By Susie Scott

On July 2, the Mandarin Community Club celebrates its 99th birthday and kicks off a year-long celebration to recognize its milestone of 100 years of service to Mandarin.

The club’s history is closely tied to patriotic activities leading up to the nation’s entry into WWI. In 1916, a group of Mandarin citizens formed the Mandarin Liberty League prior to the nation’s April 6, 1917 entry in the Great War today referred to as WWI. 

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The Mandarin Liberty League created and promoted projects to assist with war efforts. They participated in patriotic parades; promoted Liberty Loan drives; and created garden projects, receiving an award from the Florida State Fair and Exposition. 

When the war ended, the group continued to gather, but the activities and purpose changed. People began bringing community issues to the group, and on July 2, 1923, 27 individuals met and founded the Mandarin Community Club.In fact, the group elected the same officers who “successfully directed” the Mandarin Liberty League, including Walter Jones, President; Mrs. William Jeacle, Vice-President; Miss Kate Monson, Secretary; and Mrs. C.M. Brown, treasurer.

Among the club’s early concerns were the “poor roads and the absence of electricity.” With club promotion and support, electricity finally came to Mandarin 13 years later, on June 5, 1936. In 1938, Edwin Jones and Carr Mina Jones gave the old Mandarin School to the Mandarin Community Club for the group’s home and headquarters. By that time, the historic building, constructed largely through the efforts of Mandarin winter resident famed author Harriet Beecher Stowe, was more than a half-century old and had served as Mandarin’s school for many decades.

[Author’s Note: Area residents are encouraged to join the club now and be part of the Mandarin Community Club and its centennial celebration. The community club has shaped Mandarin and it would not be what it is today without the club’s decades of influence and service to the Mandarin community. Visit for more information on membership or to get involved.]

Photo courtesy Mandarin Community Club
Mandarin Community Club in the 1920s.

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