Mandarin Museum & Historical Society
January 2015
Dear members and friends of MMHS,

2014 was a fabulous year for us as the Maple Leaf, the only National Historic Landmark in Duval County, came back into the public eye. The 150th Anniversary exhibit and the involvement of Dr. Keith Holland and his divers put us in the spotlight and drew many folks into our museum that had never visited before. Due to the popularity of this exhibit, it has been extended at least through April and, of course, the Maple Leaf will ALWAYS be one of our "diamonds" in the museum.

Now, as January rolls in, we begin our work in earnest for the 1889 Schoolhouse relocation. The addition of this schoolhouse to the park will also draw brand new interest as we begin to tell a story about African-American education in our community that very few know about. It provides a wonderful opportunity for us.

So, it promises to be a very exciting year and we thank you for your interest and participation. Please tell your friends and neighbors about us. We would love it if we were no longer "the best kept secret in Jacksonville!"


FINALLY, we have some specific information to share
 regarding the relocation of the
1889 one-room schoolhouse

Here is what we know:
  • The Mandarin Community Club purchased the building in December and immediately presented it to the City of Jacksonville as a gift in honor of the club's 90th Anniversary.
  • The City of Jacksonville Parks and Recreation Department  has been working with the movers and MMHS to coordinate the relocation.
  • The prep work for the move is to begin on Monday, January 5.
  • The move is scheduled to take place on Monday, January 12.
  • It will probably be moved down Westberry Road to San Jose.
  • It will be relocated to the east of the Mandarin Museum building.
  • We will put updates on our Facebook page. You do NOT have to be a member of Facebook to view our public page. This would be the best place to look daily for any notices regarding any possible changes and for detailed information about the move. At this point we do not know exactly when it will occur on the 12th.  Also, if we have bad weather or an unexpected problem, it is possible that the date could be changed. We will also have this information on our phone voice mail - 268-0784.

We are very excited about this accomplishment and hope you are too. We have wanted to save this historic structure for many years and we are grateful to all involved that it is actually going to happen this year. The expenses are very close to being covered, however we do still need donations to complete the relocation projects and to develop an educational exhibit space inside the building. Therefore, we ask that you please consider a donation to make this happen. Any amount that you can offer will be greatly appreciated and will help us develop something that we will all be proud of.


Please send your donations to MMHS at PO Box 23601, Jax 32241 or click here for on-line giving at our website.


Please join us at the Mandarin Museum in Walter Jones Historical Park for our Annual Meeting on Monday, January 26 at 6:00 p.m. We will install our board members and discuss the 1889 Schoolhouse.

We welcome your ideas, thoughts and suggestions regarding the schoolhouse development and hope you will come to participate in the discussion.

If you have not had a chance to see the exhibit yet we hope you will be able to get in to view the wonderful artifacts in 2015. We are very excited that Dr. Holland and the divers want to continue to have "Meet the Maple Leaf Divers" days - an opportunity for visitors to meet the men who actually retrieved the artifacts during dark water dives into the wreckage over 20 years ago.

"Meet the Maple Leaf Divers" days will be the 2nd Saturday and the 4th Sunday of every month from noon until 4 p.m. Even if you have already visited, if you have not met these men and talked with them, you must return when they are in-house. What a treat...and we are so grateful that they donate their time to give our visitors a very special experience.

The artifacts are on loan to us from the Florida Department of Historical Resources in Tallahassee. 


This is the fantastic view you get from the meeting place of "Yoga on the River!"

This new MMHS program is being held at the Walter Jones Historical Park  on the Boardwalk on the fourth Sunday of each month at 9 a.m.

This is a gentle yoga class that is being conducted by board member Karen Roumillat who is a Certified Yoga Instructor. It truly is for everyone, beginners to advanced, and follows the Kripalu style of yoga.

There is no charge, but a donation is appreciated and all proceeds go directly to the Mandarin Museum and Historical Society for park improvement projects. Classes are held outside, so are subject to weather. Bring your own mat. Give it a try!



The Store and Post Office has been closed for a couple of months but will be reopening in February with regular times of the first and third Sundays from 1-3 p.m.

And, on the first Sunday of each month we will be restarting the very popular "Under the Oaks" acoustic music jam sessions. These sessions had been held at the museum in 2013 but were suspended during the special Maple Leaf exhibit because we had no space to move inside if it rained. The Store and Post Office seemed like the perfect place to restart it.

If you play a traditional acoustic instrument (guitar, banjo, mandolin, etc.) and enjoy  singing or playing with others , come out to the Mandarin Store and Post Office for this open acoustic jam.

Depending on the weather, the jam will be held outside, or inside the old-time store.  Either is a perfect setting to join other musicians  in a round of sharing and playing together - under the old oaks on this beautiful historic property or inside the building that was the heart of Mandarin for many years.  

If it's been awhile since you've played, don't worry. This is an open jam for  participants at any level of experience.  Dust off that instrument and join right in. Do bring your own chair and water, as we are limited in what we can provide at this location.

If you do not play, but are a "listener", please bring your chair too, and enjoy the beautiful music being made by local musicians. It will be a fun time.

Thank you to MMHS volunteer Pat Plumlee for leading these sessions.


Our 2014 Miss Aggie Award was presented to Linda Levin, Executive Director of ElderSource, an agency based right here in Mandarin. This non-profit is the state-designated Agency on Aging and the Aging Disability Resource Center for seven Northeast Florida counties. Linda was selected to receive the award because of her tireless efforts and tremendous successes in this field for many years.

The award was established in 2003 in honor of Miss Agnes Jones, who operated the Mandarin Store and Post Office from 1928 - 1964. It recognizes a female Mandarin resident who has contributed to the community in the areas of business, civic, educational or charitable accomplishment, as "Miss Aggie" had done so many years earlier.

Nominations are open and welcomed. Applications are available in the Mandarin Museum at the Walter Jones Historical Park, 11964 Mandarin Road during museum hours -  Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. You may also obtain one from our website by clicking here. Application deadline is 5 p.m., February 15, 2015.


Please complete the application and return it to:


P.O. BOX 23601, JACKSONVILLE, FL 32241.  

It may also be emailed to or dropped by the museum. 


The recipient will be honored on Miss Aggie Day, which will be held on Sunday, March 15, at the Store and Post Office, 12471 Mandarin Road, from 1 to 3 p.m. The presentation will be held at 2 p.m. Moon Pies and RC Cola will be served.




These wonderful volunteers are working hard and having lots of fun making great experiences for our visitors. But they can't do it alone. Especially with the coming of the schoolhouse we will need many more volunteer docents. We would also like to open the farmhouse on Saturdays more regularly. We also need folks to serve on our board and on committees, to take photographs and videos and to help with archives and office tasks. As an all-volunteer organization, we would not be able to do any program, event or museum opening without an entire team of wonderful citizens who are willing to share their time and talents.If you have an interest, please print and return a volunteer application - click here.


The support of our members is truly the heart and soul of our organization and the reason we have been able to exist since 1990, since governmental funding covers only a small portion of our expenses. We have grown from a small group of citizens and a collection of interesting items to a historical society that manages activities, programs and exhibits for two (and soon to be three) museums and a ten acre park.

Your ongoing support and financial contributions are essential for us to plan for a paid staff position and continue the work of our mission statement:

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

Click here to learn more about the benefits and levels of membership opportunities and how to join. Thank you for your consideration.

Business membership decal  


If you do not follow us on Facebook you missed this wonderful photo from 1953 of State Road 13 (San Jose Blvd.) This view is San Jose driving north from just south of Loretto Rd. You can see the intersection at Loretto with Stanley Flynn's Amoco station (on the right) where the Shell station is now. This was before Mandarin Pharmacy/Dr. Bailey's office was built on the west side (left) - where the Taco Bell now sits. No traffic jams or lights then....but few services were available!

Facebook is a great way to keep up with us. We would love it if you are a member of Facebook and would  "like" our page, but you do not have to become a member of Facebook to view our public page. Take a look by clicking here or typing


January 10 - Meet the Maple Leaf Divers Day 12-4
January 12 - Expected date of 1889 Schoolhouse relocation to Walter Jones Park
January 25 - Meet the Maple Leaf Divers Day 12-4
January 25 - Yoga on the River - 9
February 1 - "Under the Oaks" acoustic jam at Store and Post Office 1-3
February 14 - Meet the Maple Leaf  Divers Day 12-4 
February 15 - Miss Aggie Award Nominations Due 
February 19 - Third Thursday Lecture - TBA
February 22- Yoga on the River- 9
February 22 - Meet the Maple Leaf Divers Day - 12-4 
March 1 - "Under the Oaks" acoustic jam at Store and Post Office 1-3
March 14 - Meet the Maple Leaf Divers Day - 12-4 
March 15 - Miss Aggie Day and Award Presentation  1-3 
March 22 - Yoga on the River - 9
March 22 - Meet the Maple Leaf Divers Day - 12-4 
April 5 & 6 - MMHS participates in 47th Annual Mandarin Art Festival - jam will take place -
April 11 - Meet the Maple Leaf Divers Day - 12-4 
April  26 - Yoga on the River - 9
April 26 - Meet the Maple Leaf Divers Day - 12-4  
May 3 - "Under the Oaks" acoustic jam at Store and Post Office 1-3
May 21 - Third Thursday Lecture - TBA
May 24 - Yoga on the River - 9 
June 7 - "Under the Oaks" acoustic jam at Store and Post Office 1-3
August 20 - Third Thursday Lecture - TBA
September 26 - Smithsonian "Museum Day LIVE!"
November 19 - Third Thursday Lecture - TBA
December 5 - 16th Annual Winter Celebration in Walter Jones Park
Mandarin Museum is open every Saturday from 9-4 in Walter Jones Historical Park. The Mandarin Store and Post Office will be CLOSED in January, but reopening the 1st and  3rd Sundays of each month from 1-3, starting February 1.

"Like" us on to keep up with museum happenings day to day - you do not have to be registered on Facebook to see our public information. 


For  more info on any of these events click here

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

Copyright � 2015. All Rights Reserved.