Merchants Row ca. 1950 – 386-388 Central Ave
These early 19th century storefronts have always been at the heart of Dover’s downtown business district. In this photograph are Victor Costa’s Shoe Store at the far left, then a doorway to the Vanity Care Beauty Shop and Christian Science Reading Room on the second floor. Next door was Ray’s Shoppe, a popular women’s clothing store owned by Raymond F. Ouellette. Harvey’s Bakery, a Dover institution since the mid-1940s, still occupies the middle of the block, but at this time was owned by founder Harvey E. Bernier. The next doorway led to the 2nd floor barber shop of John A. Emery. The last store in the block before Waldron Street was Arlen’s Ladies Wear, owned by Hannah and Harry Silverman from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. In these pre-mall days, downtown Dover thrived and supplied all the goods and services needed by our consumers.