Maryland Dove is operated and maintained by Historic St. Mary’s City and owned by the state of Maryland.
The newest iteration of the ship is being built by the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md.
St. Mary’s City was Maryland’s first settlement and until 1695 its colonial capital. After the capital was moved to Annapolis, St. Mary’s City was virtually abandoned and soon hardly any trace of the city could be seen. Although the physical remains of the city disappeared, its story and legacy continue.
In 1840, the Maryland legislature created what is now St. Mary’s College of Maryland as “A Monument School of the People: and a celebration of Maryland founding site.” The 19th and early 20th centuries saw a series of commemorations and pilgrimages to the site. In 1934, Maryland marked the 300th anniversary of the colony’s founding with a massive historical event, and land was donated to reconstruct the Maryland State House of 1676. Dr. Henry Chandlee Forman pioneered excavations that began the process of rediscovering the old city.
Historic St. Mary's City commemorates the fourth permanent English settlement in North America, Maryland’s first city and for 61 years, its colonial capital. HSMC has been recognized as a National Historic Landmark since 1969 and is one of Southern Maryland’s leading tourism attractions.
The Historic St. Mary’s City Commission originated in 1965 when the Governor appointed the St. Mary’s City Restoration Study Commission. In 1966 the St. Mary’s City Commission replaced the Restoration Study Commission. Formerly under the Department of Economic and Community Development, the Commission became part of the Department of Housing and Community Development in 1987. The Commission was renamed Historic St. Mary’s City Commission in 1991. The Historic St. Mary’s City Commission was made an independent agency within the office of the Governor in 1997, and became affiliated formally with St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
Senate Bill 393 directs the HSMCC to “preserve and protect the archaeological and historical record of Maryland’s first colonial capital and to appropriately develop and use this historic and scenic site for the education, enjoyment, and general benefit of the public.”
The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment, and culture of the entire Chesapeake Bay region, and making this resource available to all.
Every aspect of fulfilling this mission is driven by CBMM’s values of relevancy, authenticity, and stewardship, along with a commitment to providing engaging guest experiences and transformative educational programming, all while serving as a vital community partner.