After 44 years of service, the 1978 Dove was hauled out of the St. Mary’s River for the final time on January 17, 2023. Designed by William Avery Baker (deceased) and built-in Cambridge, Maryland by James B. Richardson (deceased), the ship was based on the small merchant vessel that sailed to the Maryland colony in the 1600s.

1978 Dove is owned by the state of Maryland and operated and maintained by the Historic St. Mary’s City Commission. 

1978 Dove served as the floating ambassador for Historic St. Mary’s City (HSMC), occasionally traveling to different ports of call in Maryland.

When not on outreach trips, the ship was an outdoor exhibit at the living history museum. The age and natural deterioration of the 1978 Dove necessitated HSMC to commission the design, construction, and launch of a new Maryland Dove.

Built-in full view of the public at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael’s, Maryland, the new ship was launched in the summer of 2022. 

After careful consideration and examination of the ship in winter 2022, HSMC staff determined 1978 Dove should be taken out of the St. Mary’s River one final time. Historic St. Mary’s City Commission is actively pursuing alternatives to make the best use of 1978 Dove


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