Heritage & History
The following are excerpts from Dover Town Plan.
Dover was settled in 1779 by Captain Abner Perry of Hollister, Massachusetts. The real history of Dover began when a Vermont Charter, signed by Governor Thomas Chittenden, head of the newly formed Vermont Republic, was granted on November 7, 1780, to William Ward of Newfane and sixty associates. This parcel of land containing about 26,464 acres was incorporated into a township named Wardsborough. A petition to divide the Town of Wardsborough into north and south was signed on September 25, 1878. On October 30, 1810, the Legislative Assembly passed an Act to incorporate Wardsborough and Dover into separate towns; the south district called Dover.
The early 1900's brought the beginning of the tourist industry to the area. Summer residences were established on the Handle Road and Cooper Hill. Many of the local residents began taking in summer boarders. People would come by train by way of Wilmington and Brattleboro to spend one week to the whole summer at various farms throughout the town.
In 1953, Walter Schoenknecht of East Haven, Connecticut, purchased the Ruben Snow farm, and turned it into the Mount Snow Ski Area. This marked the beginning of the Dover we see today. In the beginning there were only a couple of ski lodges in the area. The summer boarders became a thing of the past, and practically everyone who had a spare room or attic began taking in skiers. As time went on, lodges and motels began to spring up, as well as restaurants, stores, ski shops, and nightclubs.
The early skier was often brought in to Mount Snow by sleigh or Bombardier when the road to the mountain was dirt and impassable by car. A new access road, now Route 100, was built and paved.
Vacation home developments sprang up near the base of the mountain. An airport and golf course were also built. Mount Snow established its now famous Golf School in the 1970s.
In 1996, Mount Snow was sold to the American Skiing Company. The company built the Grand Summit Hotel and Conference Center.
The Town of Dover is in the center of southern Vermont. The entire town covers 35.8 square miles, which is characterized by mountainous terrain. These ranges have elevations reaching over 2500 feet.