Today’s day tripping destination was Dover, NH, the oldest permanent settlement in the state, and the 7th oldest in the U.S. Dover’s population of almost 30,000 (as of the 2010 census) ranks it behind the cities of Manchester and Nashua and ahead of Portsmouth.
Dover is nicknamed “The Garrison City". after the style of log houses that early settlers built using felled trees. The garrison style typically has two stories; the second story overhangs in the front.
Settled in 1623 on the banks of the Piscataqua River, Dover was first called Hilton’s Point, after Edward Hilton. The town was also known by the Indian names of Newichwannock (place of wigwams) and Cocheco (the rapid foaming water) and briefly called Bristol and Northam. It became Dover permanently in 1637 possibly to honor Robert Dover, an English lawyer who resisted Puritanism.
Dover's location on the Piscataqua and Cocheco Rivers made it a thriving center of trading and manufacturing.
The city’s earliest days as a colonial seaport led to a successful shipbuilding industry in the 1700s. Incorporated as a city in 1855, Dover flourished as the nation's leading manufacturer of cotton goods. The development of a brick industry spanned decades of successful mill operations through the middle of the 20th century. However, during the Great Depression, textile mills no longer dependent on New England water power either moved to southern states for cheaper operating conditions, or simply went out of business. Dover's mill yard shut down in 1937, and was bought at auction in 1940 by the city for a sole bid of $54,000. The Cocheco Falls Millworks now has tenants including technology and government services companies, and a restaurant.The Cocheco Manufacturing Company founded in 1827 was named after the Cohecho River flows alongside downtown Dover (the misspelling was a clerical error at incorporation).
Our exploration downtown included a lunch stop for a slice of basil pesto pizza and then a cup of pumpkin coffee and pumpkin muffin.
The drive back to our Nashua accommodations, produced another display of nature’s beauty – in addition to the fall colors . . .