Jacksonville Parks: Walter Jones Historical Park and the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society

Posted by Donny Mak on Monday, September 19th, 2016 at 1:00am.

The Walter Jones Historical Park and the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society are tucked away in a quiet area of Mandarin. Within the park, you'll find 10 acres of entertainment for the whole family. 

Image courtesy of Mandarin Museum & Historical Society

If you are visiting on a Saturday, be sure to go inside the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society, which is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The museum features three permanent exhibits: 'Always on the River..." which depicts Mandarin's history along the St. Johns River, The Maple Leaf which explains the wreck as well as the excavation of the Civil War Union steamboat the Maple Leaf, and the third exhibit is on the famous author Harriet Beecher Stowe who spent her winters in Mandarin from 1867 to 1884. The Mandarin Museum & Historical Society also has an art gallery that features a rotating mix of artists. 

Image courtesy of Mandarin Museum & Historical Society

The Walter Jones Historical Park is now also home to the St. Joseph's Mission Schoolhouse for African-American Children, which has a fascinating history that you can read about here

As you stroll through the park, you'll be able to view a farmhouse, a barn from 1876, sawmill, winery, and much more. The nature trail that is along the riverfront boardwalk is reminiscent of another era, when Victorian ladies would stroll along the boardwalk. There is also a picnic area and restrooms, so you can pack a lunch for the whole family to enjoy!

Don't miss walking out to the county dock and getting a gorgeous view of the St. Johns River. Sunsets on the dock are truly magical.

The Mandarin Museum & Historical Society is an asset to the local community, and they host a number of events throughout the year. If you're an acoustic musician, don't miss the monthly music jam that normally occurs the first Sunday of each month from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. (learn more about the music jam here). The Winter Celebration, which occurs in December, is a fantastic community gathering that includes reenactors, crafts for the kids, horse rides, and much more. All of the park buildings are open during this time, and it's an event that is not to be missed. This year the Winter Celebration will be on December 3rd, and you can read more about it here.

Mandarin Museum & Historical Society
11964 Mandarin Road
Jacksonville, FL 32223

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