State officials, members of the Historic St. Mary’s City Commission and Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Board of Governors, staff from both HSMC and CBMM, and members of the public all gathered in St. Michaels, Md., in June to help celebrate the beginning of construction of the new Maryland Dove.
As part of CBMM’s Maritime Day festivities, a keel laying ceremony for the new ship—a reproduction of the 17th-century trading ship that in 1634 accompanied the first European settlers to what is now Maryland—dignitaries from both sides of the Chesapeake Bay offered remarks and congratulations on the start of the historic project.
Remarks were given by Pete Lesher, CBMM’s Chief Curator; Regina Faden, Executive Director of HSMC; and Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, on behalf of Governor Larry Hogan.
“We are absolutely committed to preserving the heritage and the history of our state, and especially our maritime heritage,” Haddaway-Riccio said. “We are really pleased that this new Dove is going to be more authentic and more like the original Dove—I think that is something that is really to be commended.”
Also in attendance were State Senator Addie Eckardt, from District 37; State Senator Jack Bailey, from District 29; State Delegate Johnny Mautz, from District 37B; Michael Bibb, Commissioner for the Town of St. Michaels; Father William George, Chair of the Historic St. Mary’s City Commission; and Melissa Kelly, Eastern Shore Liaison for Senator Chris Van Hollen.
All of the day’s attendees were invited to sign their name on Maryland Dove’s new keel, to see the lofting of its new design, and to help make trunnels, or large wooden nails, that will be used during its construction.
Maryland Dove is owned by the State of Maryland and maintained and operated by Historic St. Mary’s City. CBMM’s construction of its successor will take place in full public view through 2021. To learn more about the existing Maryland Dove and CBMM’s construction of the new ship, visit marylanddove.org, a recently launched website dedicated to Maryland Dove’s past, present, and future.