skip to main navigation
skip to main content

Dover Library Home

Dover Public Library Logo


The American House

American House 5.jpg

June 23, 1857 Ex-President Franklin Pierce stopped in Dover to speak to the crowd
from the portico of the American House. It was the only time Mr. Pierce ever spoke in Dover.
Pierce was accompanied by James M. Mason, the author of the controversial Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.

American House 2e.jpg  American House 4e.jpg

Immigrants were not the only new addition to Dover in the 19th and early 20th century; by the 1840's the Franklin Square area boasted the railroad, hence there was a veritable boom in hotel building at this time. The hotels in the area differed in both size and style.

american house 8.jpg

The most famous, and most successful, was the American House on Main Street. Established in 1853, the American House was a landmark of Franklin Square. But is was not the first hotel in the area,. Prior to the opening of the American house, the Eagle Hotel was on this site and, like the American, was noted for its comfort and style. Throughout the 19th century and well into the 20th, the American House enjoyed remarkable success. It was, however, torn down about 1960 and replaced with a motel.
    From the 1983 Heritage Walking Tour booklet.


This historical essay is provided free to all readers as an educational service. It may not be reproduced on any website, list, bulletin board, or in print without the permission of the Dover Public Library. Links to the Dover Public Library homepage or a specific article's URL are permissible.