History of Dover Township

Dutchess County, New York

Dover Plains


Dover Furnace

Dogtail Corners

South Dover



History of Dover Plains

Dutchess County, New York

17th century -- this was western Schaghticoke territory

here rocky ridges were revered as holy places

Dover Stone Church

a natural cavern near Dover Plains; among the Pequods it is seen as a special place that served as a shelter for Chief Sassacus as he fled the King Philip’ War (1676). The cavern is a place of light passages and water sounds. Here were ancient petroglyphs. There is a natural stone arch leading into the place.

"The Wells"

near the "Stone Church" is a series of pools formed by the flow of Seven Wells Brook. There is a painting by Arthur Powell one of the Dover Four, expatriates from New York City who set up studios here during the WPA era and stayed to record the rural beauty of Dover. 33

settled by Dutch and English from western Dutchess and Connecticut as well as Quaker families from Pawling

Dover Plains named after the white chalk cliffs of the English Channel at Dover. Named for the marble in the area. In the Harlem Valley a northerly wall of rock in glacial eras checked soil movement.

There was a mountain pass to the Hudson River that is now NYS 343 near Dover Plains.

1807 -- Dover Plains separates from Pawling

1848 -- painting by Asher Durand of the Hudson River School of landscape art entitled "Dover Plains, Dutchess County, NY"

1850s -- communities on the rail line become stations.

Civil War -- John Henry Ketcham (1832-1906) appointed by NY Governor Morgan to the War Committee; he was later commissioned to raise the 150th NY Infantry. The war left him with a severe hearing loss. 44

Irish and Italians come seeking employment.

1903 -- Civil War General and then congressman John H. Ketcham honored by the new fire company that took his name: the John H. Ketcham Fire Company. 45

1906 -- funeral held for John H. Ketcham at his family’s handsome Victorian house on the corner of Route 22 and Mill Street (now there is a delicatessen here)

1908 -- Union Free School, Dover Plains, was the first in tow n to house 12 grades.


Ghee, Joyce C. And Joan Spence. 1998. Image of America: Harlem Valley Pathways: Through Pawling, Dover, Amenia, North East, and Pine Plains. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing.

History of Dover Furnace


Dover Furnace was once a busy iron-producing village with a total of four blast furnaces.

At the dam on Route 26 West in the hamlet of Dover Furnace, stop at the stream crossing and observe the dam, water wheel remains and other structures. This was the site of the 1835 Dover Furnace (south of the road).

1835 -- Dover Furnace established

1849 -- service complete to Dover Plains and the village of Dover Furnace. Harlem Railroad (later NY & Harlem RR, then the NY Central RR).

1941 -- the dam by Dover Furnace modified to provide power for an electric generating plant.


Kirby, Ed