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The Silver House


Pierce house.jpg
53 Silver Street, also known as the Pierce-Piper House


  53 Silver St 3.jpg


Built by Henry Mellen, Esquire in 1796-1791, this center chimney house of simple colonial symmetry boasts a distinctive doorway, fluted columns and pilasters uphold a porch which has a carved wooden apron. This house was responsible, according to legend, for Silver Street’s name as the Mellens owned several fine silver pieces.
        From the 1979 Heritage Walk Tour Booklet

The property originally ran from Belknap Street to Locust and Mellen lived there with his first wife, Elizabeth Hovey, until her death in 1793, and then with his second wife, Martha Wentworth Frost, and their six children until his death in 1809, In 1822 the property was sold to Andrew Pierce for $1835. Pierce was a prominent local businessman who served as moderator at every town meeting from 1822-1829 and served in the local legislature 1817-1824, once as Speaker of the House. As a member of the Strafford Lodge of Free Masons, it was he who delivered the address at the laying of the cornerstone for Mill #2 of the Dover Manufacturing Company. When Dover became a city in 1855, Pierce was elected, at age 70, its first mayor. He died in this home in 1862, but the house remained in the family until the death of his widow in 1875.In 1880, the house was sold to G. Fisher Piper who divided it into two sections: one-half for he and Mrs. Piper, the other half for his two schoolteacher sister, Mary and Sarah. Mary Piper survived everyone, and eventually left the home to her companion, Constancia Smith.
        From the 1987 Heritage Walking Tour Booklet  

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