The Weathered Tobacco Barns and Oyster Shucking Houses of St. Mary’s

In Maryland's Mother County, the Past Endures Amid Rapid Change

In 1634, 27 years after English colonists landed at Jamestown, a group of entrepreneurs and adventurers led by Leonard Calvert, son of the 1st Lord Baltimore, sailed forth on the ships Ark and Dove to establish the Maryland colony.

They named their new capital St. Mary’s City to honor the Virgin Mary. Catholics like the Calverts had experienced religious persecution in England, and soon they issued a proclamation extending freedom of worship to all (Trinitarian) Christians. This then-radical announcement established the Maryland colony’s reputation as the birthplace of the American values of religious …