Mandarin Florida is a neighborhood located in the southernmost portion of Jacksonville, in Duval County, Florida, United States. It is located on the eastern banks of the St. Johns River, across from Orange Park. Mandarin Florida was named after the mandarin orange in 1830 by Calvin Reed, a prominent resident of the area .
Once called “a tropical paradise” by author Harriet Beecher Stowe , the quaint area of Mandarin Florida 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.
The majority of the land was planted with orange trees for many years, but a freeze in the early 1980s destroyed a lot of the crop. Orange farmers decided not to replant their destroyed trees and sell off the land to developers.
Just a short drive south of Jacksonville’s city center, the community is bordered by Beauclerc to the north, Julington Creek to the south and St. John’s River to the west.