Johnson leading a jam session.

Join us on Sunday, August 10 from 1-4
Mandarin Store & Post Office
12471 Mandarin Road
Book signing and Folk Music Jam

Ron Johnson, Jacksonville singer and songwriter of Florida songs has been a wonderful friend to Mandarin Museum over the last several years. He and his band have played at the Mandarin Art Festival, Winter Celebration and Summer Celebration. He also led a series of acoustic music jam sessions last year at the museum called "Under the Oaks" which drew up to 20 musicians at times. And in late July, Ron became a published author with the release of his new book North Florida Folk Music: History and Tradition. In this book he takes you on a journey of the folk music tradition in north Florida from the 1500s to today's vibrant and important folk artists. Through a beautifully woven mix of historical facts, personal stories, lyrics to songs and terrific photos, Ron has truly captured the roots and the spirit of this wonderful community called "Florida Folk." Many of those "Florida Folk" musicians have entertained our visitors with their historical, educational and funny songs.

Sadly, just days after his book was released, Ron learned that he has terminal cancer. Please join us to thank Ron for his generosity of time and talent to the Mandarin community, listen to some great music and buy a book.

If you play an acoustic instrument and would like to jam, please bring your instrument and join in the spirit of the folk music tradition.

George Winterling
Remembering Hurricane Dora
 Fifty Years Later
Third Thursday Lecture 

George Winterling is one of Mandarin's most beloved and respected citizens. He made history in September 1964 when he was the only meteorologist to accurately predict that Hurricane Dora would come ashore in northeast Florida! Working at Channel 4 WJXT, he got it right and told the people in the area to get ready. Because of that forecast he became the person everyone depended on for their weather information.

Fifty years have passed and George is retired from WJXT and public speaking, but he was so kind as to allow us to come to his home and interview him about this event and how he knew where that storm was headed - way before the  high tech tracking systems we depend on today. We are honored that he did this and you will thoroughly enjoy listening to him tell his story.

Following a screening of George's video interview, we will hear remembrances  from a few Mandarin residents who were here when the lights went out for two weeks: Sam Folds, Joe Walsh and others.

Also, we are happy to report that the current Chief Meteorologist at WJXT, John Gaughan, will be present to answer your hurricane questions and offer tips for the season.

Much gratitude to George Winterling for granting us this special interview, to volunteer Eric Kaldor for conducting the interview, to John Gaughan and all of the panel participants and to Hope Ferrigno and her wonderful Program Committee for making every Third Thursday event a special one.

And always,  we so appreciate the Mandarin Community Club for being our partner in offering these educational programs to the public.

See you there!

August 21, 6:30 (refreshments) 7:00 (program begins), Mandarin Community Club, 12447 Mandarin Road


This is a wonderful old photo of African American children along the banks of the river. It appears that the two figures in the top right corner might be soldiers. Does anybody have any information about this picture? If so, please email us at
Meet the Divers Days in August

Visitors are coming from near and far on the "Meet the Divers Days" to have the opportunity to meet and talk with Keith Holland and several of his St. Johns Archaeological Expedition divers about the discovery and exploration of the Union steamship Maple Leaf. One group came all the way from the Villages in central Florida because their newspaper ran the Times-Union article about the exhibit.

These divers are the men who went into the pitch black waters of the St. Johns, entered the ship seven feet below the river bottom and brought to the surface 4000 of the objects that last belonged to Union soldiers on April 1, 1864.

They will answer all of your questions and engage you in some amazing stories.  You will leave knowing more about this ship and the significance of it than you would ever imagine.

Meet them in August on Sunday the 17th and Saturday the 30th - from 11-4 both days. Be sure to tell your friends.
History Consortium Meets at Mandarin Museum

We were pleased to host the July meeting of the Jacksonville History Consortium, with representatives attending from local historical organizations. After the meeting, they were given a tour of the Maple Leaf Exhibit.
Dr. Keith Holland
Florida Humanities Council Visit

The Florida Humanities Council offers a week of workshops about the Civil War in Florida to school teachers from around the state each summer as one of their Professional Development Workshops for Educators. In July and August approximately 80 teachers came to Mandarin Museum to see the  Maple Leaf 150th Anniversary exhibit and hear first hand from Dr. Keith Holland about the discovery of the shipwreck, the efforts to salvage the cultural material and to view all of the artifacts with his explanations.

The groups arrived with little knowledge of the Maple Leaf, but when they departed they were excited about what they had learned and were  planning to add it to their history curricula. This is what it will take to keep the Maple Leaf story alive - integrating it into the Florida history taught in the schools.

Dr. Holland encouraged the teachers by sharing that he was never really interested in history while in school, but he became determined as a young adult to find this historical treasure - and he did. He told them to think long term, that "you never know as a teacher what interests your students will develop twenty years down the road because of you."

We are immensely grateful to Dr. Holland for conducting these workshops and to the FHC for bringing these groups to Mandarin Museum.

Being a Blue Star Museum means that we are encouraging military families to visit throughout the summer. Museums all over the country participate in this program by offering free admission. Since it is always FREE to come to Mandarin Museum, we offer the MMHS member discount on items in our museum gift shop.

So, if you are a military family (active or retired), please come see us before Labor Day to take advantage of this offer. The other museums in Jacksonville that are Blue Star Museums are the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens and the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville. We encourage you to visit them as well this summer.

Many thanks to volunteer Pat Plumlee for providing some wonderful period music for the July 5 "Meet The Divers Day", to Don Carter for taking so much time and effort to create those cool Losco Winery bottles and to Dan Maxey and Jean Penberthy and all of our faithful volunteers for all that you do to keep MMHS going and growing and dreaming.

And we are thankful for the beauty of our surroundings, including the hummingbird magnets - the Trumpet Creepers.

 Pat Plumlee
Trumpet Creeper

Losco Winery labels

Volunteers Dan Maxey and Jean Penberthy waiting out the rain.


Mandarin Cemetery Self-Guided Tour Brochure

Learn about ten people of historical interest to Mandarin while enjoying the serenity of this beautiful  property.  Watch for the brochure box to go up at the cemetery gates soon and take the time to enjoy a walking tour through one of Mandarin's most historical places.

Thanks especially to Don Stanley, Bill Morrow and Susan Ford for researching, designing and printing the brochure that will guide you on your tour, and to Todd Ford for making the numbered markers identifying the graves included on the tour.

Thanks also to the members of the Cemetery Survey teams who have worked so hard in the last two years to survey and document the current state and location of graves in this cemetery and others in Mandarin:   Bill, Susan, Lynn MacEwen, Diane Kazlauskas, Susan Johnston, Don Carter, Chris Bedingfield and  Krys Goldie, as well as Joe Walsh and Jim Hoover from the Mandarin Cemetery Association. 

Mandarin Museum & Historical Society  
shares the stories of Mandarin's history, culture and natural resources by providing engaging programs that
educate, entertain and inspire.


August 10 - Book Signing and Acoustic Music Jam at Store and Post Office - 1-4 
August 16 - Story Time at Mandarin Museum - 1 PM
August 17 - Meet the Maple Leaf Divers 11-4 
August 21 - Third Thursday Lecture - Remembering Hurricane Dora 6:30 PM 
August 30 - Meet the Maple Leaf Divers 11-4 
September 7 - Meet the Maple Leaf Divers 11-4
September 20 - Story Time at Mandarin Museum 
September 27 - Museum Day LIVE (Smithsonian Magazine). 10th Anniversary of Mandarin Museum in Walter Jones Historical Park, Meet the Maple Leaf Divers, all buildings open
October 5 - Meet the Maple Leaf Divers 11-4
October 18 - Story Time at Mandarin Museum - 1 PM
October 23 - Fresh Market Wine Gala  7:30 PM
October 25 - Meet the Maple Leaf Divers 11-4
November 16 - Meet the Maple Leaf Divers 11-4
November 20 - Third Thursday Lecture  6:30 PM 
December 6 - Winter Celebration, Meet the Maple Leaf Divers (last chance!)

Mandarin Museum is open every Saturday from 9-4 and the Mandarin Store and Post Office is open the 1st and 3rd Sundays from 1-3.

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Mandarin Museum & Historical Society | 904-268-0784 |
11964 Mandarin Road
Jacksonville, FL 32223

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