Dover Kentucky

 

 

by kind permission of the Dover Mercury, (KMG) 25th May 2006

 

 

On April 23, 1968 a devastating tornado demolished or badly ruined every building in the town except for one house


On April 23, 1968 a devastating tornado demolished or badly ruined every building in the town except for one house

About 1818, Arthur Fox, Jr., a Virginia surveyor, was sent by George Washington to Kentucky to handle land concerns. He acquired 2200 acres along the Ohio River, on which he built his home. He subsequently laid out a town which, it is believed, was named after Dover, England, his father's birthplace. The Dover Post Office was established on Jan. 2, 1823, and the town was chartered in 1836.

In 1963, the Kent Messenger, sister paper of the Dover Mercury, ran a series of articles on the Dover 's around the World. At that time Dover, Kentucky, 700 miles from New York City, was described as a beautiful town, located on a fertile plateau with a population of just over 700. It had a general store, schools, a fine youth centre, seven churches, a City Marshall, or policeman; a Police Judge and 24 volunteer firemen. The city was also excited as the mighty Du Pont had acquired 1,000 acres of land for industrial development.

 

 

photographs of the devastation caused by the 1968 tornado in Dover Kentucky


However, on April 23, 1968 a devastating tornado demolished or badly ruined every building in the town except for one house. Out of the 127 homes in the community 115 could not be saved. Churches and businesses were destroyed. Only the general store was partially spared - the dry goods portion of the shop lost its roof, but the grocery section was able to continue business.
Thankfully, only 2 people in the town were seriously hurt but a horse had to be destroyed as the tornado broke its leg. The youth centre was not rebuilt and the children are now bussed to Maysville (The county seat approximately 8 miles east of Dover), for their schooling.The dream of the DuPont factory was unfulfilled. The company sold the land to local farmers who grew corn and tobacco.

In the late 1970s an Industrial Development Authority was formed and part of the DuPont tract was sold to Eastern Kentucky Power Co-operative who built the Spurlock Station - a coal fired electric generating plant. Another part was sold to Inland Container who built a $176m plant in 1992. This is the largest recycle plant of containerboard in the United States.

Today, Dover, Kentucky is described as a 6th Class City, which means that it does not provide city services, but is a chartered city according to Kentucky statutes. The population is 370, mostly 'bedroom ' community (people who commute outside the town to work). Only three of the seven churches were rebuilt and the police and court services are now handled at Maysville. The governing body is made up of elected Mayor, Honorable Eddie Sidell, and city commissioners. The town, however, still has a volunteer fire department.


 

 

photographs of the devastation caused by the 1968 tornado in Dover Kentucky


However, on April 23, 1968 a devastating tornado demolished or badly ruined every building in the town except for one house. Out of the 127 homes in the community 115 could not be saved. Churches and businesses were destroyed. Only the general store was partially spared - the dry goods portion of the shop lost its roof, but the grocery section was able to continue business.
Thankfully, only 2 people in the town were seriously hurt but a horse had to be destroyed as the tornado broke its leg. The youth centre was not rebuilt and the children are now bussed to Maysville (The county seat approximately 8 miles east of Dover), for their schooling.The dream of the DuPont factory was unfulfilled. The company sold the land to local farmers who grew corn and tobacco.

 

 

Dover Bridge Kentucky


Dover Bridge Kentucky

Thanks to: Lynn David, Researcher, Museum Centre, Dover, Kentucky and Jo Jordon for the photographs.
Website