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City of Dover
—  City  —
Central Square c. 1905

Nickname(s): The Garrison City
Location within New Hampshire
Coordinates: 43°11′41″N 70°52′30″W / 43.19472°N 70.875°W / 43.19472; -70.875
Country United States
State New Hampshire
County Strafford
Settled 1623
Incorporated 1623 (town)
Incorporated 1855 (city)
 - City Manager Mike Joyal
 - Mayor Scott Myers
 - City Council Bob Carrier
David Scott
Catherine Cheney
Karen Weston
Douglas DeDe
Dean Trefethen
Richard Callaghan
Steve McCusker
 - Total 29.0 sq mi (75.2 km2)
 - Land 26.7 sq mi (69.2 km2)
 - Water 2.3 sq mi (6.1 km2)  8.06%
Elevation 50 ft (15 m)
Population (2007)
 - Total 28,775
 - Density 1,077.7/sq mi (415.8/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 03820-03822
Area code(s) 603
FIPS code 33-18820
GNIS feature ID 0866618

Dover is a city in Strafford County, New Hampshire, in the United States of America. The population was 26,884 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Strafford County, and home to Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, the Woodman Institute Museum, and the Children's Museum of New Hampshire.




According to historian Jeremy Belknap, the area was called Wecohamet by native Abenaki Indians. The first known European to explore the region was Martin Pring from Bristol, England in 1603. Settled in 1623 as Hilton's Point by brothers William and Edward Hilton, Dover is the oldest permanent settlement in New Hampshire, and the seventh oldest in the United States. It is one of the colony's four original townships, and once included Durham, Madbury, Newington and Lee. It also included Somersworth and Rollinsford, together which Indians called Newichawannock after the Newichawannock River, now Salmon Falls River.

The Hiltons' name survives today at Hilton Park on Dover Point, located where they landed near the confluence of the Cochecho and Bellamy rivers with the Piscataqua. They had been sent from London by The Company of Laconia, which intended to establish a colony and fishery around the Piscataqua. In 1631, however, it contained only three houses.

In 1633, the Plantation of Cochecho was bought by a group of English Puritans who planned to settle in New England, including Viscount Saye and Sele, Baron Brooke and John Pym. They promoted colonization in America, and that year Hilton's Point would receive an infusion of pioneers, many from Bristol. It would also receive another name. While Captain Thomas Wiggin was agent for the proprietors, granting small lots to keep the settlement compact, it was called Bristol. Atop the nearby hill, the settlers built a meetinghouse, surrounded by an entrenchment. To the east of it, they built a jail.


The town was called Dover in 1637 by the new governor, Reverend George Burdett. With the arrival of Thomas Larkham in 1639, it was renamed Northam, after Northam, Devon where he had been preacher. But Lord Saye and Sele's group lost interest in their settlements, both here and at Saybrook, Connecticut, when their intention to establish a hereditary aristocracy in the colonies met with disfavor in New England. Consequently, in 1641, the plantation was sold to Massachusetts and again named Dover, possibly in honor of Robert Dover, an English lawyer who resisted Puritanism.

Cochecho Massacre

Settlers felled the abundant trees to build log-houses called garrisons. The town's population and business center would shift from Dover Point to Cochecho at the falls, where the river's drop of 34 feet provided water power for industry. Indeed, Cochecho means "the rapid foaming water." Major Richard Waldron settled here and built a sawmill and gristmill. On September 7, 1676, Waldron invited about 400 Indians to participate in a mock battle against the militia. It was a trick; instead, he took them prisoner. He would free about 200 of them, but sent the remainder, whom he considered in some regard a threat, to Boston, where 7 or 8 were executed. The rest were sold into slavery in "foreign parts." Richard Waldron would be appointed Chief Justice for New Hampshire in 1683.

Thirteen years passed, and it was assumed that the incident had been forgotten. But then squaws began dropping ambiguous hints that something was astir. When citizens spoke their concern to Waldron, he told them to "go and plant your pumpkins, and he would take care of the Indians." On June 27, 1689, two Indian women appeared at each of 5 garrison houses, asking permission to sleep by the fire. All but one house accepted. In the dark early hours of the next day, the women unfastened the doors, and in rushed Indian men who had concealed themselves about the town. Waldron resisted but was stunned with a hatchet, then placed on his table. After dining, the Indians cut him across the belly with knives, each saying "I cross out my account." Major Waldron was slain with his own sword. Five or six dwelling houses were burned, along with the mills. Fifty-two colonists, a full quarter of the entire population, were captured or slain in the Cochecho Massacre of June 28, 1689.


Located at the head of navigation, the falls of the Cochecho River helped bring the Industrial Revolution to 19th century Dover in a big way. The Dover Cotton Factory was incorporated in 1812, then enlarged in 1823 to become the Dover Manufacturing Company. In 1827, the Cocheco Manufacturing Company was founded (the misspelling a clerical error at incorporation), and in 1829 purchased the Dover Manufacturing Company. Expansive brick mill buildings, linked by railroad, were constructed downtown. Incorporated as a city in 1855, Dover was for a time a national leader in textiles. The mills were purchased in 1909 by the Pacific Mills of Lawrence, Massachusetts, which closed the printery in 1913 but continued spinning and weaving. During the Great Depression, however, textile mills no longer dependent on New England water power began moving to southern states in search of cheaper operating conditions, or simply went out of business. Dover's millyard shut down in 1937, and was bought at auction in 1940 by the city itself for $54,000. There were no other bids.

Antique postcards

Geography and transportation

Dover is located at 43°11′28″N 70°52′43″W / 43.19111°N 70.87861°W / 43.19111; -70.87861 (43.190984, -70.878533).[1]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 29.0 square miles (75 km2), of which 26.7 sq mi (69 km2) is land and 2.3 sq mi (6.0 km2) is water, comprising 8.06% of the city. Dover is drained by the Cochecho and Bellamy rivers. Long Hill, elevation 300 feet (91 m) above sea level and located 3 miles (4.8 km) northwest of the city center, is the highest point in Dover. Garrison Hill, elevation 284 ft (87 m), is a prominent hill rising directly above the center city, with a park and lookout tower on top. Dover lies fully within the Piscataqua River (Coastal) watershed.[2]

The city is crossed by New Hampshire Route 4, New Hampshire Route 9, New Hampshire Route 16, New Hampshire Route 16B, and New Hampshire Route 108. It borders the towns of Madbury to the west, Barrington to the northwest, Rochester to the north, Somersworth to the northeast, and Rollinsford to the east.

The Cooperative Alliance for Seacoast Transportation (COAST) operates a publicly funded bus network in Dover and surrounding communities in New Hampshire and Maine.[3] C&J Trailways is a private intercity bus carrier connecting Dover with other coastal New Hampshire and Massachusetts cities, including Boston.[4]


As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 26,884 people, 11,573 households, and 6,492 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,006.2 people per square mile (388.5/km²). There were 11,924 housing units at an average density of 446.3/sq mi (172.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.47% White, 1.12% African American, 0.20% Native American, 2.36% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.35% from other races, and 1.45% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.14% of the population.

Dover Police car in snow

There were 11,573 households out of which 26.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.5% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.9% were non-families. 31.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the city the population was spread out with 20.8% under the age of 18, 11.2% from 18 to 24, 34.0% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 92.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $43,873, and the median income for a family was $57,050. Males had a median income of $37,876 versus $27,329 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,459. About 4.8% of families and 8.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.4% of those under age 18 and 5.7% of those age 65 or over.


Old Brick Schoolhouse c. 1910, once located near Pine Hill Cemetery

The Dover School District consists of approximately 3600 pupils, attending Horne Street Elementary School, Garrison Elementary School, Woodman Park Elementary School, Dover Middle School and Dover High School. Dover High's athletic teams are known as The Green Wave, and the middle school's teams are The Little Green.

Saint Mary Academy, a Catholic school, has been in downtown Dover since 1912, currently serving 400 students from pre-kindergarten to 8th grade. Many students at Saint Mary's subsequently attend St. Thomas Aquinas High School, a Catholic high school located on Dover Point.

Portsmouth Christian Academy is located west of the Bellamy River in Dover, serving preschool through 12th grade.[6]

In postsecondary education, McIntosh College, founded in 1896, offers Associate degrees in a variety of areas.

Notable inhabitants

Downtown c. 1913
Whitcher's Falls c. 1910

Sites of interest

See also


External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Dover (New Hampshire) article)

From Wikitravel


Dover is a city in New Hampshire, United States. Settled in 1623, it pre-dates the founding of America and is the 7th oldest city in the country.

  • Dover is located off of the Spaulding Turnpike (Route 16), and is about 10 minutes from I-95, which connects to Maine and Massachusetts.
  • Dover's train station is located in the center of downtown, at the intersection of Third Street and Chestnut Street, next to St. Mary's church. Amtrak's Downeaster connects Dover to Boston's North Station and Portland, Maine, along with several towns in between. During the summer, the Downeaster makes an additional stop at Old Orchard Beach. This comes in handy on summer weekends, when I-95 and US-1 are both bumper to bumper with vacation traffic.
  • Wildcat Transit, operated by the University of New Hampshire, runs from many points in Dover to the campus, and connecting buses can be taken to Portsmouth and Newington.
  • COAST bus is the local, non-University bus company. The Dover school district uses four COAST buses in addition to the normal yellow school buses to transport high school students, and several COAST stops are for this purpose only.
  • C&J Trailways [1] operates hourly service every day from Boston's South Station, with some buses continuing on to Logan International Airport. All buses go at least as far north as the bus terminal at Pease International Tradeport (accessible from the Spaulding Turnpike and I-95), with about half continuing on to the Dover train station. All C&J buses make an intermediate stop in Newburyport, MA.
  • Woodman Institute, 182 Central Av, Phone: 603-742-1038, [2]. W-Su 12:30PM-4:30PM; Sa,Su only in Dec,Jan; closed Feb, Mar. Dover's only museum offers interesting insect and geological specimens as well as local historic memorabilia.
  • Childrens Museum of New Hampshire, 6 Washington Street, Dover NH 03820, (603) 742-2002, [3]. The Children’s Museum operates exclusively for charitable purposes and serves as an educational resource for schools, families and communities. The museum strives to support the diverse population of the region, to provide learning opportunities for all children, and to enrich the services of regional schools. The Children's Museum of New Hampshire offers a variety of programs for children from preschool through middle school. From science classes to overnights, museum educators have designed engaging, high-quality programs that feature hands-on opportunities for learning while having fun.  edit


There is also a preserved garrison house from the 1600's and an entire floor dedicated to taxidermist stuffed animals. This includes an enormous polar bear.


Dover divides its restaurant 'areas' mainly into two distinct locations. In north Dover, off Spaulding Tpke's exit 9, are a plethora of chain restaurants. Landing in this area you will find Chili's, Uno's, Applebee's, Subway, McDonalds, Wendy's, and Amato's (although the latter is technically Somersworth). A short drive south on Central Avenue will bring you to the old mill area of the City. This is an area of more the one-of-a-kind custom restaurants. Each has a unique style and atmosphere that covers a very wide variety and one of them is sure to please your taste for the evening. In this area the street addresses range from 286 Central Ave up into the 300's.

  • Dos Amigos, 286 Central Ave., (603) 834-6494, [4]. Low-cost, high-quality tacos, burritos and other Mexican fare. Their sweet potato tacos are especially worth trying.
  • La Festa Brick and Brew, 300 Central Ave., (603) 743-4100, [5]. Exceptional creative and traditional pizzas.
  • Dover Soul, 364 Central Ave., (603)834-6965, [6] Terrific restaurant - creative cuisine and swanky martini bar. The best place in town!
  • Orchard Street Chop Shop, 1 Orchard St., (603) 749-0006, [7]. Upscale steakhouse. Good food, elegant dining downstairs or casual dining, bar and cigar room upstairs. Great steaks, so-so pork chops (this would be improved if they brined their pork).
  • Blue Latitudes, 431 Central Ave, Dover, NH, 03820, (603) 750-4222, [8]. Fantastic dining in the heart of downtown Dover. Excellent menu, staff is polite & attentive. The bar is a prefect spot for couples on a night out or groups looking to get away from the usual spots..the lamb is succulent, the steak tips, always a treat.. (43°11'52.85 N,70°52'27.17 W) edit


The Barley Pub, 328 Central Ave., (603) 742-4226,[ The Pub is a cozy, local favorite with live music and the best selection of beer in the city. Bob Dylan is also rumored to have stopped by for a drink after a gig at UNH several years ago.

The Barn Tavern, 17 Portland Avenue, 603-742-1231.

  • Dover Comfort Inn and Suites, 10 Hotel Drive, 603-750-7507, [9]. checkin: 3:00PM; checkout: 12:00PM. In downtown, pet friendly. 115.  edit
  • Hampton Inn, 9 Hotel Drive, 603-516-5600, [10]. checkin: 3:00PM; checkout: 11:00AM. Free evening appetizers and drinks as well as hot breakfast daily. 115.  edit
  • Homewood Suites of Dover, 21 Members Way, 603-516-0929, [11]. checkin: 3:00 PM; checkout: 12:00 PM. New all-suite hotel. Rooms include kitchen with full-size refrigerator, microwave, two-burner stove and dishwasher. Free internet, voice mail, free hot breakfast daily. $125.  edit
  • The Silver Fountain Inn, 103 Silver St., (888) 548-6888, [12]. An elegant bed & breakfast in a historic Victorian mansion. Many of the home's Victorian details have been preserved; the house is quite stunning.
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1911 encyclopedia

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