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The Observer Building Museum will be opening for the season on Whoopie Pie Day, Saturday, June 23rd from 9 AM to 3 PM. This year there is a new display about East Dover.
Abel Blood was the first pioneer to come to this area. He had first choice of land and chose a square mile, including both banks of the Piscataquis River – now East Dover.
Eli Towne of Temple, New Hampshire was the first permanent settler, coming here in 1802 with his father Thomas and brothers Moses and Abel. They cleared land and raised a crop. Eli returned home to Temple in the fall and returned the next spring with his wife, Betsey (Scripture) and his year old son Alvin. They arrived in East Dover on May 8th, 1803, where his father and brothers greeted them. In March of 1805 Mrs. Towne gave birth to the first child born in Dover – a daughter, Sybil.
Lew Dow poses with his reconstruction of East Dover.
Lyford Dow was the second permanent resident. He arrived with his wife Miriam and settled on the river below the Blood tract. Lyford and his wife had a son, Benjamin, born in 1795, who married Sybil Towne in 1826, thus uniting the two early families. A descendent of Benjamin and Sybil, Lewis Dow, has spent the winter constructing the village of East Dover. Lew was born in East Dover, grew up in East Dover and still resides there. He knows the village from personal experience. Lew found photos and information on each of the buildings, his wife, Leona, cut out the structures and his daughter-in-law, Debbie Dagnon, painted them. Lew will be at the museum from 11 AM to 1 PM on opening day to talk with all visitors. It’s a beautiful display, which will be available all summer. The Historical Society will be open each Thursday and plan to be open on Homecoming Day, Saturday, August 4th.
The Ripley Historical Society will meet at 2:30 PM on Tuesday, June 19th at their museum in the 1858 Town Hall on West Ripley Road. The society's annual dues are six dollars, with new members very welcome. At this meeting members will work on museum displays. Generally, the museum is open when special events occur at the church across the road or can be opened by an appointment with a member.