Third Thursday Lectures are 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.

Mandarin Community Club
February 27, 2020

Note: This month, the lecture is NOT on the third Thursday of the month (our usual date) due to a conflict at the Mandarin Community Club.

Author Greg Estevez, Edisto Island

You might be thinking, “What in the world does a book about Edisto Island, South Carolina, have to do with Mandarin?” Well…a lot actually. Most folks do not know that there was once a small African-American community on Old St. Augustine Road that was also called Edisto. The people who settled there had migrated from Edisto, SC to this area after the Civil War. They started a church there, Julington Baptist Church, one of Mandarin’s three historic African-American churches that still exist.

Volunteers at Mandarin Museum have been doing research related to the development of an exhibit on African American history in Mandarin that will be part of the expanded museum building this Fall. This research led us to connect with the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission, which connected us with Orange Park resident Greg Estevez, who had just published this book. That then led him and the museum to start looking for names to connect families from these two “Edisto” communities. This is very exciting!

Greg, retired after 20 years in the U.S. Navy, wrote this book as he began studying his family’s deep roots in Edisto. He felt a drive to tell the stories of African American life on this island, including his own family, the Hutchinsons. In fact, his family lived in the donated slave cabin that is a centerpiece of the slavery exhibit in the National Museum of African American History in Washington, DC!

But his book became even more than a family story, as he includes the rich history and heritage from slavery times to present day. Greg is the first African American author from Edisto Island to write a non-fiction historical book about the island. He will share any connections with Mandarin’s Edisto that we know of by the time of the lecture. This book will be available and Greg will be happy to autograph it for you.