MMHS NEWS - July 2015
Dear MMHS Members and Friends, 

The schoolhouse keys are in our hands! FINALLY! We are so excited to now be able to enter and finish the small repairs, clean up, prep and paint - inside and out. We will soon be sending work day schedules out to you all so anyone who is able and wants to participate will have a chance. Keep an eye open for future emails regarding this.
Thank you Rotary Club of Mandarin
On June 16, Karen Roumillat and Sandy Arpen attended the Rotary weekly meeting and were awarded a $16,000 check from the club - for work to be done to complete the schoolhouse and exhibit.
Pictured here with Rotarian Ryan Tiedeberg,  Karen and Sandy GRATEFULLY accepted the check on behalf of Mandarin Museum & Historical Society as well as the entire community.

These funds were raised by the "Laughs for Charity" event that was held in April, where MMHS was the headlining non-profit beneficiary. Many thanks to the Rotary Club of Mandarin as well as the Ramada Inn, the Comedy Zone and all who supported the event in any way, including all of you who purchased tickets and attended.

This generous gift will allow us to complete the work that remains and will give us the opportunity to have a first class exhibit in place.
Eagle Scout Awards bestowed  to two scouts who chose  Walter Jones Park for their community projects
Matthew Bailey
Matthew Bailey

Matthew took on the project of relocating the Harriet Beecher Stowe Kitchen Garden before the schoolhouse move. Matt and his troop members built a brand new above ground garden to the south of the schoolhouse. This is a location that fits perfectly with the setting and will be more visible to visitors. George DeMarino, Master Gardener volunteer, plants and maintains the garden. The garden illustrates the kinds of vegetables grown in Mandarin during Harriet Beecher Stowe's time here.

Jim Woodward
Jim Woodward

Jim transformed an area that was totally overgrown with invasive plants which covered a beautiful giant oak stump. After cleaning it all out, Jim and his troop transformed the area into a beautiful area of rest, with the stump as the center and native grasses around the edges. It is now a place for photographs and picnic lunches! What was an unsightly mess of bad plants is now a place of beauty..Several trees were also planted in cooperation with JEA's Green Releaf project.
Matthew and Jim
Thank You

MMHS is very grateful to these Eagle Scouts and Troop 473 from St. Joseph's Catholic Church for their ongoing support of the Walter Jones Historical Park through their wonderful Eagle Scout projects.

MMHS mourns
the passing of Don Yocom

We are  very sad to share with you that our wonderful volunteer, Don Yocom, passed away in June after a two month struggle with surgical complications and cancer.

Don is pictured here at the Third Thursday Lecture last November, selling chances to win  the Ed Gamble cartoon. Who could say "No" to Don?

He will be greatly missed here at MMHS. He was involved in many aspects of volunteer work and was somebody you could just call and ask for help when needed. He always had a smile, a pure kindness about him and the most gentlemanly manner. And he LOVED history - all history, including Mandarin's.

We are hoping sometime in the future to have someone, possibly Don's daughter, Tara, share his presentation "Oh, Say Can You See." This presentation is about the history behind the "Star Spangled Banner," the flag that inspired it and the man who wrote it - Francis Scott Key. It deserves to be seen - he looked forward to doing it - and we must share with you all this research and some of the stories he uncovered.

Please continue to keep Linda and all of Don's family and friends in your thoughts and prayers. 


Maple Leaf activities continue

The Center for Military History did pick up 28 artifacts from the Union steamship Maple Leaf in June  that will eventually be in the National Museum of the U.S. Army at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia. 
We will be replacing the artifacts that were removed with other items from the Florida Division of Historical Resources in order to keep the exhibit fresh and interesting, but have been unable to get to Tallahassee yet. We are also continuing the "Meet the Divers" days because there has been so much interest in them. Check the calendar for dates upcoming.

In July, the divers will be in-house on Sunday, July 26 only.

Sgt. Victor D. Quillard's (13th Indiana)  hand carved pipe will next be seen in the Army Museum.

Marie Prentice, Florida Division of Historical Resources, came from Tallahassee to work with the Center for Military History archivists.

Link to the National Museum of the U.S. Army website
Link to the Florida Division of Historical Resources website
 "Music Under the Oaks" - acoustic music jam on Sunday July 5 at Mandarin Museum in Walter Jones Park 


June had a fabulous "Music Under the Oaks" event. Moved from the Store and Post Office to Walter Jones Park, it was the biggest ever. It was lots of fun for all on a perfect day with the museum open and artists from the "Outsiders" group sketching and painting while the musicians played. We have decided to move the event back to the park permanently because it has grass and accommodates larger crowds better. 


This is a community jam - open to anyone who plays an acoustic instrument and wants to share and play with others.  Listeners are also welcome. Please (all) bring your own chair and water. There is no place large enough to move inside, so be watchful of summer weather - so far we have been lucky!

The jam is co-sponsored by the North Florida Folk Network  and led by NFFN member and MMHS Board member, Pat Plumlee.

Check out Ron Whittington's nice article about this event in the July 1 issue of "Current" in the Florida Times Union. Great article - thanks to Ron. 


Gary Garrett, capturing the scene and the spirit of the event. 



Sunday, July 5

From 2-4 (weather permitting)

Walter Jones Historical Park

11964 Mandarin Rd.


Mandarin Museum will be open also. 



Link to North Florida Folk Network  

Link to First Coast Plein Air Painters

Link to The Outsiders - Art League of Jacksonville 

Gary Garrett presenting his painting to MMHS with Sandy Arpen
Thank you to artist  
Gary Garrett

Gary Garrett has been an artist his entire life. He lives in Mandarin and loves coming to Walter Jones  Park to capture images of buildings, landscapes and tiny wild flowers. In fact, he says he has painted 30 different images at the park.
When he came to the "Music Under the Oaks" jam in June, he completed a painting of the musicians playing in a circle with the schoolhouse in the background. It is bright, lively, colorful and totally captured the upbeat feeling of the day.

On June 28, Gary painted again in the park with the First Coast Plein Air Painters. When he finished he came into the museum and gave us this beautiful painting as a gift. He told us that he so enjoyed the park and he felt this was a way he could give back.

We are SO grateful to him for his generosity and we are proud to accept this gift. Many have asked about getting prints, so we will be looking into that very soon. If you know someone who makes prints of acrylic paintings, please contact us.   
Volunteer Spotlight

We'd like to introduce you to two volunteers who are taking on the inventory of all objects in the Webb Farmhouse. Bob Nay, researcher, author and Board member, is very interested in Major Webb (who built the house). As you may recall, Bob presented a wonderful Third Thursday Lecture about William Wirt Webb in May and he is writing a book about him.

Tanvi is a Youth Volunteer, an advanced studies student at Nease High School and she is  very interested in learning about archival work.

It is very important work that they are doing. They are literally looking at every item in the house and documenting whether each item has been properly and fully documented in our records. This information will then be shared with the Tuesday afternoon Archive Team of Pam Neumann, Lynn MacEwen and Barb Pucci, who will update the electronic records and number any items that were missing documentation. On this day Bob and Tanvi were in the kitchen - when it was 99 degrees and, of course, no AC!

Thank you to all who care for our collection. Next month we will introduce you to the rest of the team.

Reaching out to the community for help with the schoolhouse

So much has been done in the last six months and now it is up to us to finish. Some of the upcoming tasks and needs are:
  • Cleaning the outside of the building with brooms and water (no pressure washing)
  • Loan of scaffolding that will allow volunteers to clean, prep and paint safely
  • Donation of painting supplies including a paint sprayer
  • Volunteers to prep and paint inside and out
  • Drywall repair of inside cracks
  • Someone with experience in historic building rehab skills to repair the windows
  • HVAC unit and installation for interior  (600 square feet)
  • Electrician services to help install HVAC equipment and display lamps.

If you are interested in joining one of our work teams or offering an in-kind donation of supplies or expertise and skills OR if you know someone who might be able to help, please email or call 268-0784 and leave a message and you WILL be called back.  


If you would like to make a monetary donation in support of all of the remaining expenses of the schoolhouse project, please click the the "donate" button at the bottom of this page, or stop by the museum any Saturday (except July 4). All donations of services and volunteer time will be greatly appreciated.


July 4 - Mandarin Museum will be closed
July 5 -  " Under the Oaks " acoustic music jam at the Mandarin Museum at Walter Jones
July 11 - NO Meet the Divers this day
July 26 - NO Yoga on the River
July 26 - Meet the Maple Leaf Divers 12-4
August 8 - Meet the Maple Leaf Divers 12-4
August 23 - Meet the Maple Leaf Divers 12-4
August 20 - Third Thursday Lecture - Mary Atwood, "Historic Homes of Florida's First Coast"
September 6 - NO "Music Under the Oaks" - Labor Day weekend
September 26 - Smithsonian "Museum Day LIVE!"
November 19 - Third Thursday Lecture - St. Johns River Alliance
December 5 - 16th Annual Winter Celebration in Walter Jones Park

Mandarin Museum (11964 Mandarin Road) is open every Saturday from 9-4 in Walter Jones Historical Park, however it will be closed July 4.

NOTE: The Mandarin Store and Post Office (12471 Mandarin Road)  is open the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month from 1-3, however it will be closed until we get the AC fixed and an Eagle Scout project of painting is completed in August.

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.   

Have a wonderful July.

Take time to watch a
sunset or go fishing from County Dock.

The reward is great!


Mandarin Museum & Historical Society 

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