February 2017 
Dear MMHS Members and Friends,

Our "Fishin' for Funds" event was a great succes, with 95 of 100 tickets sold. Thank you to all who were able to support this fund-raising event through your presence.

February gets us back on track with the the some of regular activities like the music jam, Meet the Divers,  the Store and Post Office being  open and a frog painting. The Third Thursday Lecture promises to be a powerful one, with the Readers Theater doing "Slave Narratives and Folklore" for Black History Month. And, we are so proud to share some exciting news with you about the schoolhouse.

We invite you to join us as a participant in any way - we welcome you as a member and/or a volunteer. There is so much to do at MMHS that it takes many, many hands. Please take a look at our website by clicking here to see membership forms as well as volunteer opportunities. We are happy to sit down and talk with you about your interests and match them up with the needs of the organization.
What an honor!
We are extremely honored and proud that the St. Joseph's Mission Schoolhouse for African- American Children was selected to be included in the 2017 Jacksonville Black History Calendar. This year's theme is "The Crisis in Black Education" and the schoolhouse is featured for the month of February.

Copies of the calendar may be picked up for free at Burger King or the Jacksonville Libraries. It is a wonderful calendar, with lots of informa tion and history.

Third Thursday Lecture

February's Third Thursday Lecture is a very unique and informative presentation which is in honor of Black History Month. Sponsored by the Stetson Kennedy Foundation, talented actors from the Young Minds Building Success Readers Theater will bring individuals to life through dramatic and powerful storytelling. Those who will be portrayed were men and women who had been enslaved and lived to tell their stories in their elderly age. These actors have listened to the tapes of these narratives and read them just as they were spoken - this is a very powerful and moving performance.

The Readers Theater cast members will give life to Stetson Kennedy's books,  The Florida Slave and Palmetto Country. Kennedy, a folklorist and Jacksonville author, served as director of Ethnic Studies for the Florida division of the Federal Writers' Project.  His book The Florida Slave is a collection of the oral histories of ex-slaves living in Florida, gathered by the Federal Writers Project during the 1930s.  The collection relates the ex-slaves' hardships under the system of slavery, the abuses of their civil and human rights in the aftermath of Reconstruction, and their strength to survive and make contributions to American culture. 
Palmetto Country relates African-American lore gathered by Kennedy, anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston, and folklorist Alan Lomax. 
The Third Thursday Lectures are presented by the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society in partnership with the Mandarin Community Club. This event will be presented on Thursday, February 16 at the Mandarin Community Club, which is located at 12447 Mandarin Road. Refreshments are at 6:30 pm with the presentation at 7:00 pm. It is free and all are invited and encouraged to attend. For more information, call 268-0784.

Learn about  the Mandarin Community Club  at  and learn about the Stetson Kennedy Foundation at 

Town Hall Meeting re. Rezoning  in Mandarin
February 2 

From way before cars were invented, our community has  been known and loved for the pure natural beauty of the live oak trees that line the roadways - as seen on this old postcard.

For that very reason, former Councilwoman Mary Ann Southwell and many others worked hard to achieve Ordinance 2001-1009 (Chapter 305, Part 2) which designated Mandarin Road, County Dock Road and part of Loretto Road as scenic and historic corridors, the only streets in the City to be so designated.

Now, a new development is being proposed for almost 10 acres of land just to the east of the part of County Dock Road that connects Loretto Rd. and Mandarin Rd. Two of the concerns are the requested change from 1 house/acre zoning that now exists to 4 houses/acre AND a request to have the entry/exit to this new subdivision come out at County Dock Rd.  

A resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Directors of the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society opposing Ordinance 2016-805.  This rezoning, with access to County Dock Road, would forever destroy the scenic character of that road, one of only three roads in the City designated as scenic and historic corridors. County Dock Road is only 17 feet wide and has an extensive tree canopy, with many trees located within feet of the pavement. Similar resolutions were also passed by other community groups, including Mandarin Community Club.

This is the first true test of the City's commitment to protection of its designated scenic and historic corridors, a designation process authorized by the City's Comprehensive Plan.

Councilman Shellenberg is holding a Town Hall meeting about this on Thursday, February 2 at the Mandarin Community Club, 12447 Mandarin Rd. Doors are open at 6:30 and discussion begins at 7:00. If you have any opinions about this rezoning, please attend the meeting and make them known to Mr. Schellenberg, as he wants to hear the thoughts of the people in his district about this. If you can not attend, please email him at 

Karen Roumillat with 2016 Miss Aggie Award recipient, Sarah Bailey
"Miss Aggie" Award Nominations
due soon

"Miss Aggie" Award nominations are requested in February for the award to be presented in March.

The "Miss Aggie" Award is given annually to a female resident who has contributed to the Mandarin community in the areas of business, civic, educational or charitable accomplishment. The candidate's contributions may be specific deeds or an accumulation of actions over a period of time. Recipients need not be "experts" in any particular area but might be known or recognized for their sense of community, their caring attitude or individual accomplishments.

The Mandarin Museum & Historical Society will accept nominations for this award from any interested party and will make a determination as to the suitability of the nominee under the established criteria. The recipient will be notified prior to the award announcement and will be asked to participate in publicity activities and related media coverage.

Agnes Grace Jones, "Miss Aggie" as she was affectionately known, was a resident of Mandarin from 1898 until her death in 1992 at the age of 94. Miss Aggie was an independent, strong-willed, confident woman who possessed a deep sense of community and a charitable heart. Part entrepreneur, part community activist and part social worker, she had the business acumen to run a successful grocery, the organizational skills to become Mandarin's Postmistress and a reputation for helping her fellow man in time of need.

Applications are available at or at the Mandarin Museum on Saturdays from 9-4, 11964 Mandarin Rd. Return the application and supporting information to: Mandarin Museum & Historical Society P.O. Box 23601, Jacksonville, Fl 32241 or the application may also be emailed to:

Application Deadline:  February 20, 2017.

Frog Painting

We're having another frog painting, after a couple months off. IF it is not raining or too cold, we will have frogs to paint on February 18 from 10 AM till noon. You buy a plain frog for $20.00 and paint it in the front yard - your own special frog! Paints and brushes are  provided. Bring a paint shirt and wear old clothes and shoes.

For kids of all ages! Meet and have your picture taken with the Frog Man!

You must reserve  your frog in advance by emailing us at or leave a message at 268-0784. If the weather is not good, we will offer you a place at the next one. 
Fishin' for Funds at  
Julington Creek Fish Camp

We had a great crowd at the successful event, held at Julington Creek Fish Camp on January 23. Thanks to the generous support of our members, board, volunteers and friends, we were able to raise funds for the organization while having a fun time.

Thank you to Julington Creek Fish Camp for hosting this event for us. The owners of the restaurant, Ben and Lisa Groshell, have been generous supporters of MMHS since before they opened it, by purchasing art and photos and by being a business member. For this event, General Manager, Matt Hamilton made all of the arrangements and was present and serving wine. Please thank Matt and his staff for their support the next time you eat at JCFC.

Special thanks also to the Advancement Committee  team of Karen Roumillat, Marsha O'Steen, Kim O'Steen, Jim Waler, Ed Garcia, Anne Morrow and Bob Nay as well as Hope Ferrigno, Susan Ford, and Paula Suhey - these folks planned the event, decorated and hosted for MMHS. Also to Gene Maszy, who volunteered his auctioneer services for the live auction,which was lots of fun.

We had a long list of generous donors of auction items. Please be sure to thank these businesses and individuals when you next see/visit them: 
  • Mandarin artists: Brenda Councill, John Kenning, Julie Fetzer, Gary Garrett and Ed Gamble.
  • The Frog Man
  • Kim O'Steen
  • Jim Waler
  • The Fresh Market
  • Neta Black
  • Patrick Plumlee
  • Vito's Italian Restaurant
  • Beach Diner
  • Mack's Tenders on the Go
  • Pei Wei
  • Hagan Ace Hardware
  • V Pizza
  • The Loop
  • Gators Dosckside St. Johns
  • Whit's Frozen Custard
  • The Tree Steakhouse
  • Sandra Myers, Mary Kay Consultant
  • Pam Davis, Yoga Instructor
  • Julie Wesling, LMT, Holistic Massage Therapies, St. Augustine

Music Under the Oaks

A community jam  - all are invited to play, listen, paint, or dance. Bring a chair and water. The museum and schoolhouse  will be open for viewing and restrooms. Held at Walter Jones Park outside, weather permitting.

Sunday, February 5
from 2-4

Don't forget our monthly events

Meet the Maple Leaf Divers

Meet Dr. Keith Holland and SJAEI divers who brought up the Civil War artifacts from the muddy St. Johns River bottom. Artifacts not seen here before are now on display.

Saturday, February 18 from noon - 4 at Mandarin Museum

Historic Store and Post Office is open

Drop back in time to experience what it was like when the pace was slow and everybody knew everybody in the small village of Mandarin.

Saturday, February 4
from noon-4 at 12471 Mandarin Road


February 2 - Town Hall Meeting at Mandarin Community Club - 6:30 pm
February 4 - Store and Post Office Open - 12-4
February 5 - Under the Oaks Music Jam - 2-4 
February 16 - Third Thursday Lecture - 6:30 pm
February 18 - Frog Painting 10-12
February 18 - Meet the Divers 12-4
February 25 - Air Potato Roundup at Walter Jones Park - 9-12
March 4 - Store and Post Office open
March  5 - "Under the Oaks Music Jam - 2-4
March 18 - Meet the Divers - 12-4
Miss Aggie Day will be in March - possibly the 4th or the 11th

Mandarin Museum and the 1898 St. Joseph's Mission Schoolhouse for African-American Children are open every Saturday  from 9-4 in Walter Jones Historical Park - (11964 Mandarin Road)
The Mandarin Store and Post Office (12471 Mandarin Road) is open monthly from 12-4 on the 1st Saturday of the month. 

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.   

We NEED YOU - call Paula today at 403-5024 or and she will get you started as a volunteer.

You'll be glad you did - we have a great team at MMHS! 
Board member Virginia Barker clearing out the blueberry patch last year. It needs it again!
City of Jacksonville - 11th Annual Air Potato Roundup and Park Clean-up

Saturday, February 25 from 9-12 
Volunteers are needed to help rid our natural areas of Air Potato vine and other invasive plants. Invasive species smother our native plants and are one of the greatest ecological threats to natural communities in Florida 
Gather your friends and family & participate in this fun event! No registration necessary unless you're bringing a large group. Just grab your garden gloves and head over to Walter Jone Historical Park.

All participants will be entered into a random drawing for great prizes!

MMHS Board member Gabriele Dempsey  will be leading this park clean-up effort. 


Mandarin Museum & Historical Society 

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