Mandarin is located to the south of the county. The area was populated with small plantations and farms during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In 1830, the area was named “Mandarin” by a local planter and postmaster. He named it after the mandarin orange, which was newly introduced at the time and was a major crop in the area at the time.
Mandarin was incorporated in 1841 and during Reconstruction it flourished developing into a small farming village that shipped oranges, grapefruit, lemons and other fruits and vegetables to Jacksonville via steamships traveling on the St. Johns River. However, Mandarin began to decline in the late 19th century with the expansion of the railroads and several freezes that depleted the citrus business. By the start of World War II, the population had fallen to less than 700 residents. After the war, as Jacksonville’s city limits pushed further and further out and with the building of the Buckman Bridge, Mandarin became the suburb that we know today.
Both Harriet Beecher Stowe, and painter Lee Adams once lived here. Mandarin is characterized by its magnificent oak trees hung with dramatic Spanish moss and boasts some of the best views of the St. Johns River in greater Jacksonville.
If you’re a boater then this is a great area to put your boat in and explore. Be sure to visit the popular Clark’s Fish Camp. Just pull up to the dock and get out. Also, be sure to explore Julington Creek. A popular boating spot and residential area.
Much of the housing stock is from the 80’s and 90’s with more recent development mixed in.