September  2018 
Dear MMHS Members and Friends,

We are very honored and excited to announce that on August 21, the Rotary Club of Mandarin gifted Mandarin Museum & Historical Society with $25,000 for the Museum Expansion Project! This money was raised through the club's "Laughs for Charity" fundraising event that was held in April, with MMHS as the primary community nonprofit recipient.

Through their philanthropic outreach the Rotary has helped many non profits in the area, including MMHS, through this annual event. As you'll recall, they helped us with the schoolhouse renovation in 2015 with a generous donation as well as painting the entire schoolhouse AND funding tour opportunities for high-risk elementary students. 
Our gratitude to them for their current and ongoing support of our mission here in Mandarin is hard to describe! This year the Rotary International has introduced a new theme, "Be the Inspiration." We must say that Ken McCauley, Jock Hart, Jim Register, Rob Meek, and the entire membership of Rotary Club of Mandarin are truly an inspiration to us and we thank them all  very much for wanting to help us carry out or mission to "preserve and share the stories of Mandarin's history, culture and natural resources by providing engaging programs that educate, entertain and inspire" for future generations. We are proud to partner with Rotary for the benefit of the entire community of Mandarin. 
We also thank Dr. Keith Holland for being an inspiration too, through his Rotary Club presentation about the ongoing importance of Maple Leaf and his sponsorship of the event. Also, our gratitude to Fred Pozin and the Ramada Inn/Comedy Zone and everyone who participated in or supported this event through attending, donating and buying raffle items, or being a sponsor.
Sandy Arpen, Karen Roumillat and the entire Board of Directors

Karen Roumillat, John Hart, President of Rotary Club of Mandarin
and Sandy Arpen

Dennis Short
Smithsonian Museum Day
September 22
Mandarin Museum & Historical Society is participating in this 2018 Smithsonian Museum Day, a day designed to encourage people across the country to discover the wonderful museums right in their own backyards.

For this special event all historic buildings in the Walter Jones Historical Park will be open for viewing.

As a special treat, volunteer and Civil War reenactor Dennis Short will display IN SEARCH OF VALOR, a salute to the common foot soldier of the American Civil War, both Union and Confederate. On display will be a simulated encampment complete with period tents, weapons, uniforms and soldiers' personal effects. You are encouraged to take a step back into history and learn what it was like to be a foot soldier in America's most challenging period. This is also an opportunity for youth who are interested in becoming Civil War reenactors to get information.

On this day Mandarin Museum will be open and  Dr. Keith Holland and several Maple Leaf divers will be present to answer your questions about the ship and the artifact recovery. In the gift shop, books, art and items related to local history will be available, and of course, there will be lots of Mandarin Frogs. Plus, you may just "sit down a spell" and enjoy traditional acoustic music performed by local musicians on the front porch while watching the world go by on Mandarin Road.

The historic 1898 St. Joseph's Mission Schoolhouse for African-American Children presents the story of the Sisters of St. Joseph and the  African-American families of Mandarin who took advantage of the opportunity at this school and others like it in the south side of Duval County.

The historic 1875 Webb farmhouse will be open for visits, along with the Losco Winery and the 1876 Barn, all located within the farmstead area of the park.

Let your imagination take you on a journey back in time as you stroll through the beautiful park. Picture the steamboats coming up the St. Johns and arriving at the wharf with your mail and dry goods, and imagine the screaming whistle of the Maple Leaf as it hit a Confederate mine and went to the bottom of the river.
Happy painters from the August party.
Frog/turtle painting event
September 15

The September Frog Painting is from 10-noon on September 15 in front of the museum.

Please make a reservation first  - just call us at 268-0784 and leave a message or email us at and tell us what you'd like to paint. Frogs and squirrels are $20 and turtles are $24. We provide the paint, brushes etc. Wear old clothes. It is lots of fun. Thanks to the Frog Man, all proceeds are for the support of  Mandarin Museum programs and expansion. 

Expansion plans moving along!
We are very happy to report that we have been notified by the Department of State, Cultural Affairs Department that we are eligible to move forward in the Facility Grant process for matching funds for the building of the expansion of the Mandarin Museum.
Thank you to all who donated to this designated fund through financial gifts and in-kind donations, wrote letters of support or helped in any way. We will keep you posted of our progress. 
An invitation to the community by the Church of Our Saviour
Food Trucks and Bluegrass

Bring a lawn chair and enjoy a free concert by Ernie Evans & The Florida State Bluegrass Band, along with a delicious food truck fair by Rite On Que, Chubby Burrito, Blazin' Azn, and Double Dippin' Ice Cream

Free admission and family friendly
September 21
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
12236 Mandarin Road
Jacksonville, FL 32223

Looking Back on August

We kicked off the school year with our "Back to School at the Old Schoolhouse event, organized and led by our youth volunteers. Thanks to all the youth who helped: Harleigh  (leader), Noah , Madison, Gracie, and Mandolyn
On our First Saturdays we are able to open the other historic buildings from10-2. Thanks to Kathy and George Barnwell who are tending the barn. George is an expert on agricultural tools, so be sure to stop by and see them some First Saturday.   

The Third Thursday Lecture by Emily Lisska, about the Stowes coming to Mandarin 150 years ago was standing room only! It was also an amazingly informative lecture.  
Thank you Emily. 
On August 17, Keith Holland gave a Maple Leaf presentation to 400 history students at Mandarin Middle School. Thanks to history teacher Khaki Hager for inviting him. The next day, students visited on Meet the Divers Day and got extra credit. Great idea! 
And, August 22 marked the 3 year anniversary of the Mandarin Frogs at MMHS. It was 2015  when the Mandarin Frog Man, gave us 6 frogs to sell for raising funds for the schoolhouse renovation. And, as they say, "the rest is history!" 
Since that day, this man has single-handedly raised $70,000 for MMHS, 60% going to the Museum Expansion! Thank you forever, our beloved Frog Man, Donald Bowden! 
Don and his sister Kaye at a Frog Painting. Kaye helps at every painting event. 
Bayard before I-95 
Most people don't think much about Bayard, on U.S. Hwy 1,  just across the railroad tracks from Old St. Augustine Rd. But once it was a thriving community, a half-way point between St. Augustine and Jacksonville. It had a city hall, a post office, a jail, a couple of stores and a hotel. It served as a tourist rest stop as people made their way up and down the east coast of America on the Dixie Highway, starting in the early 1930s. There was also a Bayard Inn and the Beauty Rest Cabins (now an antique mall). The first Horne's souvenir and candy shop was there near the Beauty Rest. And, the current biker bar, The Rooster, was  a courthouse at one time. Now Bayard forms the far eastern side of what we call Mandarin, but with the four-laning of U.S. Hwy 1 and all the development, it is hard to image how it was before the interstate took everybody off this main highway.

Last year Sandy and Tracey Arpen paid a visit to the Targonski brothers - Neil and Steve. These fellows still live in Bayard, close to what used to be their grandfather Steven Stanley Joseph Targonski's grocery, restaurant and gas station. The Targonskis have been in this area a long time - since their great-grandfather, Joseph Stanislaw Targonski, who was born in Poland in 1866, bought land in Florida, sight unseen. He was a farmer, but the land in the area was also full of pine trees, making turpentine, lumbering and saw-milling the main jobs. The railroad was the way to get to town back in his day.

A nice article about Bayard (it tells you about the naming of the area) with lots of other pictures was written for Metro Jacksonville by Ennis Davis. It can be seen here.
So the next time you go by there, just think for a moment of it being a busy place for travelers to stop and rest or buy gas or candy or have a nice meal. Those were the days!

Many thanks to Neil and Steve for the tour and the photos.

Marvin Neil and Steve Targonski

1948 Mandarin Telephone Directory
The most viewed object we have ever put on Facebook!  
This gem was from the objects given to MMHS from Miss Aggie's Store. You can see her handwritten notes on it. Since it was placed on Facebook in late August, over 12,000 have viewed it.
Please, if your family is on this list and you'd like to tell their story, call us at 268-0784 or send an email to

In Walter Jones Historical Park - 1875 farmhouse, 1876 barn, Losco Winery, ALL open, 10 am - 2 pm. Mandarin Museum, and Mission Schoolhouse open as always from 9-4. 
ALSO - the historic Mandarin Store and Post Office is open 10-2 at 12471 Mandarin Rd. If you haven't seen it since the new paint job, you must take a look.
 "Under the Oaks" Music Jam
Sunday, September 2 from 2-4 
The next monthly "Under the Oaks" music jam will take place on September 2 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.  It is co-sponsored by the North Florida Folk Network.
Meet the Divers Day
 Saturday, September 22 - from 9-4
The monthly "Meet the Maple Leaf Divers" day at Mandarin Museum in Walter Jones Historical Park is on Smithsonian Museum day.Meet Keith Holland and other SJAE divers to learn about this historic Civil War shipwreck in the St. Johns River.   
  • September 1: Historic 1911 Mandarin Store and Post Office open, 10 am - 2 pm
  • September 1: In Walter Jones Historical Park - 1875 farmhouse, 1876 barn, Losco Winery, Mandarin Museum, and Mission Schoolhouse ALL open, 10 am - 2 pm 
  • September 2: Music Under the Oaks jam 2 pm - 4 pm 
  • September 15: Frog Painting, 10 am - 12 pm 
  • September 22:  Smithsonian Museum Day, 9 am - 4 pm; all buildings open in Walter Jones Park; Meet the Maple Leaf Divers; simulated Civil War encampment complete with period tents, weapons, uniforms and soldiers personal effects; music on the porch.
  • October 6: Historic 1911 Mandarin Store and Post Office open, 10 am - 2 pm
  • October 6: In Walter Jones Historical Park - 1875 farmhouse, 1876 barn, Losco Winery, Mandarin Museum, and Mission Schoolhouse ALL open, 10 am - 2 pm
  • October 7: Music Under the Oaks jam, 2 pm - 4 pm 
  • October 13: Frog Painting, 10 am - 12 pm 
  • October 20: Meet the Maple Leaf Divers, 12 pm - 4 pm
  • 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 
  • 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 
  • November 17: Meet the Maple Leaf Divers, 12 pm - 4 pm 
  • December 1: 19th Annual Winter Celebration in Walter Jones Historical Park

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  
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 Tumblr by clicking on the logos at the bottom of this newsletter. 
Mandarin Newsline

View the September edition of Mandarin Newsline and read about James Flynn and his home on Loretto Road 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.


Mandarin Museum & Historical Society 
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