FAQ about Historic St. Mary’s City Maryland

Are those the buildings the colonists lived in?

No. Some are reconstructions, new buildings with the features of old ones built on their original locations. The Brick Chapel of 1667, Cordea’s Hope, Smith’s Ordinary, and the Print House are reconstructions. Other buildings at HSMC are recreations, new buildings built to look like old ones but not in their original location. The Spray Plantation, the Indian Hamlet, and the State House are recreations.

Do we need to purchase tickets to tour the site?

You do not need a ticket to visit The Shop at Farthings Ordinary, the State House, and the St. John’s Museum. You do need a ticket to visit the living history sites – the Maryland Dove, the Woodland Indian Hamlet, Town Center, and the Godiah Spray Tobacco Plantation. You can buy tickets at the Visitor Center and The Shop at Farthing’s Ordinary. Visit Admission & Hours for more information.

Where is the city?

Underground. When the colonial capital moved to Annapolis in 1695, the name remained. Some of the buildings that once stood here were dismantled and their parts re-used. Others were left to decay. Because the site of the city was farmed and relatively undisturbed, remnants of the city remain buried under ground. This area is one of the finest 17th-century colonial archaeology sites in the nation.

Is the Maryland Dove the actual ship that brought the settlers over in 1634?

No. Wooden ships don’t last that long! The Maryland Dove was built in 1977-1988 to commemorate the smaller of the two ships that brought the colonists to Maryland. She evokes a coastal trading vessel of the late 1600s.

How long will it take to tour the site?

Allow about four hours to visit the four living history sites, another hour to tour the St. John’s Site Museum.

Is there any place to eat at HSMC?

Snacks and beverages are sold in The Shop at Farthing’s Ordinary. An extensive buffet is available most days in the Great Room at the St. Mary’s College of Maryland Campus Center, about ¼ mile from The Shop at Farthing’s Ordinary. Check with the Visitor Center, the Shop or online at St. Mary’s County Tourism to learn about other off-site dining options.

Can we walk to all of the sites?

A 1 ¾ mile loop will take you from the Visitor Center to the Indian Hamlet, Town Center, the Maryland Dove, the Shop, the Chapel, and back to the Visitor Center. You may wish to drive to the St. John’s Museum (1 ¼ mi. from the Visitor Center) and the Godiah Spray Tobacco Plantation (½ mile from the Visitor Center). Check out our Museum Map for more information.

Are you open year-round?

The museum is open March through November. Our Calendar of Events has the details. While the living history sites are closed, visitors are welcome to stroll the grounds and enjoy the interpretive signage.

Can we feed the animals at HSMC?

No. In order to keep the livestock healthy, we do not allow visitors to feed them. Watch our events schedule for special opportunities to help at feeding time.

How can I schedule a guided tour for my group?

HSMC has trained guides to lead tours that suit all ages and most interests. For more information visit our Tours page or contact the Group Tours office at Groups@HSMCdigsHistory.org or240-895-4979.

How can I use HSMC properties for a private event?

HSMC has a number of beautiful and unique venues that can be leased for private and corporate events. For more information visit our Private Events page or contact the Events Coordinator at Events@HSMCdigsHistory.org or 240-895-4991.

How do I obtain images for use in my book/presentation/article or get permissionto film at HSMC?

HSMC has an excellent image library. There is a nominal charge for processing requests, typically $75/image for commercial ventures. HSMC also licenses its properties to filmmakers on and off-site. Contact Marketing at Marketing@HSMCdigsHistory.org or 240-895-4967.

How do I contact HSMC?

Our main phone number is 240-895-4990, and email is Info@HSMCdigsHistory.org. Visit our Contact us page for more information.

Who owns HSMC?

The State of Maryland. HSMC is an independent entity under the Governor’s Office. It is governed by the Historic St. Mary’s City Commission.

Can I purchase from the gift shop online?

Yes! We offer a limited number of gifts to order online for The Shop at Farthings Ordinary. Read more about purchasing gifts online here…