May 12, 2017 Movie in May – DAHS and Dover Little Theater-7:00 pm

The Dover Area Historical Society and Dover Little Theater are teaming up together for a fun night at the movies. On Friday, May 12, the two organizations will host a presentation at Dover Little Theatre, 69 Elliott Street at 7:00 PM. The evening will start with 2 Betty Boop cartoons, an episode of Flash Gordon and the feature presentation of the 1944 classic film “Arsenic and Old Lace,’ starring Cary Grant, Raymond Massey, and others. We’re sure you’ll enjoy this dark comedy. Your $20 donation will be split 50/50 between the two organizations going toward a new boiler for the theater and renovating the exterior of the DAHS Museum House. Snacks will be available.  Join the community for a fun evening to benefit two worthwhile causes. Tickets are available through DAHS Trustees, Dover Little Theater (973 328-9202), by calling Phyllis at 973 366-4276 or calling Jeanne at 973 944-8604.  You can also see Lisa Newkirk at Town Hall to purchase tickets there (973 366-2200 ext 1160).



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Applebees Fundraiser for DAHS Youth Outreach – April 8, 2017


Come enjoy a hearty breakfast, see your friends and support a worthy cause! Proceeds will help fund our Youth Programs at the Dover Historical Society.

Tickets are available through Dover Historical Society Trustees as well as at the Dover Town Hall. Please see Lisa Newkirk at the Dover Town Hall to purchase tickets there. You may also call 973-366-4276 and leave a message and someone will get back with you.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Good Old Dover – Monthly Program Meeting – February 21, 2017 at 7:00 pm

What happened here?

Why is it a somewhat unique event?

What year was it?

Where is this location?

What is in that spot now?


How many scenes from good Old Dover can you remember?

Test your memory.  Enjoy a Power Point presentation by Stan Schoonmaker.  See what you can remember.

7:00 PM at the Museum House, 55 W. Blackwell St, Dover.  Refreshments will be served.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Dogs of Dover – Monthly Program Meeting on January 17, 2017

Dogs of Dover Rededication Ceremony

Come hear the interesting tale of the Dogs of Dover, which originally stood at the entrance to the George Richards mansion house on Prospect Street. They now “guard” the main entrance to Town Hall. Learn about who gave them to Dover and what the gift commemorated, the places they have stood, their restoration and their rededication which included visitors from abroad. Don’t miss our January 17, 2017 meeting at 7:00 P.M. at the Condict House, 55 W. Blackwell Street, Dover. Two Powerpoint presentations by Rick Kelly, our museum curator, will be presented.   In addition to learning about the Dover Dogs, Rick will present “2016 – DAHS Year in Review,” highlighting major society events from our 50th Anniversary Year.  Refreshments will be served.

Posted in Archive | Leave a comment

Returning the Museum House to it’s original Brick Facade


The Museum house was in dire need of painting – with great discussion the Board of Trustees of the Historical Society decided to take the paint off and return the house to it’s original Brick Facade. This should be completed just in time for our Annual Tea!

museum-house-2 museum-house-3museum-house-4

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

George Richard’s Building

George Richards Building (2)
One of the oldest and historical buildings is the George Richard’s Building located at the corner of Blackwell and Sussex Streets open in 1869. It was a modern department store, carrying a complete line of stationary, groceries, furniture, hardware, dry goods, shoes and sporting goods.
The store also had a large fleet of attractive red and gold horse drawn delivery wagons, pulled by 2 and 3 horse teams. They did $300,000. a year and were the largest department store in Morris County!
In later years generations knew this building as J.J Newberry Co.
This building is used today as Berkeley College.
Post Card photo is 1930’s circa
George Richards was Dover’s first mayor – 1869-71.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

DHS Monthly Program – Dover’s Postcard History

The Dover Area Historical Society will hold its monthly meeting on February 16 at the Museum House, 55 West Blackwell Street, starting at 7:00 p.m.  DAHS Vice President Stan Schoonmaker will present a Power Point “Dover’s Postcard History”.  For further information, call 973-361-3525 or visit our website

Train Station 4  

Posted in Archive | Leave a comment

Our History

The Dover Area Historical Society had its origin on May 4, 1966 when Mr. Willy Penderson called a special meeting at town hall for any citizens interested in local history. Fifteen people were at the first meeting and from this nucleus the society was born. The society was incorporated as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization named the Dover Historical Association. The name was changed to the Dover Area Historical Society in 1967.

From the very beginning, a museum location would be a problem. Two different store front locations were tried in the downtown, but abandon a short time later. The Johnson Storage Building on East Blackwell Street, the second oldest building in Dover at the time, dating back to before the Civil War, was being considered when Dover General Hospital offered the Bonnieview Estate located next to the hospital.

The Bonnieview mansion was built in 1876 for Alpheus Beemer and his wife Margaret. Mr. Beemer established a silk mill and Hurd Park and was the founder of the Nation Union Bank of Dover. Upon his death, the widow sold the property to Edwin Ross in 1885, a descendant of Betsy Ross, designer of the American Flag.

In the early part of the 20th century, Bonnieview becamse the popular Pine Terrance Inn, a gracious country retreat visited by such notables as President Grover Cleveland, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and well known personalities of the day. With the onset of Prohibition, the estate was sold to Harry Schwarz who later sold it to Dover General Hospital.

The historical society moved into the mansion house on June 18, 1970 with a 10-year lease with the hospital. Just one year into the lease and after over $30,000 in repairs and renovations, the hospital terminated the agreement and ordered the building be vacated in three months. For the next 27-years, the historical society would remain homeless, hosting its montly meetings in various churches and meeting halls around town.

In 2004, the First Presbyterian Church of Dover was trying to decide the fate of the old doctor’s house, known as the “church house” at 55 W. Blackwell Street. Knowing the historical society had been actively seeking a museum, the church offered to site to the organization for a 25-year period provided the group pay for all expenses of operating the house and performed repairs and renovations bringing the house up to town standards.

Today, the historical society meets at the museum house the third Tuesday of each month. Anyone wishing to become a member or wants further information can call the society at 973-361-3525.

We are in the process of building our new website – please check back to see the progress.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment