ANNAPOLIS – Historic St. Mary’s City got a $56,949 boost Wednesday for its efforts to preserve the site of Maryland’s first capital.
The Board of Public Works made the grant to support continued archeological study of the Town Center.
The money will be used to research the design of two colonial buildings, Smith’s Ordinary and Cordea’s Hope, so replicas can be constructed with historical accuracy. Smith’s Ordinary was a public house that provided food and lodging for town visitors and Cordea’s Hope was the home of an early mayor.
Joe Anderson, deputy director of Historic St. Mary’s City, said the research should be completed by early summer, and construction may begin in late summer or early fall.
The Town Center consisted of four buildings, Anderson said. Besides Smith’s Ordinary and Cordea’s Hope, it was the site of the Leonard Calvert house and a lawyer’s office.
Anderson said the site was at the true center of town – equidistant between the chapel and the statehouse – symbolizing a clear division between church and state.
Historic St. Mary’s City, a state museum and park, occupies 832 acres along the St. Mary’s River. It was once the property of the Calverts, Maryland’s founding family.
Anderson called the area one of the best preserved 17th century town sites in the country. The Board of Public Works consists of Gov. Parris N. Glendening, Comptroller Louis Goldstein and Treasurer Lucille Maurer. -30-