November  2018 
Dear MMHS Members and Friends,

An update on the Facilities Grant request for matching funds for the Museum Expansion Project - I traveled to Stuart, FL to answer questions of the review panel on October 3. I am happy to report that the grant application was well received by the panel and we have advanced to the next step by scoring high enough to continue being qualified. I will keep you posted as the process moves along.

This grant, as well as many others, is administered by the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs. "Division grants support Florida's cultural organizations and individual artists. All funding for the Division's grant programs are pending appropriation from the Florida Legislature."

We are honored to be involved.
Sandy Arpen  
Clean-up at Sloan's Landing Cemetery  
November 4

Just off Julington Creek Road, lies a small cemetery called Sloan's Landing. It holds the graves of many well-known Mandarin names - Hagin, Acosta, Hood, Bardin, and Ponce. However, it is not tended to regularly. Underneath debris and weeds (like in photo 1), there are many old headstones of Mandarin families (like in photo 2). 
Our volunteer Brett Nolan, is looking for a few hands to help pull weeds, move tree limbs, mow and do some general cleaning up of the cemetery on Sunday afternoon, November 4 from 2-4. If you'd like to join us, we need you to email us at There is very limited parking, so we can't have a large group working at one time - maybe 3-4 cars max. So let us know if you want to help and we'll let you know if we have any more space for this clean-up. Trust us - there will have to be more! 

SPECIAL EVENT in Honor of Armistice Day 1918
100 years ago!

On Saturday, November 10, we will honor the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. We will also remember and honor the only man from Mandarin who died in the war, Pvt. Marion Joseph Losco, and all others from Mandarin who served.

Per the World War I Centennial Commission:

"More than four million American families sent their sons and daughters to serve in uniform during the Great War. 116,516 U.S. soldiers died from combat and disease. Another 200,000 were wounded, a casualty rate far greater than in World War II.

More than 350,000 African Americans served in the U.S. military, as did Native Americans and members of other minority groups. And, for the first time, women joined the ranks of the U.S. armed forces."

A special presentation will begin at 11:00 am with the Mandarin High School NJROTC Color Guard  presenting the colors and reading the names of all men from Mandarin who served in World War I. This will be followed by a short presentation by speaker/author Paul Ghiotto.  Following the presentation, visitors may view the exhibit of objects belonging to Pvt. Losco, a looping slide show, a full World War I uniform (loaned by local collector Phil Buhler) and  autographed copies of "A Soldier's Story" will be available for purchase.

The Mandarin Museum and the 1898 St. Joseph's Mission Schoolhouse for African-American Children may be viewed during regular museum hours (9-4) and the Losco Family Winery log cabin will also be open from 9-4, except from 11-12 during the presentation at the museum.

Please also join the Mandarin Community Club for the club's 12th annual Wreath-Laying Ceremony honoring Mandarin veterans. This year's event will be held on Veteran's Day, November 11 at 1 pm at the Billard Commemorative Park, adjacent to the club building at 12447 Mandarin Road.
Third Thursday Lecture  
Special Guest from Ft. Fisher, North Carolina
John Moseley
"From the St. Johns to the Cape Fear: Severing the Lifeline
of the Confederacy"

Vitzelli print of battle at Fort Fisher
If you are reading this, you have almost certainly heard of the National Historic Landmark, Maple Leaf, the Union troop transport that was sunk by Confederates at Mandarin Point on April 1, 1864. You may have seen some of the Civil War items that were recovered from the ship that are featured in the Mandarin Museum or MOSH. If so, you probably wondered what happened to the men who owned those items...Union soldiers from New York and Indiana who were waiting for their belongings in Jacksonville. Well, these men traveled north and were engaged in some important battles during the last year of the war.
In April 1864, the men of the 112th New York, 169th New York, and 13th Indiana Regiments were soon to be a part of bloody campaigns in Virginia and North Carolina. They would be a part of the largest amphibious operation the US military would carry out until June 6, 1944 and would observe the largest naval bombardment of the American Civil War - at Fort Fisher, NC. It was the biggest event in US history at the time.
Fort Fisher was the largest earthen fortification in the Confederacy. Its guns controlled one inlet into the Cape Fear River, the port of Wilmington, and the railroad. After the savage fighting was over, 72 soldiers, sailors and marines would be awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions. One of those Medal of Honor recipients, Private William Freeman of the 169th New York, might have materials still in the hold of the Maple Leaf.
At the November Third Thursday Lecture, John Moseley, Jacksonville native and Historic Sites Manager I, Fort Fisher State Historic Site, will give a lecture and visual presentation of the battle that sealed the fate of the Confederacy, aided in bringing an end to the war and the Maple Leaf's connection to Fort Fisher.
This Mandarin Museum & Historical Society event is held in partnership with the Mandarin Community Club and is held at the Community Club, 12447 Mandarin Rd. Refreshments are offered at 6:30 pm with the lecture starting at 7pm. It is free and all are welcome to attend. For questions or more information, call 268-0784. 
Frog/turtle painting event
November 17

The November Frog Painting is from 10-noon on November 17 in front of the museum.

Please make a reservation first - the best way to do that is to email us at and tell us what animal you'd like to paint. If you can't email, please call and leave a message at 268-0784. BUT, you should receive a confirming email or a phone call back. If you do not, please try again. Apparently a couple of emails were lost in spam the past couple of months, and we are trying to make a better system so there will be plenty of critters for everybody and no one is disappointed. 
Frogs and squirrels are $20 and turtles are $24. We provide the paint, brushes etc. Wear old clothes. It is lots of fun. Our tremendous gratitude to the Mandarin Frog Man - all proceeds are for the support of  Mandarin Museum programs and expansion.  
October painters had a great time!  
Thank you to volunteers Margaret Vaeth, Patricia Buckner-Ferron and Rose Gunther for making everything run smoothly.
JAX Chamber - Mandarin Council's 22nd Annual Chili-Cook-off event 
Saturday, November 17 
11am to 3pm

Riverplace Shopping Center 
11111 San Jose Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32223

"Mandarin Council's 22nd Annual Fall Festival and Chili Cook-off with Live Music, Family Entertainment, Arts and Crafts and our Chili Cook-off! Proceeds are to benefit The Youth Achievers Program, Safe Kids Swimming Program, Mandarin Food Bank, and The Janice Meisel Scholarship Fund."
MMHS President, Sandy Arpen, has been asked to be one of the judges this year. Sounds like a great time for family fun!  
For more details and to register in the cook-off, to be a sponsor or have an arts and craft booth  for the event (you do NOT have to be a Council member to participate):  

Winter Celebration
11:30 - 12:00
Camille and Camiya Ferron, MMHS volunteers and vocalists - front porch of Mandarin Museum.

12:00 - 1:00
Mrs. Kate Carpenter - in the schoolhouse singing original, educational and interactive songs with children - includes puppets and sing-a-longs.

1:00 - 2:00  Singer/songwriter Al Poindexter singing original Florida songs on the Front Porch of Mandarin Museum.

2:00 - 3:30
"Music Under the Oaks" Acoustic Music Jam in the front yard of the Museum.
Co-sponsored by North Florida Folk Network.

Mandarin youth musician - Miquel Huertes, violin, strolling the park and playing at the buildings and boardwalk.   
For a complete listing of activities to date, please CLICK HERE.
Meet Board Member Anne Morrow 

"Susan Ford made me," said volunteer Anne Morrow as she reflected on the reason she is a Mandarin Museum and Historical Society board member. "Susan stopped by my house as she was literally on her way to a board meeting and told me I was going to be on the board."
Her acceptance of that opportunity led to her also agreeing to be the board's treasurer and later a faithful volunteer docent and tour guide.

Anne went on to say that she has really enjoyed being a member of the board since the early 1990's. She said that through this group she has gotten to know some really nice people and has great memories of some of the early board meetings. "I especially remember sitting next to Carl Davis, who could always make me laugh," she recalled. When you are a member of the board that means you will work. At least that's the way it is at this museum.

"I started out volunteering at the Store and Post Office where we were open just a couple of Saturdays each month," she said, continuing that she now loves her first Saturday morning of each month position in the Mandarin Museum.

"It's always special when someone can connect something that they have learned about in school with something they are seeing in the museum, the schoolhouse or other buildings in the park," she said. "And I love the fact, that this area is dedicated to the history of the place my family has called home for many generations."

Anne's mom, Jean Kennedy, was born at Triangle Farm just across the street from the museum, where Mandarin Presbyterian Church is now. She married Sherrod Morrow at the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour more than 75 years ago. That church has played a significant role in Mandarin's history because of its beginnings as a Bible Study at the home of Calvin and Harriett Beecher Stowe.  The Morrow family remains very involved at the church.

They also continue to play an important role in Mandarin's historical significance. Anne's brother, Bill is one of our docents at the Store and Post Office when schoolchildren are here for a tour. He shows them where the Morrows' mail was delivered and tells them about the penny candy that welcomed them. Bill's son, Andy, who spent several years with us as Executive Director, is a regular volunteer at our annual Winter Celebration.

"I'm excited as I look forward to the expansion of space at the museum - more room for the
Maple Leaf and other artifacts that are a part of who we were."

Who we were and who we are is what the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society is all about.
Thanks, Anne, for what you bring to us!

Paula Suhey, Volunteer Coordinator

Many thanks to Olis Garber for this professional portrait. You can find Olis at

Accessions Corner

This new feature in our newsletter will feature a museum accession every month. Accessions to a museum are objects, documents, photos, art etc. that are donated to our collection of artifacts that help tell Mandarin's stories. MMHS has a Collection Policy that is very specific about what we take and don't take. Generally, we seek objects that directly relate to Mandarin's history or people. We also take some items as "display" pieces if they would fill a gap in one of the historic buildings. An example of this is accepting a farming implement that we do not have, but would be an appropriate educational piece for the exhibit of tools in the barn.

This coin dish was recently given by Molly Knight, a descendant of the Jones family. This vintage dish would have been used in the Store and Post Office by Miss Aggie as a place to put the coin change for her customers. It is now in the store, by the register.

Thank you to Molly for sharing this and many other pieces of your family's history.
Looking Back on October
Volunteers George and Kathy Barnwell took a trip to the Pisgah View Ranch in North Carolina and presented them with a Mandarin Frog!  They say this is a great place to stay. If you ever visit - look for their frog on the front porch. 
On October 5 we were pleased to have students from Riverside Presbyterian Day School take a tour. Seen here is volunteer Bill Morrow telling the kids all about how the old Post Office served the community. And Bill is even able to point out his family's box #5. 
On October 10, we were delighted to have members of the Bolles Freshman Class come to the park for their annual "Make a Difference Day." Usually the students do a park clean-up, but this year, because of storm concerns, they helped us do a Fall cleaning of the inside of the buildings. Thank you to the faculty and students who really did make a difference for Walter Jones Historical Park. 

First Saturday - November 3 - All Buildings Open   
In Walter Jones Historical Park - 1875 farmhouse, 1876 barn, Losco Winery, ALL open, 10 am - 2 pm. Mandarin Museum, and St. Joseph's Mission Schoolhouse for African-American Children are open as always from 9-4. 
ALSO - the historic Mandarin Store and Post Office is open 10-2 at 12471 Mandarin Rd.  
 "Under the Oaks" Music Jam
Sunday, November 4 from 2-4 
The next monthly "Under the Oaks" music jam will take place on November 4 at Walter Jones Historical Park from 2-4, WEATHER PERMITTING! Bring an acoustic instrument if you would like to play - listeners are always welcome - bring a lawn chair. The Mandarin Museum and St. Joseph's Mission Schoolhouse for African-American Children will be open during this event which is co-sponsored by the North Florida Folk Network.
  • November 3: Historic 1911 Mandarin Store and Post Office open 10 am - 2 pm
  • November 3: In Walter Jones Historical Park - 1875 farmhouse, 1876 barn, Losco Winery, Mandarin Museum, and Mission Schoolhouse ALL open, 10 am - 2 pm
  • November 4: Music Under the Oaks jam, 2 pm - 4 pm
  • Sloan's Landing Cemetery clean-up - 2pm - 4 pm
  • November 10: Veterans Day event honoring Pvt. Marion Losco and the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War I
  • November 15: Third Thursday lecture: John Moseley, Historic Sites Manager for Fort Fisher State Historic Site, will discuss the connection between Maple Leaf troops and the Civil War battle at Fort Fischer, NC 
  • December 1: 19th Annual Winter Celebration in Walter Jones Historical Park, including Meet The Maple Leaf Divers.

Mandarin Museum and the 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 from 10-2 on the first Saturday of every month.  Most months the barn, winery and farmhouse will be open at this same time. Check the calendar here and check Facebook to confirm.  
School field trips and adult group tours are scheduled during the week by appointment. Call 268-0784 or email us at to make a reservation.   
We always need more volunteers, as they are the backbone of our organization. If you would like more information CLICK HERE to email Paula Suhey, Volunteer Coordinator and she will give you a call and tell you all about the opportunities we have.  
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and our Tumblr blog by clicking on the logos at the bottom of this newsletter. 
"Cprl. Adams Robinson Co. C US Colored Infantry"
Mandarin Newsline

View the November edition of the Mandarin Newsline
and read about historic Plummer's Cove Cemetery in "Back in Time with Brett" by MMHS volunteer Brett Nolan.

CLICK HERE for the electronic version.
MISSION: Mandarin Museum & Historical Society shares the stories of Mandarin's history, culture and natural resources by providing engaging programs that educate, entertain and inspire.

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