ST. MICHAELS — 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 earlier this month to help celebrate the beginning of construction of the new Maryland Dove.

As part of the museum’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 Gov. 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 Sen. Addie Eckardt, R-37-Mid-Shore; Sen. Jack Bailey, R-29-Calvert and St. Mary’s; Del. Johnny Mautz, R-37B-Talbot; St. Michaels Town Commissioner Michael Bibb; Father William George, chairman of the Historic St. Mary’s City Commission; and Melissa Kelly, Eastern Shore liaison for U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.

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. The museum’s construction of its successor will take place in full public view through 2021. To learn more about the existing Maryland Dove and construction of the new ship, visit marylanddove.org.

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