"St. Mary's City - the first capitol of MD" St. Marys City by grandmaR

St. Marys City Travel Guide: 25 reviews and 84 photos

Governor's Cup 2000

St. Mary's City or St. Maries Citty was the first permanent settlement in Maryland and the fourth in British North America. It was established in 1634 by about 140 settlers who arrived on the Ark and the Dove.

The Governor's Cup Race starts in Annapolis (the current capitol) on a Friday evening, and ends up in St. Mary's City (first capitol) usually on Saturday morning. Many boats then anchor in Horseshoe Bend, and have a party. This particular year, they used the replica of the Dove as the finish line.

The original settlers of Maryland were Catholics who came under the leadership of Leonard Calvert and Father Andrew White to seek religious freedom. The land was purchased from the local Indians who called the area Yaocomico. There is a Yeocomico River across the Potomac in Virginia.

Leonard Calvert laid out the site of St. Mary's City, and later became Maryland's first governor. The name of St. Mary's City was chosen to honor Mary, the mother of Christ. The name of Maryland, however, was chosen to honor Queen Henrietta Marie, wife of Charles I of England.

Saint Mary's City served as the capitol of Maryland until the capitol was moved to Annapolis in 1695.

After the capitol moved, St. Mary's City declined until it had ceased to exist by 1720.

Now except for St. Mary's College of Maryland (a public Maryland college), the outdoor museum include the square-rigged ship, the Maryland Dove, Godiah Spray's fine tobacco plantation, the State House of 1676, and a Woodland Indian Hamlet are the primary focus of the town. Visitor Center exhibits center on history, as does an introductory video presentation. Miles of self-guiding walking trails and stunning river vistas round out a trip to this active historic site; special events are scheduled on weekends from March-December.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Historic Area of Maryland's first settlement
  • Cons:Few services
  • In a nutshell:St. Mary's College and old historic capital reconstruction
  • Last visit to St. Marys City: Oct 2002
  • Intro Updated Sep 29, 2004
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Reviews (13)

Comments (1)

  • littlesam1's Profile Photo
    Oct 9, 2007 at 8:04 AM

    I went to St Marys City for the first time this past Sunday. Also went to Point Lookout and saw the lighthouse. It was a nice day trip. Being a life long Md resident I guess its about time I visited the founding area.


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