MMHS NEWS - January 2017
Dear MMHS Members and Friends,

We are very grateful to partner with the Julington Creek Fish Camp for our special fundraising event, "Fishin' for Funds". Hosted by the Fish Camp and the MMHS Board of Directors,  it promises to be a fun-filled evening - all for a great cause - keeping Mandarin's history alive. We sure hope you can join us!

Sandy Arpen

The last several years have been exciting times for Mandarin Museum & Historical Society as we honored the 150th anniversary of the sinking of the Union steamship   Maple Leaf and the 1898 one-room schoolhouse was saved, restored and turned into an interpretive museum which is named the St. Joseph's Mission Schoolhouse for African-American Children. The next big project is to expand the Mandarin Museum facility in order to have a dedicated Maple Leaf exhibit room  room and also be able to display more of the museum's collection of  art and artifacts to the public. This is going to be a huge project. We think we will be eligible for a couple of grants to help, but we will need to come up with the matching monies first.

This evening really should be a  lot of fun as it will include a special wine tasting, heavy hors d'oeuvres, a silent auction and a live auction. There will be many interesting objects in the auction including two newly completed framed oil paintings by Mandarin native Brenda Councill (these are definitely collector's items for those who love Mandarin history) and several special Mandarin frogs which are being painted by Mandarin artists (Brenda Councill, Julie Fetzer and Gary Garrett), a new painting by John Kenning,  some "select" frogs from the Frog Man and many more surprises.

Only 100 tickets are available, so don't wait.  Tickets are $75.00 each and can be purchased at Mandarin Museum at 11964 Mandarin Road on Saturdays (from 9-4) or through a Board member. You can also purchase tickets on-line with a credit card by using the secure PayPal link - Click HERE and then scroll down to the "Buy Now" button at the bottom of the page.

Thank you for your support of the mission of Mandarin Museum & Historical Society in the community.

Brenda Councill oil paintings
The "Mandarin Frogs"
Were a Huge Hit in 2016!

Most of you know that these cute concrete creatures have been showing up all over Mandarin and the only place to buy them is at Mandarin Museum's Gift Shop.

What you may not know is that a very special and generous man, the "Frog Man" hand-pours every single frog and paints a unique pattern on every one. And he does not take one penny from the Museum for his supplies. He has worked on these frogs practically every day for the last year - often 40-50 hours/week. And he has single-handedly raised over $17,000. for the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society !!!!!!!! This is his gift to the community, where he has roots since the 1700s.

This is an absolutely amazing story of a local resident who wanted to make people smile and ended up helping the Museum serve the entire community - and making people smile, of course. Most of these funds raised are being allocated to future museum expansion and some to general operations. Our goal is to add another exhibit room and double the size of the archive room, so we can share more of our local art and our general collection, while also expanding and having a dedicated exhibit hall for the steamship Maple Leaf story.

There is just no way we are able to express fully our gratitude to the "Frog Man." What he has done for us is unprecedented and unexpected and we will be forever grateful to him for this generous gift. 
Possible Development near County Dock Rd.

You may have seen some rezoning notifications along Loretto and County Dock Roads recently. These signs are related to a proposed  subdivision development on acreage that is just east of the part of County Dock Road that connects Loretto and Mandarin Roads.The zoning would be changed from one lot per acre to 1/4 acre lots.

The entrance/exit to this development is expected to be County Dock Road. In 2001, County
 Dock Road (as well as Mandrain Road and part of Loretto Road) was designated a scenic and historic and protected road. It is only 17 feet wide.

The ordinance number is Ord 2016-805.  It will be addressed by the Planning Commission in January and the Land Use and Zoning Committee and City Council in February.

MMHS has not taken an official position on this issue yet, but will address the issue at the January Board meeting. However, if individuals have any personal position on this rezoning, they may express them to our councilmen from Mandarin: Matt Schellenberg - and Tommy Hazouri - 

 February's lecture is in honor of Black History Month. Mark this date on your calendars now because you will not want to miss a powerful performance called "Slave Narratives and Folklore."

Sponsored by the Stetson Kennedy Foundation, talented actors from the Readers Theater will bring individuals to life through dramatic storytelling. Those who are portrayed were actually men and women who had endured slavery and lived to tell their stories in their elderly age.

Much of the program was taken directly from the actual interviews conducted by the WPA Florida Writer's Project in the 1930s. Some of these oral histories were then compiled in the book by Stetson Kennedy called The Florida Slave.

With this performance you you learn about and feel the impact of slavery on Florida's African-American residents of so many years ago. You will see their world through their eyes and hear their stories through their own words. It is a very powerful presentation with the stories told as they were recorded. This is what history is all about - learning from the past to better understand the present and to help us forge paths to the future.

Our Third Thursday Lectures are held 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 Mandarin Museum activities at Also visit the Mandarin Community Club website at  and learn about the Stetson Kennedy Foundation at

2017 Membership

Mandarin Museum & Historical Society invites and welcomes you to become a member of our exciting and growing organization. Membership support is our primary financial foundation. We NEED you!

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

Visit the website at
to learn more about programs and activities. Applications for new membership, renewals and secure on-line payment may be accessed by clicking HERE.  We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your membership is tax deductible. 
"Under the Oaks" Music Jam - February 5

The jammers thought they would take a Winter Break in January, February and March, but the weather has been so mild that they decided to just skip New Year's Day and keep on playing through the Winter.

Mark your calendars for the next jam on February 5 from 2-4. Bring your instrument to play or just come to listen. This is an open community jam, co-sponsored by North Florida Folk Network. All are welcome to join in. It is a "weather permitting" event as it is held outside in front of the museum.

The Mandarin Museum and the 1898 St. Joseph's Mission Schoolhouse for African-American Children are open during the jams. Bring a lawn chair.

January 9 - Annual Meeting - Mandarin Museum 6 PM
January  23
-Special Fundraiser at Julington Creek Fish Camp 6-9 pm
February 5 - "Under the Oaks Music Jam - 2-4 
February 16 - Third Thursday Lecture - 6:30 pm
March  5 - "Under the Oaks Music Jam - 2-4 

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)
NOTE: The Mandarin Store and Post Office (12471 Mandarin Road) will reopen on February 4 and will be open monthly from 12-4 on the 1st Saturday of the month. 

Follow us on Facebook.  Click here to check it out.   

Winter Celebration 2016 was one of the BEST!

The weather could not have been more perfect and the participation by the museum volunteers and non-profit educational organizations was superb. A great time was had by all. Thank you to every individual who participated in any way.
Mark your calendars for
 December 2, 2017 


Mandarin Museum & Historical Society 

Copyright © 2017. All Rights Reserved.