Dover, New Jersey
Dover is a town in Morris County, New Jersey, United States. Located on the Rockaway River, Dover is about 31 miles (50 km) west of New York City and about 23 miles (37 km) west of Newark, New Jersey. As of the 2010 United States Census, the town's population was 18,157, reflecting a decline of 31 (-0.2%) from the 18,188 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 3,073 (+20.3%) from the 15,115 counted in the 1990 Census. Dover has become a majority minority community, with nearly 70% of the population as of the 2010 Census identifying themselves as Hispanic, up from 25% in 1980.
Dover, New Jersey
|Town of Dover|
Friends Meetinghouse of Randolph in 1936
Census Bureau map of Dover, New Jersey
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Incorporated||April 1, 1869|
|Independent||March 5, 1896|
|Named for||Dover, England or Dover, New Hampshire|
|• Body||Board of Aldermen|
|• Mayor||James P. Dodd (D, term ends December 31, 2019)|
|• Administrator||Donald J. Travisano|
|• Municipal Clerk||Tara Pettoni|
|• Total||2.730 sq mi (7.070 km2)|
|• Land||2.684 sq mi (6.951 km2)|
|• Water||0.046 sq mi (0.119 km2) 1.68%|
|Area rank||362nd of 566 in state|
29th of 39 in county
|Elevation||558 ft (170 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Rank||142nd of 566 in state|
11th of 39 in county
|• Density||6,765.5/sq mi (2,612.2/km2)|
|• Density rank||67th of 566 in state|
2nd of 39 in county
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (Eastern (EDT))|
|GNIS feature ID||0885196|
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Parks and recreation
- 5 Government
- 6 Education
- 7 Infrastructure
- 8 Community
- 9 Popular culture
- 10 Notable people
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Joseph Latham was deeded the land that includes present-day Dover in 1713, from portions of land that had been purchased from Native Americans by the Proprietors of West Jersey. On May 31, 1722, Latham and his wife Jane deeded 527 acres (2.13 km2) over to John Jackson of Flushing, New York. Jackson settled on the eastern portion of his land along Granny's Brook at the site of what would later become the Ross Ribbon Factory on Park Heights Avenue.
Iron ore at the time was so plentiful that it could be collected off the ground at the nearby Dickerson Mine in Mine Hill. At Jackson's Forge, ore would be processed into bars that would then be transported to Paterson and other industrial areas towards the east. The passage of the Iron Act by the British Parliament led to financial difficulties, leading Jackson into bankruptcy in 1753, with all of his property and belongings sold off at a Sheriff's sale. Quaker Hartshorne Fitz Randolph purchased Jackson's property and annexed to his own existing property, which would later become part of Randolph Township.
Dover was incorporated as a town on April 1, 1869, within Randolph Township and became fully independent as of March 5, 1896. The town charter was amended in 1875. On May 7, 1896, Dover was reincorporated as a city and regained its status as a town on March 21, 1899, after the referendum that approved the change was invalidated by a court ruling.
In its past, Dover has had extensive iron and mill works, machine shops, stove, furnace, and range works, boiler and bridge works, rolling mills, drill works, knitting and silk mills, and a large hosiery factory (MacGregors). During this period, Dover was a port on the Morris Canal while it was operational; the boat basin was located at what is today the JFK Commons Park.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town had a total area of 2.730 square miles (7.070 km2), including 2.684 square miles (6.951 km2) of land and 0.046 square miles (0.119 km2) of water (1.68%).
|Population sources: 1880-1920|
1930-1990 2000 2010
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 18,157 people, 5,562 households, and 3,876.714 families residing in the town. The population density was 6,765.5 per square mile (2,612.2/km2). There were 5,783 housing units at an average density of 2,154.8 per square mile (832.0/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 66.55% (12,083) White, 6.10% (1,108) Black or African American, 0.63% (114) Native American, 2.54% (461) Asian, 0.05% (9) Pacific Islander, 19.88% (3,610) from other races, and 4.25% (772) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 69.38% (12,598) of the population.
There were 5,562 households out of which 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.6% were married couples living together, 15.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.3% were non-families. 22.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.21 and the average family size was 3.54.
In the town, the population was spread out with 21.6% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 32.8% from 25 to 44, 24.5% from 45 to 64, and 10.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.5 years. For every 100 females there were 110.9 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 111.2 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $59,454 (with a margin of error of +/- $3,227) and the median family income was $61,187 (+/- $2,750). Males had a median income of $34,722 (+/- $4,750) versus $28,098 (+/- $4,993) for females. The per capita income for the town was $21,581 (+/- $990). About 3.6% of families and 10.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.8% of those under age 18 and 15.8% of those age 65 or over.
While the 2010 Census showed that 13% of New Jersey's population was Hispanic, Dover's Hispanic population accounted for 69.4% of all residents, ranked fifth in the state by percentage; the city was one of 13 municipalities in the state with a Hispanic majority. The town had notable percentages of residents who were Colombians (15.2% of all residents), Mexicans (14.9%), Puerto Ricans (11.1%), Ecuadorians (5.6%), Hondurans (4.7%) and Peruvians (2.8%), with smaller percentages (from 1-2%) of Costa Ricans, Uruguayans, Chileans and Salvadorans.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 18,188 people, 5,436 households, and 3,919 families residing in Dover. The population density was 6,788.2 people per square mile (2,620.3/km2). There were 5,568 housing units at an average density of 2,078.1 per square mile (802.2/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 69.45% White, 6.83% African American, 0.34% Native American, 2.47% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 15.99% from other races, and 4.89% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 57.94% of the population.
11.27% of Dover residents identified themselves as being of Colombian American ancestry in the 2000 Census, the second-highest percentage of the population of any municipality in the United States (behind neighboring Victory Gardens, New Jersey which had 15.27% of residents so identified) with 1,000 residents identifying their ancestry.
There were 5,436 households out of which 35.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.2% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.9% were non-families. 21.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.29 and the average family size was 3.55.
In the town, the population was spread out with 23.2% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 36.0% from 25 to 44, 19.8% from 45 to 64, and 10.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 106.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 106.7 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $53,423, and the median income for a family was $57,141. Males had a median income of $31,320 versus $27,413 for females. The per capita income for the town was $18,056. About 8.2% of families and 13.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.5% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.
Dover has a large Hispanic population with the largest concentrations being of Mexican, Colombian, Dominican and Puerto Rican ancestry. Hispanics have been a demographic majority since 1980, and have grown quickly. As of the 2000 Census, Dover's population was 57.9% Hispanic, making it the municipality with the fifth-highest Hispanic population percentage in New Jersey and one of eight New Jersey municipalities with a Hispanic majority. The surrounding Morris County area is predominantly non-Hispanic (7.8% Hispanic or Latino, of any race).
Parks and recreationEdit
- Hamilton Field is one of Dover's recreation centers, featuring a football field with bleachers, soccer fields, and a historic cinder track that is used by walkers and joggers.
- JFK Memorial Commons Park consists of a children's play park and the town Gazebo. JFK Park hosts the town's annual Christmas tree lighting, Easter egg hunt, Halloween parade, summer concerts and on occasions ceremonies following town parades. The park was constructed by filling in the basin for the old Morris Canal. The name was given following the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963.
- Crescent Field includes a new turf soccer field and is the hosting site for Dover's annual Colombian Festival.
- Water Works Park consists of a baseball field, picnic area, and accessible banks of the Rockaway River. The Water Commission purchased the lane in 1902 and developed wells for much needed water to a growing community. In 1933, the land became a playground for picnicking and swimming in the nearby Rockaway River.
- Hurd Park is a passive park with no playgrounds or ballfields. Ideal location for wedding and graduation photographs with its Greek style pavilion having fluted columns and a circular gazebo-like center with a red-tiled roof and a scenic background. Donated to the town in 1911 by John Hurd, the park is also host to a 1922 World War I Spirit of the American Doughboy statue, one of a few found around the country. The park also displays a Civil War Memorial, a Spanish American War Memorial and a brick-walk memorial naming those on stone bricks who served in the Armed Forces. The park is also adjacent to Indian Falls, a scenic walk along the Jackson Brook to Hedden Park.
- Hedden Park on Reservoir Avenue. An active park, mostly in Randolph Township, with a picnic pavilion and tables, stone cooking grills for picnics in the woods, paddle boats in season, playgrounds, ball fields and hiking trails.
- Triangle Park. In downtown Dover at the foot of Prospect Street, the small park is maintained by Dover's Renaissance Club and the home of Hudson Favell's "Story Poles."
- Hooey Park is a small neighborhood park with a climbing playground for kids located in the Salem Village section of town.
- Richards Avenue Park is a small park built on a vacant lot consisting of a small climbing playground for kids.
- Bowlby Park and King Field located in North Dover was developed for Little League Baseball, soccer and high school girls softball games.
- Mountain Park is located in South Dover on the old Munson Mine Tract and is being developed for hiking trails.
Dover Town operates using the Town form of government and is governed by a Mayor and Board of Aldermen. The Mayor is elected at-large to a four-year term of office. The Board of Aldermen consists of eight members, with two Aldermen elected to two-year terms from each of the four wards on a staggered basis, with one Aldermanic seat coming up for election each year in each ward.
As of 2019[update], the Mayor of Dover Town is Democrat James P. Dodd, whose term of office ends on December 31, 2019. Members of the Board of Aldermen are Carolyn Blackman (D, 2020; 3rd Ward), William O'Connor (D, 2019; 1st Ward), Humberto Quinones (D, 2020; 2nd Ward), Cindy Romaine (D, 2019; 2nd Ward), Steven Toth (D, 2019; 4th Ward), Carlos A. Valencia (D, 2020; 4th Ward), James A. Visioli (D, 2019; 3rd Ward) and Sandra Milena Wittner (D, 2020; 1st Ward).
Dover serves as the lead agency operating a joint municipal court that also serves the neighboring municipalities of Mine Hill Township, Mount Arlington, Victory Gardens and Wharton. Established in 2009, the joint municipal court was projected to offer annual savings in excess of $250,000 over the 10-year life of the agreement.
Federal, state and county representationEdit
Dover Town is located in the 7th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 25th state legislative district. Prior to the 2010 Census, Dover Town had been part of the 11th Congressional District, a change made by the New Jersey Redistricting Commission that took effect in January 2013, based on the results of the November 2012 general elections.
For the 116th United States Congress. New Jersey's Seventh Congressional District is represented by Tom Malinowski (D, Rocky Hill). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (Paramus, term ends 2025).
For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 25th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Tony Bucco (R, Boonton Township) and in the General Assembly by Michael Patrick Carroll (R, Morris Township), the second Assembly seat is currently vacant.
Senator Anthony R. Bucco died in September 2019. A special convention of the Republican County Committee members from the district met on October 15, 2019, and unanimously selected his son, Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco to fill his father's seat until a 2020 special election. Assemblyman Bucco then resigned from the Assembly and on October 24, 2019 was sworn into the Senate. Following the 2019 General Election, another special convention will then be held made up of the Republican County Committee members, in order to fill the vacant Assembly seat. Whoever is selected will serve until the end of the current Legislative Session, January 14, 2020.
Morris County is governed by a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders, who are elected at-large in partisan elections, to three-year terms on a staggered basis, with either one or three seats up for election each year as part of the November general election. The Freeholder Board sets policies for the operation of six super-departments, more than 30 divisions plus authorities, commissions, boards and study committees. Actual day-to-day operation of departments is supervised by County Administrator, John Bonanni. As of 2019[update], Morris County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Douglas Cabana (R, Boonton Township, 2019), Deputy Freeholder Director Heather Darling (R, Roxbury, 2020), Kathryn A. DeFillippo (R, Roxbury Township, 2019, John Krickus (R, Washington Township, 2021), Thomas J. Mastrangelo (R, Montville, 2019), Stephen H. Shaw (R, Mountain Lakes, 2021), and Deborah Smith (R, Denville, 2021).
Pursuant to Article VII Section II of the New Jersey State Constitution, each county in New Jersey is required to have three elected administrative officials known as "constitutional officers." These officers are the County Clerk and County Surrogate (both elected for five-year terms of office) and the County Sheriff (elected for a three-year term). As of 2019[update], they are County Clerk Ann F. Grossi (R, Parsippany, 2023), Sheriff James M. Gannon (R, Boonton Township, 2019) and Surrogate John Pecoraro (R, Mendham Borough, 2019).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 6,613 registered voters in Dover. Of those, 2,603 (39.4%) were registered as Democrats, 1,125 (17.0%) were registered as Republicans, 2,881 (43.6%) were registered as Unaffiliated, and 4 were registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 72.4% of the vote (3,223 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 26.8% (1,195 votes), and other candidates with 0.8% (35 votes), among the 4,494 ballots cast by the town's 7,196 registered voters (41 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 62.5%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 67.1% of the vote (3,172 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 31.7% (1,500 votes) and other candidates with 0.7% (31 votes), among the 4,727 ballots cast by the town's 7,019 registered voters, for a turnout of 67.3%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 57.2% of the vote (2,658 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush with 41.2% (1,914 votes) and other candidates with 0.5% (34 votes), among the 4,643 ballots cast by the town's 7,356 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 63.1.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 54.0% of the vote (1,055 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 43.6% (853 votes), and other candidates with 2.4% (47 votes), among the 1,994 ballots cast by the town's 7,078 registered voters (39 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 28.2%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 55.6% of the vote (1,408 ballots cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 36.3% (919 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 5.6% (142 votes) and other candidates with 0.8% (21 votes), among the 2,532 ballots cast by the town's 6,750 registered voters, yielding a 37.5% turnout.
The Dover School District serves students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2014-15 school year, the district and its five schools had an enrollment of 3,149 students and 216.1 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 14.6:1. Schools in the district (with 2014-15 enrollment from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Academy Street Elementary School (grades PreK-6, 608 students), East Dover Elementary School (K-6, 483), North Dover Elementary School (PreK-6, 750), Dover Middle School (7-8, 462) and Dover High School (9-12, 893).
The district serves students from Victory Gardens, which has been fully consolidated into the Dover School District since 2010. Students in grades 7-12 from Mine Hill Township attend the district's schools as part of a sending/receiving relationship.
Sacred Heart School was a Catholic school serving students in pre-school through eighth grade that operated under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson. A successful fundraising effort in 2006 had kept the school open despite plans to close the school, but in 2009 the Paterson Diocese announced that declining enrollment and financial difficulties would lead to the school's closure at the conclusion of the 2008-09 school year.
The Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art, a technical school founded in 1976 by cartoonist Joe Kubert and his wife Muriel and the only accredited school devoted to cartooning and graphic art, is located in Dover.
Roads and highwaysEdit
As of May 2010[update], the town had a total of 42.84 miles (68.94 km) of roadways, of which 34.39 miles (55.35 km) were maintained by the municipality, 4.85 miles (7.81 km) by Morris County and 3.60 miles (5.79 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
Dover is served by NJ Transit bus routes 875 and 880, replacing service on the MCM2, MCM5, MCM7 and MCM10 routes until June 2010, when NJ Transit pulled the subsidy as part of budget cuts.
The NJ Transit Morristown Line and Montclair-Boonton Line stop at the Dover train station. Trains operate to Hackettstown, Netcong, Boonton, Morristown, Montclair State University, Summit, the Oranges, Newark, Hoboken, New York City, and intermediate points.
Lakeland Bus Lines provides regular service to Sparta, Newton, Mount Olive, Rockaway, Boonton, Parsippany, Wayne, New York City, and intermediate points from their terminal on the Rockaway Township border. Service is also provided from Wednesday to Sunday between Dover and Atlantic City 
Dover is served by numerous local taxi services. Taxis can be found waiting outside of the supermarkets, bars, bus stations, and train station.
Dover is served by St. Clare's Dover General Hospital, located on Route 46, which is the local medical facility for Dover and other communities in western Morris County. Saint Clare's Denville Hospital is located 5 miles (8.0 km) east of Dover in Denville, and Morristown Medical Center is located 11 miles (18 km) east of Dover in Morristown. The Zufall Health Center is located on Warren Street and provides basic medical and dental services to low-income residents of Dover and neighboring communities.
The community of Dover is centered around a developed downtown area around Blackwell Street, featuring many eateries primarily owned and run by Hispanics of various countries, offering their ethnic food. Other culinary establishments include sushi, pizza, coffee shops, and popular Irish and Italian food.
Dover has been described as a walking town, as most parts of town are within about a 1/2 mile of the downtown area and most streets have sidewalks.
- The climactic scene of the 2008 movie, The Wrestler, was filmed at the Baker Theater.
- Metallica played their first ever New Jersey show at Showplace in Dover on April 16, 1983. It was also the first time the band performed live with lead guitarist Kirk Hammett.
- The music video for Eddie Money's "I Wanna Go Back" was filmed on Blackwell Street and at the old Dover High School, Dover Middle School, and now Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art.
- Dover is referenced multiple times in The Sopranos. In season 2, episode 17 ("Commendatori"), Elvis impersonator/DiMeo crime family associate, Jimmy Bones, tells Big Pussy Bonpensiero and Agent Skip Lipari that he was born and raised in Dover, New Jersey and emphasizes that the town was named after the Cliffs of Dover. In episode 5 of season 5 ("Irregular Around the Margins"), Tony Soprano and Adriana La Cerva get into a car accident in Dover, New Jersey, where they were going to buy cocaine.
- Dover was featured on episode 25 of season 6 of Impractical Jokers titled "Dover and Out" in which "Q", a member of the comedy troupe The Tenderloins pretends to be an artist and reveals a mural stating "Dover sucks" to the town's government and residents.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Dover include:
- Lois Barker (1923–2018), All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player.
- William F. Birch (1870–1946) represented New Jersey's 5th congressional district.
- Shane Davis, comic book artist.
- Paula Kassell (1917-2012), founder of New Directions for Women who successfully pushed The New York Times to use the term "Ms." in reference to women.
- Joseph Kekuku (1874–1932), inventor of the steel guitar.
- X. J. Kennedy (born 1929), writer and poet.
- Adam Kubert (born 1959), cartoonist and instructor at The Kubert School.
- Andy Kubert (born 1962), cartoonist and instructor at The Kubert School.
- Joe Kubert (1926-2012), cartoonist and founder of The Kubert School.
- Jacque MacKinnon (1938–1975), tight end for the San Diego Chargers.
- Drew Miller (born 1984), left wing who has played for the Detroit Red Wings.
- Sidney Mintz (1922–2015), anthropologist best known for his studies of the Caribbean, creolization and the anthropology of food.
- PES (born 1973 as Adam Pesapane), Oscar and Emmy-nominated director and stop-motion animator, whose short film Fresh Guacamole was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2013.
- Reince Priebus (born 1972), chairman of the Republican National Committee.
- Sherry Ross (born c. 1954), sports broadcaster and journalist who is a color commentator for the New Jersey Devils radio broadcasts.
- Gail Sontgerath (born 1944), gymnast whi competed in six events at the 1960 Summer Olympics.
- Edgar Tillyer (1881-1970), astronomer, computer and lens designer who was the director of research at the American Optical Company.
- Jyles Tucker (born 1983), linebacker for the San Diego Chargers.
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- Semuels, Alana. "White Flight Never Ended; Today's cities may be more diverse overall, but people of different races still don't live near each other.", The Atlantic Citylab, July 30, 2015. Accessed August 4, 2015. "Segregation isn't just happening between black and white towns. Hispanic and Asian residents are segregated into their own cities and towns, too. Dover, New Jersey, for instance, a town 30 miles west of New York, was 70 percent Hispanic in the 2010 Census. In 1980, it was only 25 percent Hispanic."
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- Kullen, Charlotte G. "Randolph — A Day in the Life", Daily Record (Morristown), October 21, 1999. Accessed April 27, 2012. "It is here that in 1722, Dover's first European settler, John Jackson, built an iron forge that gave birth to the industry that for the next 212 centuries [sic] would shape the growth of the town... The ban wiped out Jackson, who sold his farm to Hartshorne Fitz Randolph, for whom the modern township is named, and his forge to Josiah Beaman."
- Honeyman, Abraham Van Doren. Index-analysis of the Statutes of New Jersey, 1896-1909: Together with References to All Acts, and Parts of Acts, in the 'General Statutes' and Pamphlet Laws Expressly Repealed: and the Statutory Crimes of New Jersey During the Same Period, p. 210. New Jersey Law Journal Publishing Company, 1910. Accessed September 22, 2015.
- Snyder, John P. The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968, Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. p. 192. Accessed July 9, 2013.
- Historical Timeline of Morris County Boundaries, Morris County Library. Accessed December 24, 2016. "1869, April 1. Dover Town is established from Rockaway and Randolph. It is called Dover City during 1896-1899."
- Daigle, Michael. "Morris Canal's history gains more support: $440,000 in grants will help residents' preservation efforts", Daily Record (Morristown), July 4, 2004. Accessed April 27, 2012.
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- Mascarenhas, Rohan. "Census data shows Hispanics as the largest minority in N.J.", The Star-Ledger, February 3, 2011. Accessed December 18, 2017.
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- Colombian Communities, EPodunk. Accessed August 23, 2006.
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