MMHS NEWS - December 2015
Dear Members and Friends,

What an exciting year it has been for MMHS!

 A few highlights were: relocating the one-room schoolhouse to Walter Jones Park; partnering with the Mandarin Rotary for fundraising efforts that support the building refurbishing and exhibit placement in the schoolhouse (ongoing until April); receiving the "Great Save" award  (along with Mandarin Community Club, Councilman Schellenberg and the City of Jacksonville Parks, Recreation and Community Services) from the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission;  the continuation of having Keith Holland and his divers present monthly for "Meet the Divers" days in honor of the " Maple Leaf"; filled to capacity Third Thursday Lectures with some wonderful speakers; and the highly successful "Music Under the Oaks" community music jams that are held monthly.

We give thanks to all of you who support MMHS in any fashion - members, volunteers, Board members, donors, visitors, consultants, musicians, divers, community business and non-profit partners. All of the accomplishments of this past year would not have been possible without your passion, commitment and love for this very special place, called Mandarin.

We look forward to a wonderful 2016... TOGETHER!
Winter Celebration is almost here!
December 5 
These MMHS volunteers will be eagerly awaiting your arrival! 

We hope you will join us at the 16th Annual Winter Celebration from 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM on Saturday, December 5. This free event, well known for old-fashioned fun, is held at the Walter Jones Historical Park, located at 11964 Mandarin Rd.

Activities are planned for the day include:
  •  all historic buildings will be open for tours - schoolhouse, farmhouse, barn and winery
  • Mandarin Museum is open with newly placed Maple Leaf artifacts and Dr. Keith Holland and his SJAEI divers to tell you all about this National Historic Landmark shipwreck
  • the JFRD Pipe and Drums opening the event at 11:30
  •  horse-drawn hayrides by Jacksonville Carriage Company (there is a small fee for this to help cover the costs)
  • reenactors from the late 19th C, including the Golden Teacups
  •  local non-profit and educational groups (Mandarin Garden Club, Mandarin Women's Club, Duval County Extension and Master Gardener George DeMarino, the St. Johns Riverkeeper, Bolles Enviornmental Club, Sons of the Union Veterans)  
  • nature crafts for children
  • demonstrations by  All-Star Quilters as well as demonstrations of weaving and fish-net making
  • Gator Clown face painters 
  • learn about chickens and rabbits at the chicken coop
  • old fashioned games, S'mores and popcorn
  • a learning center about local birds and butterflies
  • the monthly "Under the Oaks" music jam will be held this day from 2-4 instead of their usual Sunday afternoon schedule. Feel free to bring your acoustic instrument and join in.
  • The park will be filled with Plein Aire Painters and our own Lucinda Halsema - painting beautiful pictures of the historic buildings and Winter Celebration scenes.
  • Billy Barwald of Flying Dragon Citrus Nursery will be present to answer your citrus questions
  •  And, for the first time, this year we will also have Model T and Model As  in the park thanks to the Model A/T Club.
  • Tasty Dog Hot Dog Stand will be available for the entire event
This is your chance to learn about Mandarin's interesting and unique history and gain an understanding of life in Mandarin a century ago while enjoying the beautiful 10 acre park on the St. Johns.

Parking is available thanks to our neighbors at the Mandarin Presbyterian Church across the street, with some handicapped parking in the museum lot.

THANK YOU to our sponsor this year, the Mandarin Fresh Market. They have been long-time friends of MMHS and we are grateful to them for their participation this year. Fresh Market has donated two $150.00 holiday gift baskets and two $75.00 gift cards for a raffle to help us cover event expenses. Stop by the Membership table to buy your tickets. Who wouldn't want one of these awesome gifts! And, we ask that you please support Fresh Market, located at 12795 San Jose Blvd., in thanks for their on-going support of our mission in Mandarin.

Shop at your Mandarin Museum Gift  Shop for a special holiday gift

Our Gift Shop is packed with a wide variety of books that are related to Mandarin and regional history. During Winter Celebration  Dr. Holland and the divers will be in-house and will be happy to autograph your purchase of the only book written about the Maple Leaf - "The Maple Leaf: An Extraordinary American Civil War Shipwreck." 
We also carry notecards and small prints of local artists Lucinda Halsema and Julie Fetzer as well as Maple Leaf notecards. There is a large variety of old-fashioned children's toys this year as well as some great little recipe books and a couple of those cute concrete frogs that have been popping up all over.

And, we are fortunate to have several of Brenda Councill's prints from her award-winning Historic Mandarin series, some framed. Brenda did these prints early in her career when she lived in Mandarin (she now lives in North Carolina and is a highly regarded mural artist). There are no more being made and any one of these would make a very special gift indeed.

Finally, we will have the 2015 Christmas ornament depicting the Losco Winery as well as ornaments from years past. What better way to show your Mandarin pride then by having a tree of historic Mandarin places and events.

So, come on in to the museum for our full selection and also a smaller selection will be available at our outside shop in the park.

A special holiday treat...

We are so excited to announce that Board member Bob Nay's book about Major William Webb and his time in Mandarin will be available very soon - hopefully by Winter Celebration. If the order does not arrive in time for the 5th, you may order them at the event or come in on Saturday December 12 or 19 - or give us a call at 268-0784..

From Bob's Introduction:

"One thing I learned is that when William W. Webb came to Mandarin he would have been a "Yankee stranger." During his 18 years living in Mandarin, he was a very successful citizen in many ways and became a stranger no longer. But, today in 2015, he is a Yankee stranger, again, to many of our local residents. One of my goals is to make Major Webb a Yankee stranger no more."

This story of William Webb, his family and the culture and happenings of Mandarin from 1875-1900 is fascinating. It is a very important addition to our knowledge about the man who settled on the property that is now Walter Jones Historical Park. We are grateful to Bob for having had the interest that led him to invest his time to research and write this piece. And to Tracey Arpen for editing and formatting for publication. We're sure you will enjoy it and learn alot. 

Please be sure to visit Bob (dressed as Major Webb) at the farmhouse during Winter Celebration. 

Membership Drive begins

Mandarin Museum & Historical Society depends on the generosity of support from our members in the community. As a cultural non-profit, we are fortunate and grateful  to receive a $5000.00 grant as a  Cultural Service Program Grant recipient for FY 2015-16. However, you can imagine how much it takes to sustain a growing organization like ours. Our plan is to continue growing, expand the museum and hire an Executive Director in the future. All of these dreams will make our presence even more vital in the community. But it takes financial and human resources to make this happen.

We thank all of our current members for their on-going support and ask you to respond generously to your soon to be mailed letter of membership renewal.

We ask those of you who are interested in us, but have not taken the step of becoming a member, to do so this year. Pick up a membership envelope at the Membership table at the Winter Celebration, stop by any Saturday, or you can join on-line by CLICKING HERE.

Along with supporting the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society, membership also provides you with other benefits. All members receive a discount at our museum store. In addition, Mandarin Museum & Historical Society is a member group of the nationwide Time Travelers Program. This program offers MMHS members discounts in over 250 museums around the country. To learn more:

Join in December and your membership is through December 31, 2016.

Membership is truly the foundation of our organization and  essential for us to continue the work of preserving, protecting, and telling the stories of Mandarin's events and people through time. Your presence and input are equally important and we welcome you as a volunteer at any level.
Third Thursday in November

The Community Club was packed for November's lecture by Andrea Conover and Gus Bianchi. Their tales of their 300+ mile kayak journey that covered the length of the St. Johns were fascinating.

To learn more about the St. Johns River Alliance and to view their valuable resources, please click here.


  • December 5 - 16th Annual Winter Celebration in Walter Jones Park, with Maple Leaf divers and lots of activities for the family to enjoy throughout the park. Will include the December "Music Under the Oaks" jam on this day instead of Sunday.
  • December 26 - Museum CLOSED
  • April - 2016 - hoping to have a Grand Opening of the 1889 Schoolhouse.

Mandarin Museum (11964 Mandarin Road) is open every Saturday (except Dec. 26) from 9-4 in Walter Jones Historical Park .

The Mandarin Store and Post Office (12471 Mandarin Road) will be open from noon - 4 on the first Saturday of every month starting in January. 
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.   


We always need more volunteers - call Paula today at 403-5024 or and she will get you started. 

From our MMHS family to yours...
we wish you a happy, healthy and   meaningful holiday season.



Mandarin Museum & Historical Society 

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