June 2020   

Dear Friends,

Can you believe we are eleven weeks into being closed? That does not mean our work is shut down however. Our board is meeting by Zoom, Paula Suhey continues to stay in close touch with all our volunteers and is also doing lots of administrative tasks that need to be done. We are preparing for the start of construction and also for eventual reopening, and our expansion committees are working on totally recreating the main exhibit hall and developing a brand new and exciting Maple Leaf room. And all of this is under the requirements of distancing, wearing masks and not gathering more than a few people at a time. Everybody's safety is our primary concern.

Seen here are board members Karen Droege, Mike Myers and Gabriele Dempsey....already hard at work.

The Blue Star Museum Day to honor military families which was scheduled on August 1 was cancelled across the nation for 2020.

We are very grateful to have been awarded two small grants to help us cover expenses that have occurred during COVID-19, while we have had no income due to closure. One is from the Small Business Association and the other is a "Florida Humanities CARES" grant which is funded through the National Endowment for the Humanities with funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress on March 27, 2020.
Continue to keep up with us on for updates and virtual tours of park buildings and history tidbits. We are grateful that we have not heard of any of our volunteers or friends of MMHS being ill with this virus so far..  Please stay well and be patient.

  Sandy Arpen  
Miss Aggie Day Will Happen, We Promise, BUT..... 

The Miss Aggie Day and presentation of the Miss Aggie Award had been rescheduled from April to June 6 already, but we are almost at June 6 and it is still too soon to gather large groups together. We are now hoping for August, but we will certainly let you know when we have a new date.

Most of you know that MMHS annually honors a person who has made significant contributions to the community, like Miss Agnes Jones did, by presenting the annual Miss Aggie Award.
The award, established in 2003, honors a person who has greatly contributed to the community in the areas of business, civic, educational or charitable accomplishment. Last year's award recipient was Lynn Cuda. You can see the complete list of past recipients by clicking HERE
The 2020 Miss Aggie Award is unique because it will be the first time two people are being honored. There were two very strong nominations this year, and it was felt that they both deserved to be recognized.
It is our great pleasure to bestow the 2020 Miss Aggie Award to recipients Sam Folds and Wanda Bosworth, and we look forward to honoring them in person as soon as we can. 
Sam, native-born of Mandarin, has lived and worked here his entire life. He is well-known and highly respected for his long career of over forty years in the real estate business. Due to his vast and personal knowledge he is known to be the "go to" man if you are buying or selling in Mandarin. Having grown up in the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour, Sam has served there in just about every known volunteer position, including acolyte, lay reader, vestry member and fund-raiser. He is also one of three still active charter members of the Rotary Club of Mandarin and he participates in most Rotary events and projects. He is a long-time member of the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society and the Mandarin Community Club. Sam was married to his high school sweetheart, Marjorie Van Daley Folds for over 50 years, until her death in 2009, and they have two sons.
Wanda moved to Mandarin in 1976 and began her volunteer efforts in 1986. Her resume of volunteer contributions in Mandarin is very extensive and includes long-term involvement with the Mandarin Community Club, Mandarin Garden Club, Mandarin Museum & Historical Society, Mandarin Middle and Mandarin High PTAs and Band Boosters and Christ Church Academy. She has served on boards and as an officer in several of these organizations. Most would say she has made volunteerism a profession because of her tireless efforts to improve her community through giving of her time, talents and resources. Susie Scott, President of the Mandarin Community Club, states that Wanda "embodies volunteerism more that anyone" and that she rarely says "no" when asked to serve - she simply finds a way." Wanda is married to Dr. Bill Bosworth and they have a daughter.
Our deepest gratitude to these two Mandarin heroes for their lifetimes of service to the community they love. 
What to expect in coming months
Clearly it is hard to say anything absolutely definitive at this time as our schedule and requirements for reopening are totally dependent on the way COVID-19 pans out over time and the regulations of the City of Jacksonville.

However, we feel pretty certain that ground breaking for the expansion will happen. The construction contract has been signed and permits will be requested and hopefully the weather will cooperate. Seen here is Bob White of R.G.White Construction, who will be building the additions to the museum.
The new sign is a notice to all that this project is partially funded by a Facilities Matching Grant from the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of Arts and Culture and the State of Florida. The matching grant we received is for $92,063. We are grateful to DCA, and as well to the City of Jacksonville, the Rotary Club of Mandarin, the Jacksonville Maritime Heritage Center, Exxon-Mobil Cultural Gift Matching program, Donald Bowden and numerous other donors of gifts of all sizes. 
The Mandarin Museum building will remain closed through the entire construction process. When we reopen from this current COVID shutdown, we will have the schoolhouse and one other building open each Saturday. When this is ready to happen, we will send you all the details and instructions regarding visitation. 

Garden Club Beautification Award

The June edition of the Mandarin Newsline features a story about the Mandarin Garden Club's 2020 Non-Residential Beautification Award being given to Mandarin Museum & Historical Society in Walter Jones Historical Park and the Mandarin Community Club. We are very honored to receive this award and to receive it with the Community Club.

Many thanks to volunteers George DeMarino and Candace Barone who maintain our beautiful Harriet Beecher Stowe Kitchen Garden and the Butterfly Garden for us. Their dedicated work is the main reason we received this award. Thank you George and Candace.

To read this article and the entire Newsline click HERE and scroll down to the Mandarin Newsline link.

George in blue and Candace in pink with the Busutill family - all volunteering to plant the garden.

Mandarin artist 
Lucinda Halsema
We are so sad to share the news of the passing of beloved Mandarin artist Lucinda Halsema at the age of 77. Lucinda, a long-time rseident of Mandarin, was known for her pen and ink drawings of Mandarin's historic homes and public buildings as well as her annual renderings of the Mandarin Art Festival. 
She is a Past-President of Mandarin Community Club, a long-time member of the Church of Our Saviour and a good friend to Mandarin Museum & Historical Society, where we still have some of her prints for sale.
In this photo, she was demonstrating her method to visitors at the 2014 Winter Celebration. She will be greatly missed.  
Look for a fuller story about her in the July edition of the Mandarin Newsline.
An old 1988 Watson Realty map of Mandarin from our collection.
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. Call 268-0784 or email us at   to make a reservation.    
However, all above activities are not available at this time due to COVID-19. Reopening will be announced as soon as a date is determinded.
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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