OLDEST ONE ROOM SCHOOLHOUSE IN DUVAL COUNTY IS SAVED
The Mandarin Museum and Historical Society is partnering with Councilman Matt Schellenberg, the Mandarin Community Club and the City of Jacksonville Parks and Recreation Department to save the oldest remaining one room schoolhouse in Duval County and relocate it to Walter Jones Historical Park in Mandarin. The schoolhouse was built in 1889 as part of a mission established by the Sisters of St. Joseph in Mandarin to educate freed Blacks after the Civil War. The building was originally located on the property of the present day St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.
In celebration of its 90th anniversary, the Community Club is working to purchase the structure with the intent of donating it to City of Jacksonville. Mandarin Community Club President and Executive Director of the Jacksonville Historic Society Emily Lisska is excited about the opportunity. “The Mandarin Community Club is pleased to have the opportunity to help save this important piece of Mandarin history,” Lisska said.
The organizations have raised much of the funds to be able to move the structure to the park in late 2014 or early 2015. Once moved and all renovations are completed, the schoolhouse will open to the public and will contain exhibits about the story of this specific schoolhouse and the African American educational experience in Duval County from the late 1800s to mid-1900s.
The Mandarin Museum and Historical Society is managing fundraising efforts for the project. To date, nearly 90% of the monies needed has been donated, including $40,000 from City Councilman Matt Schellenberg’s District 6 funds for park improvements, $10,000 for the purchase by Mandarin Community Club, the very generous gifts from two members of MMHS, as well as smaller gifts from many others in the community.
Additional funds are needed to complete preservation efforts, meet ADA compliance standards, construct sidewalks and develop exhibits. Donations are welcome at any time and should be made by a check to the Mandarin Museum and Historical Society, PO Box 23601, Jacksonville, FL 32241 or online by clicking the donate now button below.
If you would like to volunteer to clean-up, paint and do minor repairs of the structure after it is moved – or if you can help us spread the word about this wonderful project, please contact us at 268-0784
More information can also be found at http://www.facebook.com/OldMandarinSchoolhouse.
The Mandarin Museum and Historical Society is a registered 501 (c) (3) with experience in maintaining and preserving significant historical structures. We currently operate the Mandarin Museum, the 1876 Webb Farm House, the 1911 Store and Post Office. The historical society brings history to life through school tours, programs, and community events.