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Hayes Shoe Factory

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The first shoe shop in Dover actually opened in1847 at the corner of Sixth and Chestnut Streets. Cyrus E. and Samuel C. Hayes, brothers from Farmington (location of N.H.’s largest shoe shops) employed shoemakers to hand cut and prepare the leather stock which was then sent out to smaller shops for finishing. But most of Dover’s shoe manufacturers started just after the Civil War when homecoming soldiers provided and ample supply of labor. Some companies did not last long while others prospered into the twentieth century. It is assumed that all the new machinery available for the mass production of large quantities of shoes had much to do in making or spoiling fortunes. Over a dozen shoe factories were in operation between Third and Sixth Streets by the 1870s. These factories moved around a lot within the neighborhood, changing names and affiliations as partners split and reunited with another. It was not unusual to find two competitors sharing the same factory.

From the 1993 Heritage Walking Tour Booklet.

 

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