There are great educational opportunities for young and old at Maryland Day, highlighting the vibrancy of this proud state's heritage.

Maryland Day Reveals Lesser-Known History of This Proud State

Although it’s officially known as “Maryland Day,” you don’t have to be a Maryland native to enjoy the many events happening around the state this weekend. There are multiple celebrations highlighting the historical significance of this Chesapeake Bay state. Visitors and locals can experience the vibrancy of Maryland’s place in the story of our country in a unique way.

Maryland Day commemorates March 25, 1634, the day that the first colonists landed on Maryland soil. Two small ships, the Ark and the Dove, had sailed with 150 passengers from the Isle of Wight in England and traveled for four months before landing at St. Clements Island. There they negotiated with Piscataway tribe leaders for a permanent settlement, which they named after Pope Clement I, the patron saint of mariners.

An artistic rendering of the Ark and the Dove

In St. Mary’s City, a ceremony will offer a blessing by Piscataway-Conoy tribal chairman Francis Gray, with other featured speakers offering remarks. Later, there will be demonstrations from hide tanning to hearth cooking, offering glimpses into the lives of both 17th century Native Americans and the colonial settlers. Visitors can enjoy free admission to their living history museum and see what life was like back in the 1600s. From there, you can travel to St. Clement’s Island for an official ceremony commemorating the Native Americans and the colonists, attend a mass, and visit the island’s museum free of charge.
Saturday, 10am-4pm
18751 Hogaboom Lane
Historic St. Mary’s City, Md.

On Saturday, Anne Arundel County Archaeology Lab will be exhibiting a large variety of artifacts from recent excavations at Historic London Town on the South River, from 19th-century African American tenant farms to 13,000-year-old Native American camps. Bring the kids and learn to sort artifacts, learn about local history, and play Indiana Jones for the afternoon.
Saturday, 10am-4pm
839 Londontown Road, Edgewater, Md. 21037

Not far away on the Rhode River, the Smithsonian Educational Research Center is hosting several events at their Edgewater campus. Scenic Rivers Land Trust is holding a series of guided hikes of the protected Contee Farm area of the campus, allowing visitors to learn about the origins of farming and commerce on the Chesapeake as well as the importance of land conservation.

One of few remaining examples of a colonial farm in Maryland, the Goshen Farm was originally founded in 1663 and operated as a working farm until the 1970s. Tucked away behind the Cape. St. Claire Elementary School, the farm seeks to educate and entertain, with events geared at spreading awareness for the historical significance of the land.

The Hospital was originally built on a willow farm, and patients were used as laborers. Photo courtesy of the Friends of Crownsville Patient Cemetery.

The Crownsville Hospital Patient Cemetery was originally built as the Crownsville State Hospital for the Negro Insane, in 1910, on land that had been used to farm tobacco and willow. But the conditions of the “hospital” were often little more than a work camp, with poor conditions, forced labor, and little to no medical care. Our Legacy Tours, a group centered in the stories and experiences of the African American voices that built Maryland, will offer tours of the hospital grounds to honor those who lived and died there.
Saturday, 11am-1pm
Crownsville and Marbury Rd,
Crownsville, Md

In 1790, following the Revolutionary War, Stephen Hancock, Jr. purchased 127.5 acres of farmland near Pasadena for a whopping 255 pounds. This area, on Bodkin Creek off the Patapsco River, was later established as Hancock’s Resolution. It operated as a working farm, staying in the Hancock family for eight generations before passing to the Annapolis Historic Society for preservation. On Maryland Day, you can explore the farm and learn about the significance of Maryland’s farming communities in the earliest days of our nation’s growth.  
Sunday, March 24, 1-4pm
2795 Bayside Beach Road
Pasadena, MD

The actual anniversary of Maryland Day falls on a Monday, and the organizers at the St. Clements Island Museum have a special program planned in observation of the founding of the state. When the Ark and Dove landed, Father Andrew White, a Jesuit priest later referred to as the “Apostle of Maryland,” spoke the first mass on the spot. St. Clements Island Museum will begin their day with a mass at 10am on the island in remembrance of White’s message. Later, at 2pm, a meeting between members of the Piscataway Nation and the first families of Maryland will commemorate the moment colonists traded axes, hatchets, rakes, and cloth for the 30 miles of land that later became the Province of Maryland. Historical re-enactors will be on site to bring greater meaning to the celebration, and kids’ activities, food trucks, and much more will keep all family members interested and entertained.