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Old September 22nd, 2006, 07:26 PM   #1
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Dover, DE

Dover is the capital of Delaware and the seat of Kent County. The city's population is around 33,000, and the surrounding area's population is around 60,000. Kent County, called "The Heart of Delaware", has a population of over 140,000.

Dover was founded in 1683 by William Penn to be the county seat for Kent County. The town was laid out in 1717, and remained a small town until the state capital was moved to Dover from New Castle in 1777. The capital was moved because the British had just landed near Elkton, Maryland, and were getting ready to march to Philadelphia through Delaware, and Delaware officials were worried about the British taking over their capital en route to taking over Philadelphia. Dover was the most logical choice because it was already a county seat, and also because it was located near the center of the state.

Silver Lake, a small lake on the northeast side of town. The lake was formed by damming up the St. Jones River. Silver Lake was originally a mill pond for a grist mill and lumber mill.

Silver Lake from State Street.

There are many beauiful homes along State Street. Many of them are old Victorian homes. All of these houses on State Street are in the neighborhood of Bradford City, which was laid out in the 1850's.

An old house on State Street has been turned into a Bed & Breakfast.

Wesley College is one college that can be found in Dover. This school is a little smaller than Dover's more prominent college, Delaware State University. Wesley College is located north of downtown, in the vicinity of State Street and Governors Avenue.

Dover has seen some mild growth in it's central core, just like most other cities. Much of it was built with the intention of having new architecture blend in with the historic buildings. The building on the right dates back to the early 1800's, but the building on the left is only a few years old. The building on the left is a retirement home complex, and the facade of one of the buildings was made to replicate the porch of a Victorian home so that it blends in with the other houses along State Street.

The spire of Legistative Hall, the capitol building for the state of Delaware.

Legislative Hall was built from 1931 to 1933 to replace the old State House, which was too small to use. Legislative Hall was built in the Georgian Revival manner, and it's interior is replcated to 18th century standards.

The wings of Legislative Hall, which jut out towards the picture, were built between 1965 and 1970 to give each legislator an office in addition to their desk in the chamber.

Looking west at Legislative Hall, the capitol of Delaware. Contrary to popular belief, Legislative Hall, or the city of Dover for that matter, is not the geographic center of the state. The exact center of the state is a little bit south of Dover in a cornfield. I believe the site has now been marked with a plaque.

Another picture of Legislative Hall.

Legislative Hall from the southeast corner.

Looking east across Capitol Square at Legislative Hall.

On the east side of Capitol Square (also called Legislative Mall), sits a replica of the Liberty Bell. The replica was given to Delaware as a gift from France in 1950.

Looking across Capitol Square to Legislative Hall.

Some old buildings on The Green. These buildings are from the 19th century. They now house offices for state departments.

Looking west across The Green. The Green was the center of Dover for 200 years, until Lockerman Street became the commercial hub in the early 20th century.

The Ridgely Mansion on The Green, believed to have been built in 1728. Caesar Rodney, the man depcited on the Delaware state quarter and the man who rode to Philadelphia overnight to cast the deciding vote for independence, lived in this house for a period of time.

The Old State House, dating back to 1792. The Old State House, which is currently under renovation, is the second oldest state house in continuous use (Maryland's is older). A few months ago, a fire broke out in the attic, and fire crews from Dover and surrounding towns rushed to save this historic building. Thankfully, the fire was contained while it was still only in the attic.

The Kent County Courthouse on The Green.

Houses and businesses on The Green.

Some rowhouses on State Street near The Green.

Looking east across The Green at the Old State House.

The old Dover Opera House on State Street, now the Schwartz Center.

Some businesses on Lockerman Street, the main street in Dover. The building in this picture, built in 1900, will become a bar and restaurant in the coming months.

Some businesses on Lockerman Street in the heart of Dover.

Delaware Made General Store, a store on State Street that sells things made in Delaware and/or about the state of Delaware. The house was home to many statesmen over the decades, dating back to the 19th century.

Some businesses on State Street near Lockerman Street.

Golden Fleece Tavern, at the corner of State Street and The Green. The tavern, also known as Battell's Tavern, was built in 1730 and was used for community events in Colonial times. When the state capital moved to Dover in 1777, the Legislative Council used the tavern as a meeting place. The tavern is where Delaware officials decided to ratify the Constitution, becoming the first people and state to do so.

Another look at the Golden Fleece Tavern.

The Townsend Building on Federal Street, where some state offices are located. The state seal is above the entrance to the building.

The Governors Club, built in the 1850's. The building was once the house of various Delaware politicians.

Woodburn, the Governor's house on King's Highway in Dover. Woodburn was built in 1798.

A side view of Woodburn, with a well-manicured lawn in the back.

The back of Woodburn.

The gardens behind Woodburn, added in 1915 to the side of the property.

The Hall House on King's Highway.

A house on Lockerman Street.

A house on Division Street.

Dover Downs, the race track on US Route 13 outside of town. A few NASCAR races are held here each year. Capacity for Dover Downs is around 140,000. On race weekends, Dover and the entire surrounding area is packed with cars, trucks, and RVs.

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Old September 23rd, 2006, 07:25 AM   #2
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dover is a gem, one of the best cities in the u.s. thanks for the great shots.
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Old September 23rd, 2006, 07:29 PM   #3
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Old October 8th, 2006, 11:55 PM   #4
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lots of history !
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Old October 9th, 2006, 05:55 AM   #5
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Been to the track, but I hate NASCAR now.

nice tour
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Old October 10th, 2006, 09:32 AM   #6
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What a great thread! Definately a keeper!

Dover has an amazing architecture and I don't know why but I feel a special thing for the towns that were founded before 1700
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Old December 7th, 2006, 02:31 AM   #7
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Lots of nice homes, historic buildings and byfar, one of the oldest cities around! Kind of reminds me of Niagara-On-The-Lake. Thanks for the tour of this lovely city, xzmattzx! It's home to a NASCAR track, too!
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Old December 7th, 2006, 06:15 AM   #8
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Hmm, I don't know why I always ragged on Dover... nice pics!

First time I ever saw the capitol of my state too... lol
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delaware, dover

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