The Maryland Dove is hoisted to be placed into the water for the first time. Photo: CBMM

Party Like It’s 1634 with Md. Dove

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) has been industriously working away to finish the new interpretation of the Maryland Dove, one of the two ships that arrived to start the Maryland colony.

Bay Bulletin was there as it was finally splashed in March, after five years of planning, research, and building, including through the pandemic. Now CBMM is inviting the public to a dock party to celebrate the Dove‘s construction.

This Saturday, May 28, the St. Michaels campus opens at 10 a.m. and the festivities start at 11. Guests will enjoy food, drinks, and live music as CBMM’s shipwrights give talks on the construction process and rigging of this unique vessel. At 2 p.m., CBMM and Historic St. Mary’s City leaders will lead a toast to the ship. The party is included with general admission to the museum (free for CBMM members).

At Saturday’s event, CBMM will also begin offering for the season drop-in cruises aboard 1920 buyboat Winnie Estelle, which will run Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons throughout the summer. Boarding passes are limited.

If you miss this weekend’s party, you can see the new Maryland Dove docked at the maritime museum through the summer. Then it will move to Southern Maryland and Historic St. Mary’s City will officially accept it at the end of August.

The ship, a representation of the late 17th-century trading ship, will replace an existing 1970s-built Maryland Dove reproduction. That tall ship, built by Cambridge boatbuilder Jim Richardson, was nearing the end of its useful life.

Decades of new research allowed CBMM shipwrights to build a more historically accurate version of the Dove, as detailed in Chesapeake Bay Magazine‘s July 2021 issue. It will serve as a historic ambassador for the state of Maryland.

-Meg Walburn Viviano