03 – Rooftop Panorama

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View from the rooftop of the Cocheco Manufacturing Company, circa 1898 – 400 Central Ave

The newly reconstructed Central Avenue bridge and dam and the repaired, but smaller, Bracewell Block (no longer spanning the river) are featured in this rooftop panorama of downtown Dover just before the turn of the 20th century. Just north of the Bracewell Block is the National Block, constructed in the early 1880s.
The new Strafford County Courthouse (1890) can be seen on Second Street just behind the National Block. St. Mary’s Church (1870) and the steeple of St. Charles Church (1896) appear in the top right-hand corner.
Lining First and Second Streets are many multi-family homes, providing tenement housing for mill workers. On the south (left) side of the river is Merchant’s Row. Many of these brick structures date from the late 1820s.
Just behind Merchant’s Row, Waldron Street winds its way past the I.B. Williams Belt Factory (later called United Tanners until the mid-1970s) to Washington Street. This area, over 15 acres, was essentially demolished during Dover’s Urban Renewal program between 1974—78. 119 dwelling units, 56 buildings and 33 businesses were razed between the river and Washington Street during this project.
In the top left-hand corner, the Portsmouth and Dover Railroad tracks can be seen leading toward the passenger station on Third Street. Freight trains could unload goods at the Cochecho Manufacturing Company’s huge brick warehouse at the corner of Chestnut and First Streets. In front of the warehouse, on the First Street riverbank, is the wood and coal yard of C.H. Trickey and Company.

For more information about Cocheco Manufacturing Company, Click Here.

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