Dover New Hampshire is one of the oldest English settlements in New England, and the oldest permanent settlement in the state of New Hampshire. For thousands of years, native Americans used the area around Little Bay and the Cocheco River falls as their home and fishing grounds.
In 1623, two brothers named Hilton settled at the place that came to be called Dover Point. Others soon joined them. The small group used the Cocheco--a tidal river--to move themselves and their goods downriver from Dover NH to Portsmouth NH and the Atlantic ocean. The river also powered that necessity of European-style industry, the mill.
The early town was enormous--encompassing what are now the towns of Madbury, Durham, Lee, Somersworth, Rollinsford, and parts of some other towns. It was a center of commerce and trade...and garrisons.
During the 1600s, frontier towns in New England built "garrison houses"--fortified buildings that could hold many people if they suddenly needed to flee their own home. Dover had so many of these garrisons that the moniker 'The Garrison City' remains its nickname to this day.
An excellent example of one of these early garrisons is the 1675 Damm Garrison House, which has been preserved at the Woodman Museum on Central Avenue.
The power of Dover's river mills grew exponentially during the Industrial Revolution, then waned as the products that were once manufactured in Dover began to be manufactured elsewhere. The gorgeous brick riverfront buildings that once housed machinery have been beautifully renovated and they now house people and businesses alike. Outdoor restaurant seating dots the boardwalks and sidewalks alongside the mills. Even the Children's Museum of New Hampshire on Washington Street is housed in one of these wonderful old mill buildings.
Dover NH is a rising city of just over 32,000 people, according to the 2020 census. Economic development has been underway for several years through smart private/public sector investments in infrastructure, education and business. These partnerships share a common goal of "creating, preserving and promoting a sound environment for existing and prospective businesses. The community is ensuring future generations are up to the challenge of perpetuating economic prosperity in Dover." Between the excellence of the Dover school system and the proximity of the University of New Hampshire, Dover's young people have every chance to stretch their wings. The sky is the limit!
Dover NH is in a fantastic location, if you like four-season beauty. The majestic White Mountains National Forest is an hour away, while local lakes and rivers offer fishing, swimming and all kinds of water sports in the summer. Ocean beaches are yours to enjoy in next-door Portsmouth or Rye NH, York, Maine, and many other neighboring towns and cities of the Seacoast. Pick up the train at Amtrak station in Dover and from there it's an easy ride north to Portland or south to Boston. C&J Trailways Bus Lines has daily departures direct to Logan Airport in Boston. Easy-in, easy-out Manchester-Boston Regional Airport is also less than an hour away.
Recognizing the burgeoning business opportunities, great municipal services and ideal location, young people and families are flocking to Dover. Events and celebrations are held all year long, including the beloved Apple Harvest Day in October, while the Cocheco Arts Festival sponsors music and other artistic performances downtown all summer long. There's a summer concert series for kids, an Irish festival, the Pet-A-Palooza, and the annual Fourth of July celebration. If it's a hot day, families and others head to the Dover Ice Arena for ice skating or hockey, or to the outdoor Jenny Thompson Pool next to the ice arena.
A lively restaurant scene rounds out the many perks of living in the Garrison City. La Festa Pizzeria is a local favorite for a slice or a pie. Adelle's Coffee House, just up the street from La Festa, is a great choice for a cup of coffee and some people-watching. When you're in the mood for Thai, burgers, sushi, Indian or creative American, you'll find that someone is making it--and making it well--in Dover. For a sweet treat when you're done with your meal, make sure to visit Lickee’s & Chewy’s Candies & Creamery, 5000sf of deliciousness from around the world inside a 200 year old mill.
We've only scratched the surface of everything that's going on in this exciting city. Browse current houses for sale in Dover NH, then give us a call 1-207-351-8188 or email us, because we can't wait to show you around!
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