Monday, September 7, 2009

Dover, NH: Historic Walking Tour

The Dover Chamber of Commerce holds walking tours of Dover, NH, USA on Saturdays from 10:30 - 12. In September 2009, the tours are free.

Here are a few highlights of the tour from Saturday, Sept. 5 with a textile slant.

Horse Trough now used as planter

Dover was first settled in 1623.

Railroads arrived in 1842. Dover incorporated as a city in 1855.

Side street

There was a large brickyard in Dover. Brick is a favored construction material.

The mills in Lawrence and Lowell, MA were also built from bricks made in Dover in the 1800's.

Cocheco Falls Millworks

The mills were in operation from 1839 until the 1930's.

Manufacturing progressed from yarn to muslin to fine cotton to world-renowned printed calico at these mills.

The mills became famous for printed calico. Their manufacturing process could use up to 12 colors in a single piece of calico.

Calico from the Cocheco Mills was prized for its colorfastness. The manufacturing process was state of the art. The windows of the mills were white-washed so that competitors could not see inside.

Cocheco River

The Cocheco River flows through the mill, and provided power to all of the equipment.

This portion of the river is tidal. We've kayaked right under the mill to the waterfall from Hilton Park on Dover Point.

Dam and waterfall on the Cocheco River that powered the mill

Central Tower Entrance

The mill now houses businesses. An exhibit of the history of textile mills in Dover is inside the Central Tower Entrance to the mill (on the west side of the mill along Central Avenue.)

If you go, enter the mill here, go down the hall and turn right at the end of the hall to find the exhibit.

History of the Mills in Dover

The exhibit includes pictures, descriptions and a diorama with some cloth, fiber, equipment and a quilt

The free exhibit is along this hall. and is accessible whenever the building is open.

On another textile note:

The Dover Public Library currently has a free exhibit on Chinese Textiles. Unfortunately for us, the library was closed on Saturday.

Some of our favorite shops in Dover include:

Spinning Yarns - a local yarn shop

Red's Shoe Barn - for a great selection of all kinds of shoes

Tuttle's Red Barn - America's oldest family farm (The land was originally granted to the Tuttle family by the king of England.) Tuttle's has a great selection of plants, gifts, fruits and veggies, plus all kinds of healthy, delicious food. (I'm counting cheese and chocolate as healthy too!)


Theresa said...

Great tour! Thank you. I'm surprised the mill closed
before the war. Was it repurposed or opened in the 40's?
Looks like you had a perfect day for the walking tour too and a lovely yarn store! Just about heaven.

Life Looms Large said...

Luckily, my somewhat blurry pictures of the signage inside the mill history exhibit were clear enough to read. The mill closed in 1937 due to the economic difficulties of the 1930's.

The City of Dover purchased the mills at auction in 1940. The city was the sole bidder. The buildings housed various businesses in the 1940's and beyond, but they were not textile businesses.

In the 60's and 70's the mill buildings fell into serious disrepair. The entire complex was purchased in 1984 and was refurbished for its current use as home to many businesses.

We have had a long stretch of the nicest weather - warm days, cool nights, cloudless skies with no threat of rain or lightning. Perfection!


Delighted Hands said...

What a perfect way to spend a saturday! So glad we got to go along!

charlotte said...

It is interresting how the European immigrants named the new settlements after the old, perhaps it made them feel more at home? I dind't know tidal rivers existed, is part of the river dry at low tide?

maureen said...

Just found your blog and read all the weaving posts and saw your experience with cutting off one towel and using dowel to maintain warp tension

I have been doing that for years and have never used glue, thus don't have to wait for it to dry to continue weaving, just thought I would let you know

Life Looms Large said...

DeliHa (How do you like my nickname for you?) - thanks for your enthusiasm!

Charlotte, It is interesting how so many places here are named after places in Europe. Frequently there are versions of the same town in different states - so there's a Salem in NH, Maine, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Rhode Island and Vermont don't have a town named Salem.

I never really thought about not all rivers being tidal. I think I'll try to answer that question in another post because I have more pictures that will help me to explain. The river is completely empty at low tide, but it's much lower and rockier. (The picture in this post was close to low tide - and you can see a lot of rocks sticking up toward the right side of the river.)

Thanks for visiting and commenting!


Life Looms Large said...

Oh wait....Don't want to leave out Maureen's comment! (You can tell I have a lot to say about tidal rivers....I got a little carried away.)

Thanks for visiting and commenting Maureen!! Glad to meet another weaver! I was amazed when I did the post about cutting off parts of warps that so many people do it so many different ways. In a workshop I took in the spring, we did it without glue and it worked just fine! Much easier!! Hmmmm....maybe I should go back and change that post now that I'm smarter?

Anyway, thanks for your reassurance that that method really does work!

Just thinking out loud!


bspinner said...

Great pictures and interesting information.

The only time I was in NH was when a friend and I took a class at Harrisville. We had a wonderful time in a very peaceful location.

Always enjoy your postings!

Life Looms Large said...

Thanks B!

I might have captured some of the prettier parts of Dover. Harrisville is much smaller and more beautiful as a town. Dover is much closer to home for me though!