Partnership Launched to Build a New Maryland Dove

The Historic St. Mary's City Commission (HSMC) and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) are teaming up to design and build a new Maryland Dove.

The original Dove sailed to the Maryland colony with the Ark, bringing the first settlers with in 1634. Dove was a small ship used in shallow waterways along the coast while the first colony and capital was being established.

The existing Maryland Dove is a replica of that late 17th-century trading ship. She was built in a shipyard near Cambridge in 1978. Owned by the state of Maryland, she is operated and maintained by Historic St. Mary's City.

But at 38 years old, the aging replica ship needs replaced. Historic St. Mary's City says even though she is hauled and repaired every year, Maryland Dove is reaching the point where it's going to be more cost-effective to rebuild her new.

“HSMC and CBMM are natural partners in this project,” said Regina Faden, executive director at Historic St. Mary’s City. “It fulfills both our missions and delivers a new Dove to tell the story of (early) Maryland."

State senator Adelaide Eckardt, state delegate Johnny Mautz and representatives for Governor Larry Hogan announced the partnership at the Maritime Museum in St. Michaels.

“This is a unique opportunity, a very historic opportunity as we bring together two of our wonderful highlights, both from the Eastern Shore and Southern Maryland,” Eckardt said.

According to Faden, the design process will get underway late this year, and the goal is to have the project finished in 2019. She will likely have two masts instead of three, and be more true to the original Dove's design.

Megan Viviano