Posted on June 23, 1999 at 00:13:04:
At the request of Senator Roy Dyson (D-Calvert, St. Mary's), the State Highway Administration will be installing seven directional signs to Maryland's birthplace -- St. Clement's Island -- by mid July, according to SHA officials. The directional signs will be placed on major highways such as Routes 301, 4, 5 and 235.
"The Board of Directors of the St. Clement's Island Potomac River Museum Board of Trustees and I felt very strongly that this extraordinary piece of history was not getting its due recognition," said Dyson, Chairman of the museum's board of trustees. "These signs will direct many more people to this historic sight than if they had not been installed. Too few people in Maryland know the significance and history of St. Clement's Island. Now all Maryland residents, especially those from St. Mary's, Calvert and Charles will know how to get to this storied island. It's a wonderful place to take the family or friends on a day trip to a truly historical piece of land."
It was at St. Clement's Island that the Ark and the Dove arrived from England on March 25, 1634 to set up what eventually became the state of Maryland. The state was named after Queen Henrieta Maria. The passengers on the Ark and the Dove were fleeing religious persecution in England and hoped to set up a new life of religious tolerance in the land Leonard Calvert named Terra Maria, or Mary's land. Upon arriving on St. Clement's Island, Leonard Calvert and Father Andrew White ordered a large cross to be erected to give thanks to God for their safe passage to their new land. A large white cross resembling the original cross of 1634 currently stands tall on St. Clement's Island.
The directional signs will be placed as far north as Brandywine in Prince George's County at the Rt. 5 and 301 split. From there, history buffs will be able to better find their way to Maryland's birthplace by following the well-placed signs to Colton's Point as they head south.
The new signs aren't the only new major additions at the St. Clement's Island museum. Recently, the board of trustees and St. Mary's County Commissioners christened the water taxi Tolerance which will take visitors out to the historic island. "There are some truly magnificent things happening at this special place," Dyson said.
Call the museum at (301) 769-2222 for more information.