The Greenpoint Monitor Museum

2012-2013 "ROAD SHOW"

May 13, 2013



While being towed by the Rhode Island,
the USS Monitor got caught in a storm with dangerous waves.
Not following John Ericsson's design, caulking was placed under
the turret at its connection to the ship after it was brought to the
Brooklyn Navy Yard. John Ericsson's design showed a
tight fit for the turret without caulking. The caulking became
loose during the storm and allowed water under the turret.
Water entering the ship kept putting our her boilers. An
order was given to abandon ship.

The USS Monitor sunk on December 31, 1862.
Sixteen crewmen were lost that day.

In 1973 the USS Monitor was discovered 16 miles off
Cape Hatteras, North Carolina under 230 feet of water.
It lay upside down with the turret under the ship. The
two 11 inch Dahlgren guns were still inside the ship.
There were large holes in the exposed bottom of the
ship. During WWII the American Navy dropped depth
charges on the Monitor believing that she was an enemy submarine.

See the USS Monitor under water:

In order to protect the USS Monitor, the site was designated
as the nation's first marine sanctuary on January 30, 1975.
The site is managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration. Over the years artifacts have been recovered
from the Monitor including her anchor, propeller, lantern and
many smaller items. In 2001 Navy scuba divers recovered her steam
engine. In 2002 they recovered her turret. They are now being
conserved under water in a tank charged with an electric
current to remove over 100 years of aquatic growth.

The Greenpoint Monitor Museum was invited by NOAA
to participate in the 2001 and 2002 USS Monitor
recovery expeditions.

In 2001 Navy scuba divers recovered the USS Monitor's steam engine.
A barge was anchored above the USS Monitor. A recovery cage
was lowered by crane over the USS Monitor. The scuba divers
attached the steam engine to the cage. The crane
lifted both the cage and engine up to the barge.

In 2002 Navy scuba divers recovered the USS Monitor's turret.
The barge and crane were used again. Instead of using
the cage, this time a round spider-like lifting device
was used to bring the turret up 230' from its
resting place for over 100 years under the water.

George's ancestor, Assistant Surgeon Grenville Weeks,
was on the USS Monitor the day it sank.
He was rescued, but he lost three of his fingers as the
rescue boat hit the side of the USS Monitor.

Following is a quote of Assistant Surgeon, Grenville Weeks:

"Their names are for history; and so long
as we remain a people, so long will the work
of the Monitor be remembered, and her story
told to our children’s children....
The ‘little cheesebox on a raft’ has made
herself a name which will not soon be forgotten
by the American people."

George is fulfilling this quote of his ancestor.

See Assistant Surgeon Grenville Weeks' story

Click on the pictures below.

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The Museum is not-for-profit with 501(c)(3) status.


P.O. Box 220378
Brooklyn, New York 11222-0378

Janice Lauletta-Weinmann, President, Webmaster
George J. Weinmann, Webmaster

Copyright © 2002-2014 Janice & George J. Weinmann
All Rights Reserved.