Dover History

Settled in 1623, Dover is the oldest permanent settlement in New Hampshire, and the seventh oldest in the United States. The town was first called Dover in 1637. The settlers felled abundant trees to build garrisoned homes for protection, thus earning it the appropriate nickname “the Garrison City” which sticks to this day. The City blossomed into a quintessential New England mill town over time- but not after its lions share of calamities including a massacre, a great flood, fires and more that shaped the City of today. This rich history can now be explored through displays at the Cocheco Millworks, on Dover Main Street’s historic markers around downtown, at the Woodman Institute Museum, the Dover Public Library, through and through guided history tours at the Greater Dover Chamber of Commerce.

The City of Dover today is a vibrant, picturesque town with an eclectic and traditional mix of artisans, eateries, shops, offices and museums located in beautifully renovated mills surrounding the large downtown waterfall, and in the surrounds of Central Avenue. We are a true “Main Street” community!

Come downtown and explore what residents love about Dover. With everything located within short walking distance around our Central Ave. square you will easily find a full day of family-friendly enjoyment and a broad range of nightlife within the City of Dover downtown.

We take pride in our locally-owned businesses, our well-manicured downtown and parks and trails, and in our hundreds of years of history.

Faces of Dover
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