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Dover, Massachusetts
Town
The Dover Church
The Dover Church
Official seal of Dover, Massachusetts
Seal
Nickname(s): Town of Friendship
Dover is one of the smallest towns in Norfolk county.
Dover is one of the smallest towns in Norfolk county.
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Norfolk
Settled 1635
Incorporated 1836
Area
 • Total 15.4 sq mi (39.9 km2)
 • Land 15.3 sq mi (39.7 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation 150 ft (46 m)
Population (2016)
 • Total 6,279
 • Density 407.7/sq mi (157.37/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC−4)
ZIP code 02030
Area code(s) 508 / 774
FIPS code 25-17405
GNIS feature ID 0618319
Website www.doverma.org

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.

History

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.

Geography

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.

Demographics

See also: List of Massachusetts locations by per capita income
Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1850 631 —    
1860 679 +7.6%
1870 645 −5.0%
1880 653 +1.2%
1890 727 +11.3%
1900 656 −9.8%
1910 798 +21.6%
1920 867 +8.6%
1930 1,195 +37.8%
1940 1,374 +15.0%
1950 1,722 +25.3%
1960 2,846 +65.3%
1970 4,529 +59.1%
1980 4,703 +3.8%
1990 4,915 +4.5%
2000 5,558 +13.1%
2010 5,589 +0.6%
* = population estimate.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.

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.

Historic places

  • Benjamin Caryl House (1777)
  • Elm Bank Horticulture Center (1876)

Images for kids


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