The Maryland Dove, a 40 ton capacity cargo ship, was built in 1633 and sailed alongside the Ark, carrying colonists and cargo from England to the Eastern Coast of the United States. The passengers eventually founded a settlement “St. Mary’s” – Maryland’s first capital.
The Dove’s life was not long – history says she set sail back to England in 1635 and was never seen again – but her impact on the establishment of the colony of Maryland is undisputed. According to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum:
The two ships arrived at Old Point Comfort on 24 Feburary 1634, after a voyage of three months (of which 66 days were spent at sea). After spending a week at Old Point Comfort, they departed on 3 March to sail up the Chesapeake to the Potomac River, where they landed on St. Clements Island. They spent the rest of March exploring and negotiating with the Indians for a place to settle. On 25 March, Father Andrew White held a Mass of Thanksgiving to celebrate the purchase of 30 square miles of land on the East Bank of the St. Mary’s River, and on 27 March the colonists departed St. Clements to occupy the land they had purchased, naming their settlement “St. Mary’s”.
Although the original Dove was presumed lost at Sea, the Maryland Dove (or Dove II), was built in 1978 and serves as a floating representation of the original ship. The State Ship of Maryland is visited by 40,000 visitors per year. However, the Dove II is deteriorating and is not certified as a passenger ship by the United States Coast Guard.
That’s where Iron City’s own Steve Cross steps in.
The Dove III is currently in the beginning stages of construction. She will be built using Southern Live Oak from southwest Georgia – a material that is incredibly durable and rot resistant – from Cross Sawmill. Steve and co-host Dustin Dowdy interviewed Joe Connor, the Lead Shipwright on the construction of the Maryland Dove, which you can hear below.