Something really great will happen on March 28th in St. Michaels around 10 am in the morning. With a modest number of spectators, quite a few proud board members, and perhaps the entire staff of Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum on hand, one of the largest cranes in the Mid-Atlantic will slowly and very carefully lift the new Maryland Dove into the Chesapeake Bay waters for the first time.
Painstakingly built by the CBMM talented boat builders and volunteers to replicate as much as possible the 44-foot vessel that arrived on the Chesapeake Bay(along with its sister ship, The Ark) in 1634, it carried passengers who would form the State of Maryland and become one of the state’s iconic symbols of the colony’s earliest days.
Set to replace the current replica in St. Mary’s, which James B. Richardson built in a shipyard near Cambridge in 1978, the new Dove represents an extraordinary partnership with CBMM and Historic St. Mary’s City. Working together over the last two years, the two cultural institutions have used their combined resources to bring back to the Chesapeake Bay this extraordinary relic.
After the Dove hits the water next week, it will embark on its maiden journey over the St. Mary’s, where it will be permanently on display when not visiting Chesapeake Bay port towns every year.
As the CBMM prepares for an emotional send-off, the Spy wanted to talk to the Museum’s curator, Pete Lesher, and Historic St. Mary’s City’s director of education, Peter Friesen, to help our readers understand the significance of the Dove in Maryland’s history, including the tragic consequences these new white settlers had on the Native-American community and culture.