Dover, N.H.: Transforming Rust to Rustic

One of the oldest towns in the United States, Dover remains youthful and child-friendly. Mountains, rivers and nearby ocean shores provide abundant outdoor opportunities, while low unemployment creates an enviable economy.
By David Wann
October/November 2012
Add to My MSN

Each week, crowds gather along the Cochecho River for Dover Night Out. 
Photo Courtesy Greater Dover Chamber of Commerce
Slideshow


Content Tools

Related Content

Green Roofs Growing Quickly in U.S.

The square footage of green roofs--which absorb rainwater, regulate temperatures, save energy and re...

Liver Detox: Why You Need It … How to Do It

Detoxification is a powerful tool for treating fatigue and helping your body handle toxins—everythin...

Caffeinated Breakfast Loaf with Oatmeal Recipe

Here is a great recipe that provides everything you need to start your day, including a little caffe...

What Puts The Happy In Happy Homesteader?

Comparison between old ways and new technology.

Among U.S. cities, Dover has seniority and wears it well. Established in 1623, it’s the oldest permanent settlement in New Hampshire and the seventh oldest in the nation. This vibrant little city took its present shape 200 years ago when the massive brick buildings of the textile mills went up at Cochecho River Falls. These days, the mill buildings are flagships of a new era; they’re still the town’s architectural anchors, but they now contain apartments, offices and businesses.

Dover could have been just another rusty mill town, but instead it’s evolved into an urban village with unique architecture, a deep sense of heritage, beautiful natural surroundings and a high percentage of well-educated residents. An underlying mission of the Dover Business and Industrial Development Authority was to keep the city youthful and child-friendly to attract upwardly mobile families who could earn — and spend — money in the community. Family-friendly cultural assets include the excellent Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, with programs ranging from LEGO workshops to an “Anyone Can Grow Food!” series and a family garden club. The city has successfully promoted benefits such as open space preservation and recent riverfront redevelopment as quality-of-life features to attract new businesses. In the past three years, 40 new businesses have come to town, and as unemployment hovered near 9 percent nationally, Dover’s was 4.4 percent.

Three rivers flow through town before emptying into Great Bay, a recessed, biologically abundant estuary just east of Dover. From Garrison Hill Tower, an iconic Dover landmark reconstructed by civic volunteers, you can glimpse the White Mountains — with more than 40 ski areas within 100 miles — to the west and the Isles of Shoals 6 miles off the coastline. On trails in and around Dover, hikers, kayakers, hunters and oyster-harvesters see oak forests, vintage farms, old-time stone walls, and moss-rimmed coves along the river.

Cooperation between citizens and city government has often resulted in money- and environment-saving initiatives. For example, by upgrading city facilities, Dover saves $300,000 every year on utility bills.

Along with the Strafford Rivers Conservancy as a partner, the city purchased the development rights for America’s oldest family farm. First tilled by John Tuttle in 1632, the 134-acre farm has been in the family for 11 generations. Though it’s for sale now, the farm will never be a subdivision or drive-in — Dover has seen to that by forging partnerships with various conservancy organizations.


Stats: Dover, New Hampshire

Population: 30,500

Climate: New England seasonal (including brilliant autumn colors); 42 inches avg. annual precip.; January avg. high: 33 degrees; July avg. high: 70 degrees

Median Household Income: $81,207

Median Home Price: $186,821


Check out the other towns featured in our 2012 installment of 8 Great Places You’ve (Maybe) Never Heard Of.


Previous | 1 | 2 | Next






Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.