A neighborhood located in the southern most portion of Jacksonville, in Duval County, is located on the eastern banks of the St. Johns River across from Orange Park. “Mandarin” was named after the mandarin orange in 1830 by Calvin Reed, a prominent resident of the area.
Once called “a tropical paradise” by author Harriett Beecher Stowe, the quaint area of Mandarin is marked by its history, ancient oak trees draped with Spanish moss, beautiful parks, marinas and more water views than any other area in Jacksonville. In the 19th century, Mandarin was a small farming village that shipped oranges, grapefruit, lemons and other fruits and vegetables to Jacksonville and points north on the steamships that traveled the St. Johns River. In 1864, the Union steamship, the Maple Leaf, hit a Confederate mine and sank just off Mandarin Point.
In 1867 Harriet Beecher Stowe, the famous author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, bought a cottage here. For the next seventeen winters, she welcomed tourists’ debarking from the steamers along the St. Johns River. She charged 75 cents each to meet her and admire her surroundings. Although best known for her novel about the cruelty of slavery, Stowe also wrote about Florida. She had promised her Boston Publisher another novel, but was so taken with northeast Florida that she produced instead a series of sketches of the land and the people. She submitted it in 1872 under the title “Palmetto Leaves.” Her second book did not outsell her first novel, but did have the effect of drawing rich and fashionable tourists to visit her.
In 1968, the city of Jacksonville and most of Duval County formed a consolidated municipal unit. As part of this process, Mandarin ceased to exist as a political entity, and became part of the city of Jacksonville.
In 1990, with the rapid growth of Mandarin, a new public high school was opened in the area. Several prominent citizens in Jacksonville urged that the new school be named Harriet Beecher Stowe High School, but the proposal did not receive widespread acceptance. The school was named Mandarin High School.
To learn more about the Mandarin area of Jacksonville, and the many advantages of living in Mandarin, please contact us today at 904-285-1550.
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