In 1806, two residents of Dover, Connecticut purchased the northwestern corner township of Cuyahoga County and named it for their hometown. Although Europeans had visited the area before 1800, the first settlers did not arrive until 1810: a family from Vermont and a family from New York. The population grew rapidly; as early as the 1840 census, the township had a population of 960 people.
In the summer of 1901, the northern part of the township broke away and soon formed the village of Bay, which became Bay Village in 1950. Meanwhile, the village of Dover had been incorporated to the south of Bay in 1911. It too changed its name, in 1940, to Westlake. Today, most of the original Dover Township is divided between Bay Village and Westlake, although its southeastern portion has been part of North Olmsted since that village was incorporated in 1908.