Located about southwest of downtown Boston, Dover is a residential town nestled on the south banks of the Charles River. Almost all of the residential zoning requires or larger. As recently as the early 1960s, 75% of its annual town budget was allocated to snow removal, as only a mile and a half of the town's roads are state highway. The nickname of Dover is the Town of Friendship.
Dover is also home to the Dover Demon.
The first recorded settlement of Dover was in 1640. It was later established as the Springfield Parish of Dedham in 1748, and incorporated as District Dedham in 1784. Dover was officially incorporated as a town in 1836.
The Benjamin Caryl House at 107 Dedham St. dates from about 1777 and was home to Dover's first minister, Benjamin Caryl, his son George, who was the town's first doctor, and their descendants until 1897. It has been owned by the town and operated by the Historical Society since 1920. The house retains its architectural integrity and has been carefully restored to reflect life in the 1790s when the first two Caryl families lived and worked there together.
The Sawin Building has been a home for thousands of Dover relics, books, photographs and artifacts since the beginning of the 20th century. Benjamin and Eudora Sawin willed land and funds into the Dover Historical Society along with their old household goods so that the building could be erected, and it was dedicated on May 14, 1907, by members and friends of the Dover Historical Society. In the early years it was used for meetings and to house Dover's historical memorabilia, but eventually members became disenchanted with the Society and the building was seldom opened. In the 1960s there was a renewed interest in the Historical Society which led to the general overhaul and refurbishing of the building. The Sawin Museum, located at the corner of Centre and Dedham Streets in Dover Center, is owned and operated by the Dover Historical Society and is open to the public free of charge.