December 2019   

Dear Friends,
We are expecting our 20th Annual Winter Celebration on December 7 to be a special one for sure. Special, of course, because we have been providing this free old-fashioned event for the community since 1999 - in the park BEFORE the museum building was even built. But  also special this year because it falls on December 7 - a date that lives "in infamy" (President Franklin Roosevelt). Because of this we decided to honor World War II veterans from Mandarin during the Winter Celebration's opening program - "Mandarin Remembers Pearl Harbor". The program begins at 11:15 in front of the museum and we hope many of you will be able to attend and meet the veterans who will be present. 
Please let me introduce you to the six World War II veterans who will be especially honored at that time - seen in this order: Wilma Arpen, Paul Dymond, Charlotte Leslein, Jim Snellen, Dan Stanley and George Waldoch. 

Sandy Arpen 
Remembering George Waldoch

It is with much sadness that we share that long-time Mandarin resident George Waldoch passed away on 11/26/2019 - 1 day before his 100th birthday. He was born on November 27, 1919.

George moved to Mandarin after his WWII service, married Ruth Crouch (a Navy WAVE!), raised a beautiful family and had a very successful career as a salesman for Singer Sewing Machine Company. At the same time he became an EXPERT beekeeper and trained and mentored hundreds of people over the years while also running Waldoch Apiary. He received  many honors and everybody in the area who was interested in beekeeping knew and loved him. He really liked to educate folks about beekeeping a nd can be seen doing just that in the photo above - at the 2014 Winter Celebration, which he attended for many years.
George and Ruth became known as the "Honey Man" and "Honey Lady" because they always had a stand of honey jars sitting in front of their house on State Road 13 - and you could just put your money in a can and take your jar of his wonderful honey. So many folks remember buying honey on the "honor system" from them.

Mandarin Museum was expecting to honor George in person on December 7 for his military service during World War II, during our special program that day for six World War II veterans. We will still honor him, of course, and will we will certainly miss him.

We are thankful that Mr. Waldoch chose to live in Mandarin after his service in the Navy was over. He leaves a huge footprint in our community. Our condolences to the Waldoch family and his many friends.
Winter Celebration
 December 7
Complete Information!
This year marks the 20th year that Mandarin Museum & Historical Society has hosted Winter Celebration in Walter Jones Historical Park! This annual free event has become a family tradition for many and is well known for opportunities to learn about some exciting local history, enjoy good music, and just have some plain old-fashioned fun.  
This date is also the 78th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day, the day that began America's entry into World War II. Please join us in front of the museum for a special program called "Mandarin Remembers Pearl Harbor" from 11:15 am - 12 pm. This program includes:
  • a flag ceremony presented by Civil War and WWII reenactors
  • singing of the National Anthem by MMHS volunteers Camille and Camiya Ferron
  • a short talk by MMHS volunteer Paul Ghiotto on why it is so important to always remember this date
  • introductions of six local residents who are World War II veterans
  • singing of America the Beautiful by MMHS volunteers Camille and Camiya Ferron
Also after the program: 
  • three vintage WWII Army Jeeps on display with reenactors and period objects
  • 1940s and patriotic music played by the Clay County Swing Band at 1:30
  • photos and educational posters about WWII throughout the park
  • opportunity to meet the veterans in attendance
The 2019 Winter Celebration also includes:
  • All historic buildings in the park will be open, including: the 1875 Webb/Jones Farmhouse (will be decorated by the Mandarin Garden Club), 1898 St. Joseph's Mission Schoolhouse for African-American Children, 1876 barn and the Losco Winery
  • On display in the Mandarin Museum: "A Soldier's Story" exhibition about Pvt. Marion Losco; Maple Leaf artifacts; a feature on Harriet Beecher Stowe; and pottery by Mandarin artist Charlie Brown
  • Meet the Maple Leaf divers: learn about this National Historic Landmark (Civil War shipwreck site in the St. Johns River) from the men who recovered artifacts
  • Music Schedule
12:30 - 1:30: Ryan Sinclair, African Drummer - by the schoolhouse 
1:30 - 2:30: Clay County Swing Band, music of the 40s and patriotic - in front of the museum 
2:30 - 3:00: Camille and Camiya Ferron, vocalists - front porch of the museum 
1:00 - 2:30: acoustic music circle - near the farmhouse 
1:00 - 2:30: Miguel Huertes, violinist - roaming the park! 
  • Book signings with Mandarin children's book authors
12:00 - 1:00: Jane Wood (in the museum)
12:00 - 2:00: David Gaslin (near the schoolhouse)
1:30 - 2:30: June Weltman (in the museum)
More events throughout the Walter Jones Historical Park:
  • Historic reenactors: Union and Confederate soldiers with an encampment of period tents, weapons and uniforms of the common foot soldier; Union Naval display; Golden Teacup Society (Civil War-era civilian women); and World War II reenactors with period Jeeps
  • Reenactors from the Fort Mose Historical Society and representatives of Jacksonville Gullah Geeche Nation CDC will be sharing the area's rich African-American heritage
  • Santa Claus in the farmhouse
  • Horse-drawn hayrides
  • Demonstrations of bridge playing, weaving, and quilting
  • First Coast Plein Aire Painters throughout the park
  • Nature crafts and rock painting for kids
  • Old fashioned children's games
  • Antique cars and WWII jeeps
  • S'mores
  • Public services information: Mandarin Library's South Mandarin Branch (sign up for a library card); City of Jacksonville Parks, Recreation, and Community Services
  • Other non-profits sharing information and opportunities: Mandarin Garden Club; UF Extension Office; Mandarin Community Club; American Legion Post 373; Greenscape of Jacksonville; Education First; and Alliance Francaise de Jacksonville
  • The museum gift shop will be stocked with unique holiday gift ideas. Books and art prints are on sale by local authors and local artists. Also, this is the only place anywhere to buy Mandarin history ornaments, the "historic places" blanket, and the special Mandarin Frogs and Sea Turtles. The new annual ornament this year is Mandarin Super Market
  • Food vendors: Marco's Pizza and The Poppin Box - near the farmhouse
  • First Aid tent will be provided by Night Lite Pediatrics Urgent Care, a MMHS Business Partner - by the MMHS sign up front
Admission to Winter Celebration is free, but the hayride and s'mores do have a donation request to cover the expenses.  
Parking is available across the street thanks to our wonderful neighbors, Mandarin Presbyterian Church. Cross at the bridge only. Please DO NOT park along the road.  
NOTE: We ask that you bring canned food items for the Mandarin Presbyterian Church Food Bank and leave them in the container provided at the bridge. The church not only allows our visitors to park in their lot, but they distribute food to local families every Tuesday.  
Thank you to the 75 or so dedicated MMHS and non-profit volunteers who will be here this day to welcome you, tell you stories, and provide fun and educational things for your family to do. We could not do this celebration without them!
Thanks to the Rotary Club of Mandarin and Bank of America for providing extra volunteers, to the Mandarin Garden Club for their beautiful period decorations at the farmhouse, and to Bealls for providing a mannequin for a WWII uniform.
Also, thank you  to Minuteman Press for printing our park map/schedule/sponsor page which will be available when you enter the park. 
Our sponsors include:  
Fresh Market; Twisted Compass Brewing Co.; Fisherman's Dock; Metro Diner; Hagan Ace; Mitch Wright of Edward Jones Fruit Cove; American Legion Post # 372; Zulos Pizza; PDQ Julington Creek; Marco's Pizza; The Poppin Box; Night Lite Pediatrics  

Please support all of these local businesses because they have supported us!
Ornament for 2019
Mandarin Super Market

This ornament was designed after a photograph taken by MMHS Board member Virginia Barker. Thank you Virginia for this wonderful view of our past.

Mandarin Super was owned by Joe and Betty Cury and was located where the Publix at Mandarin Road is now located. Prior to the Curys, Ruth Flynn had a Banner Food Store in this building. And this is where the famous "Little Train" ran through the parking lot and through the woods that is now Ramsgate.

Almost every teen who lived in Mand arin during this time worked for the Curys...and boy did they learn good customer service. Mandarin Super was known for it's meat market and for personalized service - Joe and Betty knew the names of their customers, as did the butchers Jim and Mitch, and the cashiers.
Every December Joe threw a party in the parking lot for the community - with a live band and all kinds of food and drink. It was a "happening"!

Joe passed away in 1977 and Betty kept the store going a few more years. But folks who lived here in the 70s probably have some good stories about Mandarin Super. It is a Mandarin landmark from the mid 20th century.

As you know, MMHS is soon to begin construction of a new  Maple Leaf exhibit gallery and an expanded archival room, an update of the exhibit space in the main gallery which will include "African-American History in Mandarin" and a return of our art gallery!

In addition to the building costs, there are costs related to exhibition cases, signage and materials. If you would like to help us with that, Giving Tuesday provides an amazing opportunity to double your donation.

GivingTuesday is a global day of giving celebrated the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States this year it is DECEMBER 3. To help raise awareness of charitable causes and amplify donors' generosity, Facebook is matching up to $7 million in eligible donations made on Facebook during GivingTuesday 2019.

This is an opportunity to double any donation to Mandarin Museum on Facebook through our membership with Network for Good's Donor Advised Fund.

Please consider Mandarin Museum & Historical Society for your year-end giving and double it by giving this day - December 3. CLICK HERE to go to our Facebook page or search for - on December 3.

Thank you for your support to preserve Mandarin's history.

Special Holiday Painting Party  
for Adults Only - December 15
Still some spaces left!

Don't pass this by if you are looking for a perfect gift for someone special. Or maybe you just need a break from all of the holiday busyness. Or perhaps you just want to have a good time with some of your Mandarin neighbors. If so, we have just the event for you!

Join us on Sunday, December 15 from 2pm to 4pm at the historic Mandarin Store and Post Office (12471 Mandarin Road) for a very special  painting party.

We will have 15 frogs and 15 sea turtles to paint, which need to be reserved in advance. The cost of each will be $30, as this event is a fundraiser to support the Winter Celebration expenses. Wine and soft drinks will be served, as well as some light refreshments. It will be a weather dependent event, so hopefully it will not be too cold or rain!

To register, send an email with "December Frog Painting" in the subject line to [email protected] and tell us which  you want to reserve. Don't delay, these spots will go fast.

Thank you to Don Bowden, Mandarin's Frog Man, for making all of these critters for us to sell.
Special Reunion  
Walter and Edith Jones Family

Despite cold and blustery weather, members of the Jones family gathered from near and far to celebrate their heritage in November.

The Walter Jones property was their family's homestead for ninety years. In 1992 when Miss Agnes Jones passed away, her nieces and nephews did not want the farmhouse and barn torn down - nor did they want the property subdivided. So they went to the City and offered it with the idea that it be preserved and utilized as a public historical park.

Now today, thousands of people visit this beautiful and special place on the St. Johns River. They learn about the history of Mandarin and enjoy the beauty and peace of a 10-acre riverfront park.

Thank you, Jones family for having the vision and generosity to save this piece of land so everyone can "Embrace the Mandarin Experience."

Thank you to the City of Jacksonville and the Florida Communities Trust for taking the offer and creating Walter Jones Historical Park - such a wonderful public space for all to enjoy. And, also to the many, many MMHS volunteers who have brought this park to life for 20 years.
Accessions Corner
What is in our Collection?

We are grateful to MOCA Jacksonville for their recent gift of three pieces of work by Mandarin artist Lee Adams. This one is a beautiful water color called "Flame Vine" (1957). These works will greatly enlarge our Lee Adams collection. Donations like this are making our expansion plans to renew our Art Gallery even more exciting. Thank you MOCA.

To learn more about Mandarin artist Lee Adams and his career, click HERE.
Looking Back on November events 
Third Thursday Lecture 

Dr. John Foster gave a fascinating lecture based on his new book, At the Dawn of Tourism in Florida: Abolitionists, Print Media and Images for Early Vacationers. This book, as well as Dr. Foster's revised Calling Yankees to Florida (writings of Harriet Beecher Stowe from Florida) are available in the museum gift shop. 

Gullah Geeche History Being Researched  

As part of the effort by MMHS to research and share our African American history in Mandarin, we are learning about Gullah Geeche connections. Greg Estevez is the author of a new book about Edisto Island, SC. He recently visited Mandarin Museum and the schoolhouse and is helping us look into the connections between Edisto, S.C. and the community that used to be on St. Augustine Rd. That community was also called Edisto because it was settled by people who had migrated there from Edisto, S.C. This is very exciting. Greg will be our guest speaker at the Third Thursday Lecture in February. 
Author Greg Estevez, Sandy Arpen and Board member
Mike Meyers

Girl Scout Troop 2412   
We loved having this troop from St. Joseph's Catholic Church come for an educational visit about "their" schoolhouse. And, they did a service project while they were here. Thank you girls and parents! We appreciate your service.
 Haut and Danese Family Reunion
We ended the month with a bang with a wonderful post - Thanksgiving visit by 30 members of the Haut and Danese families. There were family members from multiple states and also Italy. We really enjoyed sharing stories about the St. Josephs schoolhouse, the Losco Winery and Pvt. Marion Losco - all having a direct connection to their heritage because of Dometilla Danese Losco (Marion's mother). What a fun and interested group they were. And Tom Haut took this frog to a new home in Maryland. Thanks to Vincent Haut for bringing his family for a visit. 
Mandarin Newsline  
December edition
We are grateful for a front page story about Winter Celebration. 
"Back in Time with Brett" by MMHS volunteer Brett Nolan features the Mandarin Community Club Part 1 this month, telling the story of the origins of the building.    
And, Olis Garber, photographer, Business Partner and friend of MMHS is featured in the "Get to Know...." monthly article. Check out his website: Olis does portrait photography but also amazing nature and wildlife photography. Two years ago he did the poster for the Mandarin Art Festival. 
Also, of course, it holds all the news of Mandarin. Click  HERE  to see the story and the entire edition of the December Newsline
The Newsline allows us to share our events with the community. They are supported by advertisements, so please support those who support this wonderful free local paper.

First Saturday - December 7 - All Buildings in Walter Jones Historical Park Open for Winter Celebration 11-4
The Mandarin Store and Post Office will NOT be open this day. 
Walter and Edith Jones welcome you to their homestead.

 "Under the Oaks" Music Jam  
December 1 
Come on out on Sunday afternoon, December 1 from 2-4, to enjoy some good music played by members of the community in an old fashioned circle jam. If you play an acoustic instrument, you are welcome to join in the  circle. If you are a "listener, please bring a lawn chair and just enjoy this wonderful day. Note: it is weather dependent, of course, since it is an outside event. The Mandarin Museum and the St. Joseph's Mission Schoolhouse for African-American Children will both be open during this event.  
This event is co-sponsored by our friends at the North Florida Folk Network
Frog Painting - December 15  
The only painting party in December is listed in a feature earlier in this newsletter and will be held at the historic Mandarin Store and Post Office. 
"Meet the Maple Leaf Divers" 
The story of the Civil War steamship Maple Leaf will live forever in Mandarin and American history. This National Historic Landmark shipwreck has unveiled many a story about her life and the lives of the thousands of Union soldiers she transported up and down the East Coast.
Dr. Keith Holland and his team of St. Johns Archaeological Expeditions divers want to meet you and invite you aboard. They are at the museum from 11- 4 pm this day for  
Winter Celebration.
    Mark your calendars for these special events

    • December 7 - 20th anniversary of the Winter Celebration in Mandarin - with special event, "Mandarin Remembers Pearl Harbor Day"  by honoring  WWII vets.
    • December 15 - Adult Frog Painting at Store and Post Office 2-4 pm.
    • February 20 - Third Thursday Lecture - in honor of Black History Month  - author Greg Estevez: Edisto Island - The African American Journey. greg will help connect the dots between Edisto, S.C and the Edisto community on St. Augustine Road.
The Mandarin Museum and the Schoolhouse are open on Saturdays from 9-4. All other historic buildings in Walter Jones Historical Park (11964 Mandarin Rd.) AND the Mandarin Store and PO (12471 Mandarin Rd.), are open from 10-2 on the first Saturday. Exceptions to this schedule are listed in the calendar above.

School field trips and youth or adult group tours are scheduled mostly 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.  Information is also available by clicking HERE
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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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