Fun Filled Fair

When people entered the town center, they heard laughter, screaming, conversations, and drifting through the air were Children playing limbo at Dover Daysdelicious BBQ smells. Dover Days is an annual fair that usually occurs on the second Saturday in September. On 21st of September, the day started off cloudy and by noon it was sunny and warm. All around the town common could be seen booths, children’s activities, games, food, and people of all ages having fun.

Dover Days is a fantastic festival that is great for all ages. There was a variety of good food and drink. At the local Legion, hot dogs, hamburgers and cheeseburgers were grilling on the barbecue. Captain Martin’s Cod Squad offered lobster rolls, fish and chips, and other items from his truck.  For dessert, several booths served Italian ice, ice cream, and other tasty treats for purchase. In addition to delicious food, there were items to purchase including sand art, honey and jam, plants, gift baskets, and toys. This year, missing was the popular “Make a Cupcake” booth, which was a disappointment to many. Once you were filled with yummy food, there were lots of entertaining activities and games for kids.

Purple, pink, and yellow racing bouncy houseChildren’s activities were located on the green near the Town Library. There were multiple types of bouncy houses, always a favorite. One kind was an obstacle course where you raced an opponent to the finish line. The wrecking ball was a new one this year, which involved a ball that you can throw at your friends to knock them over. An all time favorite, was the normal jumping around bouncy house. These bright and colorful inflatable houses helped add a festive feel and were a big hit.

The hayride was a favorite activity made for everyone. A large green farm tractor was pulling a flatbed trailer with wooden rail walls filled with hay bales. People enjoyed waving to friends and family as they traveled around the center of town. Chickering School’s Parent Teacher Organization [PTO]  sponsored games for kids.You purchased tickets, which allowed you to choose from a variety of games: Plinko, ring toss, limbo, duck pond, basketball hoop, and spin the wheel. If you played and won, you received tokens. You could cash in tokens for prizes. Another favorite activity was the dunk tank. People could not wait to get a chance to hit the target that would dunk Dr. Reinemann, our Assistant Principal, Officer Harry, and other unlucky, parent volunteers: Mr. Stocks, Mr. Olmstead, Mr. Townsend, Mr. Hill, Mr. Cook, Mr. Johnstone, and Mr. Alpers. There was something for everyone.

An extraordinary thing about Dover Days is that it happens every year rain or shine. Now that you know that Dover Days has many fun things like bouncy houses, games, booths to purchase items, a Dunk Tank, and Hayride, you will want to mark your calendar for the second Saturday in September, 2014. The town’s residents are already counting down the days till all the fun begins again.

Reported by Ben, Sam, and Tommy

History Of Chickering and Caryl Schools

In 1910, Caryl School [grades 1-6] was built in honor of  the 1st minister, Benjamin Caryl, who served as minister for 50 years in Springfield Parish [Dover]. An extension was built for Caryl School in 1931. In the same year, Dover School Committee decided to extend the grade levels, in Caryl School, to include grades 7-12. Then in 1956, Chickering School was built on Cross Street, which comprised grades K-4. Also in 1961, the School Committee decided to add a 4-wing classroom addition in Chickering School. In 1962, Caryl School became grades 5-8. A short 2 years later, in 1964, grade 4 was moved back to Caryl School , making Chickering School grades K-3 and grades 7-8 went to Dover Sherborn Regional Middle School.  Then in 1969, enrollment pressures caused Dover’s grades 7-8 to go to Dover Sherborn High School.
A terrible ten hour-blaze destroyed Caryl School on April 4,1970. It took fire fighters from 5 towns to extinguish the fire. In the same year, Caryl School’s grades 4-6 temporarily moved to Stigmatine Fathers Elm Bank property. Caryl School reopened in April 1972. Many years later, in 1994, the Town Meeting voted to send 6th graders to Dover Sherborn Regional Middle School, making Caryl School grades 3-5. Caryl School remained this way until 1999, when it was voted to build a new Chickering School to house grades K-5.  Chickering School included 30 regular classrooms, as well as rooms for music, computers, science, special education, a full sized gym, library and cafeteria/kitchen. The school was named after James H. Chickering, who was a community leader,  town selectman, and Superintendent of E.F Hodgson Company. At its opening in September of 2000, Chickering School was filled with 584 students.
Dover Town Report 2001. Courier Corp., 2001, p. 110.
The Schoolhouse Cookbook. Kearney, NE:Cookbooks by Morris Press, 2001.
Tedesco, Paul H. Images of America: Dover. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2000.
Researched and reported by: Dana and Adam