With the arrival of pleasant weather, Historic St. Mary’s City is moving right ahead with construction of numerous new exhibits and projects.
Several archeological sites are continuing to be investigated, with new information constantly being unearthed.
On Sunday, the staff held a “show and tell” event to brief the public on the progress of projects at Maryland’s first capital.
The “St. James” house archeological site is moving into its final stages of investigation, and construction is anticipated to being this year of a new “interpretive center” exhibit to be located on site.
Excavators found remains of an old wooden plank road near the site on the St. Mary’s College of Maryland campus, as well as a disposal pit that served as a trash dump in the 17th century, but now holds a wealth of historical information.
Near the St. John’s site, work is underway to greatly expand the current “Van Sweringen” exhibit, with new building and interpretive artwork to give visitors a better feel of life in the late 1600s.
Garrett Van Sweringen was a Dutchman who played a major role in the development of the capital city. He was proprietor of what is believed the finest inn in the colony and operator of one of the first coffee houses in the colonies.
Reconstruction of the “print house” in the town center is nearing completion, and well as a new walkway project to the waterfront leading to the historic Dove, a recreation of one of two ships that sailed from England and discovered St. Mary’s city.
Roger Hill, Chief Operating Officer for St. Mary’s City, gave an update on the progress of the construction of the Brick Chapel of 1667, visible from Rt. 5.
Construction of the brick walls is expected to be complete by July, then work will begin on the roof of the structure.
The chapel will have exhibits build into it, including gravesites visible through a glass section through the floor, showing the final resting places of members of the Calvert family in their original lead coffins.
Hill also discussed plans that are being developed for the Anne Arundel Hall replacement and new museum/visitors center project.
Conceptual designs will be developed this year to determine the footprint of the new buildings. There a fund in the state budget for this project.
When completed in several years, there are plans to relocate there all the research departments for Historic St. Mary’s City. Also discussions are underway to create a new museum studies curriculum at the college to utilize the assets of the city.
Included in the preliminary plans for the museum is a footbridge crossing over Rt. 5.
For more information on the projects underway, visit the St. Mary’s City Web s