Historic St. Mary's City was Maryland's first settlement and for sixty-one years - until 1695 - its colonial capital.
The Historic St. Mary's City Commission originated in 1965 when the Governor appointed the St. Mary's City Restoration Study Commission (Joint Resolution 41, Acts of 1965). The St. Mary's City Commission replaced the study commission in 1966 (Chapter 115, Acts of 1966). Formerly under the Department of Economic and Community Development, the Commission became part of the Department of Housing and Community Development in 1987 (Chapter 311, Acts of 1987). The Commission was renamed Historic St. Mary's City Commission in 1991 (Chapter 590, Acts of 1991). In 1997, it was made an independent agency within the office of the Governor and became affiliated formally with St. Mary's College of Maryland (Chapter 583, Acts of 1997).
The Commission preserves, develops, and maintains Historic St. Mary's City, an outdoor museum and archeological park on the site of Maryland's original settlement. 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.
The 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.
The Commission has seventeen members. Thirteen are appointed to four-year terms by the Governor with Senate advice and consent. Of four ex officio members, two vote and two are nonvoting members. The Commission appoints the Executive Director (Code 1957, Art. 83B, secs. 5-201 through 5-212).
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