August 2017 
County Dock area rezoning update

The City Council, by a vote of 14-5 on July 25, rejected Ordinance 2016-805, to rezone property off of County Dock Road. The rezoning would have allowed 20 homes on lots that were slightly less than ¼ acre in size. As a result of the vote, the owner may not submit the same request to rezone for at least one year.

As most of you are aware, the rezoning had been opposed by the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society, Mandarin Community Club, Southeast Citizens Planning Advisory Committee, City Beautiful Jax, Scenic Jacksonville, Sierra Club Northeast Florida Group and Riverside Avondale Preservation.

What was really inspiring about this effort was that so many people in Mandarin cared enough to express their opinions about it. Out of the woodwork, our Facebook page was being viewed by thousands and comments were being shared about taking action. All we did was let folks know when the meetings were and how to get in touch with the Council members IF they wanted to. It was inspiring that so many people expressed their views on this important issue.

Sandy Arpen
"Back to School" at the historic schoolhouse!

School aged children are invited to come to the St. Joseph's Mission Schoolhouse for African-American Children for a special "Back to School" event on Saturday August 12 from 10-12.
They will learn about the history of the schoolhouse, sing old-time children's songs, hear some stories, play old-fashioned outdoor games, do some sidewalk chalk art, make a craft and have a chance to ring the school bell.

Thanks to Sherry Brown for the idea and the poster.

Tell your friends.
Don't forget to come to the Third Thursday Lecture about the SS Gulfamerica - August 17

Local speaker Scott Grant has become an expert on this very historic event. He 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. This was the ship's maiden and last voyage. He will have slides to show and accounts of the incidents from both the American and German perspectives, as the U-boat captain gave a thorough account and actually visited Jacksonville in his later years.

The Third Thursday Lectures are presented by the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society in partnership with the Mandarin Community Club. This event will be presented on Thursday, August 17 at the Mandarin Community Club, which is located at 12447 Mandarin Road. Refreshments are at 6:30 pm with the presentation at 7:00 pm. It is free and all are invited and encouraged to attend. For more information, call 268-0784.  
Volunteer Spot Light
 Lynn Brannon

"I had returned to Jacksonville after an absence of many years", said Volunteer Lynn Brannon.
"I was driving through Mandarin and saw the sign for Walter Jones Historical Park so I stopped to look around", she continued.
The museum was closed and as Lynn walked back to her car Sandy Arpen opened the door and invited her in.
Their conversation revealed that one of Lynn's sisters had been in the Dupont High School band (yes, it used to be a high school) with Sandy and her husband, Tracey. It also led to a question from Sandy - Would Lynn like to volunteer?
Volunteering, both in the Museum and Schoolhouse has been a great opportunity for Lynn as she has met many interesting people and enjoys sharing the history of the past.
Lynn grew up in San Marco and her grandfather had a place on the river in Orangedale.  The family called the place "camp" and as they traveled there, they often passed the little train at Mandarin Road and State Road 13. "We rode it several times," she says.
After graduating from FSU, Lynn moved to West Pam Beach and worked for the Florida Department of Public Welfare.  She met her husband, Joe and they spent several years in different states as he worked building cable systems. They had lived in Denver for 20 years when their daughter, who lives nearby, decided to move back to Jacksonville
"She had such fond memories of Christmas at my parents' home and wanted to share that same feeling with our granddaughter.  It didn't take much thought for us to decide to move with her and we are glad to be here"
Lynn had one more thought to share:
"According to family legend, one of my father's ancestors served on the Confederate side of the Battle of Olustee," says Lynn. "I think that's why I feel a real connection to the museum - the fact that the Maple Leaf went down when the Confederacy routed the Union soldiers," she added with a smile.

We are fortunate to have Lynn as one of our wonderful volunteers. Thank you Lynn for your service to MMHS and the community. 

Paula Suhey
Looking Back on July 

The "Frog Man" had a birthday on July 1 and we celebrated with him at the museum. We are very grateful to this lifelong resident, who has greatly helped the museum by making and selling his beautiful concrete frogs.

The July painting party was squirrels instead of frogs. Gabriele Dempsey took this photo of the squirrels lined up before the painting began. They look so cute coming up the sidewalk. She says they look like NYC Rockettes! They all found good homes!

We were happy to have Mike Barwald doing a Front Porch Story in honor of his dad, Billy. Mike talked about life in Mandarin in the '50s and '60s. There were lots of questions and a nice turn-out despite the flooding downpour just before the talk began.

And, we were so excited to meet two beautiful girls from China who are here on an Exchange program. They were so interested in our museums and took lots of photos to show their friends at home. We so appreciate their visit.

Mandarin Orange Pickers
Did you know...?

Mandarin once had two  baseball teams - one called Mandarin Orange Pickers and the other just called "Mandarin".

The Orange Pickers played against other communities around the area, including out of the county, from 1925 through 1956. Their first ball field was at the Mandarin Community Club. It is said that people would bring a picnic basket to enjoy their lunch and honk their car horns whenever a good play was made. Later, the team moved to Alberts Field at the corner of Brady Road and Orange Picker Road.

There was also an African-American team. Sam Burney says that they were just called "Mandarin" - he does not recall a nickname. But he says they also played all around northeast Florida and would play the Orange Pickers once or twice a year. Their first ball field was on Brady Road south of Orange Picker Road, but then they moved to property owned by Walter Anderson and given specifically for the Mandarin ball team. It is currently a city park called Flynn Park. Sam helped build the field and then ran the concession at the games.

If you know of any Orange Pickers or players from the Black team out there, please give us a call at 269-0784. We'd love to talk with them.
 The monthly "Meet the
Maple Leaf Divers" day at Mandarin Museum in Walter Jones Historical Park
will NOT take place in August. Look for the divers next at Smithsonian Day - Sept. 23.

 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, August 6 from 2-4.

Bring an acoustic instrument if you would like to play. Listeners bring a lawn chair and water. 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, August 5.

 It's located at 12471 Mandarin Road.

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 

Smithsonian Magazine "Museum Day Live"

MMHS will be participating again in this 2016 Smithsonian magazine event - a day designed to encourage people to discover the wonderful museums in their own communities.

All buildings in Walter Jones Park,  including the Losco Winery, will be open this day, Saturday September 23. The Maple Leaf divers will be there from 12-4. 

Inside the historic
 Losco Winery 

August 5 - Historic Store and Post Office Open 12-4 
August 6 - "Under the Oaks" music jam  - 2-4
August 12 - "Back to School" at the old schoolhouse - 10-12 
August 17 - Third Thursday Lecture SS Gulfamerica 6:30 pm
August 19 - Frog Painting - FULL
August 19 - NO" Meet the Maple Leaf Divers" this day
September  2 - Store and Post Office open 12-4  
September 23 - Smithsonian Magazine's - "Museum Day Live" - ALL buildings open today and "Meet the Maple Leaf Divers" from 12-4   
October 7 - Store and Post Office Open 12-4 
October 8 - "Under the Oaks" music jam 2-4 
October 14 - Class for Children at the schoolhouse - "Sea Turtles" - by George DeMarino 10-12 (new event) 
October 21 - "Meet the Maple Leaf Divers" 12-4 
November 4 - Store and Post Office Open 12-4 
November 5 - "Under the Oaks" music jam 
NO "Meet the Maple Leaf Divers" in November  
November 16 - Third Thursday Lecture
December 2 - Winter Celebration - all buildings open, special activities, "Meet the Maple Leaf Divers" - 11-4

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 Butterfly Garden has thrived on the regular rains and the tender and consistent care of volunteer  Betty Taylor. The plants are colorful and attractive to butterflies as well as many hummingbirds. If you have yet to view it, stop by any time - it is next to the museum building, greeting all and inviting you to take a look - or a photo! 

Thank you Betty for the dedication and love you have put into this beautiful garden for so many years. Your hard work is greatly appreciated by the community. 
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.

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