February has been a busy month for the Mandarin Museum and the Mandarin Community Club as the oldest existing one room schoolhouse was moved from a private location to its new home on the grounds of the Mandarin Historical Park. The schoolhouse was built in 1889 as part of a mission established by the Sisters of St Joseph to educate the freed blacks after the Civil War and was originally located on the property of the present St Josephs Catholic Church on Loretto Road.
The next step is restoration, and to date over 90% of the funds needed have been raised. When completed, the schoolhouse will be open to the public and will contain exhibits about the story of this schoolhouse and the education of African-Americans post Civil War to the mid 1950s.
We are grateful to our two Mandarin community organizations, City Councilman Matt Schellenberg and the City Of Jacksonville Parks and Recreation Department for this team effort. Look for updates in future articles. It’s not too late to be a part of this community project. Help is needed with cleaning, painting and minor repairs; and monetary donations are always appreciated. If interested, please call the Museum at (904) 268-0784.