Dover Newfoundland

The Daughters of DoverDover around the World by Lorraine Sencicle

Dover Newfoundland by kind permission of the Dover Mercury, (KMG) 6th March 2008

 

1907 saw a post office, called Dover, established, even though the community was listed as Wellington. The following year Captain Robert Tilley of the Salvation Army opened a Citadel and in 1910, the first store was opened. Following WWI, to meet a growing population of mainly lumbermen and their families, a one-room schoolhouse opened. By 1921 there were two providing logs for fence posts and firewood.

The economic depression of the 1930s rendered Newfoundland virtually bankrupt and in 1941 the island became a British possession. Sites for air bases were leased to the United States, which boosted the economy but with these came tragedy. In 1942 a Digby B-18 Bomber crashed near the Dover settlement. After the war Newfoundland chose to unite itself with Canada becoming its tenth province on 22 July 1948.
Newfoundland, is the island off the East Coast of Canada well known for the shallow area of the Atlantic Ocean known as the Grand Banks, one of the world's richest fishing grounds. It is probable that Native Americans lived in Newfoundland for thousands of years before the arrival of the Europeans around AD 1000 - Norse explorers possibly looking for fishing grounds.

Henry VII financed the expedition of the Italian-born explorer John Cabot, who landed at on a peninsula, now called Bonavista, on 24 June 1497 and proclaimed it 'New-Found-Land'. In 1583, Sir Humphrey Gilbert took formal possession, in the name of England, of what we now know as Newfoundland. Two hundred and fifty years later, in 1832, Britain granted Newfoundland the right of representative government and in 1855 complete self-government.

Prior to 1855 the Beothuk and before them the Maritime Archaic along with the Palaoeskimo people hunted and fished on the north shore of the Bonavista peninsula. By 1891, seven European fishermen and two lumbermen along with their families had been attracted by the fishing and rich forests and settled near a major break in the earth's crust known as the Dover Fault. By 1901 the population had risen to 66 making up twelve families. The number of fishermen had increased to nineteen who mainly caught cod cut sometimes salmon and herring. There were also nineteen lumbermen, who cut the trees in summer and supplemented their income in winter by logging, trapping and sealing.

 

 

photographs of Fishing in Dover Newfoundland

   Following the opening of the first road from Hare Bay, along the  coast to Dover in 1952, the settlement continued to expand. In 1960 Anglican and Roman Catholic churches in 1960 were established.
 However, a year later a forest fire devastated Dover’s lumber industry and not long after the inshore cod fishery failed. Unemployment was high, shops closed and left to seek work elsewhere. The population, which had stood at 709 in 1956 had  fallen to 395 ten years later. To counteract this families were 
 encourage to resettle in Dover and in 1966 the Jane Collins Academy opened. This later became the senior high school for both Dover and Hare Bay

 

In 1970, although the residents called the village Dover, it was still  listed as  Wellington. A general meeting was held and 75% of the  population voted to for incorporation as a village with the name of Dover. 
The following year they were successful and in 1973, at a ceremony conducted by the Lieutenant Governor, it was officially named Dover.

This appears to have helped the economy of community, for has a  small   boat-yard, building wooden fishing vessels, opened, but with  Government help  Seawater Fisheries was founded in 1979.

 

 

photographs of
Dover Newfoundland Fault

The William Mercer Academy, a new  elementary school, was built in  1977 and streetlights, rubbish collections, mains  water and sewerage  were introduced.

Then in 1996, in recognition of the 410million year old Dover Fault, an interpretation  site was opened. The photograph is a close-up of deformed  granite on the Fault, on the south side of Hare Bay looking north to Dover which is on the skyline. The significance of the Fault is the contrast in geology on one side  compared to the other. It is also a crustal block boundary and lies along the projection of the Charlie Gibbs Fracture Zone of the modern mid-Atlantic Ridge.

 

 

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