Historic St. Mary’s City Commission

St. Mary’s City was Maryland’s first settlement and until 1695 its colonial capital.  After the capital was moved to Annapolis, St. Mary’s City was virtually abandoned and soon hardly any trace of the city could be seen.  Although the physical remains of the city disappeared, its story and legacy continue.

In 1840, the Maryland legislature created what is now St. Mary’s College of Maryland as “A Monument School of the People: and a celebration of Maryland founding site”.  The 19th and early 20th centuries saw a series of commemorations and pilgrimages to the site.  In 1934, Maryland marked the 300th anniversary of the colony’s founding with a massive historical event, and land was donated to reconstruct the Maryland State House of 1676.  Dr. Henry Chandlee Forman pioneered excavations that began the process of rediscovering the old city.

The Historic St. Mary’s City Commission (HSMCC) originated in 1965 when the Governor appointed the St. Mary’s City Restoration Study Commission.  In 1966 the St. Mary’s City Commission replaced the Restoration Study Commission. Formerly under the Department of Economic and Community Development, the Commission became part of the Department of Housing and Community Development in 1987.  The Commission was renamed Historic St. Mary’s City Commission in 1991. The Historic St. Mary’s City Commission was made an independent agency within the office of the Governor in 1997, and became affiliated formally with St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

Senate Bill 393 directs the HSMCC to “preserve and protect the archaeological and historical record of Maryland’s first colonial capital and to appropriately develop and use this historic and scenic site for the education, enjoyment, and general benefit of the public”.

With emphasis on the 17th century, the Commission studies the history of St. Mary’s City, preserves its archaeological evidence, and interprets that history for the public.  Governance and management of Historic St. Mary’s City, including the care, control, and maintenance of all its property and assets are the responsibility of the Commission. The Commission may acquire historical and cultural properties necessary for the proper use and administration of Historic St. Mary’s City. In addition, the Commission may accept private gifts, as well as Federal, State and local government grants.

Historic St. Mary’s City Commission members are appointed by the Governor of Maryland, with Senate advice. Each member serves a maximum of two 4-year terms.


William L. George, Chair (chosen by Commission in Sept., 1-year term), 2015
James M. Desmond, 2015
Todd B. Morgan, 2015
Jean B. Russo, Ph.D., 2015
Thomas Trezise, 2016
Kelsey R. M. Bush, 2017
Roland M. Colina, Sr., 2017
Laura J. Cripps, Ph.D., 2017
Danielle E. Troyan, 2017
Michael S. Loughran, 2018
Michael J. Whitson, 2018

Ex officio (voting):
Lawrence E. Leak, Ph.D., designee of Chair, Board of Trustees, St. Mary’s College of Maryland;
Samuel C. P. Baldwin, Jr, President, Historic St. Mary’s City Foundation.

Ex officio (nonvoting):
J. Ernest Bell II, designee of Senate President;
William “Howie” Grube, designee of House Speaker.



October 15, 2016
March 25, 2017
September 23, 2017
March 24, 2018

September 22, 2018

March 23, 2019

September 21, 2019

March 21, 2020

September 19, 2020

March 20, 2021


October 15, 2016 – Commission Meeting

October 15, 2016 – Research & Land Use Committee

October 11, 2016 – Education & Marketing Committee

October 7, 2016 – Finance & Administration Committee

September 14, 2015 – Education & Marketing Committee

September 14, 2015 – Finance & Administration Committee

September 8, 2015 – Research & Land Use Committee

March 22, 2015 – Commission Meeting

March 19, 2019 – Education & Marketing Committee

March 19, 2019 – Research & Land Use Committee

March 21, 2019 – Finance & Administration Committee

March 21, 2019 – Government Relations Committee

March 23, 2019 – Commission Meeting

September 21, 2019 – Commission Meeting


March 19, 2016 – Commission Meeting Minutes

September 21, 2019 – Commission Meeting Minutes

Related documents: