July 2017 
Frog Man has made some patriotic frogs for the occasion. Available in the museum Gift Shop on Saturdays from 9-4.
Happy Fourth of July

July is the time people think about being half way through the summer school break, the time for the All-Star game and the beginning of football summer camp, and, of course, fireworks and flag waving. But let's take a moment to remember the history of this holiday and why we celebrate. The following is from

"The Fourth of July - also known as Independence Day or July 4th - has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues."

Celebrate and be grateful!
County Dock area rezoning update

By the end of June, the update on the rezoning request of 9+ acres east of County Dock Rd. is:
  • The request was denied by the Planning Commission, approved by the Land Use and Zoning Committee (LUZ) and heard by the full City Council, but sent back to LUZ for further deliberation.
  • The next meeting will be on July 18. Check our Facebook page later in July to find out if there will be a public hearing.
Board members Karen Droege and Karen Roumillat planting the native plant landscaping in front of the sign.
MMHS signage gets new landscaping

Thanks to a generous grant by the Magnolia  Circle of the Mandarin Garden Club, the first view people have of the park is now more noticeable and more beautiful. Native plant landscaping was recently installed under the park sign at the corner of County Dock Road and Mandarin Road. For years to come, these plants will support butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and other wildlife. Come by and see the plants for yourself.

We thank the Magnolia  Circle for their wonderful support of MMHS.
Mike Barwald talking about citrus at the 2016 Winter Celebration.
"Front Porch Stories"

Many of you remember the wonderful series of Front Porch Stories that Billy Barwald did a few years back. So many residents came out to hear him talk about life in Mandarin, mostly in the '30s and '40s. It was so interesting just to hear his perspective and ask him questions. For doing these stories, he was awarded two Jacksonville Historic Preservation Awards. Billy certainly has been missed around here since his death last Spring. He was a very special man in the community.

Recently Billy's son Mike came in and asked if he could do a  Front Porch Story in honor of his dad on a Sunday close to the one- year anniversary of Billy's memorial service which was held at the museum. Mike was raised on Loretto Road, where their Flying Dragon Citrus Nursery is located. He, like his dad, is a citrus expert. Mike went to Loretto School and also Bolles, and he has lots of interesting stories about growing up in Mandarin before the Buckman Bridge, in the '50s and '60s.

So, we will welcome Mike to tell his stories at Mandarin Museum on Sunday afternoon, July 23 from 1-2 pm. Due to the recent weather patterns and mosquitoes, we will do this in the schoolhouse. There is AC there, but we will need to ask you to call or email us to let us know if you would like to come  because the space is limited to about 30. Click here to email us or call 268-0784 to leave a message. 
MMHS Survey

Would you please take a few minutes to complete a short survey about our programs and events? We sent an email last week, but just in case you didn't see it we wanted to give you another chance to tell us what you enjoy about MMHS and offer suggestions for improvement.  We always aim to improve, and we greatly benefit from public feedback on our facilities, exhibitions, programs, and events. Your participation is greatly appreciated.

Click here to access the short survey. Thank you.
Welcome to our newest Board member - Beverly Clarke

Beverly joined the board in June, having already served as a volunteer docent for a year. Her first exposure to us was at the Grand Opening of the schoolhouse - and she was quickly hooked by Mandarin's history! She lives in Mandarin and is a practicing attorney as well a real estate agent, but also has a background in education. She came to Jacksonville in 2011, having previously lived in south Florida, Connecticut and Jamaica. Her children still reside "up north."

Beverly loves her newest community and feels it "is important to give back because I have been blessed by others." We are grateful that she has chosen Mandarin as her home and has selected MMHS as the place to serve the community. Please welcome her when you see her. 
Looking Back on June

On June 3 we unveiled the brand new exhibit and book called A Soldier's Story. What a day it was! Thanks to Paul Ghiotto, Ron Ferster, Phil Buhler, Warren Chard, Gabriele Dempsey, the Losco family, and our volunteers for making it such a meaningful day, in honor of Pvt. Marion Joseph Losco.

This exhibit will be up until Armistice Day (now known as Veteran's Day), November 11, 2018. This date is the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

The book is available in the museum Gift Shop.

We had several tours in June, including the Southeast Genealogical Exchange Society, the Archaeological Institute of America (Jax group), Taylor Manor and the Florida Humanities Council's Teacher Workshop on the Civil War in Florida.

Keith Holland addressing 40 teachers from around the state about the Maple Leaf  - Florida Humanities Council.

We were honored to have Master Gardener and beekeeper, George DeMarino teach our first class for children in the schoolhouse - "The Importance of Honey Bees". It was a great class and the kids loved it...and learned A LOT. So did the adults!
George promises to do another class in the fall - on Sea Turtles. Watch for a date.

And, Matt, of R.G.White Construction, repaired and, where necessary, replaced  the windows in the schoolhouse. The panes starting falling out after the last big storm in the winter. We are so happy to have them back in securely.

Help us if you can!

Mandarin has such a deep, rich, important and fascinating history to share with the world. And we have some of the most beautiful natural resources with the St. Johns River and our canopy of live oaks, Spanish moss and citrus. We believe that we have a very important and unique mission in this community, but the Board of Directors and our faithful volunteers can not fulfill this mission by ourselves. WE NEED YOU TOO! Please come aboard and help in any way you can so Mandarin Museum can become a destination for locals and those visiting from afar.

We are grateful for MMHS Board members Jim Waler and Mike Woodward who started volunteering a couple of years ago.

  • Volunteers to be docents at our museums so we can open the doors more often and let people see the wonderful exhibits in the museum, the school house, Store and Post Office,  farm house,  barn, and  winery. Click here for more info and to print an application application. Or come in any Saturday or call 268-0784 and talk to us about your interests. 
  • Volunteers to help plan and execute our programs and special events (coming up - Smithsonian Day,  Winter Celebration)
  • We are looking for someone who can keep our participation in electronic calendars up-to-date.
  •  We could sure use someone who is proficient in video editing to help us preserve our events and oral histories for people to enjoy in the future. 
  • Members - membership has always been the foundation to the operation of the organization. We depend on our membership to help support  the programs and daily operations. If you have not renewed in 2017, please do. If you have never joined, please click here for more information about how you can be part of the team. 
  • Sponsorship - if you own a business, please talk with us about sponsorship - for events or for general support. We will be happy to tell you about all the benefits this would give us AND you.
Thank you for your consideration of this request and we look forward to hearing from some of you soon.
Did you know...?

Bruno Alberts (1888-1970) was a well-known artist who moved to Mandarin in 1935. He was from Kentucky and studied at the University of Cincinnati and worked in portrait painting as well as in stained glass.

He was also an orchid expert (an orchid is actually named for him). His home and greenhouses were located just north of County Dock Rd. His wife Ann was also an artist and often painted the orchids.

The Alberts also donated land for what is now Alberts Field, a popular youth baseball field and park on Brady Rd.

This beautiful still-life painting was donated by Sam Folds, long-time Mandarin resident and MMHS member,  and it  is on exhibit now at Mandarin Museum.
 The monthly "Meet the Maple Leaf Divers" day at Mandarin Museum in Walter Jones Historical Park is from noon-4 pm on July 15.

 Meet and talk with Dr. Keith Holland and the men who found the Maple Leaf shipwreck and recovered the Civil War artifacts from this National Historic Landmark site in the St. Johns River at Mandarin Point.

This is a unique and special opportunity to learn about Civil War history. 
The monthly "Under the Oaks" music jam will take place at Walter Jones Historical Park on Sunday, July 2 from 2-4.

Bring an acoustic instrument if you would like to play. Listeners bring a lawn chair. The Mandarin Museum and St. Joseph's Mission Schoolhouse for African-American Children will be open during this event.

This event is co-sponsored by the North Florida Folk Network. It is a "weather-dependent" event.

The historic 1911 Mandarin Store and Post Office is open from noon to 4 pm on Saturday, July 1. Located at 12471 Mandarin Rd.

The old Mandarin Store and Post Office evokes memories of small town and village general stores across America. It was the hub of village life from the time it opened in 1911 until it closed in 1964. It sold everything from canned goods from South America, to meat, animal feed, fish, cold soda and penny candy

You will be welcomed by Board member Karen Roumillat,  the great-grandaughter of the owner and Postmaster - Walter Jones.  
Don't forget to get the next Third Thursday Lecture on your calendar - August 17

Local speaker Scott Grant will give a fascinating account of the sinking of the SS Gulfamerica tanker by the German U-Boat 123 right off the coast of Jacksonville Beach in 1942 - while people on shore watched.

The lectures are held in partnership with the Mandarin Community Club and begin at 6:30 AT the Community Club. Look for more info in the August newsletter.

July 1 - Historic Store and Post Office Open
July 2 - "Under the Oaks" music jam  - 2-4
July 15 - Squirrel painting party 10-12
July 15 - Meet the Maple Leaf Divers 12-4 
July 23 - Front Porch Stories - Mike Barwald 1-2
August 5 - Historic Store and Post Office Open
August 6 - "Under the Oaks" music jam  - 2-4
August 19 - Meet the Maple Leaf Divers - 12-4
August 17 - Third Thursday Lecture 6:30 pm -  
September 23 - Smithsonian Magazine - "Museum Day Live"
November 16 - Third Thursday Lecture
December 2 - Winter Celebration

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.  
The front yard of the museum after an evening downfall.

June was so wet  - which leaves standing water throughout the park and brings out the mosquitoes. We have requested a spraying by the City, but be sure to use some kind of repellent when walking the park until this wet period slows down. 
Our mission: Mandarin Museum & Historical Society preserves and shares the stories of Mandarin's history, culture and natural resources by providing engaging programs that educate, entertain and inspire.


Mandarin Museum & Historical Society,
a volunteer based non-profit 501C3 organization which is located in the Walter Jones Historical Park, 11964 Mandarin Road. Jacksonville, Florida.

Copyright © 2017. All Rights Reserved.