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All events are free of charge and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. All are welcome!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Sawin Museum
The Dover Historical Society announces the reopening of the Sawin Museum

The Dover Historical Society announces the reopening of the Sawin Museum on Saturday, September 1 from 1:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m. as regularly scheduled.  Featured is the main floor WWI exhibit which has received wide acclaim.  Don’t miss the opportunity to view this 100th Anniversary exhibit which will close at the end of November.   The Museum will be open each Saturday afternoon as above.  Individual appointments can also be arranged by contacting the Curators at 508-785-0229 or 508-785-0567.
7:30 PM

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Caryl Farm
Caryl Farm to reopen for the season

The Dover Historical Society is pleased to announce that Caryl Farm which includes both the Benjamin Caryl House and the Fisher Barn will reopen for the rest of the fall season beginning Saturday, October 6 and continuing until the end of November, Saturday afternoons from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and by appointment.

The opening was originally delayed by the discovery of a serious infestation of powder post beetles in both buildings. Although the Society had hoped and expected to be able to complete eradication of this problem by the end of the summer, it has become clear that it is both far more extensive and therefore expensive than we are currently able to deal with. Given the beetle’s upcoming dormancy during cooler weather, it is deemed safe to reopen while it assembles the necessary resources to completely eradicate the destructive situation.

The Benjamin Caryl House was built in 1774 by Dover’s first minister, Benjamin Caryl and lived in by his descendants until the last, Ellen Miller, who died in 1898. Her estate was acquired by her executor, George Ellis Chickering, and left by his will in 1920 to the Town of Dover, under the care and control of the Dover Historical Society. The Fisher Barn, also built in the 1770s, was originally located on Centre Street. It was saved from demotion by the Historical Society in 1998, dismantled and moved to the Caryl House site in 2000. Ownership was transferred to the Town with a similar responsibility agreement. The Town and Historical Society are proud of the nearly 100 year collaboration allowing the preservation and operation of these significant historical buildings.

Wednesday, October 24

Verdun: WWI Ironic, Iconic Battle
7:30 p.m. in the Dover Library, Lower Level

The Dover Historical Society is pleased to announce that popular speaker, author and Brandeis University Professor Paul Jankowski will return to Dover, Wednesday, October 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Dover Library, Lower Level. His topic will be: Verdun: WWI Ironic, Iconic Battle. (More)

Wednesday, November 14

Eric Arnold, Executive Director, Hale Reservation
7:30 p.m. in the Dover Library, Lower Level

As Hale celebrates its hundredth year, his presentation will be an overview of the history of the place and programs, as well as a look at what is ahead. All are welcome to attend and there is no charge for admission. (More)

Sunday, December 9

Annual Caryl Farm Holiday Open House
2:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. at Caryl Farm, 107 Dedham Street in Dover Center

Our special feature this year will be a performance by the Dover-Sherborn High School A Cappella singing group, Noteworthy. The group will sing a variety of their favorite songs from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Fisher Barn. Refreshments will be served before and after the performance in the Benjamin Caryl House which will be decorated for the upcoming Holiday Season.

The Caryl House, built in 1774, was home to Dover's first minister, Benjamin Caryl, and his family who first came to what would become Dover in 1762. He was a "Calvinist" minister who would have regarded celebrating Christmas itself as a sacrilege. He and his congregation would celebrate the fall harvest, the winter season itself, the joy of lovely evenings with family and friends sharing food and beverage snuggled by a warming fire. They likely had a variety of other celebrations as well for one thing or another -- but Christmas was not one of them. By the time his last descendant died in 1898, however, everyone in town would have likely celebrated -- if not Christmas, many of the other cultural holiday festivities which by that time were spreading across the country. Admission to both the concert and Farm is free and all are welcome to attend.
See pictures from the Holiday Open House


Dover Historic Society Preservation Award

Sixth Annual Preservation Award

Becky and Doug Gladstone's home at 46 Farm Street receives the Sixth Annual Preservation Award. On land originally purchased in 1759, the house was built in 1831 by Willard Mann and in 1853 became Asa Talbot's dairy farm. After purchasing the house, three barns, and the only surviving wooden silo in Town in 1999, the Gladstones have made steady progress in renovating their home, which now is situated on 2.5 acres. Initial projects included a well and electrical and septic systems in addition to stabilizing the barn. In 2003 construction transformed the first barn and space above the stables in the second barn into living space. A year later the third barn was raised and the silo received windows and a door. The original house was renovated. Especially noteworthy is the extent of reuse of materials. Tongue and groove boards, bead boards, beams, joists, wallboards, floorboards, and antique glass windowpanes all have found new life in other areas of the house. This home epitomizes the goal of the Preservation Award Committee to celebrate thoughtful renovation rather than demolition.

It is a pleasure for the Historic Preservation Award Committee, consisting of Jill French, Priscilla Jones, chair, Sara Molyneaux, and Charlotte Surgenor, to consider nominations from the community each year. The Award is presented at the Society's Annual Meeting in March.

Please consider nominating a house you admire by sending the name of the
homeowner and the address by 1 February 2017 to the Dover Historical Society,
Box 534 or

Priscilla Pitt Jones


Preservation Award winners are:

2016 Becky and Doug Gladstone's home at 46 Farm Street
2015 Sara Molyneaux
2014 Henry and Jean Stone house at 95 Centre Street
2013 Third Annual Preservation Award  -- Susan and Edward Fitzgerald home at 2 Main Street
2012 Second Annual Preservation Award – William and Rachel Motley home at 8 Haven Street
2011 First Annual Preservation Award – David Lewis home at 1 Pegan Lane


About the Award

The Town of Dover has a fascinating history and the past informs our understanding of the present. The Dover Historical Society seeks to interpret and preserve our physical, material, and cultural heritage. Even a casual observer can recognize the changes that have occurred in recent years. We wish to celebrate those who have chosen preservation. A yearly Preservation Award will be presented at the March Annual Meeting to an individual or group which has facilitated the:

restoration of a historic home or building

appropriate design of an addition

re-creation of a historic landscape.

If you wish to nominate an individual or group, nomination forms are available on our website,, or in the Old Home Day Booklet. Please consider helping us bring positive attention to outstanding preservation efforts.

Jill French,
Priscilla Jones
Sara Molyneaux
Charlotte Surgenor

Dover Historic House Marker Program

Dover has a wide variety of architectural styles that add to both its charm and history. Included are farmhouses from the 18th century and large country estates built by Bostonians during the period from 1901 to 1914. We have single homes such as the Teepee House (built in 1912), the E.F. Hodgson's portables on Meetinghouse.

To increase awareness of Dover's heritage, the Dover Historical Commission and the Dover Historical Society have established a voluntary program to provide house markers bearing the construction date and, when desired, the name of the original owner or builder.

Any house built before 1929 and retaining its basic design integrity is eligible. The Dover Historical Commission and the Historical Society will make the determination of eligibility jointly.

A contribution of $150 covers the cost of the marker, research guidance, mounting and a year's membership in the Dover Historical Society.

For further information or obtain an application, click here to visit the Historical Commission's page on the Town's website. For questions about the Marker Program, call Paul Tedesco (508-785-1933) or Richard Eells (508-785-1538).

Although they are separate organizations, the Dover Historical Society and The Dover Historic Commission often cooperate on projects such as this.
The Commission is appointed by the Board of Selectmen with it's operation funded by the Town of Dover.
The Society is a private organization, supported entirely through membership fees, donations and grants with no funding from the Town.

The Dover Historical Society
PO Box 534
Dover, MA 02030
5 0 8 - 7 8 5 - 1 8 3 2
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