May 2017 
  ON MAY 1 
    Mandarin Community Club
12447 Mandarin Rd. 
Date:  Monday, May 1st, 2017
Time: 7 - 8:30 pm
A resolution was adopted unanimously earlier this year by the Board of Directors of the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society opposing Ordinance 2016-805, which would rezone almost 10 acres adjacent to County Dock Road.  This rezoning, with access to County Dock Road, would forever destroy the scenic character of that road, one of only three roads in the City designated as scenic and historic corridors. County Dock Road is only 17 feet wide and has an extensive tree canopy, with many trees located within feet of the pavement.

Similar positions have been taken by the Mandarin Community Club, Scenic Jacksonville and City Beautiful Jax. This meeting is your chance to learn first-hand about the plans and speak your opinions about this important preservation issue. 

Third Thursday Lecture
May 18

Mark Woods

We are so pleased to have Mark Woods as the guest speaker for the quarterly Third Thursday Lecture in May.
Mark is Metro columnist for the Florida Times -
Union. In 2011, he won the Eugene C.Pulliam Fellowship, an award given to one writer in the country each year. The fellowship allowed him to take a sabbatical and spend one year working on a project about the future of the national parks. During that year, Mark lost his mother, turning the project and a subsequent book into something much more personal. Lassoing the Sun: A Year in America's National Parks came out in June 2016, shortly before the National Park Service centennial. It was awarded the Gold Medal for general non -fiction in the 2016 Florida Book Awards. His book will be the focus of the lecture and it will be available at this event.

As you may recall, in 2016 Mark walked across Jacksonville, which was featured in his regular column. He spent four mornings in Mandarin learning about our rich history and sharing that information with his readers. We are very appreciative of his interest. 
The Third Thursday Lectures are presented by MMHS in partnership with the Mandarin Community Club. It will be presented on Thursday, May 18 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 - bring a friend!  For more information, call 268-0784. 
New exhibit and book

A Soldier's Story 
Based on the 1918 Wartime
Letters of Loretto/Mandarin Resident
Private Marion Joseph Losco

June 3, 2017 

"DO NOT FORGET THAT THIS IS REGISTRATION DAY" blared the headlines of the Florida Times - Union one hundred years ago on June 5, 1917.

All across the country every male citizen (21-31 years old)  was required to register for the military draft for World War I at his local voting precinct on this date. In the Mandarin section of southern Duval County the registrants went to the Walter Jones Store - Precinct 30. Mr. Jones was the registrar and L. R. Milton his assistant.

Marion Losco did his duty as a male aged 24 and registered for the draft. 
Fifteen months later he was killed in the battle at Chateau-Thierry in France. He has been forever remembered by his large extended family, but it is now time for all of us to remember and know him. This special exhibit and the book is designed to honor Pvt. Losco specifically, but also all those men just like him who served in this war that was supposed to end all wars.

Paul Ghiotto, former Director of the Jacksonville Maritime Heritage Center, has been working on this book ever since he saw the handwritten letters that Marion sent home from his active duty service. These letters and military documents were saved by Marion's mother, Dometilla Danese Losco and were shown to us by descendant David Losco. Paul, whose father was actually named for Marion, took this project on as a labor of love and it has developed into a book that will be fascinating and educational to everybody who is interested in World War I and how it impacted families here in Mandarin and across the US.

The book will be released and the exhibit will be opened  on June 3 with  a Grand Opening event at 10 am. The exhibit will remain up through the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day - November 11, 2018, so there will be lots of time to see it. Military uniforms and artifacts from World War I will be on display thanks to a local collector. On June 3, there will be many extra items on display just for the Grand Opening day (10-4pm).

Please mark your calendars and spread the word. 
100 years ago - June 5, 1917
Marion's draft registration - signed by Walter Jones!

Frog Painting - May 20 from 10-12

When we say kids of all ages can paint their own frog, we mean it. This beauty was done by the hands of an 18 month old who petted the paint on the frog without a brush! It is splendid!

Our next painting party is in May in front of Mandarin Museum (weather permitting).  Please RSVP by phone at 268-0784 or email at because we have a limit on how many can paint at a time. We provide the paint, brushes and paint shirts. You buy an unpainted frog for $20. and make you very own special and unique Mandarin Frog. And, as a bonus, you get to meet the "Frog Man" - the man who makes these frogs one frog at a time - all for the benefit of Mandarin Museum & Historical Society. He is truly a community gem!
Looking Back on April

 April was a busy month and we'd like to share some of it with you.

We manned the Store and Post Office both days of the Mandarin Art Festival and had lots of traffic and interesting visitors. These folks are making a statement for the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission - that this historic 1911 Mandarin Store and Post Office MATTERS! As a structure that is on the National Register of Historic Places it does matter indeed. This building is owned by the Mandarin Community Club and was restored and is operated as a museum by the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society.

Artist Kathy Stark was on-site at the Store and Post Office with her new book
The Wilderness of North Florida's Parks.This book is a beautiful guide to parks within a one hour drive of Jacksonville (and includes Walter Jones Historical Park) and it is now available for sale at the Mandarin Museum Gift Shop.It is the perfect combination of beautiful art and fascinating and helpful information.

Keith Holland hosted a special visitor in April, John Moseley, Historic Interpreter at Fort Fisher State Historic Site in Virginia. Fort Fisher was the site of a Civil War battle that the Maple Leaf regiments participated in after they left Jacksonville, in December 2014. John is a native of Jacksonville and volunteered to do a lecture on the connection between Maple Leaf and Ft. Fisher. Stay tuned.


On April 23 we had a delightful gathering of about 33 volunteers for National Volunteer Month at the schoolhouse. It is so much fun to be together with so many of our dedicated group of volunteers. We would not exist without them.

And on April 25 we had a wonderful group of ladies from Penny Farms come for a tour. They were delightful and very excited about all the history they learned of the area.
Remember our regularly scheduled programs

"Under the Oaks" Music Jam - May 7 from  2-4 pm

The monthly music event that takes place under the majestic oaks in front of Mandarin Museum  on the first Sunday of every month. This event is co-sponsored by the North Florida Folk Network.

Please join in this open community jam in the round. If you don't play an instrument you are invited to bring your lawn chair and relax and enjoy the music and the natural beauty of the park. It has quickly become a fun tradition on the first Sunday of the month.

Mandarin Museum and the St. Joseph's Mission Schoolhouse for African-American Children will be open during this time, so please pay a visit.

"Meet the Maple Leaf Divers"  
 May 20, 12-4 pm

Since the 150th anniversary event in 2014, Keith Holland and many of his St. Johns Archaeological Expedition divers have given their time to meet and greet visitors and tell them the amazing Civil War story of the Union steamship that was sunk by Confederate mines on April 1, 1864 - at Mandarin Point. These men are keeping the amazing stories related to this National Historic Landmark shipwreck alive for new generations to learn from. It is a unique opportunity - don't miss it.  

Special class in June

"All About Honey Bees"


MMHS volunteer George DeMarino has been planting and caring for our Harriet Beecher Stowe Kitchen Garden for many years as a Master Gardener. But on June 24, he will be wearing his beekeeper hat and will teach a class to children about the importance of bees to our environment. They will learn about what bees do and how they live and they will have activities to take home to enhance their learning. This is a program that George developed for Scout programs and we are happy that he is willing to share it here in the park

The class will take place on Saturday, June 24 from 10-11 am in the St. Joseph's Mission Schoolhouse for African-American Children (right next to the museum). The program is best for 2nd through 8th graders. Parents must stay with their children and it is free.

Please email us or call 268-0784 to reserve your space. Reservations are required due to limited space. This promises to be a great learning experience about an important topic. 

May 6 - Historic Store and Post Office Open - 12-4
May 7 -  Under the Oaks music jam - 2-4
May 18 - Third Thursday Lecture - Mark Woods, Times-Union columnist and author of  Lassoing the Sun.  Book signing.  
May 20 - Frog painting for kids of all ages - 10-4.  
May 20 -
Meet the Maple Leaf Divers - 12-4 
May 29 - First day of Blue Star Museum participation 
June 3 - GRAND OPENING - Pvt. Marion Losco World War I exhibit - 10-4 
June 3 - Historic Store and Post Office Open -  12-4
June  4 - Under the Oaks music jam  - 2-4
June17 - Meet the Maple Leaf Divers - 12-4
June 17 - Frog painting -  10-12
June 24 - Class for children - "All About Bees" - 10 am at the schoolhouse  
Mandarin Museum and the 1898 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 monthly from 12-4 on the 1st Saturday of the month. 

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families , the Department of Defense, and museums across America.  Each summer since 2010, participating Blue Star Museums have offered free admission to the nation's active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Since we are a free museum every day, we offer the member discount on Gift Shop purchases to military families that identify themselves during this time. Spread the word to your friends who are in service.. 
Our mission: Mandarin Museum & Historical Society preserves and shares the stories of Mandarin's history, culture and natural resources by providing engaging programs that educate, entertain and inspire.


Mandarin Museum & Historical Society,
a volunteer based non-profit 501C3 organization which is located in the Walter Jones Historical Park, 11964 Mandarin Road. Jacksonville, Florida.

Copyright © 2017. All Rights Reserved.