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THE CREATION OF THE NEW MARYLAND DOVE

EXPERIENCE THE REPRODUCTION OF THE VESSEL THAT ACCOMPANIED THE FIRST EUROPEAN SETTLERS TO MARYLAND

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A construction project of historic proportions is underway at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) in St. Michaels, Md., with both international ties and links to the founding of Maryland.

Maryland Dove is a representation of the vessel that accompanied the first European settlers to Maryland in 1634. Owned by the state of Maryland and operated and maintained by Historic St. Mary’s City (HSMC), the ship serves as HSMC’s floating ambassador and one of its most popular exhibitions. And thanks to funding from the State and a partnership between CBMM and HSMC, the 42-year-old ship will be getting a brand-new successor.

Contruction of the Maryland Dove by the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
Take a day trip to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Maryland and view construction of the Maryland Dove in person.
Photo by Dick Bodorff; Courtesy of Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

“We are thrilled and honored to have been selected to build a new Maryland Dove,” said CBMM President Kristen Greenaway. “Over the course of the next few years, our shipwrights and apprentices will build a historically accurate replacement for the existing ship, and we welcome guests to be a part of the construction and education experience.”

CBMM’s working Shipyard began construction on the new Maryland Dove in 2019 and has recently completed the framing stage of the build, giving guests an idea of what the overall shape of the new state icon will be. The new ship will differ slightly from its existing counterpart thanks to new historical and archaeological research that’s been done by experts on the HSMC staff and sources like the Vasa Museum in Sweden.

“This research is going to allow the new ship to be more historically accurate,” said Regina Faden, executive director at HSMC. “There were no surviving plans of the original Dove of 1634, so we’re happy that advances in research and technologies over the past 40 years will be informing the design of the new ship and allowing us to better tell the story of (early) Maryland.”

Maryland Dove Construction
Drawing by naval architect Iver Franzen shows what the new Maryland Dove will look like after its constructed.
Photo Courtesy of Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

This is the largest project to date for CBMM’s shipwrights, who serve as a tangible connection to the Bay’s rich story of boatbuilding. CBMM is committed to preserving and transferring traditional boatbuilding skills in its Shipyard to help keep them alive for both new craftsmen and the general public. CBMM’s Shipyard provides an educational experience for guests on not just how ships are built, but on the timber, tools and labor involved, and the social world within which that building takes place both now and historically.

Maryland Dove Construction
Since last year, shipwrights at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum have been working to build a new Maryland Dove, a representation of the vessel that accompanied the first European settlers to Maryland in 1634 in full public view. The ship is owned by the state of Maryland and operated and maintained by Historic St. Mary’s City. To learn more about the new Maryland Dove project, visit marylanddove.org. Photo by Dick Bodorff; Courtesy of Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

On Maryland Dove, the shipwrights’ next steps involve internal and external planking. Take a day trip to CBMM in St. Michaels, Maryland and view the Maryland Dove construction project in person. Plan your visit at welcome.cbmm.org.