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St. Clements Island
Maryland State Park
Once known as Blackiston Island, St. Clement's Island was the first landing site of the Maryland colonists on March 25, 1634. Father Andrew White, one of the leaders of the expedition, wrote that "in this place we first offered [mass], erected a crosse, and with devotion took solemn possession of the Country."
The colonists decided that the island was not suitable for their settlement and moved south to St. Mary's City. On the 300th anniversary of the landing in 1934, a large cross was erected on the island to commemorate the event. Today, the island has eroded from 400 acres to about 40 acres. Although the island has seen many different uses, today, the State of Maryland has stabilized the erosion and returned the island to a natural state. It is still the site of the annual Blessing of the Fleet, which takes place the first weekend in October. A special boat runs to St. Clement's Island only during the Blessing of the Fleet. St. Clements Island is a site on the Southern Maryland Religious Freedom Byway, a route of historic sites dealing with the establishment of religious freedom in the U.S.