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20th Anniversary


logo - 20th Monitor Turret Recovery

Saturday, August 6, 2022

10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. • The Mariners’ Museum and Park

All activities are included with $1 admission. Free for Mariners’ Museum Members.


Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of USS Monitor’s Turret Recovery

On August 5, 2002, the turret of USS Monitor broke from the water and emerged into daylight for the first time in 140 years. This year, we are excited to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this incredible achievement and those who set the groundwork to make it possible. 

Bring your family and friends for a fun-filled day that includes:

In-gallery Activities (Main Lobby):

A special scavenger hunt exploring the USS Monitor Center and all of the magnificent stories it holds. Walk through the galleries and engage with The Mariners’ team!

What’s in my cannon?
Mariners of all ages are invited to participate in a STEM-based archaeological dig using replicas of cannons found at USS Monitor‘s wreck site. Learn to build a tool to dig out the cannon’s concretion (also known as a thick, sandy build-up), and uncover what artifacts may be inside.

NOAA Monitor National Marine Sanctuary
Join representatives from NOAA as they share a spectacular dive of the iconic USS
Monitor! Using a virtual headset, NOAA will take you 240 feet below the waves to explore Monitor and swim with the marine life that now call the shipwreck home!

Lectures (Anna Huntington Room): 


We Rescued Monitor: How a NOAA-led Team Recovered USS Monitor‘s Most Famous Components

Presented by: Dr. John Broadwater, president of Spritsail Enterprises and vice president and chief archaeologist at JRS Explorations, Inc.

Time: 11 a.m.

Join Dr. Broadwater, former superintendent of Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, as he recounts the efforts of NOAA, the US Navy, The Mariners’ Museum and Park, and other agencies to recover the most famous and important components of the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor.

Monitor was discovered in 1973, lying 16 miles off the North Carolina Coast. In 1975, the wreck was designated America’s first National Marine Sanctuary. A series of scientific expeditions revealed that the wreck had begun to deteriorate rapidly, due to saltwater corrosion and storms. NOAA responded by developing a plan to recover as much of Monitor’s hull and contents as possible. Beginning in 1998, a series of deepwater expeditions recovered Monitor’s propeller, steam engine, and the famous rotating gun turret that was the prototype for all naval armament up to the present day. NOAA could not have accomplished these groundbreaking feats without the participation of the US Navy, which conducted most of the recovery work, and The Mariners’ Museum and Park, which assumed responsibility for conservation and display of recovered material.

Will Hoffman


Two Decades Conserving an Ironclad: An Overview of the Conservation of USS Monitor

Presenter: Will Hoffman, director of conservation and chief conservator

Time: 1 p.m.

Will Hoffman will talk about the efforts undertaken to maintain the iconic Civil War ironclad in the past two decades. With the arrival of Monitor’s turret in 2002, the Museum currently houses more than 210 tons of archaeological material. This lecture offers an overview of the conservation efforts to date, including the establishment of the USS Monitor Center and Batten Conservation Complex. Learn about the treatment of several high-profile objects as well as future conservation steps.

Make sure to complement your visit with lunch at Mariners’ Café!