History of Dover, Maine
A Gazetteer of the
State of Maine

By Geo. J. Varney
Published by B. B. Russell, 57 Cornhill,
Boston 1886

Dover, the shire town of Piscataquis County, is situated midway of the southern border, having the Piscataquis River on its northern side. It is bounded by Foxcroft on the north, Atkinson on the east, Sangerville on the west, and Garland, in Penobscot County, on the south. Withee Pond, two miles long by half a mile wide, is the principal body of water. The area of the town is about 22,444 acres. The surface is uneven, but not hilly. The prevailing rock is granite. Dover is one of the best townships ot farming land in the county, having a large extent of interval, and few lots not under cultivation. Potatoes, corn and grain are cultivated with success.

The township was purchased of Massachusetts about the year 1860 by Hallowell and Lowell, of Boston, for Charles Vaughn and John Merrick, of Hallowell, from whom present titles are derived. Mr. Merr- rick, in 1836, built a meeting-house on Bear Hill, and gave it with 20 acres of land to the Methodist society. He also gave the land which constitues the park at Dover village.

Abel Blood was the pioneer in making clearings. Sometime before 1799 lie purchased a tract of land a mile square; and in the following June he came in with seven men. They were obliged to make the way from Norridgewock, a distance of fifty miles, on foot, excepting about fifteen miles at the start. Having made openings they returned. The first permanent settler of Dover was Eli Towne, of Temple, New Hampshire, who moved in with his family in 1803. Thomas Towne, who soon came to reside with his son Eli, had been a Revolutionary soldier, and was a mighty hunter; and many are the stories told of his contests with moose, deer, bear and wolves. On one occasion he fired upon and wounded a bear that was swimming across the pond. As the animal approached the shore the dog swain out and attacked him. Bruin seized the dog and plunged his head under water; upon which the veteran soldier and hunter rushed in, and seizing the bear’s head, thrust it under water, crying out fiercely, “ Drown my dog, will you !“ The bear was soon overcome and the dog rescued.

Paul Lambert came in with his sons in 1808, having purchased 500 acres of land. in 1810 Deacon James Rowe moved his family in. Other settlers of this early period were Lyford and John Dow, Allen Dwelley, John Spalding, Peter Brawn, Jonas Longley, Mr. Fifield, and the Chamberlains. Zachariah Longley, the father of Jonas, had been a fifer in the Revolutionary army. Nathaniel Chamberlain was famous for building “ X bridges,” and was once called to Ohio to build one there. In 1811—12 Paul Lambert put up an excellent set of frame buildings, and in after years his seven sons settled around him.

In 1812 the township was organized as Plantation No. 3 ; and in 1822 it was incorporated as a town under its present name. The warrant for the first town meeting was issued by Justice Joshua Carpenter to Abraham Moor; and the meeting was held at the dwelling-house of Joseph Shepard. Eli Towne was chosen clerk, D. Lambert, E. S. Greeley and Eli Towne, selectmen.

Colonel J. Carpenter and Eben S. Greeley built a saw-mill on the Moor priviledge about 1822. Thomas Davee, in 1821, put up a store and a potash-factory at Dover village. He soon after put up saw-mills on the falls below Brown’s mills, but after the dam was carried away in 1830, they were taken down. A plot was made of the present village territory about 1823, and Charles Vaughn constructed a dam and canal in 1826, putting up a grist mill upon it which had three sets of Stones, with a cleaner for wheat. The first miller was Mr. Sewall Cochran, who for forty-four years honestly took toll of grain raised thirty miles around. He at length became owner, but finally doffed his miller’s coat and sold to the heirs of Hon. S. P. Brown. A carding and clothing-mill was also erected by Mr. Vaughn on this canal in 1827; and in 1836 it was changed into a woolen-factory. In 1840 both mills were burned. The woolen mill was soon rebuilt, and S. P. Brown, who had before superintended the business became the owner. In 1867, just before Mr. Brown’s death, he built a large brick mill, which is still in operation. It has six sets of machinery and employs seventy-five hands. A new fiouring mill had also been built, and both were run by S. O. Brown & Company. The two mills have been estimated at $150,000. Other manufactures at the village are carriages, boots and shoes, harnesses, pumps, trunks, tin-ware, etc. At East Dover, on the Piscataquis, is a wood-pulp and pasteboard mill; and on Black Stream, at Dover South Mills, is a lumber-mill. Dover village has its streets shaded with maples and elms from five to fifty years of age, and is one of the neatest and prettiest places in the State. It is connected with Foxeroft village, on the north side of the river, by a bridge 265 feet long, so that the two appear as one village. The Bangor and Piscataquis Railway is the chief transportaton line.

The “Piscataquis Observer," published in Dover by Edes and Barrows, is the only paper in the county. It is independent in politics, and fulfils its office in an excellent manner. The Piscataquis Savings Bank, located at Dover, on November 3, 1879, reported deposits and profits amounting to $58,663.25.

Among former esteemed citizens of Dover may be mentioned Thomas Davee, Calvin S. Douty, Mordecai Mitchell, S. P. Brown, John G. Mayo and Thomas S. Pullen. John H. Rice was three times elected to Congress while a citizen of Dover.

A Baptist minister, Elder N. Robinson, was settled by the plantation about 1820. In 1822, EIder William Frost, a Universalist preacher, was residing in town. The Methodists, Baptists, and Free Baptists now have church-edifices. Dover has sixteen schoolhouses, valued at $6,400. The valuation of estates in 1870 was 675,000 In 1880 it was $574,943. The rate of taxation in 1880 was 2 per cent. The population in 1870 was 1,983. In 1880 it was 1,687

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