Maple Leaf (shipwreck)

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Maple Leaf (Passenger Steamer) (Wreck)
Mandarin FL Maple Leaf torpedo01.jpg
Reproduction of torpedo which sank the ship
Maple Leaf (shipwreck) is located in Florida
Maple Leaf (shipwreck)
Maple Leaf (shipwreck) is located in the US
Maple Leaf (shipwreck)
Location Duval County, Florida, USA
Nearest city Jacksonville, Florida
Coordinates 30°09′31.0″N 81°40′49.7″W / 30.158611°N 81.680472°W / 30.158611; -81.680472Coordinates: 30°09′31.0″N 81°40′49.7″W / 30.158611°N 81.680472°W / 30.158611; -81.680472
NRHP Reference # 94001650[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 12, 1994
Designated NHL October 12, 1994[2]

The Maple Leaf is a U.S. National Historic Landmark shipwreck in Jacksonville, Florida, United States. The Maple Leaf was first launched as a freight and passenger vessel from the Marine Railway Yard in Kingston, Ontario in 1851.[3] The 181-foot side wheel steamer measured 24.7 feet at the beam.[3]


It was a Union American Civil War transport struck by a Confederate torpedo - what we would now call a mine - as it was crossing the St. Johns River near Jacksonville on April 1, 1864.[3] Four crew members lost their lives in the sinking.[3] This was the first torpedo casualty of the War.[4] The USS Norwich was dispatched to assess the condition of the wreck on April 2, and Captain Henry W. Dale concluded his ship and cargo as a total loss.[5]


It is located in the St. Johns River, to the west of the adjacent Mandarin neighborhood, in southeastern Duval County. The wreck was deemed a threat to river navigation so the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had all structural components above the ship's main deck removed to clear the channel.[3] The shipwreck was rediscovered by the St. Johns Archaeological Expeditions, Inc. in 1984.[3] Volunteers identified the wreck in 1992.[6]

On October 12, 1994, it was designated a National Historic Landmark.[1]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ MAPLE LEAF (Passenger Steamer) (Wreck) at National Historic Landmarks Program
  3. ^ a b c d e f FJ Cantelas, BA Rodgers (1997). "Tools, Techniques, and Zero Visibility Archaeology". In: EJ Maney, Jr and CH Ellis, Jr (Eds.) the Diving for Science...1997, Proceedings of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences, Seventeenth annual Scientific Diving Symposium, Northeastern University, Boston, MA. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  4. ^ Martin, Richard A. (1993). "The Great River War on the St. Johns.". The Maple Leaf: An Extraordinary American Civil War Shipwreck. Keith V. Holland, Lee B. Manley, and James W. Towart (eds.). Saint Johns Archaeological Expeditions, Jacksonville, Florida. pp. 23–30. ISBN 0-9632286-0-9. 
  5. ^ Barnette, Michael C. (2003). Shipwrecks of the Sunshine State: Florida's Submerged History. Association of Underwater Explorers. pp. 37–38. ISBN 0-9743036-0-7. 
  6. ^ Cantelas, Frank J. (1992). "Maple Leaf. Future Management and Past Field Investigations". Report prepared by the Program in Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina. Submitted to St. Johns Archaeological Expeditions, Inc. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Maple Leaf (shipwreck) at Wikimedia Commons