Meet the Maple Leaf Divers


Summer Dates 2017

June17, July 15, August 19
Noon until 4 pm


Front row l-r: Dr. Keith Holland, Steve Michaelis, Bobby Lunsford Back row l-r: Paul Kramer, Larry Tipping, Mike Dupes

Dr. Keith Holland and several of his team of divers who recovered artifacts from the Civil War shipwreck, The Maple Leaf, will be present at Mandarin Museum on select dates to meet you and personally answer all of your burning questions about the shipwreck site that is Duval County’s only National Historic Landmark.

“Meet the Maple Leaf Divers” days will be occur as the schedule above indicates every month from noon until 4 pm. Even if you have already visited, if you have not met these men and talked with them, you must return when they are in-house. Look for the red-and-white Divers flag and you will know they are there.

Currently on display are rarely seen artifacts that represent military items, personal effects of Union soldiers and articles taken by the soldiers from plantation homes in South Carolina on the way to Florida.  Hear about the ship, the archaeological expedition and the artifacts from those who know first-hand – the men who actually dived into the dark waters of the St. Johns and touched every piece that was retrieved.

See the beautiful model of the ship, view the actual diving suit of lead diver Lee Manley and listen to Mr.  Manley and Keith Holland talking to each other on a tape that was made during one of the earliest expeditions on the shipwreck site in the late 1980s.

Learn more by purchasing the book “Maple Leaf – An Extraordinary American Civil War Shipwreck”. This book is the only book written about this ship, the dives and the cultural material that is so historically important. It was out of print for 20 years, but Dr. Holland has allowed the Mandarin Museum to reprint it as a 150th Anniversary edition. Buy a copy and have it autographed by the very men you will see pictured in the book. It is a treasure that you will want to pass down through your family. Special wooden magnets of the ship are also available in the museum bookstore as well as beautiful note cards.