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Dover High School on Chestnut Street 1851-1905

DHS First Streete.jpg

DoverHSfirst street.jpg

DHS Chestnut Street.jpg

On the sight of the "Sham Battle" in the midst of the beautiful grove Dover's first high school was built in 1851. Land was purchased from the Cocheco Manufacturing Company for $600 and the building erected for $15,000. A three-year course of study was instituted, but only students form the north side of the river were allowed to attend. In 1869, the Dover school system was consolidated, the inequities remedied, and all Dover students welcomed. By this time, 80 students were in attendance. In 1873-74, the great grove of trees behind the school was cut down to make room for railroad expansion, and the beautiful west end of Chestnut Street was in decline. By 1904, the building was considered "poor in location and equipment" and a new facility was built on Locust Street (now the McConnell Center). The building on Chestnut Street reverted back to the mill owners in 1907, who tore down the old school to erect the warehouse that was eventually torn down in March, 1976, when it was known as Eastern States Warehouse.
From the1985 Heritage Walking Tour booklet

The principal's room in the upper story was approximately 42 feet by 44 feet and 15 feet from floor to ceiling.
On the side of the room opposite the entrance was a platform 32 feet long by 6 feet wide and elevates some seven or eight inches from the floor.
In the center was placed the teacher's desk, the assistants having their tables at each side. In the rear of the platform was situated two recitation rooms, 12 feet by 20 feet: a very wide space between the rooms was occupied by deep closets, provided with glass doors, designed for the safe keeping of apparatus. The story below was fitted for a grammar school.
From Dover High School 1851-1905

This School building did not approach the present Dover High in size or convenience, but it was somewhat imposing. It stood well back from the street with a long straight walk leading to it. It was built of brick with a portico across the front supported by columns with an arch-way from one to the next and a square cupola projected from the roof.
The walk to the building, shaded by beautiful maple trees, the quiet of the neighborhood and the personnel of the teachers created an atmosphere which helped the students to achieve the best that was in them.
From School Affairs in Dover by Emily Tapley


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