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Mandarin Museum & Historical Society

Orange Park Mandarin Museum & Historical Society During the 19th century, Mandarin, Florida had become a small farming community that would ship oranges, lemons, grapefruits and other fruits and vegetables northward, to Jacksonville and points north, via the steamships and other boats that traveled along the St. John's River; and in 1864, the Union ship, Maple Leaf, would hit a Confederate mine and sink, just off the shore of Mandarin Point; and in the winters of 1867 to 1884, Harriet Beecher Stowe would stay here. Today, Mandarin has become part of the huge city of Jacksonville, Florida, with live oak trees draped with long tangles of Spanish moss lining the roads and waterways, while the tannin-colored waters of the St. John's lapping the shores of the village where Timucuans, Spaniards and Englishmen had come to explore by canoe, on foot and horseback. Farmers, citrus growers and even Civil War soldiers, along with all their respective families, would travel by boat and steamship; and now school children jump off their buses and run along the riverfront boardwalk and up the pathway that leads to the 1875 homestead. The society has become responsible for a few historical sites around the area, like the Mandarin store and post office, that had become the heart of the village in 1911; now a museum and the Walter Jones Historical Park. This park would be the first such historical park in the city of Jacksonville; representing a typical 1800s Mandarin homestead, with restored 1875 farmhouse and 1876 sawmill and barn. The society sponsors the Florida Heritage Lecture Series, tours, educational programs and special family events for school groups and visitors. Enterprise Rent-A-Car has a couple of locations here, where you will be able to rent a great vehicle to take you wherever you want to go, whenever you want and much cheaper than the other modes of transportation located in the state.

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Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum

Orange Park Mandarin Museum & Historical Society This is the world's biggest private collection of original manuscripts and documents, first founded in 1983 by California real estate moguls, David and Marsha Karpeles, who wanted to stimulate interest in learning for the entire community, but especially for its children. Their services are free of charge and will provide some of the most incredible readings and information in the world. Wanting to make the documents more accessible, the library has branched off into ten museums around the United States, with docs and manuscripts being rotated between them each quarter. They all showcase a daily general exhibit as well as one or more special scheduled displays during the year; while it continues to aggressively enlarge its web content. Every one of these libraries is housed in a historical building; and the one in Jacksonville area is situated in the former First Church of Christ, Scientist building that is a 1921 neoclassical building in the Springfield neighborhood. The library has an antique book library containing volumes from the late 19th century and a children's center. Other Karpeles locations include; Santa Barbara, California; Buffalo, NY.; Tacoma, Washington; Charleston, South Carolina; Newburgh, NY.; Duluth, Minnesota; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Shreveport, Louisiana; and Alvin, Texas. A few examples from their collections include; Beethoven's Emperor Concerto, Darwin's Theory of Evolution, Einstein's Theory of Relativity, the first printing of the Ten Commandments from the Gutenberg Bible from 1455, Webster's dictionary, the Confederate Constitution, the Bill of Rights, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, Amelia Earhart's Certificate of Landing for her solo flight across the Atlantic ocean, Norman Rockwell pencil drafts exhibit collection and many more that are sure to interest and often excite you and your family. The easiest way to visit this and other exciting sites around the area is to check out the great rates at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, where you are sure to get the best deal on an economical vehicle, along with the friendliest people in the car rental business.