Dover Vermont

 

Dover around the World by Lorraine Sencicle
by kind permission of the Dover Mercury, (KMG )
published :11th August  2006

   

 


Dover, Vermont is a hill town, situated on the east shoulder of the Green Mountains. It is in the southern part of the State in Windham County, about 21 miles northwest of Battleboro and about the same distance, northeast of Bennington. 

The first settler in Dover was Abner Perry, about 1779, who had served as a captain in the Colonial Army. Speculation was that the reason for the settlement was to live in an area free from staggering taxes imposed by the government to finance the American War of Revolution.

The real history began when a Charter, signed by the head of the newly formed Vermont Republic, was granted on 7 November 1780 to William Ward of Newfane and sixty associates for a parcel of land, some 26,464 acres and called Wardsborough. However, bang in the middle was a mountain, which tended to divide the township! Thus, on 30 October 1810 an Act was passed to separate the area into two, one of which was called Dover.

Vermont Brenda and Paul of Astor School,  Dover, England

 



In Vermont -   Brenda and Paul of Astor School,  Dover, England 

During the 19th century the settlement grew on subsistence farming and at one time boasted of 10 schools with around 360 school age scholars. By the early 20th century many of these farmsteads had been abandoned, theresident population declined and the land was allowed to revert back to forest. Then the 'Summer People' discovered Dover who would spend from one week to the whole summer staying with the farming families.
The early 1990s saw a weakening of the US economy, which had a negative effect on Dover, but by 1995 things started to pick up again. However, the parent company running 'Mountain Snow' overreached itself at the same time as a succession of mild winters and a change in the property tax laws all of which did not help the town's economy. Nonetheless, the townsfolk, used to swings of fortunes, are not too despondent.

 

Mount Snow ski area

 

 

 

In 1953, the population had fallen to 250 when Walter Schoenknecht purchased one of the farms and opened Mount Snow ski area. This marked the beginning of Dover as seen today. The summer boarder became a thing of the past and everyone who had a spare room, began taking in skiers. When the Kent Messenger published the story of this Dover in 1962, the population had already increased to 370. 

 

Mount Snow ski area

Thanks to:
Thanks to: Mary Lou Raymo,