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Dover, NJ

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Dover, NJ

This article is about the town in Morris County. For the former Dover Township in Ocean County, see Toms River, New Jersey.
Dover, New Jersey
Town of Dover

Dover highlighted in Morris County. Inset map: Morris County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.

Census Bureau map of Dover, New Jersey

Coordinates: 40°53′08″N 74°33′33″W / 40.8856°N 74.559163°W / 40.8856; -74.559163Coordinates: 40°53′08″N 74°33′33″W / 40.8856°N 74.559163°W / 40.8856; -74.559163[1][2]

Country United States
State New Jersey
County Morris
Incorporated April 1, 1869
 • Type Town
 • Mayor James P. Dodd (term ends December 31, 2015)[3]
 • Administrator William Close[4]
 • Clerk Margaret Verga[5]
 • 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[2]
Elevation[7] 558 ft (170 m)
Population (2010 Census)[8][9][10]
 • Total 18,157
 • Estimate (2012[11]) 18,307
 • Rank 142nd of 566 in state
11th of 39 in county[12]
 • Density 6,765.5/sq mi (2,612.2/km2)
 • Density rank 67th of 566 in state
2nd of 39 in county[12]
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 07801-07803, 07806, 07809[13][14]
Area code(s) 973[15]
FIPS code 3402718070[16][2][17]
GNIS feature ID 0885196[18][2]

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,[8][9][10] 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.[19]


Dover is located at 40°53′08″N 74°33′33″W / 40.8856°N 74.559163°W / 40.8856; -74.559163 (40.8856,-74.559163). According to the United States Census Bureau, the town had a total area of 2.730 square miles (7.070 km2), of which, 2.684 square miles (6.951 km2) of it is land and 0.046 square miles (0.119 km2) of it (1.68%) is water.[1][2]

Hedden County Park, a 380-acre (1.5 km2) Morris County park, is partly located in Dover, with park entrances in Randolph.[20]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201218,307[11]0.8%
Population sources: 1880-1920[21]
1890-1910[22] 1880-1930[23]
1930-1990[24] 2000[25][26] 2010[8][9][10]

Census 2010

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.[27]

Census 2000

As of the census[16] of 2000, 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.[25][26]

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.[28]

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.[25][26]

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.[25][26]

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.[25][26]

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 are growing 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 (9.8% Hispanic or Latino, of any race).


Native Americans had lived in the area of Dover before Europeans came to the area, and historical records show that a small Native American village existed at the site of Hurd Park. 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.[29]

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.[30]

Dover was incorporated as a town on April 1, 1869, within Randolph Township and became fully independent in 1896. 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.[31] The town charter was amended in 1875. 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.[32]


Local government

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. 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.[6]

As of 2013, the Mayor of Dover Town is James P. Dodd (D, term of office ends on December 31, 2013).[33] Members of the Board of Aldermen are:[34][35]

  • 1st Ward: Christine Noriega (D, 2013) and Michael Picciallo (D, 2014)
  • 2nd Ward: Cindy Romaine (D, 2013) and Paul Downs (D, 2014)
  • 3rd Ward: James Visioli (D, 2013) and Carolyn Blackman (D, 2014)
  • 4th Ward: Robert Rutan (D, 2013) and Michelle Yzarnotegui (D, 2014)

Federal, state and county representation

Dover Town is located in the 7th Congressional District[36] and is part of New Jersey's 25th state legislative district.[9][37][38] 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.[39]

New Jersey's Seventh Congressional District is represented by Leonard Lance (R, Clinton Township).[40] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark)[41] and Bob Menendez (D, North Bergen).[42][43]

The 25th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Anthony Bucco (R, Boonton) and in the General Assembly by Tony Bucco (R, Boonton Township) and Michael Patrick Carroll (R, Morris Township).[44] The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township).[45] The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).[46]

Morris County is governed by a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders, who are elected at-large to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with two or three seats coming up for election each year.[47] As of 2011, Morris County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director William J. Chegwidden (Wharton),[48] Deputy Freeholder Director Douglas R. Cabana (Boonton Township),[49] Gene F. Feyl (Denville),[50] Ann F. Grassi (Parsippany-Troy Hills),[51] Thomas J. Mastrangelo (Montville),[52] John J. Murphy (Morris Township)[53] and Hank Lyon (Montville Township),[54][55]


As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 6,613 registered voters in Dover, of which 2,603 (39.4%) were registered as Democrats, 1,125 (17.0%) were registered as Republicans and 2,881 (43.6%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 4 voters registered to other parties.[56]

In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 67.1% of the vote here (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%.[57] In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 57.2% of the vote here (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.[58]

In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 55.6% of the vote here (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.[59]


The Dover School District serves students in pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade. Schools in the district (with 2010-11 enrollment from the National Center for Education Statistics[60]) are Academy Street Elementary School[61] (grades K-6, 511 students), East Dover Elementary School[62] (K-6, 439), North Dover Elementary School[63] (PreK-6, 675), Dover Middle School[64] (7-8, 475) and Dover High School[65] (9-12, 868).[66][67]

Students in Kindergarten through twelfth grade from Victory Gardens attend the schools of the Dover School District, which has been consolidated since 2010.[68][69][70] Students in grades 7-12 from Mine Hill Township also participate in the Dover district as part of a sending/receiving relationship.[71]

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.[72]

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.[73]


Highways traveling in or nearby Dover include Interstate 80, U.S. Route 46, New Jersey Route 10, County Route 513, and New Jersey Route 15. Dover Exit 35 off of Route 80 is a popular stop for travelers, existing halfway between the Delaware Water Gap and New York City. The Rockaway Townsquare Mall rests immediately off the exit.

Bus & rail service

Dover is served by the 875 and 880 bus routes operated by New Jersey Transit.[74]

NJ Transit's 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.[75][76]

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.[77] Service is also provided from Wednesday to Sunday between Dover and Atlantic City [78]


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 located approximately 15 minutes west of Morristown Municipal Airport, and approximately 40 minutes west of Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark / Elizabeth.


The community of Dover is centered around a developed downtown area filled with many eateries. A vast percentage of these are owned and run by Hispanics of various countries, and feature their ethnic food.[79] Dover is a haven for diverse eating experiences, from sushi, pizza, and coffee shops, to popular Irish and Italian food places. The majority of these venues are located in and around the business district of Blackwell Street.

On every Sunday from April to December, there is a flea market downtown.[80]

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.


  • 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.

Health care

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.[81] 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.

Popular culture

Notable people

Notable current and former residents of Dover include:


External links

  • Dover Town website
  • Dover School District
  • New Jersey Department of Education
  • National Center for Education Statistics
  • Dover Area Historical Society
  • (Images of America Series)
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