Next Regular Meeting
Dover History Museum House
55 W Blackwell St, Dover
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Dover History Museum House
55 W Blackwell St, Dover
Open by Appointment Only
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The President's Letters ~ Read Them Here

Our Mission

The mission of the Dover Area Historical Society is to protect, preserve and recognize the historic artifacts, buildings, districts and locales within the town of Dover; to have our museum be a living center for displays, meetings and research; and to reach out to all with educational and entertaining presentations of the rich history of the Dover Area.


  1. THE CUMULATION OF A HISTORY OF THE DOVER AREA and the preparation of appropriate publications in this regard.
  2. THE ACQUISITION OF LAND AND BUILDING SUITABLE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A CULTURAL CENTER, which shall minimally include a museum, educational facilities and administrative facilities.
  3. THE ESTABLISHMENT OF CONSTRUCTIVE PROGRAMS FOR THE PUBLIC, germane to the Society's general objectives.
  4. THE COLLECTION, PRESERVATION, RESEARCH INTO IDENTIFICATION AND PUBLIC EXHIBIT of historic, graphic, pictorial, audio phonic and other records, artifacts and various memorabilia.
  5. THE PREPARATION, COLLECTION AND PUBLIC EXHBITION of contemporary cultural and creative works of the Dover Area.
  6. THE LOCATION, MARKING AND WHERE APPROPRIATE, THE IMPROVEMENT AND/OR RESTORATION and the prevention of the destruction of sites of historic, cultural, and/or eductional interest within the Dover area and the bringing to the public's attention the existence, location and significance of these sites.
  7. THE ENCOURAGEMENT AND/OR SPONSORSHIP OF EVENTS of historic, cultural, and/or educational interest with the Dover area.
  8. THE ENCOURAGEMENT AND WHERE FEASIBLE, ASSISTANCE IN THE DEVELOPMENT of local groups with the Dover area dedicated to local objectives in agreement with the regional objectives of the Society.
  9. THE RECOGNITION OF THE DOVER AREA'S RIGHTFUL PLACE IN HISTORY and the development of Morris County, the State of New Jersey and the United States of America.

Our History

The Dover Area Historical Society had its origin on May 4, 1966 when Mr. Willy Penderson called a special meeting at town hall for any citizens interested in local history. Fifteen people were at the first meeting and from this nucleus the society was born. The society was incorporated as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization named the Dover Historical Association. The name was changed to the Dover Area Historical Society in 1967.

From the very beginning, a museum location would be a problem. Two different store front locations were tried in the downtown, but abandon a short time later. The Johnson Storage Building on East Blackwell Street, the second oldest building in Dover at the time, dating back to before the Civil War, was being considered when Dover General Hospital offered the Bonnieview Estate located next to the hospital.

The Bonnieview mansion was built in 1876 for Alpheus Beemer and his wife Margaret. Mr. Beemer established a silk mill and Hurd Park and was the founder of the Nation Union Bank of Dover. Upon his death, the widow sold the property to Edwin Ross in 1885, a descendant of Betsy Ross, designer of the American Flag.

In the early part of the 20th century, Bonnieview becamse the popular Pine Terrance Inn, a gracious country retreat visited by such notables as President Grover Cleveland, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and well known personalities of the day. With the onset of Prohibition, the estate was sold to Harry Schwarz who later sold it to Dover General Hospital.

The historical society moved into the mansion house on June 18, 1970 with a 10-year lease with the hospital. Just one year into the lease and after over $30,000 in repairs and renovations, the hospital terminated the agreement and ordered the building be vacated in three months. For the next 27-years, the historical society would remain homeless, hosting its montly meetings in various churches and meeting halls around town.

In 2004, the First Presbyterian Church of Dover was trying to decide the fate of the old doctor's house, known as the "church house" at 55 W. Blackwell Street. Knowing the historical society had been actively seeking a museum, the church offered to site to the organization for a 25-year period provided the group pay for all expenses of operating the house and performed repairs and renovations bringing the house up to town standards.

Today, the historical society meets at the museum house the third Tuesday of each month and offers the house for public view every Sunday between 1 and 4 pm. Anyone wishing to become a member or wants further information can call the society at 973-361-3525.


Contact Us

Dover Area Historical Society
POB 609
Dover NJ 07802-0609
Phone: 973-361-3525
Fax: 973-537-0718

Please Use POB 609 For All Postal Mailings



Membership runs from January 1st thru December 30th
Family - $20.00
Individual - $12.00
Senior Citizen (62 and older) - $8.00
Junior (Student) - $6.00
Sustaining (Business) - $75.00
Life (Husband & Wife or Individual) - $300 (One Time Payment)
The Dover Area Historical Society is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.
All donations are tax deductible.
For more information on membership, call 973-366-0629.

Become A Member! The Form Is Here

Life Members

Craig & Jenny Marie Adams, Dover * Phillip D Alvarez, Blairstown * Ira & Cynthia Ayers, Randolph * Mrs Jean Baker, Hopatcong * Benson Thomson Agency, Dover * Bill & Ginny Birch, Bernardsville * Carolyn Bishop, Dover * Joan & Alan Bocchino, Dover * James Brooks, Ocean City * Curtis & Lois Brown, Lancaster * Harriet Buono, Succasunna * Joan Burdge, Dover * Shirley Hendrickson Burgess, Randolph * Charles & Marion Caccavale, Wharton * Robert Carpenter, Randolph * Eve Casey, Dover * Phyllis Casey, Dover * Pat Ciardi, Piscataway * Kathleen H Cole, Dover * George Coulthard, Dover * Mike D'Agostino, Succasunna * Norman & Mary Lou Dailey, Dover * Susan L Demeo, Randolph * James & JoAnn Dodd, Dover * Patrick Fahy, Newton * Gary L & Karen D Felfoldy, Venice * Jay & Patti Ferriero, Mt Arlington * Maggie Fischer & Bob Starling, Kintnerville * Willard Gates, Winter Garden * Evelyn Gilbert, Jensen Beach * Bob & Linda Gordon, Mt Arlington * Victor Guadagno, Pinehurst * Ellen G Gustafson, Pleasant Grove * Henry O Baker Insurance, Dover * Jackie & Ken Hillman, Scottsdale * Mariann Horan, Douglasville * Betty Inglis, Dover * Carl Iosso, Dover * Jim & Verna Johnson, Pompton Plains * Gail Just, Willow * Patricia Kalena, Dover * Martin & Laura Kane, Mt Lakes * Nancy & William Kattermann, Howell * Richard Kelly, Dover * Karen Kovalesky, Hackettstown * Lynn Laurie, Dover * David & Sherry Lenox, Dover * Jacqueline Loeffler, Dover * Melvyn & Barbara Loory, Boonton * Charlotte Morgan Luer, Denville * Wilfred & Linda Mabee, Lawrenceville * Betty MacNaughten, Mine Hill * Marilyn Martin, Cottage Grove * Charlene Sue May, Manassas * Bert & Linda McDonald, Blairstown * Terry Meloskie, Denville * Otto Miller, Boonton * Robert Miller &, Bloomsbury * James & Linda Mullin, Dover * Richard & Barbara Newman, Dover * Dave & Lisa Pennella, Randolph * Helen Pennella, Dover * Mike & Cathy Picciallo, Dover * Frank Poolas, Dover * Wm Richardson, Mt Arlington * Cindy & Richard Romaine, Dover * Sylvia Rubens, Randolph * Susan Salny, Rockaway * Stan & Marg Schoonmaker, Dover * Carol Shanik, Wharton * Nancy Shanik, Fairhaven * Susan & William Shauer, Dover * Ulla, Bill & Paul Shuler, Dover * William & Peg Shuler, Dover * William Sickles & Family, Elkton * Mrs Barbara A Sisko, Denville * Smith Taylor Ruggiero Funeral Home, Dover * Michael Joanne & Bob Steinberg, Dover * Robert & Rose Tiefenbacher, Lafayette * Dr Arthur Tiger, Dover * Dr Anthony L Troha, Mine Hill * Tuttle Funeral Home, Randolph * Robert & Catherine Van Orden, Easton * LeRoy Varga, Dover * Frances & Louis Wagner, Canton * Robert & Alice Wagner, Wharton * Kay Walker, Succasunna * Henry & Phyllis Winstead, Rockaway * Debbie & Bob Wood, Succasunna * William & Brenda Woodhull, Dover * JoAnne Zarger, Mine Hill



Betty Inglis, President -
Stan Schoonmaker, Vice President -
Bill Shuler Jr., Treasurer -
Joan Bocchino, Recording Secretary -
William Woodhull, Corresponding Secretary -
Rick Kelly, Museum Curator -