Mandarin Museum & Historical Society
November 2014
Dear friends of MMHS,

The Board of Directors wishes to thank every single one of you who participated in the the Fresh Market Wine Gala in October: Charles Creech and the entire staff of The Fresh Market; Southern Wine and Spirits; Hope Ferrigno and her wonderful  Program Committee; MMHS volunteers who hosted and helped that night and before the event; all who donated and purchased auction items; and the over 200 folks who attended the event.

This fundraising evening brought $10,000 to Mandarin Museum & Historical Society. These funds will allow us to continue with quality programming for the whole community throughout the year. Our gratitude is great for your support. We can not do what we do without you.

We are preserving Mandarin's unique and special history....together!

John Delaney and Ed Gamble


 Third Thursday Lecture   

  November 20  


"Jacksonville Politics Through the Eyes of  

a Cartoonist"




The last Third Thursday Lecture of 2014 is going to be fascinating as well known and highly respected Mandarin resident Ed Gamble will be telling stories about some politicians he has met, including President Reagan, Governor Graham and Governor Crist and showing some of his cartoons related to local politics and political figures.


Gamble was an editorial cartoonist for The Florida Times-Union from 1980 until 2010. An award-winning cartoonist, he has been nationally syndicated and his cartoons have been published in newspapers and exhibits all over the United States and the world, including overseas in China and at the American Center in Karachi, Pakistan. They are permanently displayed at the Texas Depository in Dallas, Texas and at the Ford, Carter, Nixon, Reagan and Bush Presidential Libraries. He has won more than 50 national, regional and state awards for his cartoons, including four Wilbur Awards from the National Religion Communicators Council. Gamble was one of 15 cartoonists to be invited for a luncheon with President Reagan in the White House in 1986 and in the same year was invited to attend Pope John Paul's address to the nation's communication leaders in Los Angeles.


Ed Gamble is the author of "You Get Two For the Price of One" (Pelican 1996) with forwards written by Presidents Ford and Bush and a co-author of "A Cartoon History of the Reagan Years" (Regnery, 1988).


Born and raised in Morristown, Tennessee, a small Appalachian town near the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, Ed graduated with a B.A. degree from The University of South Florida and attended post-graduate school at the University of Tennessee. He and his wife, Saundra have lived in Mandarin since 1981.


The images that will be shown at this lecture are from the Special Collections at the Thomas G. Carpenter Library at University of North Florida, which houses over 2000 of Gamble's cartoons on local and state events.  


Third Thursday Lectures, as always, are hosted by the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society in partnership with the Mandarin Community Club. They are held at the Community Club, located at 12447 Mandarin Road. Refreshments are served at 6:30 and the program begins at 7:00 PM. 


The Mandarin Museum & Historical Society invites you to the 15th Annual Winter Celebration from 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM on Saturday, December 6. This event has become a family tradition for many and is well known for old-fashioned fun. It is held at the Walter Jones Historical Park, located at 11964 Mandarin Rd.


Activities are planned for the community that will educate, entertain and delight all ages, including horse-drawn hayrides, live music, historical re-enactors (including Civil War re-enactors), nature crafts and old fashioned games. This is a fun day for children and adults with a wide variety of things to do. 


 Music during the day at the museum front porch will include:

  • 11:30 - Ancient City Brass Band opening the celebration
  • 12:30 - Al Poindexter and River Rise (original Florida folk)
  • 1:30 - Paul and Kay Garfinkel (original Florida folk, including songs about the Maple Leaf and Harriet Beecher Stowe)
  • 2:30 - Meridian (celtic)

At and near the farmhouse will be:

  • 12:00 Lynn Wadley (concertina and hammered dulcimer)
  • 1:00 - 3:00 a community acoustic music jam led by MMHS volunteer and  banjo player Patrick Plumlee, open to all who play traditional acoustic instruments. If you'd like to join in, please bring a folding chair.

The Mandarin Museum will be open all day and the museum gift shop is stocked with many holiday gift ideas, including Mandarin historic places collectible ornaments. The 2014 ornament will be the 1889 Schoolhouse. The historic Webb Farmhouse as well as the 1876 barn and Losco Winery will open for tours during the event. Costumed re-enactors add to the old-fashioned atmosphere. This year we will have as a special treat, Major William Webb, in uniform, at the farmhouse. Mandarin artist Lucinda Halsema will be on-site as well as local non-profit partners including the St. Johns Riverkeeper,  the Mandarin Community Club, Historical Society of Orange Park, Friends of Alpine Groves,  Mandarin Women's Club, Master Gardners and Mandarin Garden Club.


There will be  book signings: Rob Mattson with his new book "The Civil War Navy in Florida" and Mary Atwood with her new book "Historic Homes of Florida's First Coast." Mary took photos inside the Webb Farmhouse for her book. The book "North Florida Folk Music: History and Tradition" by Ron Johnson will be also available near the music at the museum.   


In honor of the 150th anniversary (April 1, 2014) of the sinking of the Civil War's Union steamship Maple Leaf, you will be able to meet and talk with Dr. Keith Holland and other  Maple Leaf divers who recovered the Civil War artifacts from the bottom of the St. Johns River. These artifacts are on display at the museum, on loan from the Florida Division of Historical Resources. In addition, Florida Public Archaeology Network will introduce the ship and her cargo to the children through some fun hands-on activities. 


First Aid will once again be supplied by CareSpot.  Parking is available at the Mandarin Presbyterian Church across the street and our street crossing is manned by JSO officer Jim Carey. 


We are extremely grateful to Fifth Third Bank at the corner of Loretto Road and San Jose Blvd for being our major event sponsor!  As always, we ask you to support those businesses in Mandarin that support us. 




Join MMHS's own Karen Roumillat, certified yoga instructor, for Yoga on the River. This class will be held at the Walter Jones Historical Park on the Boardwalk on the fourth Sunday of each month at 9 a.m.  It will be held on November 23 and again on December 28. 


This is a gentle yoga class that is for everyone, beginners to advanced, and follows the Kripalu style of yoga. The class is a donation class and all proceeds go directly to the Mandarin Museum and Historical Society. Classes are held outside, so are subject to weather. Bring your own mat. 


 Anniversary Years for Mandarin Museum and Walter Jones
 Historical Park

It's hard to imagine not having our beautiful museum building isn't it? But it has only been ten years since it was built. MMHS is indeed fortunate to have the partnership  with the City of Jacksonville and the Florida Communities Trust to "bring life to the historical park."

However, let us not forget that the process involved in obtaining this beautiful property and building a new building was one that spanned a ten-year period. It took the dedication of many people and multiple funding sources to make it what it is today. We all owe a huge amount of gratitude to all of them for this gift.

Recently former City Councilman (and later State Representative) Dick Kravitz shared these remembrances of his personal involvement with making  the park a reality in 1994.  Without the park, there would have been no museum building here. This is important history for us to maintain.

"First of all, there was some serious neighborhood opposition to securing the park...due to the impact it might cause on their quiet neighborhoods. As the City Councilman for Mandarin at the time, I held numerous meetings with neighbors to alleviate their fears. Once that obstacle was behind me, I asked the City administration to assist us with funding and also Sen. Bill Bankhead to assist with state funding. In addition, some UF doctoral candidates conducted a historical and ecological study on the property to make the case for the property's significance.

While all this was going on, I was negotiating with the Jones family to give us time to come up with the one million dollars from the City that would basically 'seal the deal.' After months of dealing I finally persuaded Mayor Ed Austin's Chief of Staff to provide the additional funding that finally made the dream a reality.

Finally, it is important to note that I publicly thanked the Jones family for their unbelievable patience as they put private offers on their property on hold until I was able to obtain the funding. They are to be congratulated once again for their extraordinary patience and commitment to the residents not only of Mandarin, but the community as a whole and for their steadfast support for the preservation of this historical piece of property."

Thank you Dick Kravitz for all that you did for the preservation of this gem of land and historic structures while you were representing Mandarin.

Keith Holland and Edwin Bearss
Exciting "Maple Leaf" day for MMHS

You all remember the famous quote that we use when talking about the Maple Leaf, " It is the most important repository of Civil War artifacts ever found and will probably remain so."
This statement was made in 1994 by the then Chief Historian of the National Park Service, Edwin  C. Bearss. Mr. Bearss is now Emeritus Chief Historian, and is a renowned Civil War authority and author who was interviewed in the Ken Burns Civil War series.

And last month he paid a visit to Mandarin Museum to meet with Dr. Keith Holland to discuss the future of the Maple Leaf! What an honor to have him view our museum and the 150th Anniversary exhibit.

NOTICE: Due to the popularity of the Maple Leaf exhibit, it has been extended until at least the end of April 2015.

Not to worry...we won't ask you to paint! But we could really use some help cleaning the museum, farmhouse, barn and winery before Winter Celebration. If we had a couple of people in each area we could accomplish the basic cleaning tasks quickly. And, we can decorate the porches for the holidays.

If you can lend a couple of hours on Monday November 24 from 10-2, we would be most grateful. Lunch will be provided.

Please email or call and leave a message for us at 268-0784.
Cultural Council Grant Awarded

MMHS is proud and grateful to receive a Cultural Service Grant Program award for 2014-15 of $4886.00. We are one of twenty agencies to receive these grant monies.

CSGP provides general operating support for Duval County arts and cultural organizations, which contribute to our quality of life. City of Jacksonville funds are administered by the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville through a competitive and rigorous grant process governed by City ordinance (Chapter 118, Part 6, Ordinance Code of City of Jacksonville).

To learn more about the important work of the Cultural Council and to advocate for the arts and cultural needs of our city, please click here.

Eagle Scout projects in Walter Jones Park

Matthew Bailey (in black shirt) and Troop 473
Tyler Kriznar (with clipboard) and Troop 321 and MMHS volunteer Don Carter

We are so thankful to the Eagle Scout candidates who choose Walter Jones as their project site. This fall we have had two major park enhancements because of their hard work.

In September, Matthew Bailey of Troop 473, which is based at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, relocated and rebuilt the Harriet Beecher Stowe Kitchen Garden. This was necessary because the above ground garden was deteriorating and because the 1889 schoolhouse will be placed at the old location. Since Matthew and his troop finished the building work, our volunteer and Master Gardener George De'Marino has planted the Winter Garden of cabbage, beans, broccoli and greens.

Tyler Kriznar's Troop 321 is based at Mandarin Presbyterian Church, our neighbors across the street. Tyler noticed that there were few benches along the walkways in the park, so his project was to build and install four benches. They are beautiful and we have seen many, many people using them since they were placed in the park.

These Eagle Scout projects are vital to the park as they always improve it greatly. Eagle Awards involve a very involved process and are a huge accomplishment in Scouts' lives.


Wine Gala photos

Heartfelt thanks to everyone who volunteered and who came out to our local Fresh Market to enjoy a very special evening.


For more photos that are on, click here.



We have  tickets available for a performance of the Jacksonville Symphony. They are valued at $120.00 and may be used for: Two tickets for a Masterworks, Pops, Coffee or Matinee Series OR four tickets for a Family Series concert. The value may also be applied to the Dinner Cruise Series. Bidding begins at $75.00.

Also, we have available a gift certificate for "Hair Services with Barbara" at Angel & Mi Salon. Value is $50.00. Bidding begins at $30.00.

If you are interested in bidding on either of these items, please email us at with the Subject line stating "auction". Place your bid if there is an increased bid, you will be notified by email to tell us to up your bid or stop. Proceeds will be added to the Wine Gala.
Don Carter

Don Carter has been a fixture at MMHS for the past two years. He walks the park picking up trash and checking things out every day. He fixes anything that is broken and makes items out of wood when we need them. He is an endless idea guy who offers suggestions for improvements and then makes it happen. He took it upon himself to clean the barn and winery and transform them into the wonderful  exhibits that they are today. Don works on the cemetery surveys and when he realized that no flags were being put on Memorial Day at Mandarin Cemetery he organized two Boy Scout troops to help place over 100 flags. He serves as a docent and is especially knowledgeable about the Maple Leaf. You could say he is an unsung hero who has made tremendous contributions to MMHS and Walter Jones Park.

Don has been out for a few weeks due to illness. We miss him greatly and are eagerly awaiting his smiling face and Gator cap back at the museum.
Visit events of our neighbors and friends
  • November 16 - Dedication of Stetson Kennedy's home at  Beluthahatchee as a literary landmark. From 12-4 at 1523 State Road 13 in St. Johns County just south of Mandarin. Special tours of his home, live music, and a dedication ceremony. Click here to learn more about this beautiful and historical park.
  • November 15 and 16 from 12-5  - Historic Philip R. Cousin AME Church, established in 1886, celebrates their 128th Anniversary as a congregation. Fun activities and community information. Special dinner on Sunday from 1:30-3:30 followed by a celebration service at 4:00 on Sunday. 2601 Orange Picker Rd. Call  262-3083 for more information.
  • November 17 - Jacksonville Historical Society's monthly program -  "Eartha White and the Healing of the South". 317 A. Philip Randolph Blvd. More info at 
  • November 19, 4:30pm - 6:00pm
    Mandarin Community Club, 12447 Mandarin Rd.
    BRINGING THE COMMUNITY TOGETHER - in the garden of the Billard Commemorative Park. The Junior Gardeners of the Mandarin Garden Club will be planting butterfly plants in honor of Veterans Day. Susie Scott, past president of the Mandarin Community Club, will present a history of the Billard Commemorative Park and its early development. Parking is available at Mandarin Community Club.  
  • The Historical Society of Orange Park has a lot going on across the river too. Click here to read their November newsletter to learn about all of their activities.
November 8    Meet the Maple Leaf Divers 11-4 
November 15  Story Time 1-1:45 
November 16  Meet the Maple Leaf Divers 11-4  
November 20  Third Thursday Lecture  6:30 PM 
November 23  Yoga on the River 9AM 
December 6    Winter Celebration, Meet the Maple Leaf Divers
December 28   Yoga on the River 9 AM

Still no dates on the schoolhouse move, but we are getting even closer. Stay tuned.

Mandarin Museum is open every Saturday from 9-4 and the Mandarin Store and Post Office will be CLOSED November and December.

"Like" us on to keep up with museum happenings day to day - you do not have to be registered on Facebook to see our public information. 
For  more info on any of these events click here
Mandarin Museum & Historical Society | 904-268-0784 |
11964 Mandarin Road
Jacksonville, FL 32223

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