Dover is located in Norfolk County, about forty minutes from downtown Boston. It is bordered by Medfield, Needham, Natick, Sherborn, Walpole and Westwood. As a predominantly residential town, it provides a peaceful rural setting with many scenic roads. The residents of Dover strongly support the protection and acquisition of Open Space to maintain the country-like-feel. There are miles of shady trails and woods for walking, cross-country skiing, birding, and horseback riding, as well as access to the Charles River.
Public education is highly valued by the community as shown by the consistent ranking at the top for schools in the state and the nation. There is a high degree of volunteerism and an active senior community. Dover is governed by an elected Board of Selectmen and through its annual Town Meeting, held in May.
Dover’s history goes back over 350 years. It was first settled around 1635 and was originally part of the Dedham Grant. Prior to its incorporation as a Town, the area was named Springfield because it was predominantly a farming community with open fields centered around the “bubbling springs” of Trout Brook. It was incorporated as a Town in 1836. The chairman of the Springfield Parish committee chose the name “Dover” in honor of his ancestral home in England.
Farming was once the principal industry of Dover. Other industries, including lumbering for the shipbuilding industry, a grist mill, a nail factory, and an iron rolling business, were also developed. Little remains of Dover’s industrial heritage. However, the remains of the Dover Union Iron Mill in Noanet Woodlands were reconstructed and serve as a monument to the ingenuity of the Town’s forebears in using water power to drive the machinery to create iron bars. While farming is largely absent today, Dover’s farming heritage is still evident in the rural quality of the Town. Scenery common to farming communities in New England (such as open pasture land; stands of white pine, birch, oak, and maple; old stone walls dividing properties; and farm houses and barns) is still very much in evidence today. This heritage and country atmosphere is highly valued by the citizens of Dover.