Town of Dover, Vermont in winter

TOWN OF DOVER, VT: Home to Mount Snow

The Town of Dover is in the center of southern Vermont. The entire town covers 35.8 square miles, which is characterized by mountainous terrain. These ranges have elevations reaching over 2500 feet.

Dover was settled in 1779 by Captain Abner Perry of Hollister, Massachusetts. For the first 120 years Dover was part of the township of Wardsborough (now Wardsboro). Then on October 30, 1810, the Vermont Assembly passed an act to incorporate Wardsborough and Dover into separate towns; the south district called Dover.

Dover, Vermont town offices

Our town offices were originally a one-room schoolhouse.

The early 1900’s brought the beginning of the tourist industry to the area. Summer residences were established on the Handle Road and Cooper Hill. Many of the local residents began taking in summer boarders. People would come via train by way of Wilmington and Brattleboro to stay at various farms throughout the town.

In 1953, Walter Schoenknecht of East Haven, Connecticut, purchased the farm of Ruben Snow and turned it into the Mount Snow Ski Area. This is how Mount “Snow” got its name. (The geological name of the mountain had been Mount Pisgah. The Snow family continues to live in the area to this day.) This marked the beginning of the Dover we see today. In the beginning there were only a couple of ski lodges in the area. The Mountaineer was the second structure built specifically for the flourishing ski resort.

Plaque commemorating Dover Town Offices' entry in the National Registry of Historic Places

Plaque on the door of Dover’s Town Offices.

The summer boarders became a thing of the past, and practically everyone who had a spare room or attic began taking in skiers. As time went on, lodges and motels began to spring up, as well as restaurants, stores, ski shops, and nightclubs.

The early skier was often brought in to Mount Snow by sleigh or Bombardier when the road to the mountain was dirt and impassable by car. A new access road, now Route 100, was built and paved.

Vacation home developments sprang up near the base of the mountain. An airport and golf course were also built. Mount Snow established its now famous Original Golf School in the 1970s.

Today the permanent population is about 1,000 residents. The second-home population is about 15,000.

You can find even more of the history of the town by visiting the Dover Historical Society website.

See you in Vermont!