Dover is a Town in Morris County, New Jersey on the Rockaway River. Dover is 39 miles (63 km) west of New York City and west of Newark, New Jersey. As of the United States Census, 2000, the town's population was 18,188. In 1900, 5,938 people lived in Dover; in 1910, 7,468; and in 1940, 10,491.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.7 square miles (7.0 km²), of which, 2.7 square miles (6.9 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (1.11%) is water.
11.27% of Dover residents identified themselves as being of Colombian American ancestry in the 2000 Census, the second highest percentage of the population of any municipality in the United States (behind neighboring Victory Gardens, New Jersey which had 15.27% of residents so identified) with 1,000 residents identifying their ancestry.
There were 5,436 households out of which 35.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.2% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.9% were non-families. 21.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.29 and the average family size was 3.55.
In the town the population was spread out with 23.2% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 36.0% from 25 to 44, 19.8% from 45 to 64, and 10.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 106.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 106.7 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $53,423, and the median income for a family was $57,141. Males had a median income of $31,320 versus $27,413 for females. The per capita income for the town was $18,056. About 8.2% of families and 13.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.5% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.
The of land rested mostly in what is today’s Mine Hill Township, however, the eastern portion of the land included today’s Hurd Park, Park Heights Avenue to the foot of the mountain and Granny’s Brook, which was later renamed to Jackson’s Brook.
Historical records show that a small Indian village was settled at the site of Hurd Park and thus the reason for the naming of the nearby Indian Falls. Jackson settled on the eastern portion of his land along Granny’s Brook at the site of what would later become the Ross Ribbon Factory on Park Heights Avenue.
Iron ore at the time was so plentiful that it was easily picked off the surface of the ground at the nearby Dickerson Mine in Mine Hill. Horse back saddles would bring the ore to Jackson’s Forge and he would process the ore into bars that would then be transported to points eastward, namely the factories at Paterson.
It is believed that Jackson had a pretty good business until hard time hits in 1750 by an Act of the British Parliament known as the “Iron Act.” It stated that all iron ore processing and manufacturing of iron products would cease in the colonies and that all raw iron was to be shipped to England for manufacturing and then the finished products sold back to the colonies.
By 1753 John Jackson went bankrupt and all his property and belongings were sold off at a Sheriff’s sale. Quaker Hartshorne Fitz Randolph purchased his property and annexed to his existing property to become part of Randolph Township.
Dover was incorporated as a village in 1826 and on April 1, 1869 as a town. The town charter was amended in 1875. In its past, Dover has had extensive iron and mill works, machine shops, stove, furnace, and range works, boiler and bridge works, rolling mills, drill works, knitting and silk mills, and a large hosiery factory (MacGregors).
Today, Dover has a large Hispanic population with the largest concentrations being of Mexican, Colombian ,Dominican and Puerto Rican ancestry, Hispanics have been a demographic majority since 1980, and are growing quickly. As of the 2000 Census, Dover's population was 57.9% Hispanic, making it the municipality with the fifth highest Hispanic population percentage in New Jersey and one of eight New Jersey municipalities with a Hispanic majority. The surrounding Morris County area is predominantly non-Hispanic (9.8% Hispanic or Latino, of any race).
While Dover is not currently financially disadvantaged in comparison to average towns nationwide, it is considerably less affluent (with a median household income of $53,423) than Morris County as a whole (with a median household income of $84,010), thus giving the town a reputation of being poor.
Members of the Board of Aldermen are:
HISTORY OF THE MAYORS OF DOVER 1869 – 1871 Hon. George Richards; 1871 – 1873 Hon. Anson G. P. Segur; 1873 – 1887 Hon. George Richards; 1887 – 1891 Hon. Sedgewick R. Bennett; 1891 – 1993 Hon. Horace L. Dunham; 1893 – 1895 Hon. George McCracken; 1895 – 1896 Hon. Ferdinand V. Wolfe; 1897 – 1899 Hon. George Pierson; 1899 – 1899 Hon. Ferdinand V. Wolfe; 1899 – 1901 Hon. Frederick H. Beach; 1901 – 1903 Hon. Harry S. Peters; 1903 – 1906 Hon. Isaac W. Searing; 1906 – 1910 Hon. George Pierson; 1910 – 1914 Hon. John Mulligan; 1914 – 1916 Hon. William L. R. Lynd; 1916 – 1920 Hon. Richard W. Whitham; 1920 – 1922 Hon. William L. R. Lynd; 1922 – 1926 Hon. William H. Hosking; 1926 – 1930 Hon. Thomas O. Bassett; 1930 – 1961 Hon. John Roach Jr. (died Nov. 26, 1961); 1961 – 1962 Hon. Richard B. Woodhull (interim); 1962 – 1963 Hon. Dr. Leslie P. Stringer (interim); 1963 – 1966 Hon. Dr. Leslie P. Stringer; 1966 – 1968 Hon. Willard M. Hedden; 1968 – 1972 Hon. Edward R. Horan; 1972 – 1974 Hon. Willard M. Hedden; 1974 – 1974 Hon. L. William Newkirk (resigned); 1974 – 1975 Hon. Richard M. Newman (interim); 1975 – 1978 Hon. Richard M. Newman; 1978 – 1982 Hon. Jack Rice; 1982 – 1992 Hon. Aldo Cicchetti; 1992 – 2000 Hon. Stephen Shukailo; 2000 – 2002 Hon. Richard M. Newman; 2002 – 2004 Hon. Javier Marin; 2004 – present Hon. James Dodd
Students in grades K - 12 from Victory Gardens attend the Dover Public School system as part of a sending/receiving relationship. Students in grades 7-12 from Mine Hill Township also participate in the Dover district as part of a sending/receiving relationship.
Dover is served by numerous local taxi services within the town. Taxis can be found waiting outside of the supermarkets, bars, bus stations and the train station. The town has made efforts to control the amount of taxis operating in the town and passed an ordinance limiting the number of taxis in the town to 60. However some companies are now setting up in neighboring towns to avoid the ordinance.
Every Sunday from April to December, there is a flea market downtown.
Dover has been described as a walking town as most parts of town are within about a 1/2 mile of the downtown area and most streets have sidewalks.
DOVER CIVIC CREED I believe in Dover and its possibilities; and I shall do my part to make it a better place in which to live. I believe in good government for Dover, and I shall assume my share of the Civic responsibility that rests on the shoulders of all our citizens. I believe in supporting local enterprises that make for Community development; and shall contribute my moral support and energy to any worthy cause Championed by them. I believe in patronizing home merchants, for they are greatly responsible for our having good schools and churches, better roads and promotion of the general welfare of this community. I believe in making Dover clean and attractive, for a healthy atmosphere is an inducement to honest and right-thinking citizens. I believe in boosting my home town at every possible opportunity; that thinking, talking and acting progress is the quickest and surest way to bring permanent prosperity to Dover -- the Best Town in America -- because it is MY HOME TOWN.
(Sponsored by a group of local businessmen, January 3, 1927)
Golden age of the cinder track racers ; Richard Howe meets the author of a new book celebrating the golden age of speedway.
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