December 2018 
Dear MMHS Members and Friends,

Can you even believe that Saturday, December 1, will be our 19th Annual Winter Celebration!
This event brings 1000 people into the Walter Jones Historical Park to enjoy some old fashioned fun. We have a great day planned for our visitors, all thanks to about 100 volunteers from MMHS and other non-profit community organizations who will be conducting all kinds of educational and fun activities for all ages.

We sure hope we'll see you there!

Sandy Arpen  
Winter Celebration
11:30 - 12:00
Camille and Camiya Ferron, MMHS volunteers and vocalists - traditional tunes -
front porch of Mandarin Museum.

12:00 - 1:00
Mrs. Kate Carpenter - in the schoolhouse singing all original, educational and interactive songs with children - includes puppets and sing-a-longs.

1:00 - 2:00
Singer/songwriter Al Poindexter singing all original Florida songs on the Front Porch of Mandarin Museum. Al will be debuting his brand new song about
Mandarin's Pvt. Marion Losco - the only resident killed in World War I.

2:00 - 3:30
"Music Under the Oaks" Acoustic Music Jam in the front yard of the Museum.
Co-sponsored by North Florida Folk Network.

Mandarin musician - Miguel Huertes, violin, strolling the park and playing at the buildings and the boardwalk.   

Winter Celebration  
Activities are planned for the community that will educate, entertain and delight all ages, including:
  • The Webb/Jones Farmhouse, the 1898 St. Joseph's Mission Schoolhouse for African-American Children, the 1876 Barn and Losco Winery will all be open for tours and there will be demonstrations of bridge playing, quilting and weaving.
  • Meet and talk with Dr. Keith Holland and other Maple Leaf divers who recovered precious Civil War artifacts from the National Historic Landmark shipwreck in the St. Johns River. The book about the Maple Leaf will be available and Dr. Holland and the divers are happy to sign them.
  • Horse-drawn hayrides by Jacksonville Carriage
  • Antique cars
  • Friends of Augusta Savage (1892-1962) - renowned African-American sculptress from Green Cove Springs
  • Civil War reenactors - a special display, "In Search of Valor," features the common foot soldier of the Civil War, both Union and Confederate - simulated encampment with period tents, weapons, uniforms and soldiers' personal effects. Also Union Navy and the Golden Teacups will also be present.
  • Spanish period reenactor
  • Fort Mose reenactors (first free community of ex-slaves)
  • Santa and Mrs. Claus from 11-3
  • Nature crafts and rock painting for kids
  • Mike Barwald, Flying Dragon Citrus Nursery - answering all your citrus questions
  • Gator Clowns -  face-painting
  • S'mores and old fashioned games
  • First Coast Plein Aire Painters will be in the park painting scenes all day long.
  • Two children's books by Mandarin authors will be available. Jane Wood will be in the museum from 11-1 to sell and autograph her book Trouble on the St. Johns River AND June Weltman, has offered copies of her book Mystery of the Missing Candlestick. Both of these books for children have Mandarin connections.
  • Non-profits will be represented, sharing information about information and opportunities with their groups: Mandarin Garden Club, UF Extension Office, Mandarin Community Club, Orange Park Historical Society, Stetson Kennedy Foundation, Education First and Greenscape of Jacksonville.
  • The museum gift shop is stocked with many holiday gift ideas. Books and art prints are on sale by local authors and local artists. Also, this is the only place to buy "Mandarin Frogs" and the Mandarin history blanket.
  • RAFFLE - $1 a ticket or 6 tickets for $5 - 4 names will be drawn. Items include gift basket from Fresh Market (value $70); a LARGE sea turtle from the Frog Man (value $100); a beautiful wreath made by volunteer Connie Hendricks ($90 value);and a Metro Diner Gift Card (value $25).
Admission to Winter Celebration is free, but the hayride does have a donation request to help cover the expense.
Food Vendors will be: Chunky Tomato, What's Smokin' BBQ and The Poppin Box.
Parking is available at the Mandarin Presbyterian Church across the street.  
For more information please call 268-0784 or
2018 Ornament
Steve's - in Bayard
We are SO excited to announce our 2018 historic Mandarin tree ornament - Steve's Grocery-Cafe-Garage and Cabins in Bayard! Owned and operated by the Targonski family for many, many years, this place was a hugely popular place for tourists to stop on their way south on US 1. They could provide everything a traveler would need. Bayard is its own community, but is on the eastern border of what is considered Mandarin and it is full of history.

The ornaments will be on sale starting December 1 at Winter Celebration. We will also have some more of the past years' ornaments that were out of stock. It will be a good time to make your collection complete.

Frog/turtle Painting Event
December 8

Last chance in 2018 to attend a  Frog Painting - from 10-noon on Saturday, December 8 in front of the museum.

Please make a reservation first - the best way to do that is to email us at and tell us what animal you'd like to paint. If you can't email, please call and leave a message at 268-0784.  
Frogs and squirrels are $20 and turtles are $24. We provide the paint, brushes etc. Wear old clothes. It is lots of fun. Our tremendous gratitude to the Mandarin Frog Man - all proceeds are for the support of  Mandarin Museum programs and expansion.  
A beauty from a summer painting. 
Accessions Corner

This interesting object resides in the kitchen of the farmhouse and it always stumps visitors when we ask them to guess what it is. It is very heavy. It was used by a man who helped build the Ponce de Leon Hotel (now Flagler College) in St. Augustine in 1888. It was given to us a couple of years ago and was accepted into our farmhouse collection because of the time period and unique history of its use. It is a man's insulated lunch pail!
Citrus time has arrived 
Mandarin's serious connection with oranges and satsumas started way before the community was named for a type of citrus in 1840. It was being exported to England in the late 1700s. Then by  1879 it was reported that "Twenty-five thousand orange trees are set out in groves between Beauclerc Bluff and Mandarin post-office, an area of some 4 miles..." (Graff, Mandarin on the St. Johns).
So it is no wonder that resident Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote so glowingly about and painted beautiful pictures of this glorious fruit. She even bragged to her friends of making about $1200/year on her crops of oranges - all sent north by steamboat. 
This painting hangs in the Hartford, CT home of Calvin and Harriet B. Stowe. It was painted by Harriet while they wintered in Mandarin.
The citrus industry in Mandarin is long gone, but you will still see lots of backyard trees that remain productive, despite a terrible citrus greening that is killing many. For expert  advice on your own trees - stop by at Winter Celebration and visit life-long resident Mike Barwald, who will have a table next to the garden.  
Looking Back on November
A wonderful group of volunteers, including from the Mandarin Garden Club, came to Sloan's Cemetery (off of Julington Creek Road) and cleaned up around the gravestones. What a difference a couple of hours of hard work made to this historic site.  Thank you to Brett Nolan for the idea and to all who came out to help. 
On November 10, we honored the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day - the end of World War on November 11, 1918, all who have served in the Armed Forces, and the only man from Mandarin who did not come home -  
Private Marion Joseph Losco, US Army.  
The Mandarin NJROTC Color Guard presented the colors at the flagpole at the schoolhouse, Captain Herbert Hadley from Mandarin High School read the names of every man from Mandarin who served in World War I and Paul Ghiotto, relative of Marion Losco and author of A Soldier's Story, spoke. Thank you Mandarin High School for your participation. You made it a very special day.   
On November 15, John Moseley, Jacksonville native and Historic Sites Manager  at Fort Fisher State Historic Site (North Carolina) gave a lecture and visual presentation on the battle that sealed the fate of the Confederacy and aided in bringing an end to the war, and the Maple Leaf's connection to Fort Fisher. It was very well attended and very interesting. 
And, we had the honor of hosting the Florida Historical Society's (FHS) film crew for two "Florida Frontiers" TV programs. They were filming episodes on Harriet Beecher Stowe and World War I. MMHS was included and these episodes will air on WJCT in February or March. We'll let you know when.
Meanwhile, you can view all of their programs on-line at /television/episodes. We are proud to have had a Maple Leaf segment on the very first episode! You can view it here if you missed it.  
Seen here are: Jerry  Klein (Production), Ben Brotemarkle (Executive Director of FHS), Emily Lisska (interviewee and President of FHS), John Foster (interviewee, author, and expert on Harriet Beecher Stowe), and Jon White (cameraman). 
are all during Winter Celebration 

First Saturday - December 1 - All Buildings Open
In Walter Jones Historical Park - 1875 farmhouse, 1876 barn, Losco Winery, Mandarin Museum, and St. Joseph's Mission Schoolhouse for African-American Children are open  from 11-4
NOTE: t he historic Mandarin Store and Post Office will NOT be open this day.
 "Under the Oaks" Music Jam
The next monthly "Under the Oaks" music jam will take place on December 1 at Walter Jones Historical Park from 2-3:30.  
Meet the Maple Leaf  Divers
Keith Holland and SJAE divers will be in the museum December 1 from 11-4 to tell you all about their exploration of this National Historic Landmark shipwreck.
The Mandarin Museum and the Schoolhouse will be open December 8, 15, 22, and 29 from 9-4.

School field trips and adult group tours are scheduled during the week by appointment. Call 268-0784 or email us at to make a reservation.   
We always need more volunteers, as they are the backbone of our organization. If you would like more information CLICK HERE to email Paula Suhey, Volunteer Coordinator and she will give you a call and tell you all about the opportunities we have.  
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MISSION: Mandarin Museum & Historical Society shares the stories of Mandarin's history, culture and natural resources by providing engaging programs that educate, entertain and inspire.

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