Dover, Massachusetts Town Information
Dover is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 6,279 in 2016, with 2,008 households and 4,296 registered voters.
Located about 15 miles (24 km) southwest of downtown Boston, Dover is a residential town nestled on the south banks of the Charles River. Almost all of the residential zoning requires 1-acre (4,000 m2) or larger. As recently as the early 1960s, 75% of its annual town budget was allocated to snow removal, as only a mile and a half of the town's roads are state highway.
Dover is bordered by: Natick, Wellesley and Needham to the North, Westwood to the East, Walpole and Medfield to the South, Sherborn to the West.
For geographic and demographic information on the census-designated place Dover, please see the article Dover (CDP), Massachusetts.
Dover is also home to the Dover Demon.
The first recorded settlement of Dover was in 1640. It was later established as the Springfield Parish of Dedham in 1748, and incorporated as District Dedham in 1784. Dover was officially incorporated as a town in 1836.
The Benjamin Caryl House at 107 Dedham St. dates from about 1777 and was home to Dover's first minister, Benjamin Caryl, his son George, who was the town's first doctor, and their descendants until 1897. It has been owned by the town and operated by the Historical Society since 1920. The house retains its architectural integrity and has been carefully restored to reflect life in the 1790s when the first two Caryl families lived and worked there together.
The Sawin Building has been a home for thousands of Dover relics, books, photographs and artifacts since the beginning of the 20th century. Benjamin and Eudora Sawin willed land and funds into the Dover Historical Society along with their old household goods so that the building could be erected, and it was dedicated on May 14, 1907, by members and friends of the Dover Historical Society. In the early years it was used for meetings and to house Dover's historical memorabilia, but eventually members became disenchanted with the Society and the building was seldom opened. In the 1960s there was a renewed interest in the Historical Society which led to the general overhaul and refurbishing of the building. The Sawin Museum, located at the corner of Centre and Dedham Streets in Dover Center, is owned and operated by the Dover Historical Society and is open to the public free of charge.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 15.4 square miles (39.9 km2), of which, 15.3 square miles (39.7 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km2) of it (0.52%) is water. It is bordered by the towns of Natick, Wellesley, Needham, Dedham, Westwood, Sherborn, Walpole, and Medfield.
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,558 people, 1,849 households, and 1,567 families residing in the town. The population density was 362.6 people per square mile (140.0/km2). There were 1,884 housing units at an average density of 122.9 per square mile (47.5/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 95.18% White, 0.41% Black or African American, 0.04% Native American (2 people), 3.63% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.05% from other races, and 0.67% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.19% of the population (approximately 105 people).
There were 1,849 households out of which 46.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 77.0% were married couples living together, 5.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 15.2% were non-families. 12.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.01 and the average family size was 3.29.
In the town, the population was spread out with 31.6% under the age of 18, 3.7% from 18 to 24, 23.9% from 25 to 44, 29.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 95.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.8 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $141,818, and the median income for a family was $157,168. Males had a median income of $100,000 versus $56,473 for females. The per capita income for the town was $64,899. About 2.3% of families and 3.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.5% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.
Dover is one of the few communities in metro Boston to have more registered Republicans than Democrats. In 2012, Mitt Romney, a Republican, defeated Barack Obama, a Democrat, in the general election 56% to 43% in Dover. In 2016, however, the town flipped with Democrat Hillary Clinton defeating Republican Donald Trump 57% to 32%.
Consistently over the last decade, Dover's public schools are considered among the best in Massachusetts. According to research conducted by Boston Magazine in the years 2013, 2014 and 2015, the town's schools scored No. 1 in the State. Dover has three public schools—Chickering Elementary School (grades K-5), Dover-Sherborn Middle School (grades 6-8), and Dover-Sherborn High School (grades 9-12). The private, independent Charles River School (Pre-K-grade 8) is located in the town's center.
Located near Caryl Park and the entrance to Noanet Woodlands (also known as Miss Peabody's Woods), Chickering School is under the elected Dover School Committee, while the two secondary schools are the responsibility of the regional school system, under the elected Dover-Sherborn Regional School Committee, with costs and governance shared with the neighboring town of Sherborn. The Regional schools share a campus on Farm Street in Dover, near the borders with Sherborn and Medfield.
Dover Sherborn High School has impressive results with regards to graduation rates, college admission rates and standardized and Advanced Placement exam scores. DSHS was ranked 3rd in Cost Efficiency and 7th in Academic Performance by Boston Magazine. U.S. News & World Report named Dover-Sherborn High School a Gold Medal School, ranking them 65th in the nation.
Dover used to have two elementary schools, Chickering for grades K to 3, and Caryl Elementary School for grades 4 to 8. In 1970, Caryl School was gutted by fire. It was rebuilt and remained open until finally being closed in 2001 after the expansion of Chickering.
- Mark Albion, author, social entrepreneur, Harvard professor and faculty founder of Net Impact
- Bob Cutler, rower who competed in the 1936 Summer Olympics
- Katherine Doherty, child actress
- Joseph F. Enright, submarine captain in the United States Navy, commanded the USS Archer-Fish and sank the Japanese aircraft carrier Shinano
- Kenny Florian, UFC Fighter, Fox/UFC analyst
- Carl J. Gilbert, United States Trade Representative from 1969 to 1971
- Jeffrey Harrison, poet
- Mark Hollingsworth, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio
- Bob Lobel, Local news sportscaster
- Don MacTavish, Stock Car Driver and winner of the 1966 NASCAR Sportsman Series Championship
- Melinda McGraw, actress
- Dorothy Morkis, Olympic medal-winning equestrian
- Chris Murray, minor league hockey player
- Bohdan Pomahač, plastic surgeon who led the team that performed the first full face transplant in the United States.
- Matthew A. Reynolds, Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs
- Leverett Saltonstall, U.S. Senator
- George P. Sanger, lawyer, editor, judge, and businessman
- Francis W. Sargent, Governor
- Milt Schmidt, former Player, Coach and GM of the Boston Bruins. Member of the Hockey Hall of Fame
- Ronald B. Scott, journalist, biographer of W. Mitt Romney, and author of the novel Closing Circles: Trapped in the Everlasting Mormon Moment.
- Sverre Sears, minor league hockey player.
- Jeff Serowik, former player of the Boston Bruins
- John Smith, American football placekicker
- Karen Stives, Olympic medal-winning equestrian
- Dominique Wilkins, former professional basketball player and NBA Hall of Famer
- Benjamin Caryl House (1777)
- Elm Bank Horticulture Center (1876)
- Official website
- Dover Days Gone By: The Cyber-Millenium ion history collection
- Dover Historical Society
- Dover Town Library