June  2018 
Dear MMHS Members and Friends,

June is an exciting month because on June 1 we will submit an application to the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources requesting matching grant funds for our Mandarin Museum expansion.

Because of the generosity of so many individuals who donated and raised money for this, we were able to meet our goal of raising $100,000 in time to apply for the 2019-20 grant. We know there is no guarantee of being selected, but we also know that we have the support of the community for this project and we are very grateful to every single person and organization who helped us get this far. Thank you for trusting us to be good stewards of your gifts and for trusting us to do something exciting and positive for the entire community.


Sandy Arpen
Karen Roumillat and Joseph McGill
Slave Dwelling Project

One of the best things about the recent annual Conference of the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation was meeting Joe McGill and learning about the Slave Dwelling Project. Mr. McGill was the keynote speaker on Friday, May 18.
This project founded and is led by Mr. McGill and has as its goal "to bring historians, students, faculty, writers, legislators, organizations, corporations, artists and the general public together to educate, collaborate and organize resources to save these important collectibles of our American history." He travels across the southern and the eastern US identifying places that were dwellings for slaves, holds educational events about them and sleeps overnight in them. To see more about the project, click here.

We have often wondered if the small building behind the farmhouse ever housed slaves. The 1840 census does identify a "female slave" living on the property when the Halliday family owned it. The building has often been said to be older than the farmhouse, but we haven't had any conclusive documentation.

So...we invited Mr. McGill out to take a look. He came out to the park and did look it over carefully, but could not verify for certain either. But, he encouraged and inspired us to do some research and promised that he would do his educational  program there if we get some solid evidence.

So, we are going to put together a research plan and start looking for information. Is there anyone out there that would like to help with the research? Just give us a call at 268-0784 if you are interested and able to dig into family records and city documents.

Volunteers Ellie, Wendy, Kaye and Camille
Frog/turtle painting event
June 16

June Frog Painting is from 10-noon on June 16 in front of the museum.

You definitely need to make a reservation first, please as we already have a long list - just call us at 268-0784 and leave a message or email us at and tell us what you'd like to paint. Frogs are $20 and turtles are $24. We provide the paint, brushes etc. Wear old clothes. It is lots of fun and thanks to the Frog Man, all proceeds are for the support of  Mandarin Museum. 
We so appreciate the Frog Man for continuing to make these wonderful frogs and turtles, to the wonderful volunteers who make the event  happen and to all of those who come and have a fun day painting in the park!  
Mandarin Players left to right: Tracey Arpen Sr., Walter Arrowsmith and Charlie Cleghorn. in " The Cheerful Idiot."  
Mr. Arpen  and Mr. Cleghorn BOTH have children who volunteer at MMHS today - Tracey Arpen Jr., Pam Arpen Neumann and Susan Cleghorn Cason!!!!!

New blog now on-line 
Did you ever wonder what we have back in that Archive Room at the museum? There  are a lot of wonderful objects back there that we just don't have room to display, including photos, postcards, documents and art.  
So now you have the chance to see them. MMHS now has a new blog that you can access online where you will get to see items posted weekly, like this photo of the Mandarin Players performing at the Community Club in 1952.
You can see the blog by clicking on the green blog logo at the bottom of this newsletter page OR at the bottom of the website pages.   As a matter of fact, all the social media icons at the bottom these pages are now active.  
ENJOY and share with your friends. 
Thank you Kate Arpen for setting this up and posting for us. What a great way to share our archival material. 
Please be an advocate for MMHS or any Arts and Cultural Organization
As the annual budget deliberations begin soon for the City of Jacksonville, the Cultural Council is delivering lots of My Culture Story telegram-type notes to each council member to let them know of the strong and deep support in the community for the arts and culture.

"Please share a story or testimonial about how Jacksonville's arts and culture sector have positively impacted your life.  Additionally, feel free to include names of artists, cultural organizations, or institutions that you feel deserve to be acknowledged for their efforts and contributions."

It is SO easy - just CLICK HERE and you will be taken to the quick and easy form. The public's input always makes a hug difference on any issues.  Thank you!

Looking Back on May

The Jacksonville History Consortium  held a meeting at the 1898 St. Joseph's Schoolhouse. These meetings bring history organizations together to share new events and ideas. The exciting news of this day was that UNF Library has developed a wonderful online database that will allow folks to look for information related to all 30 organizations in one place. Click HERE to see the data base and website connected to the Jacksonville History Consortium. 
On May 16, we were happy to have a tour for children from George Washington Carver Elementary School thanks to a grant from Florida Blue. 

On May 17, we hosted a special tour for participants at the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation group.   
And on that same evening, Kathy Stark did an excellent presentation about her book "The Wilderness of North Florida's Parks"
The 1911 historic Store and Post Office got a complete cleaning, repairing, and painting to restore it to it's beautiful self. Thanks to R.G.White Construction for repairs and advice, Demetria Batiste Construction of North Florida for painting and to the many volunteers who took all the objects down and put them all back up. The place looks amazing and it will be open June 2 from 12-4. Check it out! 
Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a time to stop and remember those men and women who died during their time in service. It was originally observed after the Civil War and called Decoration Day, but officially became Memorial Day in 1967 and the federal holiday was moved to the last Monday in May in 1971.  
Thanks to Board member Bob Nay, flags were placed in Mandarin Cemetery for the Memorial Day weekend.    
We especially remember on this day: Pvt. Marion Joseph Losco (buried in France, WWI) and 1st Lt. William Wirt Webb (buried in France, WWII, but has a marker in Mandarin Cemetery). Lt. Webb was the grandson of Major William W. Webb who lived on what is now the Walter Jones Historical Park property, from 1875 until his death in 1893. Lt. Webb's medals were given to MMHS and are some of our most treasured accessions.

Church of Our Saviour  
Art Exhibit
Please stop by to enjoy a small but very nice collection of paintings that are on loan to us from the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour. All but one feature the sanctuary which was opened in 1883.  Sadly it was destroyed in 1964 in Hurricane Dora, but fortunately  the new building has a small chapel dedicated to the historic church, containing items that were saved. The church is located at 12236 Mandarin Road, with a beautiful view of the St. Johns River. 

The Florida Channel paid a visit
 We were honored to be included in some short takes for The Florida Channel recently.
"Located in the state Capitol building, The FLORIDA Channel is a public affairs programming service funded by The Florida Legislature and produced and operated by WFSU-TV. It features programming covering all three branches of state government, and is Florida's primary source for live, unedited coverage of the Governor and Cabinet, the Legislature and the Supreme Court." (From their website)
A video team came to Mandarin to do some short clips that can be used in their video library. One is on their website already. CLICK HERE to see it.
When the legislature is in session it is a great place to see what is going on. But it also is a wonderful resource of history information.

Barnabas Hitchock (right bottom) posed with his friends from the 13th Indiana. They lost all their belongings in the
Maple Leaf.  
His great-grandaughter lives in Ponte Vedra!
  Meet the Divers Day     
The monthly "Meet the Maple Leaf Divers" day
 at Mandarin Museum in Walter Jones Historical Park. 
 Saturday, June 16 - from 12-4.


Historic Store and Post Office OPEN ONCE AGAIN!
The historic 1911 Mandarin Store and Post Office is open again after recently undergoing repairs and painting inside and out. And boy, does it look great! It will be open again on Saturday, June 2 from 12-4  Located at 12471 Mandarin Road.   
The old Mandarin Store and Post Office reminds us that Mandarin was once a small village where the heart was the local Store and Post Office. 

 "Under the Oaks" Music Jam
The next monthly "Under the Oaks" music jam will take place on June 3 at Walter Jones Historical Park from 2-4, WEATHER PERMITTING! Bring an acoustic instrument if you would like to play - listeners are always welcome. Everybody bring a lawn chair. 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.

Ron Spencer on the bass.
  • June 2: Store and Post Office open, 12 pm - 4 pm
  • June 3: "Under the Oaks" music jam, 2 pm - 4 pm
  • June 16 Frog/turtle painting 10-12 
  • June 16: Meet the Maple Leaf Divers, 12 pm - 4 pm
  • July 1: "Under the Oaks" music jam, 2 pm - 4 pm
  • July 7: Store and Post Office open, 12 pm - 4 pm
  • July 21: Meet the Maple Leaf Divers, 12 pm - 4 pm
  • August 4: Store and Post Office open, 12 pm - 4 pm
  • August 5: "Under the Oaks" music jam, 2 pm - 4 pm
  • August 11: Frog/turtle painting 10-12
  • August 16: Third Thursday Lecture - TBA
  • August 18: Meet the Maple Leaf Divers, 12 pm - 4 pm
  • September 22:  Smithsonian "Museum Day Live" event
  • November 11 - Veterans Day event to honor Pvt. Marion Losco and the 100th Anniversary of the end of WWI and- TBA
  • November 15:  Third Thursday Lecture - TBA
  • December 1: 19th Annual Winter Celebration in Walter Jones Historical Park

Mandarin Museum and the 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 from 12-4 on the first Saturday of every month.  
School tours and adult group tours are scheduled during the week by appointment. Call 268-0784 or email us at
Follow us on Facebook. Click here to check it out.   
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.


Mandarin Museum & Historical Society 
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