November 2019   

Dear Friends,
It looks like we may finally see some cooler weather as we ring in November - it has certainly been a long hot spell. We are grateful to the Mandarin Community Club for reminding  us that autumn has arrived by decorating the historic landmarks along Mandarin Road, including the Store and Post Office and Walter Jones Historical Park. Thanks to MCC, Thompson Ace Hardware and MCC Board member/MMHS volunteer Brett Nolan for all the work it took to make Mandarin's historic corridor beautiful!

If you have not seen it yet, take 5 minutes to drive down Mandarin Road from Walter Jones Park to the Community Club. It will make you feel good!

Sandy Arpen 
Third Thursday Lecture
November 21 

For many decades, historians in Florida have claimed that Henry Flagler, Henry Plant, and their railroad systems started the tourism industry in Florida in the 1880s. But in 2017, John T. Foster, Jr., used an examination of tour books, major periodicals, and newspapers to prove that tourism actually began in the 1870s.The most prolific author of these publications was the famous writer and abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe, a winter resident of Mandarin. Stowe and a group of abolitionists worked to create a place of freedom and democracy for all Americans in Florida, especially people of color. The beginnings of Florida 's tourism industry are rooted in Reconstruction efforts to make a better world.
In 2019, the Florida Historical Society Press addressed this major correction in Florida's history with two books. John Foster's At the Dawn of Tourism in Florida documents for historians the relationships of media-oriented abolitionists and their cooperation through time. This work also presents over 40 pages of dramatic lithographs displaying Florida in the 1870s.
The second book, a new edition of John and Sarah Foster's Calling Yankees to Florida, contains fascinating vignettes of Florida life not included in Stowe's Palmetto Leaves .
The second edition also features Stowe's encounter with an African-American secret agent, together with an introduction by the nationally known novelist Lois Leveen. It must be noted, too, that Calling Yankees to Florida documents evidence of freedom in Florida after Reconstruction using the words of James Weldon Johnson. Calling Yankees presents the context of "Lift Every Voice and Sing."

Foster's lecture will focus on these books and his presentation will include the wonderful illustrations of the time. Both books will be available for purchase.
The lecture is on November 21, 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.
Winter Celebration honors World War II veterans on
 December 7
Pearl Harbor Day
The 20th Annual Winter Celebration falls on the 78th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, which was December 7,1941. Because this date is  a "date which will live in infamy" (President Franklin D. Roosevelt) in  American history,  and because there are very few World War II veterans still alive to help us remember, the Winter Celebration Committee decided to honor this date and our veterans of WWII during our 20th anniversary event.

A special program will take place in front of Mandarin Museum, beginning at 11:15 am. The program will include: 
  • a flag ceremony
  • the singing of the National Anthem by MMHS volunteers Camille and Camiya Ferron
  • a short talk by MMHS volunteer Paul Ghiotto about why it is so important to always remember this date
  • introductions of four local residents who are World War II veterans
  • 1940s and patriotic music played by the Clay County Community Swing Band
  • three vintage WWII Army Jeeps will be on display with renactors and period objects
  • photos and educational posters throughout the park
If you have a photo of a Mandarin resident in uniform, that served in WWII and would like us to include it, please send as a scanned attachment to [email protected]. with the information about who the person is and where he/she served.

Detailed  information about the other activities will be sent out by mid November or you can view by clicking HERE.

Lt. William W. Webb

We finally found a photo of Major William W. Webb's grandson and namesake! The farmhouse and barn in Walter Jones Historical Park were built by Major Webb in 1875-6. 

Lt. Webb served in World War II and was killed on August 15, 1944  during Operation Dragoon (the Allied invasion of southern France in World War II).

He was an artillery officer and was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart, which we have on display in a museum exhibit. He is buried in the Rhone American Cemetery in Draguignan, France with 857 other U.S. service men and women. There is also a marker for him at Mandarin Cemetery.

Volunteer Spotlight
Dale Zimmerman

We are so grateful that Dale decided to join our MMHS volunteer family. Look for him at the schoolhouse. Here's his story:
    "I enjoy my interactions with younger visitors" said volunteer Dale Zimmerman, a retired Mandarin pediatrician, when asked about what he likes as a volunteer.
    Dale sometimes sees former patients when they visit the schoolhouse.  That's always fun for him and for them.    
    More than this, however, Dale said that he strongly feels that "an understanding of our history helps us appreciate our country's diversity, and makes us all better citizens."  
     "I grew up in Philadelphia and attended college at Drexel University (a co-op school). I    had planned to become a biologist, but found research work to be tedious."
    When he graduated from Drexel, he could have gone to graduate school.  However, the Vietnam War was in full gear and grad school students were not getting deferments.
    Those who were going to medical school were.  Dale applied and was accepted at the University of Florida.  "My wife, Marie, was a pediatric NICU nurse and I enjoyed children.  Medicine with a specialty in pediatrics was a great fit for me".   
    Dale said that he loved every day of his job as a pediatrician - for 40 years.
    "It is a wonderful experience to take care of  young children and watch them grow to be accomplished adults", he continued.
    Following his retirement in 2015, Dale traveled, enjoyed reading and visiting his grandchildren.  He continued his active participation in the Mandarin Rotary Club. " I was staying busy, but didn't feel I was doing anything meaningful," he said.
    He met volunteer and new MMHS Board Member Bruce Vacca through pickle ball at the Williams YMCA, and one day Bruce mentioned volunteer opportunities at the museum. That really piqued his interest. History has long been important to him.  
    "My family made numerous visits to forts, battlefields and other historical sites," Dale continued, adding that he is very proud of the  detailed family tree on his father's side that dates back to the 1700s, when his ancestors emigrated from Germany.
    "One of my ancestors served in a regiment of Pennsylvania volunteers during the Civil War.  He was captured during the Battle of the Wilderness, and survived Andersonville prison.  I still have his Army Springfield rifle with his name and company carved in the stock!"
    A retired pediatrician who still loves children and history. 
    That's a great fit for us!

    Paula Suhey, Volunteer Coordinator

Special Holiday Painting Party  
for Adults Only

Looking for a perfect gift for someone special? Or maybe you need a break from all of the holiday hype. Or perhaps you just want to have a good time with some of your Mandarin neighbors. If so, we have the event for you!

Join us on Sunday, December 15 from 2pm to 4pm at the historic Mandarin Store and Post Office (12471 Mandarin Road) for a very special  painting party.

We will have 15 frogs and 15 sea turtles to paint, which need to be reserved in advance. The cost of each will be $30, as this event is a fundraiser to support the Winter Celebration expenses. Wine and soft drinks will be served, as well as some light refreshments. It will be a weather dependent event, so hopefully it will not be too cold or rain!

To register, send an email with "December Frog Painting" in the subject line to [email protected] and tell us which  you want to reserve. Don't delay, these spots will go fast.

Thank you to Don Bowden, Mandarin's Frog Man, for making all of these critters for us to sell.

Florida Frontiers TV Show - Harriet Beecher Stowe

The Florida Frontiers Television episode "Harriet Beecher Stowe in Florida" has begun airing on PBS affiliates throughout the state. We do not know the exact date that WJCT will be airing this episode, but Florida Frontiers is usually on Sundays at 11 AM.

The latest episode features Dr. Ben Brotemarkle, (ED of the Florida Historical Society), Emily Lisska (former ED of the Jacksonville Historical Society and current President of the Florida Historical Society), Dr. John Fos ter (Professor Emeritus at Florida A&M University, author of several Stowe books, and speaker at the next MMHS Third Thursday Lecture on Nov. 21) , and Sandy Arpen (President of Mandarin Museum & Historical Society).  
Enjoy the episode through streaming from FHS's website. You can also see Episode #1 about the Civil War in Florida, including the Maple Leaf, and Episode 31 was about WWI and included Mandarin's Pvt. Marion Losco's story. Every episode made is excellent and so informative about Florida history.

Harriet Beecher Stowe episode: Click HERE
World War I episode: Click HERE
Civil War episode: Click HERE

Accessions Corner
What is in our Collection?

Welcome to our newest accession - one that comes with a wonderful story of how it returned to Mandarin to live just blocks from where it was made in the home of renown Mandarin artist Memphis Wood!

Pictured are Jerry Bernstein and Sherry Brown. Jerry is the generous donor of this gift. Here's the story: The piece belonged to Jerry's wife, Judith Allison, who passed away last year. He relocated to Virginia and has downsized and decided it should come home to Mandarin. MMHS was contacted - we were absolutely thrilled and grateful, but we couldn't figure out how to get it to Jax. That's where Sherry comes in.

Sherry was a very active volunteer for MMHS during the schoolhouse project, from 2014-16. She was a key player on the research and exhibit development  team and a docent in the building until she moved to...Virginia! We contacted Sherry. She and Jerry met halfway between their homes, exchanged the beautiful piece and then Sherry's husband John Crawford drove it back to Jacksonville.

This stunning piece of art is so special, with feathers  that we believe are quail. It is unlike any Memphis Wood piece we have. We will be so excited to revive our Art Gallery with the expansion so we can show this piece and others of our beloved Mandarin artists.

Thank you to all involved. And especially we appreciate and honor Judith for loving it and caring for it for over many, many years. We will treasure it.
Looking Back on October events 
"All Things Jacksonville Radio Show"

Karen Roumillat and Sandy Arpen had an interview with Bruce Armes and Chris Wayne, hosts of "All Things Jacksonville" in early October.  They were in the studios of 1010XL 92.5 FM - Jax Sports Radio - talking about Mandarin history and the Mandarin Museum. This program was a wonderful opportunity to tell our stories to a wide audience and we are grateful to have been included. Tune in every Saturday from 11 to noon for other stories of Jacksonville history.

From left - Bruce, Chris and Karen
JaxBest Award

We also kicked off the month with Board Member Patrick Plumlee accepting the JaxBest Award for "Local History Museum" on the News4Jax morning show on Oct. 7. We are proud to have that honor and plan to live up to it.

Meeting of Losco cousins - by accident!
One Saturday we had a surprise visit from Donna Losco Wildes and her husband Ron, from Myrtle Beach, S.C. They came to see the Soldier's Story exhibit, as Marion Losco was Donna'sffather's brother. Coincidentally, she was in the museum at the very same time as Dolly Losco, also related to Marion. They met here for the first time - 
thanks to our story about Marion.
Donna (on left) and Dolly 
Bolles School Service 
Many thanks to the Bolles School freshmen who came out to Walter Jones Park for "Go Make a Difference Day" on October 16. This is a annual day of service to the community. We are always grateful when they come and help us clean up the park. And...they get a history lesson as a bonus!
WJCT "The Jaxson" segment interview
On Oct. 24, WJCT's Jessica Palombo and The Jaxson's Kelsi Hasden visited the historic schoolhouse for an short interview about MMHS's efforts to be more inclusive in our exhibits. We are grateful for their interest and support.
 You can hear it HERE:
Kelsi (on left) and Jessica
Mandarin Newsline  
November edition
The front page includes a short story about Walter Anderson Memorial Park. 
"Back in Time with Brett" by MMHS volunteer Brett Nolan features Jubilee Hall this month.    
And, MMHS Charter and Lifetime member Dr. William Bosworth is featured in the "Get to Know...." monthly article. 
Also, of course, it holds all the news of Mandarin. Click  HERE to see the story and the entire edition of the November Newsline
The Newsline allows us to share our events with the community. They are supported by advertisements, so please support those who support this wonderful free local paper.

Interesting offerings in the community in the next couple months:
Mandarin Community Club

The Club will observe Veterans Day with a program and wreath-laying ceremony on Sunday, November 10. Scheduled to start at 1PM, the program will be held within the Billard Park (adjacent to the MCC building). In the event of inclement weather, activities will be moved inside the Club building.

"BINGO for the Bell Night" is a special fundraiser to raise money to restore the beautiful and historic bell that is in the Club's belfry. Thursday, Nov. 14. Doors open at 6:15 and games begin at 7. Ten games, $15.00 donation to play - includes prizes (no cash).

Historical Society of Orange Park has a holiday event in December

 December 6 & 7 - Hometown Holiday in the Park.  The Clarke House will be decorated for the holidays and open for tours both nights of this event.  Bring the family and have a good time. Hometown Holiday
   For details: 

Norman Studios Exhibit at Downtown Library


First Saturday - November 2 - All Buildings Open - READ TIMES
In Walter Jones Historical Park - 1875 farmhouse, 1876 barn, Losco Winery  
are open from 10-2. 
ALSO - the historic Mandarin Store and Post Office will  be open at 12471 Mandarin Road (next to the Mandarin Community Club) from 10-2.
Mandarin Museum and the St. Joseph's Mission Schoolhouse for African-American Children will be open from 9-4, as usual.
 "Under the Oaks" Music Jam  
November 3 
Come on out on Sunday afternoon, November 3 from 2-4,  to enjoy some good music played by members of the community in an old fashioned circle jam. If you play an acoustic instrument, you are welcome to join in the  circle. If you are a "listener, please bring a lawn chair and just enjoy this wonderful day. Note: it is weather dependent, of course, since it is an outside event. The Mandarin Museum and the St. Joseph's Mission Schoolhouse for African-American Children will both be open during this event.  
This event is co-sponsored by our friends at the North Florida Folk Network
Frog Painting - November 16 
If you'd like to paint, please reserve in advance to [email protected]. (Weather permitting of course - this is an outside event in front of the museum.)
Event is from 10 am to noon.  Frogs, sea turtles and squirrels will be available. 
"Meet the
Maple Leaf Divers"
None in November 
The story of the Civil War steamship Maple Leaf will live forever in Mandarin and American history. This National Historic Landmark shipwreck has unveiled many a story about her life and the lives of the thousands of Union soldiers she transported up and down the East Coast.
Dr. Keith Holland and his team of St. Johns Archaeological Expeditions divers want to meet you and invite you aboard. They are at the museum from 11- 4 pm this day for Winter Celebration.
    Mark your calendars for these special events

    • November 21 - Third Thursday Lecture - Dr. John Foster - discussing his new book At the Dawn of Tourism in Florid: Abolitionists, Print Media, and Images for Early Vacationers.
    • December 7 - 20th anniversary of the Winter Celebration in Mandarin - with special event, "Mandarin Remembers Pearl Harbor Day"  by honoring  WWII vets.
    • December 15 - Adult Frog Painting at Store and Post Office 2-4 pm.
The Mandarin Museum and the Schoolhouse are 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 open from 10-2 on the first Saturday. Exceptions to this schedule are listed in the calendar above.

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
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and our Tumblr blog by clicking on the logos at the bottom of this newsletter. 
Have a great November!

Thank you to artist, MMHS member and friend Gary Garrett for painting this beautiful morning view of Mandarin Museum in October!

Look for Gary and others from the First Coast Plein Air Painters as they paint at Winter Celebration.
They will be all over the park.
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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