In the southernmost portion of Duval County is the beautiful and historic neighborhoods of Mandarin. Calvin Reed named the community after the Mandarin orange in the year 1830. These neighborhoods are situated on the banks of the St. John's River, north to the Baymeadows area, south to the county line & east to the old US 1 (now Philips Highwy).
The Mandarin home buyer that chooses to live here on the most southern part of Duval Co. will enjoy a world of lush landscaping and sprawling, moss-draped oaks. Most of the Mandarin homes on the market have been built since the 1970s. However, in recent years, homebuilders have been able to take advantage of the better economy & been able to purchase tracts of land to build beautiful new homes & townhomes in Mandarin. There is something for every potential homebuyer in the Mandarin market from condos, to townhomes, single family homes and the expansive and luxurious estate homes located right on the St. Johns River. Some invest in homes for sale in Mandarin because they like the residential feel that is still within close proximity to the activities available in downtown Jacksonville, the Beaches & the amazing shopping & restaurants of the St Johns Town Center.
In the 1800s, Mandarin was a quaint farming village that shipped fruits and vegetables to Jacksonville and to points north on steamships that traveled up and down the St. John's River. During that era, grapefruit, lemons, oranges, another fruits were grown in abundance here.
During the Civil War, in 1864, a union steamship called the Maple Leaf hit a Confederate mine here and sank just off of Mandarin Point. Shortly after the Civil War, the noted author Harriet Beecher Stowe purchased a cottage in what is today the Mandarin neighborhood. She spent 17 winters here and often welcomed tourists disembarking from the steamships plying the St. John's River. She purportedly charged with them $.75 each to both meet her and to enjoy a tour of her beautiful property. In addition to writing the famous classic, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," she drew numerous sketches of idyllic scenes including picnicking, river touring, and sailing. Her fanciful artwork served a promotional purpose, and many northern tourists came here specifically because of her work.
Parks and Recreation
Mandarin Park is a 37-acre facility that has undergone additional development in recent years. The picnic area and additional nature trails were added in 1992. A pier was added in 1993. Then, in 2006, a boat ramp was added. Area residents can launch their boats, canoes, and kayaks here. Kids enjoy fishing right from the pier. Extensive facilities also include a multipurpose field, picnic shelters, playground facilities, shuffleboard courts, and tennis courts. Over two-miles of unpaved hiking and biking trails are maintained as well.
Attractions and Events
The Mandarin Museum truly takes visitors back to a bygone era. Beautifully situated in the 10-acre Walter Jones Historical Park, the museum includes a restored homestead site and a memorable riverfront boardwalk. Here, the 1911 Mandarin post office and Walter Jones General Store has been wonderfully restored. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. The restorations here continue. A 19th century log cabin that was once part of the largest wine operation in this part of the state is also being restored. Also, an early 20th century sawmill is undergoing renovation as well.
The very active Mandarin Community Club hosts the Mandarin Art Festival every Easter weekend. Since 1968, thousands of visitors attend this popular event at the community club grounds. To get more information on the event, check out: http://www.mandarinartfestival.org/