January 2019 
Dear MMHS Members and Friends,

2019 is upon us and and we are hoping this will be the year of museum expansion. In October we scored 9th highest out of 39 applicants for a Facilities Grant - a State of Florida Department of Cultural Affairs competitive, matching grant. So we were naturally feeling very optimistic about our chances of receiving the matching funds that would allow us to proceed with expansion this year.

However, we recently learned that the funding requests for all of the Cultural Affairs grants  were drastically reduced at the next level of the process, and all requested monies were removed from the Facilities Grant budget request. There are two remaining steps to this budget process - the Legislature and finally the Governor.

So, please expect to receive a special email form MMHS in January which will outline clearly how you can help by personally reaching out to our state officials about the value of funding for arts and cultural organizations throughout the state...and in Mandarin. We will be asking for a return of these competitive and heavily vetted projects into the 2019-20 budget.

Despite this obstacle, we remain optimistic and excited. We won't quit and we still look to a successful 2019  - and we wish you all a..


Sandy Arpen and the Board of Directors
Debut of Original Song about Pvt. Marion Losco
During Winter Celebration we were thrilled to hear local singer/songwriter, Al Poindexter, debut his brand new song based on the book "A Soldier's Story." Using words taken directly from Marion Losco's letters home during World War I, it is a very moving song about the only man from Mandarin to be killed and buried in France during World War I.

Many thanks to Al for reading this book and writing this wonderful song. We can all honor Pvt. Losco's  service by listening to his story.
To view a video of Al's song, please click here .
Frog Painting Event
No event in January -  
next will be February 9
Please make a reservation  - the best way to do that is to email us at and tell us how many frogs you'd like to paint. Frog Man says there won't be any turtles for awhile due to the cold weather. If you can't email, please call and leave a message at 268-0784.  
Frogs are $20. We provide the paint, brushes etc. Wear old clothes. It is lots of fun. Our tremendous gratitude to the Mandarin Frog Man - all proceeds are for the support of  Mandarin Museum programs and expansion.  
Fun times at the December
painting event.  
Mark Your Calendars
Third Thursday in February
 in honor of
Black History Month  
February 21  
Did you know that a very important piece of African-American history is located a mere 20 miles south of Mandarin, just east of U.S. 1? Now there is a Florida State Park which offers  picnic areas, a boardwalk, a visitor center and museum - all in the area of the site of Fort Mose, which was at one time the northern defense of St. Augustine.
"More than a century before the Emancipation Proclamation, slaves from the British colonies were able to follow the original Underground Railroad which headed not to the north, but rather south, to the Spanish colony of Florida. There they were given their freedom, if they declared their allegiance to the King of Spain and joined the Catholic Church."  
At this lecture, four members of the Fort Mose Historical Society will present a program that tells  the whole story. They will present themselves in period dress and enlighten us to this very important history. For more information about Fort Mose, click these links: and
Third Thursday Lectures are presented by the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society in partnership with and held at the Mandarin Community Club, located at 12447 Mandarin Rd. Refreshments begin at 6:30 pm with the lecture at 7 pm. It is free and all are invited and encouraged to attend.
Accessions Corner
What is in our Collection?

This interesting object resides in the Store and Post Office. It is the very bulletin board that hung in Joe Cury's Mandarin Super Market (located where the Publix is now, at Mandarin Road)  from around 1967 to 1977. Many who were teenagers during this decade worked there bagging, shelving and as cashiers. This was a place where you called everybody by name and knew their shopping habits. It was THE place people shopped especially for fine meat. And, at Christmas, Joe threw a free party for the community, complete with food, drinks and a live band.

We are very grateful to Joe's wife, Betty Cury, for the donation of this well-known board, which was always covered with interesting community messages . She also donated a scrapbook of articles and photos of their time in Mandarin.

Below is a great photo, taken by Virginia Barker, of Mandarin Super, with her horse and cart out front. These years actually were the end of the days when people rode horses all around on Mandarin's roads. An era now gone.

Interesting offerings in the community 
MMHS will be kind of quiet in January, with no special events, but we wanted to let you know about a couple of things coming up that our readers might be interested in:

 Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI at UNF)
Mandarin resident and former Executive Director of the Jacksonville Historical Society, Emily Lisska, will be offering a two session course about Harriet Beecher Stowe's life as a resident of Mandarin. One session (February 22 from 10-12) will be held at UNF and a second session on March 8 will be a field trip. OLLI offers a wide variety of continuing education for persons over 50. All information about this event and OLLI's many other offerings this winter, can be found at their website - click HERE.

Main Library Program 
On January 26, 2019, the Main Library, located in downtown Jacksonville, will be celebrating the Lewis Ansbacher Map Collection and highlighting the unveiling of the newly updated Jordan and Shirley Ansbacher Gallery which will display the Le Moyne/De Bry Collection of engravings.   
A keynote talk by bestselling author Miles Harvey looks at the many intriguing mysteries surrounding the first European artist in North America. This event will include programming for both adults and children. The following link contains detailed information and times of specific programs related to the event:  
Reminder - New Membership Year  
If you are a member, or have been in the last years, you should have received your membership letter and envelope in the mail. We hope that you will continue to provide the basic foundation of support that keeps us operating and able to keep telling those wonderful Mandarin stories.

If you have yet to become a member, we certainly invite and encourage you to join as well. For more information and to enroll on-line, please click
HERE. Small history organizations like us always rely on community support to do the work we do.

We are very grateful to all who support us in this way and all the other ways you do.
Looking Back on December's Winter Celebration 
Despite the terrible weather prediction and the downpour of rain that began at 1:30, we still saw lots of folks who came out to enjoy this special event - we are grateful to them for coming - in boots and rain gear and with umbrellas! 
And we honestly heard zero complaints - with everybody remaining in good spirits and learning as much as they could from the museum volunteers and our many community partners, who are  also volunteers.
There are so many people to thank that I know I will miss some, and I apologize if I do, but: 
Our gratitude is overwhelming  to th e Mandarin Museum volunteers, including those who worked hard for months to plan and arrange this huge event (led by Paula Suhey - Hope Ferrigno, Maureen Orr, Merry Hopper, Janet Shelfer, Anne Stanley, Deborah McLaughlin, Susan Ford). And all those who were there to make crafts and s'mores and play games with the kids, give building tours, sell frogs, run the raffle, greet visitors as they entered, load folks on the hay wagon, work in the Gift Shop, play Santa and Mrs. Claus and make music (Camiya Ferron, Miquel Huertes, Pat Plumlee). And to those who also came early and stayed late to set up and break down all the tables and chairs etc. which were dispersed all over the park.
A thousand thank yous also  to community friends and partners: A big SHOUT OUT of thanks to  Mandarin Garden Club members for being there on Saturday, but also for the fabulous, natural and native holiday decorations they designed and placed inside and outside the farmhouse! And to all who had amazing information and talents to share: City of Jacksonville, Greenscape, Duval County Extension,  Mandarin Community Club, Fort Mose Historical Society,  All Star Quilters, Mandarin Bridge group, "In Search of Valor" Civil War encampment, author Jane Wood, Plein Aire artists, Kate Carpenter, Al Poindexter, Stetson Kennedy Foundation, Education First, and antique car owners (Don M. and Ellis and Nancy). These groups and individuals are vitally important to this event and help make it a real community gathering.  
A huge thank you to John Hart, President of the Rotary Club of Mandarin, who stood in the rain at the road for 6 solid hours to make sure people got across the street safely from the parking lot. This was WAY beyond the call of duty.
And, we appreciate all those local businesses who helped us by taking ads and donating raffle items. We ask you to support them because they supported us: Jim Register/State Farm Insurance, The Fresh Market, Metro Diner, Brucci's Pizza, The Poppin Box, Pink Nickel, Julington Creek Fish Camp, Hagan Ace hardware, Douglas (Haute Head Hair Studio),Twisted Compass Brewing Co., Lowe's, Fisherman's Dock, and Michael Wright (Edward Jones).   
Of course, we could not have this event were in not for the friendship and generosity of our neighbors,  the Mandarin Presbyterian Church, who allow us to use their entire parking lot on this day. 
Please mark your calendars for the 20th Annual Winter Celebration on
December 7, 2019.   

First Saturday - January 5 - All Buildings Open
In Walter Jones Historical Park - 1875 farmhouse, 1876 barn, Losco Winery, Mandarin Museum, and St. Joseph's Mission Schoolhouse for African-American Children are open  from 10-2 . The Museum and Schoolhouse will be open 9-4, as always.

ALSO - the historic Mandarin Store and Post Office will  be open at 12471 Mandarin Road (next to the Mandarin Community Club) from 10-2.
 "Under the Oaks" Music Jam  
The  "Under the Oaks" music jam will take a break in January. 
Meet the Maple Leaf  Divers
Keith Holland and SJAE divers will be in the museum January 19 from 12-4 to tell you all about their exploration of this National Historic Landmark shipwreck.
    Mark your calendars

    • January 5: Historic 1911 Mandarin Store and Post Office open at 12471 Mandarin Rd. from 10 am - 2 pm
    •  January 5: 1875 farmhouse, 1876 barn, and Losco Winery open in Walter Jones Historical Park, 10 am - 2 pm; Mandarin Museum and Schoolhouse open from 9 am - 4 pm
    • January 19: Meet the Maple Leaf Divers, 12 pm - 4 pm 
    • February 2: Historic 1911 Mandarin Store and Post Office open at 12471 Mandarin Rd. from 10 am - 2 pm: 1875 farmhouse, 1876 barn, and Losco Winery open in Walter Jones Historical Park, 10 am - 2 pm; Mandarin Museum and Schoolhouse open from 9 am - 4 pm
    • February 3: Music Under the Oaks, 2 pm - 4 pm 
    • February 9: Frog Painting, 10 am - 12 pm
    • February 16: Meet the Maple Leaf Divers, 12 pm - 4 pm 
    • February 21: Third Thursday Lecture, Mandarin Community Club, 7 pm in honor of Black History Month, "The Fort Mose Story: A Story That Must Be Told"
The Mandarin Museum and the Schoolhouse are open every Saturday from 9-4. All other historic buildings in Walter Jones Historical Park AND the Mandarin Store and PO, are 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. 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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