Dover’s prominence in the early province is typically overlooked

Not only is Dover the oldest permanent settlement in New Hampshire, it’s also the largest city in the Seacoast region today, with more than 30,000 residents. The region, however, adds to way more.

An hour northeast of Boston and with proximity to both Atlantic Ocean rugged shoreline and beaches as well as New Hampshire’s White Mountains, Dover has also become the fastest-growing city in the Granite State.

The town originally encompassed what’s now Durham (home of the University of New Hampshire), Barrington, Lee, Madbury, Rollinsford, Somersworth, and parts of Newington and Rochester. It also interacted heavily with the earliest settlements of Maine across the Piscataqua River, back when fishing was a leading business, followed by logging and sawmilling.

Still, there has also been a longstanding rivalry with Portsmouth just downstream, ever since its enterprising merchants rose to the fore. You know, uppity. Well, they do have the Music Hall.

Dover, I’ll insist, has been more modest. I’ll refrain from adding more for now.

For perspective, the region today has more than a half-million residents.

I like to think the center of gravity is shifting back to Dover. We’ll see. In the meantime, there’s that big 400th anniversary to celebrate.

Please stand by, as they used to say on radio.

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