"Historic Dover" Dover by Goner

Dover Travel Guide: 6 reviews and 27 photos

New Hampshire's First Settlement

My interest in Dover is the history of my ancestors who were among the first settlers in Dover. New Hampshire's first permanent settlement was established in 1623 by Englishman, Edward Hilton (a familiar name). It is the seventh oldest in the United States. Hilton's original settlement, on what is now Dover Point. The center of activity moved gradually from Dover Point to the area of town below Cochecho Falls and came to be known as Dover Landing. The harnessing of the Cochecho Falls' water power caused a shift from a fishing and farming economy to one based on industry. After 1635, mills were built for lumber and grain.

During the early years the settlers lived in harmony with the native inhabitants, however, around 1675 settlers were forced to build fortified garrisons to ward off attacks by Indians of the Massachusetts tribes (Dover is known today as the Garrison City). In 1689, Indians attacked the town and killed many residents (including many of my ancestors as recorded) and took others captive (also some of my ancestors) an event called the Cochecho Massacre.

Cocheco Mill

Following the Indian Wars, shipbuilding was one of the major businesses in Dover. After 1820 sawmills and gristmills gave way to cotton mills and the Cocheco Print Works. In1896, a great flood swept the Central Avenue bridge and several others over the falls, depositing so much material in the river below that Dover's brief period as a seaport was over.

The River Walk

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A great slice of history
  • Cons:Not everyone likes history
  • In a nutshell:To appreciate Dover, you must appreciate early US history
  • Last visit to Dover: Oct 2002
  • Intro Updated Dec 22, 2002
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Comments (4)

  • fabrice's Profile Photo
    May 17, 2010 at 11:45 PM

    New Hampshire seems so peaceful and attractive

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Apr 1, 2005 at 12:23 PM

    Great intro and pictures and a lot of history.

  • Oct 25, 2003 at 12:50 PM

    We lived in Dover for 4 years and LOVE it. It is a wonderful town. We are moving now, but I will always have Dover with me.

  • herzog63's Profile Photo
    Jan 12, 2003 at 11:02 PM

    Dover is a great town!! I haven't been through there in years though!! Since the 80's LOL


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