Mandarin Museum & Historical Society
May 2015
Dear MMHS members and friends,

In "Palmetto Leaves", Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote on April 20, 1872 about the beautiful magnolias that we in Mandarin still behold to this very day in our yards and properties. Who could describe this wonderful species any better than Harriet, as she says:

"The past week we have been engrossed by the magnolias. On Monday, our dear friend D__ armed and equipped with scaling ladders, ascended the glistening battlements of the great forest palaces fronting his cottage, and bore thence the white princesses, just bursting into bud, and brought them down to us....We bore them to our chamber, and before morning the whole room was filled with the intoxicating, dreamy fragrance; and lo! while we slept, the pearly hinges had revolved noiselessly, and the bud that we left the evening before had become a great and glorious flower."

Take some time this week to look for these giant trees of white flowers...and appreciate their sheer grandeur.

Magnolia blossom on Scott Mill Rod - April 30, 2015


Don't miss this  unique event convening artistic, cultural, and environmental organizations from across Jacksonville! Art, kids activities, information and music all day long. MMHS will have a table there. Participate in the scavenger hunt and you could win an autographed copy of "Maple Leaf - An Extraordinary American Civil War Shipwreck"  as well as other great prizes. 

Community First Credit Union presents Art in the Park  
May 2,  2015
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Hemming Park in Downtown Jacksonville FREE + OPEN to all

Brought to you by The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville


Details at  


Bob Nay, portraying Major Webb in front of the Webb farmhouse - with young reenactors portraying Webb's daughter Daisy and her friend.
"Major William Wirt Webb - His Life in Mandarin"

Third Thursday Lecture
 May 21

Long-time Mandarin resident and new Mandarin Museum & Historical Society (MMHS) Board member Bob Nay will enlighten us with some very interesting information about this important figure in Mandarin's history. Already passionate about Civil War history, Nay participated in a MMHS event with the Sons of Union Veterans last year. From that point on, he wanted to know more about this retired Union soldier who became a successful farmer in Mandarin. He began intensive research on Major Webb, his family, and his time in Mandarin. His research will eventually become a book which will be available at the museum's gift shop. This lecture and the photos shared during this program will be a "sneak preview."


The Historical Society presents Third Thursday Lectures quarterly in partnership with the Mandarin Community Club to educate the public about historical figures, general history and events in and around Mandarin. This event will be presented on Thursday, May 21 at the Mandarin Community Club, which is located at 12447 Mandarin Road. Refreshments are at 6:30 pm with the presentation at 7:00 pm. It is free and all are invited and encouraged to attend and bring a friend.


Two days after this presentation (May 23), Bob, MMHS and Mandarin Cemetery volunteers will place American flags at all of the graves in Mandarin Cemetery that indicate military service to the United States. If you know of a veteran buried in this cemetery who does not have any indication on their marker, please call Mandarin Museum at 268-0784 and tell us who it is and where he/she is buried so we can place a flag. On Sunday, May 24, a Union Veteran Service will be conducted by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War at the grave of Major William Webb, where a marker will be placed identifying his military service.

Thank you to Rotary Club of Mandarin and the Comedy Zone for a wonderful and successful fundraising event

April 16 was a fabulous evening as over 300 people attended the Rotary Club's Annual "Laughs for Charity" event at the Ramada Inn. The generosity of the Rotary Club of Mandarin, the Comedy Zone, Fred Pozin from the Ramada and all  who bought tickets and supported the live and silent auctions raised  money to benefit Mandarin Museum and Polio Plus, as well as small Rotary grants given throughout the year to local non-profits. A special thanks to Rotarians Jim Register and Ryan Tiedeberg as well as all those who recommended Mandarin Museum as the local beneficiary this year. Our gratitude is great!

We do not have the final award amount yet, but it looks like it will be significant and it will be immediately directed to finishing the 1889 Schoolhouse and establishing professional exhibits for it. We will report the total next month.

Enjoy these photos of some of the members and friends of MMHS who attended.

The Divers are in the House!

Keith Holland and his band of St. Johns Archaeological Expedition, Inc. (SJAEI) divers continue to meet and greet and educate visitors at Mandarin Museum's special Maple Leaf exhibit. You can check the calendar below and on the website for the exact dates, but if you are driving by some Saturday or Sunday and you see this Divers flag flying  at the main gate to the park, you will know they are here! This red and white flag is flown whenever a diver is in the water to warn other boats to stay clear. One just like it was flown over the "Mudpuppy" during diving operations on the Maple Leaf shipwreck site.

Don't miss these opportunities to talk to these men and hear their stories about the Maple Leaf and their role in the excavation first-hand. Tell your friends and neighbors too.

SJAEI divers
Bottom left to right: Keith Holland, Steve Michaelis, and Bobby Lunsford. Top left to right : Paul Kramer, Larry Tipping and Mike Dupes.
"Florida Frontiers" Radio Show - interview with
Dr. Keith Holland

This is a radio program you'll want to listen to regularly. Produced by the Florida Historical Society, it is available on 89.9FM, every Monday evening at 6:30 OR by listening to the recorded podcasts.  

To listen to Dr. Holland's Maple Leaf interview directly,
click here.

All recordings and many other interesting resources (like the best Florida history book store around) are located at

Many thanks to Dr. Ben Brotemarkle, Florida Historical Society Executive Director, for selecting the Maple Leaf for this radio show and later one of the pilot TV programs this fall.

Looking through the Harriet Beecher Stowe
 Kitchen Garden


The Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission hosts their annual Preservation Awards event at the downtown Library on May 7 at 6 pm.

We hope that everyone in Mandarin feels proud to have this gem, the 1889 Schoolhouse, in the Walter Jones Historical Park and to know that it was the "Great Save" of the year!

Receiving this award jointly for their collaborative efforts to make this project a reality through relocation and preservation are:

Mandarin Museum & Historical Society

 Mandarin Community Club

 Councilman Matt Schellenberg

 City of Jacksonville Parks, Recreation and Community Services


Mandarin Museum Welcomes   

Military Families




The Mandarin Museum and Historical Society is one of more than 2000 museums across America and three in Jacksonville that are participating in Blue Star Museums for military personnel and their families this summer.   


Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among National Endowment for the Art, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2000 museums across America to  offer free admission to the nation's active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, from Memorial Day through Labor Day.


Mandarin Museum is always free for visitors, so  military personnel will receive the museum member discount on books and items available in the museum's store during the summer.


In Jacksonville, the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) are also participating. See a complete list for Florida and the US by clicking here


Monthly "Under the Oaks" music jams are co-sponsored by North Florida Folk Network - check them out at

May 2 - "Art in the Park" at Hemming Park
May 3 - "Under the Oaks" acoustic jam at Store and Post Office 2-4
May 9 - Meet the Maple Leaf Divers 12-4
May 21 - Third Thursday Lecture - "William Wirt Webb - His life in Mandarin"
May 23 - Blue Star Museum through Labor Day
May 23 - Placing of American flags on the graves of veterans in Mandarin Cemetery
May 24 - Union Veteran Service at the grave of Major William Wirt Webb
May 24 - Yoga on the River - 9
May 31 - Meet the Maple Leaf Divers 12-4
June 7 - "Under the Oaks" acoustic jam at Store and Post Office 2-4
June 13 - Meet the Maple Leaf Divers 12-4
June 28 - Yoga on the River - 9
June 28 - Meet the Maple Leaf Divers 12-4
July 5 -  " Under the Oaks " acoustic music jam at the Store and Post Office
July 11 - NO Meet the Divers this day
July 26 - Yoga on the River - 9
July 26 - Meet the Maple Leaf Divers
August 20 - Third Thursday Lecture - Mary Atwood, "Historic Homes of Florida's First Coast"
September 26 - Smithsonian "Museum Day LIVE!"
November 19 - Third Thursday Lecture - St. Johns River Alliance
December 5 - 16th Annual Winter Celebration in Walter Jones Park

Mandarin Museum (11964 Mandarin Road) is open every Saturday from 9-4 in Walter Jones Historical Park. The Mandarin Store and Post Office (12471 Mandarin Road)  is open the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month from 1-3 (open till 4 on music jam days.)

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"For you must know I am a full-fledged Floridian now - I have secured a place on the St. Johns river at Mandarin, about ? mile from Mrs. Stowe's famous winter home. The terms of payment are very favorable as I have 3 years. Of course my intention is to have (a) grove of orange trees and the place I have is admirably adapted to that purpose. I made up my mind long since that the north was no place for me."

These are the words of Major Webb, written in a letter to his sister Camilla in 1875. The property that he purchased included the ten acres that is now Walter Jones Historical Park, including the house built in 1875 and the barn that he built in 1876.

Come to the Third Thursday Lecture to learn more about this interesting man.

Embrace the "Mandarin Experience"


Mandarin Museum & Historical Society | 904-268-0784 
11964 Mandarin Rd. Jacksonville, FL 32223 
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