December 2020   

Dear Friends,

Our Board and volunteers have been working so hard, quietly behind the scenes, during this pandemic. We are expanding our museum, renovating existing spaces, researching and creating all new exhibits and writing a book titled "Images of America: Mandarin."  We are doing our best to continue to " Embrace the Mandarin Experience." But we need your help to be able to sustain our momentum.

This day, December 1, is Giving Tuesday, a "global day of generosity."  People all around the world will be reaching out on this day to uplift organizations and causes that are important to them. Mandarin Museum & Historical Society is participating this year and we encourage everyone to consider this safe and easy opportunity to give in support of MMHS for the benefit of the whole community.

We are indeed grateful to every single person who has been the "wind beneath our wings" in so many ways over the years. We thank you for your faithful support of our mission through   donations, gift shop sales and by being a friend or member of MMHS. And we thank you also for volunteering and for participating in our programs and activities.  
We have special opportunities for you to share the generosity of your heart TODAY - by becoming a new member, by becoming a volunteer, or by giving a one-time gift in support of the programming and renovations to come in the next year. This year, due to the CARES Act, taxpayers are allowed a $300 deduction for nonprofit giving, on top of your standard deduction. If you itemize, the benefit is even greater. This can be a great help to individuals who give and to nonprofits like MMHS.

A note to current members - your annual renewal letter is in the mail, but you can renew electronically this way if you prefer.

It's easy - just click HERE and choose the tab across the top of the page that says JOIN and you will see: Membership, Volunteer and Donations. You can easily be connected to a safe electronic giving platform or to a volunteer application.


Sandy Arpen

Thank You Business Partners
This is a good time to express our gratitude publicly to our most recent Business Partners, Complete Choice Framing and Easy Edit Video.
We took two things to Chris at CC Framing recently - one was a very old WWI document, written in French - it was to honor Pvt. Marion Losco. It had been in the Losco Winery when it was relocated to Walter Jones Historical Park - and it was very badly deteriorated. We took it in to get it framed so it wouldn't continue to fall apart, and it came back with a beautiful mat and frame which were very special for the type of document that it was. You could tell Chris loved the object as much as we did.he really takes pride in making the things people bring to him look fabulous. Check him out for your framing needs. Location: 11112 San Jose Blvd. #27, 262-6900. 
David Zuckerman and his team at Easy Edit Video transferred five years of MMHS video onto DVDs and a thumbdrive for us last month - a huge undertaking - and they were very generous to us. David had come earlier in the year for a tour of our facilities and he has great appreciation for the rich history here. If you have video needs - transferring old tapes or camera cards into updated formats or have video production or editing needs, we highly recommend Easy Edit Video. In so doing, you are supporting a local business - located nearby at 8431 Baymeadows Way.

We encourage all to SHOP LOCAL and support these businesses and many others who support us through their partnerships. For a complete listing and direct links to their websites, click HERE

You won't want to miss the Tree Lighting on December 4

Photo from Mandarin Community Club
Facebook page

Mandarin Community Club is presenting a very special Tree Lighting event. 
Dec. 4 - Gates open at 6:00
Come early to be settled for the 6:30 lighting. 
As a way of ushering in the holiday season, a safe and easy "drive-in" viewing and lighting will occur at the Club grounds, 12447 Mandarin Road. It promises to be an exciting event to bring the community together, even though distanced, to behold a fully lit 21 foot Frasier Fir in front of the historic Mandarin Community Club. The beautiful tree was planted in 1995 in North Carolina and is coming from Liberty Landscaping at Trads, 8178 San Jose Blvd.
For all the details, click HERE.  
Also, as you drive down Mandarin Road, you will notice that Brett Nolan has once again decorated the scenic and historic roadway with holiday decorations. Thank you to Brett for adorning the entrances of the Walter Jones Historical Park, the Mandarin Cemetery, the Church of Our Saviour, the Mandarin Community Club and the Store and Post Office.  
We are grateful to him for sharing his community spirit and his love of all things Mandarin
with us all.

 Looking for a special and unique gift?
Outdoor Gift Shop Sale
December 5

MMHS will be hosting a second pre-holiday, safe outdoor shopping opportunity - Saturday, December 5 from 10-1 at Mandarin Museum 11964 Mandarin Rd. Mandarin Frogs, local books and art prints will be available. Masks are required, as is distancing. Hand sanitizer will be available, as well as a mask if you don't have one. We hope to see you there!
Looking Back on Winter Celebrations
It is truly hard to believe that we will have no Winter Celebration this year - after 20 years! Last year we had such a great crowd, including the honoree veterans  of World War II and the period music of the Clay County Swing Band. It was perfect weather and a great day all around!

This year, we can not gather large groups together, so we will, hopefully, be able to have a bigger than ever celebration in December 2021 for our 21st Winter Celebration. - "21 in 2021!"

As a treat however, on the 5th of December, watch for a special edition of MMHS News that will include photos for our Winter Celebrations since 2010! - a look back at one of our most beloved community activities.
New accessions in November 
Thanks to Anne Morrow for bringing us a box of photos and documents that her mother Jean had put aside years ago for Mandarin Museum & Historical Society. There are some wonderful photographs in this collection of items, including this one from around 1900. These sharp and interesting-looking people were walking the boardwalk that stretched from Waverly Wharf (just west of where Walter Jones Park is today) to past Store Lane. It was the way to get to the store, the Post Office, the steamships, to church and to visit friends - remember, the roads were dirt and sand. This clean walkway would have been much better for these long skirts and dresses! But you did have to keep an eye out for snakes and alligators!

We do not know who these folks are. PLEASE, if you  know, call us at 268-0784.
Giving thanks once more for COVID relief!

Our COVID Relief grants have been completed and we want to offer thanks one more time to the organizations that offered them to nonprofits like us during this difficult time.

We were extremely grateful to have received COVID Relief grants of $4000 from Florida Humanities CARES and $8000 from the City of Jacksonville CARES. The grant from Florida Humanities through the National Endowment for the Humanities, was one of 100 competitive grants awarded in Florida, only three of which were in Duval County. 

These funds were made available through the 2020 Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. These funds have allowed us to stay on top of our operating expenses and financial responsibilities from March - November, during the COVID crisis.

NOTE: Funding has been provided to Mandarin Museum & Historical Society (MMHS) from the National Endowment for the Humanities through a grant from Florida Humanities as part of the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020.
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed by MMHS do not necessarily represent those of Florida Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Mandarin Newsline

The December edition of the Mandarin Newsline is out. This free newspaper is our chief way of sharing history stories, events and programs with the public. They are able to publish free papers due to the robust local advertising. Please pay attention to the ads and shop and eat at those businesses that support the community in this way.

To read the entire Newsline click  HERE.

This is the season for citrus

Many newcomers are uncertain about the name of their new community - why is it called "Mandarin?" And why was citrus such a big deal at one time?

Mandarin was named for a specific type of orange (which includes satsumas), and citrus was a very important industry for Mandarin farmers, especially in the 19th century. Though periodic freezes would destroy the groves and owners would have to restart all over again, many residents in the late 1800s came to live in Mandarin specifically to become orange growers. Thousands of boxes of fruit were shipped north by steamer every season. Calvin and Harriet Beecher Stowe had a profitable orange grove here and Harriet wrote glowingly of the sweet fruit and the fragrance of the blossoms - enticing tourists from the north to come down and check it out for themselves. Groves were abundant in the 20th century too, and people from all over Duval County would make weekend drives to the "countryside" of Mandarin to buy bushels of fruit and ride the Little Train.

In 2015, Florida Times-Union reporter, Sandy Strickland, interviewed Mike Barwald, owner of Flying Dragon Citrus Nursery, about this variety. Mike explained: "Mandarins are a highly varied group, and much of the fruit sold as mandarins are hybrids, he said. In the U.S., mandarin and tangerine are sometimes used interchangeably to designate the whole group. But in the trade, it is usually confined to the types with red-orange skin." And, they are easy to peel.

In 2020 there are no large orange groves left in Mandarin. Sadly, Billy and Mike Barwald and their special citrus nursery are gone, and the greening disease is taking a huge toll on our trees -  but many people still have trees in their backyards. And we hope you will plant one too in an effort to keep the citrus heritage alive in our beautiful community. You will be glad you did.

The Mandarin Museum and the Schoolhouse are usually 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 usually open from 10-2 on the first Saturday.

School field trips and youth or adult group tours are scheduled mostly during the week - by appointment.   
However, these activities are not available at this time due to COVID-19. Reopening will be announced as soon as a date is determined.
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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