The Dover Historical Society, an all-volunteer association, was organized in 1895 and incorporated September 1, 1900 to collect, preserve, and exhibit such artifacts, information, and documents as will throw light on our local history. Any person may become a member by paying the dues.
The Society offers public programs, and mounts a major exhibit annually at the Sawin Museum.

The Caryl House offers educational programs to elementary classes at the nearby Chickering School, and programs in The Fisher Barn are being developed for that same purpose.

The Society also assists members in developing material supporting the Society’s mission. Most recently, members have published a history of the Dover Union Iron Mill, and a Historical Insight series using materials in the Caryl House.

The Society’s Annual Meeting in March highlights the efforts of Dover citizens and others to describe the community’s history.

On February 25, 1901, the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts established Old Home Week to celebrate and honor returning sons and daughters.

Dover held its first Old Home Day on August 19, 1903, with great success, and followed this with a second Old Home Day, July 7, 1909, celebrating the 125th anniversary of the incorporation of the town.

In 2002, the Society decided to revive Old Home Day and did so on October 5 2002, and then again on October 6, 2003. Both days were received by the community with such enthusiastic support that Old Home Day is becoming an annual event to be held the first weekend in October.

Directions North or South on I-95 (Rte. 128), exit at 19B onto Highland Avenue, Needham. Turn right at the first light [Muzi Ford is on your right]. You will be on Gould Street. Take Gould to the T-intersection and turn left. Follow Gould Street for several miles. There will be one traffic light at Great Plain Ave. You will cross the Charles River into Dover. In a mile or so you will see the center of Dover ahead. Before you get there, turn left on Dedham Street. Coming from Needham, it is a hairpin left turn. (If you see the cemetery on your left or come to the traffic light, you have gone too far; turn around and make the first right.) The Sawin Museum, headquarters of the Dover Historical Society, is immediately on your left at the top of a small rise (80 Dedham). Turn up the driveway and park by the museum. Continue to follow Dedham Street for about about 1/2 mile. You will see the Benjamin Caryl House (107 Dedham) and Fisher Barn sites on the right.
Mission: The object of the Society is to collect (either by gift, limited time-loan, or purchase), preserve, and exhibit such artifacts, information, and documents as will throw light upon our local history, to use our resources to provide interesting and educational services to our community and the public at large, and in any way to advance the aims of the Society by such means as are at our command.
Founded: 1895
Collection overview: A part of the Mission of the Dover Historical Society is to preserve and exhibit historic documents. As a part of this new and expanded website, we are pleased to share these valuable pieces of our history. Dover Days Gone By (Final Edition by Richard H. Vara) Order here or call 508-785-0567. The Dover Reporter (complete edition, containing all years of publication) The Dover Union Iron Mill (hardcover, 112 pages, published 2003; Richard H. Vara) The Dover Town Pound By David Weden Historical Insights Since the late 1990's members have created an on-going series of pamphlets, which we call Historical Insights. The Religious World of Benjamin Caryl III. Softcover, published 2013, by Stephen A. Marini. Money from this book is shared with the Dover Historical Commission. $15.00. Available by calling 508-785-0567 or by sending a check for $15.00 payable to the Dover Historical Society, PO Box 534, Dover, MA 02030. The Historical Society owns many more historic documents, most notably Frank Smith's books, written prior to 1920. It is our hope to add more of these documents to this site as time and money permit. If there is a project you would like to fund, let us know and we will work with you on it.
Become a member: Your membership in the Dover Historical Society supports our work and celebrates your commitment to our community and our history. We offer the following levels of membership: Single: $ 35 Family: $ 65 Supporter: $100 Patron: $250 Benefactor: $500 Memberships runs the calendar year, from January 1st through December 31st. (A great holiday gift!)
Donate online: The Dover Historical Society is a non-profit organization which operates on funds received from memberships and donations. Without donations from residents and friends of Dover, we could not fulfill our mission to preserve and exhibit our history. We use our funds to maintain and operate the Sawin Museum, owned by the Society, to operate the Caryl House and Fisher Barn and to maintain and conserve our collections at all 3 locations. The Caryl House and Fisher Barn are owned and maintained by the Town.
Dover Historical Society
80 Dedham Street
Dover, Mass. 02030-0534
Contact us via the web
Phone: 508-785-1832