Dover400 lecture series continues in March

posted on: 2/23/2021

Dover400, a committee of residents organizing Dover’s 400th Anniversary, continues its virtual historical lecture series on March 9, 2021 at 7 p.m. with an online presentation detailing an important recent archeological dig at the site of the First Parish Church’s 1654 Meetinghouse on Dover Point Road.

The March lecture features Dr. Meghan Howey, UNH anthropology professor, and Diane Fiske, First Parish Church historian, who will present their research on the early colonial landscape of Dover Point. The Church Meetinghouse was erected ca. 1654, fortified 1667—1675, removed prior to the Revolutionary War, and the property was deeded back to First Parish Church in 1889. In 1983, the site was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Dover400 lecture series continues in March

posted on: 2/23/2021

Dover400, a committee of residents organizing Dover’s 400th Anniversary, continues its virtual historical lecture series on March 9, 2021 at 7 p.m. with an online presentation detailing an important recent archeological dig at the site of the First Parish Church’s 1654 Meetinghouse on Dover Point Road.

The March lecture features Dr. Meghan Howey, UNH anthropology professor, and Diane Fiske, First Parish Church historian, who will present their research on the early colonial landscape of Dover Point. The Church Meetinghouse was erected ca. 1654, fortified 1667—1675, removed prior to the Revolutionary War, and the property was deeded back to First Parish Church in 1889. In 1983, the site was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Howey and Fiske, along with a cadre of volunteers, explored the site during the summers of 2018 and 2019. They gained valuable insight, through recovered artifacts and buried structures, into the diversity of lives and colonial experiences that were not fully captured in written documents, including information on indigenous peoples, enslaved Africans, and indentured Scots. Although historical records are important for understanding early colonialism in New Hampshire, they were written from a dominant, Euro-centric, often biased perspective. Howey and Fiske believe that the physical materials people discard and leave behind offer important evidence as to what went on that didn’t make it into the history books.

Diane Fiske has served as Historian of Dover’s First Parish Church since 2010, preserving early church and town records in the church archives, sharing the stories they tell with all who are interested, and providing genealogical information to those whose ancestors were early church members. She also serves as a volunteer transcriptionist of colonial church records for the Hidden Histories Project of the Congregational Library in Boston. She is presently Historical Researcher for the Great Bay Archaeological Survey (GBAS) Project with UNH, conducting extensive early colonial records research (deeds, probates, etc.) to help GBAS identify 17th century sites for survey and excavation.

Dr. Meghan Howey is an anthropological archaeologist specializing in landscape archaeology and interdisciplinary approaches to deep-time coupled human natural systems. She is a Professor in the Anthropology Department and the Earth Systems Research Center at UNH. Howey has conducted research in North America, Europe, and East Africa. Currently, Howey directs the Great Bay Archaeological Survey (GBAS), a community-engaged and interdisciplinary archaeology program exploring 17th and early 18th century landscapes within NH’s Great Bay Estuary. She is interested in how this early colonial period can help us better understand our place in the Anthropocene today. Her work is supported by the James H. Hayes and Claire Short Hayes Professor of the Humanities and an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship.

Upcoming lectures include:

  • A Historian Lives the Revolution: Rev. Jeremy Belknap in the Crossroads of the 18th Century
  • History of the Cocheco Cotton Mills
  • Dover railroad history
  • Dover regiments in the Civil War
  • Dover Booms as a 19th Century Shipping Port
  • Treasures of the Woodman Museum
  • Downtown Dover During the early 20th Century
  • Dover’s service in the two World Wars

This month's presentation, "Dover in the 17th Century: Abenaki Life and History from an Indigenous Perspective," held Feb. 9, can be viewed here: dovernh.viebit.com/player.php?hash=4k0jdzXnB4Fh.

Each presentation is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required. To sign up for the March 9, 2021 lecture, click here or visit www.Dover400.org

Dover400 is currently underway with its first fundraising campaign, $400 for 400, an effort to solicit 400 donors at $400 to celebrate Dover’s 400th Anniversary. All proceeds will support the activities planned throughout 2023. For more information, please visit www.Dover400.org.

Established in 1623, Dover was the first permanent settlement in New Hampshire. Dover400 is a group of appointed volunteers gathered to plan and organize the City’s 400th birthday celebration which will include historical reenactments, fireworks and parades, school involvement, souvenirs and more.


Dover400 is comprised of fourteen enthusiastic citizens from diverse backgrounds who are all committed to one purpose: ensuring a Dover is recognized and celebrated for this momentous event. Members include: Kevin McEneaney, Chair; Sam Allen, Vice-Chair; Nicole Desjarlais-Paulick, Secretary; Kathleen Morrison, Treasurer; Deborah Ballok; Cathy Beaudoin; Bob Carrier; Angela Carter; Guy Eaton; J. Andrew Galt; Zachary Koehler; Tom Massingham; and Karen Weston.