October  2018 
Dear MMHS Members and Friends,

We are proud to be eligible to apply for the City of Jacksonville's Cultural Service Grant Program (CSGP), administered through the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville. Since 1990, the CSGP has offered public support to arts and cultural organizations that contribute to the quality of life of Jacksonville's residents.  
On September 26, the CSGP Committe met to make funding decisions for Fiscal Year 2018-19. We are grateful to have been awarded  $6182 in funding to support our program operations from this grant. Twenty-seven arts and cultural organizations will receive grants this year. 
Our thanks to the City of Jacksonville and  the City Council and for recognizing the importance of funding organizations that provide arts and culture in our communities. Also to the Cultural Council staff, the Cultural Council Board and the many volunteers who serve on the Grant Committee. We especially want to thank staff members Tony Allegretti and Amy Palmer for their on-going support and guidance, and Richard Naylor, Committee member, who did an on-site visit to MMHS this summer.  
Also, thank you and farewell to Tony Allegretti for serving since 2014 as Executive Director of the Cultural Council. Tony has made some significant accomplishments and has worked very hard to support  arts and culture in Jacksonville and we are very grateful for his contributions. He will be missed. 
Please learn more about the Cultural Council and all of the programs supported there at
Sandy Arpen 

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Mandarin Museum & Historical Society
Tuesday, October 16, 2018 
7:00pm to 8:00pm

This program series is offered around town and  "features many of Jacksonville's unique historical societies, neighborhood associations, civil servants and community activists. Lectures and presentations will help build community by expanding awareness of neighborhood developments, and how history helps to inform the present."

"The Mandarin Historical Society  is a neighbor to know: since 1989, this organization has worked to preserve and celebrate the rich heritage and history of the area . Get to know your neighborhood and learn about the history of Mandarin in this informative presentation." (From Jacksonville Public Library events page)

Sandy Arpen will be presenting Mandarin's long ago history as well as the mission and services offered to the community by the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society. She will use a visual PowerPoint presentation that includes work by former Director Andy Morrow as well as new volunteer Deborah McGovern.
Southern Genealogist's Exchange Society
meeting features MMHS volunteer
We are pleased this public program is being offered at the Mandarin Library and conducted by one of our volunteers, Roger Sallas.
Roger  is a graduate of UNF's Charter Class.  His Sallas & Ortagus families' story spans 250+ years. Roger will present a Florida  history lesson as well as genealogy information on  the settlers of Jacksonville & St Augustine.
Light refreshments and chat time will follow. Meeting is free and open to the public.
For more information about SGES, see their website at They have some amazing resources for genealogical research in their library, which is open to all. 
Saturday October 13 at 
Mandarin Regional Library, 3330 Kori Rd. 

Remembering Smithsonian Museum Day

We had a wonderful turnout for Smithsonian Museum Day this year on September 22, with all of the historic buildings open and Civil War reenactors camped in front of the museum.

Many thanks to those who attended and to the many, many volunteers it takes to have the buildings open, the music, the Maple Leaf divers, the frogs and the camp set up. Here are a few photos of the day


Frog/turtle painting event
October 13

The October Frog Painting is from 10-noon on October 13 in front of the museum.

Please make a reservation first - the best way to do that is to email us at and tell us what animal you'd like to paint. If you can't email, please call and leave a message at 268-0784. BUT, you should receive a confirming email or a phone call back. If you do not, please try again. Apparently a couple of emails were lost in spam last month, and we are trying to make a better system so there will be plenty of critters for everybody and nobody is disappointed. 
Frogs and squirrels are $20 and turtles are $24. We provide the paint, brushes etc. Wear old clothes. It is lots of fun. Our tremendous gratitude to the Mandarin Frog Man - all proceeds are for the support of  Mandarin Museum programs and expansion.  
Our youngest painter ever - 12 months old - and other happy artists in September! 
Celebrate International Archaeology Day in Jacksonville Beach
This event is located at the Beaches Museum and it sounds very interesting, so we wanted to share it with our readers. 
"Sea-level Rise Among the Ancients" is the topic of the lecture presented by Dr. Kenneth E. Sassaman, professor at the University of Florida and Director of the Lower Suwannee Archaeological Survey, at the meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America-Jacksonville Society at noon on Oct. 20, 2018 at the Beaches Museum and History Park in Jacksonville Beach.

"He will discuss how the ancient inhabitants of Florida adapted to the rise in sea level as revealed by the archaeological record. The Lower Suwannee Archaeological Survey of the University of Florida has been working to salvage vulnerable sites while developing information relevant to future challenges with environmental and social change. Lessons for our own future with rising sea await our attention in the archaeological record of ancient coastal dwelling, showing an enduring ritual strategy to sync human movements to celestial cycles in order to lessen the negative impacts of earthly change."

The lecture is free and open to the public, and refreshments will follow. For more information, contact Melva Price at (904)241-9411.

A fascinating new accession for our collection

Tracey Arpen purchased and donated this single page from a US Senate document dated 1848. Please read it - this is a Mandarin Seminole Wars story.

Calvin Read is the man who is said to have named Mandarin. He was also a Postmaster and had a significant orange grove on the river. We are not sure, but assume that the trees were cut on his property and the fort was built near there.
The bill approving the request appropriated $716.00 for his trees for the fort. That's about $20,608 in 2017 dollars! The fort was built in response to citizen demands after the Seminole raid on Mandarin on December 20,1841. 
Does anybody know more about this fort - where it was exactly, how long it was there, who served as militia there, if it had any activity, what happened to it? Anybody interested in doing some research?
Please let us know at
Looking Back on September 
We were delighted to host the PRIDE Book Club on September 8. About 20 members came for a schoolhouse tour and to discuss the book Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. And what an engaged and lively discussion it was! 

On September 10 we were also happy to host the Beaches Book Club, a wonderful group of former teachers at Fletcher Middle School. This group read Calling Yankees to Florida, a book of articles that Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote while in Mandarin, edited by Drs. John and Sarah Foster. They took a tour of the museum, schoolhouse and farmhouse and enjoyed a picnic lunch in the park. This book is available in the Museum gift shop. 

First Saturday - October 6 - All Buildings Open   
In Walter Jones Historical Park - 1875 farmhouse, 1876 barn, Losco Winery, ALL open, 10 am - 2 pm. Mandarin Museum, and St. Joseph's Mission Schoolhouse for African-American Children are open as always from 9-4. 
ALSO - the historic Mandarin Store and Post Office is open 10-2 at 12471 Mandarin Rd.  
 "Under the Oaks" Music Jam
Sunday, October 7 from 2-4 
The next monthly "Under the Oaks" music jam will take place on October 7 at Walter Jones Historical Park from 2-4, WEATHER PERMITTING! Bring an acoustic instrument if you would like to play - listeners are always welcome - bring a lawn chair. The Mandarin Museum and St. Joseph's Mission Schoolhouse for African-American Children will be open during this event.  It is co-sponsored by the North Florida Folk Network.
Meet the Divers Day
 Saturday, October 20 - from 9-4
The monthly "Meet the Maple Leaf Divers" day at Mandarin Museum in Walter Jones Historical Park is on October 20. Meet Keith Holland and other SJAE divers to learn about this historic National Historic Landmark/Civil War shipwreck in the St. Johns River.   
  • October 6: Historic 1911 Mandarin Store and Post Office open, 10 am - 2 pm
  • October 6: In Walter Jones Historical Park - 1875 farmhouse, 1876 barn, Losco Winery, Mandarin Museum, and Mission Schoolhouse ALL open, 10 am - 2 pm
  • October 7: Music Under the Oaks jam, 2 pm - 4 pm 
  • October 13: Frog Painting, 10 am - 12 pm
  • October 16: "Won't You Be My Neighbor" - 7 pm at Kori Road Library
  • October 20: Meet the Maple Leaf Divers, 12 pm - 4 pm
  • November 3: Historic 1911 Mandarin Store and Post Office open 10 am - 2 pm
  • November 3: In Walter Jones Historical Park - 1875 farmhouse, 1876 barn, Losco Winery, Mandarin Museum, and Mission Schoolhouse ALL open, 10 am - 2 pm
  • November 4: Music Under the Oaks jam, 2 pm - 4 pm 
  • November 10: Veterans Day event honoring Pvt. Marion Losco and the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War I - look for details in November issue
  • November 15: Third Thursday lecture: John Moseley, Historic Sites Manager for Fort Fisher State Historic Site, will discuss the connection between Maple Leaf troops and the Civil War battle at Fort Fischer, NC 
  • November 17: Meet the Maple Leaf Divers, 12 pm - 4 pm 
  • December 1: 19th Annual Winter Celebration in Walter Jones Historical Park

Mandarin Museum and the 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 from 10-2 on the first Saturday of every month.  Most months the barn, winery and farmhouse will be open at this same time. Check the calendar here and check Facebook to confirm.  
School field trips and adult group tours are scheduled 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.  
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and our Tumblr blog by clicking on the logos at the bottom of this newsletter. 
Mandarin Newsline

View the October edition of the
Mandarin Newsline
and read about Theodore Flynn and his store with home above it on Loretto Road, in "Back in Time with Brett," by MMHS volunteer Brett Nolan.

CLICK HERE for the electronic version.
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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