“Meet the Maple Leaf Divers” at Mandarin Museum from noon till 4
If you have not had a chance to see the exhibit yet we hope you will be able to get in to view the wonderful artifacts in 2016. Many of the original 150th Anniversary artifacts have gone to Washington, D.C. for eventual placement in the National Museum of the U.S. Army. But, new items have been brought in that have not been on display at Mandarin before.
We are very excited that Dr. Holland and the divers want to continue to have “Meet the Maple Leaf Divers” days, an opportunity for visitors to meet the men who actually retrieved the artifacts during dark water dives into the wreckage over 20 years ago.
“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 at the gate to Walter Jones Park 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.
Also enjoy the informative exhibits and artifacts, 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.
The artifacts are on loan to us from the Florida Division of Historical Resources.