Mandarin Museum & Historical Society at Walter Jones Historical Park
Explore the natural beauty of old Florida in Mandarin, a historic section of Jacksonville located along the St. Johns River. The Mandarin Museum & Historical Society captures a bygone time when citrus growers worked the land and steamboats plied the waters.
The museum is located in the Walter Jones Historical Park on historic Mandarin Road, known for its oak trees draped with Spanish moss. The park's 10-acre riverfront site, once a homestead, includes a restored 1875 farmhouse and an 1876 barn. A waterfront boardwalk and adjacent dock offer an opportunity to watch wildlife and enjoy beautiful sunsets on the St. Johns River. The park also includes a picnic area and walking paths that are handicapped accessible.
In the Mandarin Museum, visitors can learn about the history of Mandarin. Installations focus on prominent individuals and events, including the famed author and abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe, who wintered in Mandarin from 1867 to 1884. Visitors can also learn about the wreck of the Maple Leaf, a Union steamboat that hit a Confederate mine off Mandarin Point and sank in 1864. The museum also has a rotating gallery that exhibits both modern and past artists who lived in or were inspired by the Mandarin community.
Next to the museum is the last remaining one-room schoolhouse in Duval County, built in 1898 specifically for the education of black Mandarin residents. Moved to the park in 2015, this building now serves as an educational venue highlighting the historic aspects of this one-room schoolhouse and others like it that are now gone. A permanent exhibition tells the fascinating story of the French Catholic Sisters who came to America and honors African-American families of Mandarin, whose drive for learning surpassed all challenges put before them.
Less than a mile down the road, the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society also operates the 1911 Mandarin Store & Post Office, which served as the heart of the Mandarin community until it closed in 1964. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Walter Jones Park open every day, sunrise to sunset
Mandarin Museum open Saturdays 9 am - 4 pm
Mandarin Store & Post Office open 1st Saturdays 12 pm - 4 pm
Check events at mandarinmuseum.net