Dover, Delaware

Dover, Capital Of Delaware

The city of Dover is situated in Kent County in the US State of Delaware. Dover is the state's capital and second-largest city and has a significant past that paved the way forward in America's history. As of today, this capital city hosts the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity races at the Dover Motor Speedway. Its central location sees visitors from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey, and the city serves as a logistical placement for the Dover Air Force Base. Furthermore, the city features an abundance of green spaces. There are 27 parks available for public use that allure nature enthusiasts and birders who observe the many migratory species.

Geography And Climate Of Dover

The NASCAR Xfinity Series teams take to the track at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware
The NASCAR Xfinity Series teams take to the track at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Editorial credit: Grindstone Media Group /

Dover is situated in Kent County in the US State of Delaware. Dover lies on the St. Jones River in the coastal plain of the Delaware River. It also serves as the chief city of the "Dover, DE, Metropolitan Statistical Area." The city covers a total area of 58.78 sq. km, of which 58 sq. km is occupied by land and 0.78 sq. km is covered by water. 

According to the Köppen Climate Classification, Dover experiences a humid subtropical climate. The city has four seasons, with warm summers and cold and snowy winters. Over a year, Dover collects precipitation over 111.3 days from rain and snow. The warmest month is July, with an average high of 30.6 °C and the coldest month is January, with an average low of -2.4 °C. 

History Of Dover

Legislative Hall in Dover, Delaware
Legislative Hall in Dover, Delaware. Editorial credit: Nagel Photography /

Known as the “Lower Counties of Delaware,” Dover was founded to be a court town by William Penn. Thus, in 1777 the status of the state capital was removed from New Castle to Dover due to its central proximity to the rest of the state. Additionally, it was considered a safe location from invading British forces during the revolutionary war. The downtown square of Dover is known among locals as the “green,” and it served as a rallying place for troops and patriotic events. Near the green, one can find the Cenotaph dedicated to the famous Revolutionary War hero, Caesar Rodney. He had many distinguishable achievements in Dover’s history and the early history of the United States. Rodney was one of the founding fathers and signers of the Continental Association and Declaration of Independence. Locally, he served as an officer in the French and Indian Wars and American Revolutionary War, as well as a continental congressman and President of Delaware. Dover served as a stop on the Underground Railroad, with conflicting views on the slave trade. This was primarily due to its proximity to pro-slave Maryland and the free states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. 

The Population And Economy Of Dover

The Air Mobility Command Museum in Dover, Delaware
A Shooting Star subsonic jet trainer is displayed at the entrance to the Air Mobility Command Museum in Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware. Editorial credit: Charlotte Evelyn / 

Dover has a population of 38,640 inhabitants and a population density of 642.79 people per sq. km. The median household income is $63,489, and the gross monthly rent is $1,038. On the cost of living index, Dover is rated at 93.6, whereas the state of Delaware is 102.7. Yet, 24.36% of the population lives below the poverty line.

The unemployment rate is 10.3% and whereas the US unemployment rate is 6.0%. The top industries that make up that economy are healthcare and social assistance accounting for 15.8% overall, retail trade for 15.3%, and educational services are 15.0%. The Dover Air Force Base is located three kilometers outside of Dover and is a major employer of the city. It was developed from a municipal airport into a US Army Corp base following the attack on Pearl Harbor. As of today, the Air Mobility Command Museum operates outside of Hangar 1301 at the Dover Air Force Base. It is listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places and has 33 airframes, of which the Douglas C-47A is the most notable aircraft in the collection.

Attractions In Dover

Old State House

The Old State House in Dover, Delaware
The Old State House in Dover, Delaware. 

The Old State House was erected in 1791 and operated as the Capitol Building until 1933. It is an example of Georgian architecture, and visitors can see the 18th-century courtroom and chamber of the state legislature. The purpose of the Old State House is to preserve Delaware’s history and its impact on the development of the United States. It contains several significant artifacts, including portraits of notable commodores from the War of 1812 and a portrait of George Washington by Denis A. Volozan. The Old State House is free to the public, and tours are available.

Silver Lake Park

Silver Lake in Dover, Delaware
Silver Lake in Dover, Delaware. 

Silver Lake Park is 74 hectares of green space found in the heart of Dover. Although swimming is not permitted at this time, there is a sandy beach and some other activities that visitors can participate in. These include grilling, biking, hiking, fishing, and a fitness course. Nonetheless, there are pavilions available to the public. Boating and fishing are the most popular activities, with a boat launch in the park. Commonly caught species include blue gill, catfish, largemouth bass, carp, crappie, striped bass, and white perch. Due to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, Silver Park attracts birders who enjoy observing the migratory and songbird species.

A capital city and home to Caesar Rodney, one of the founding fathers who signed the Declaration of Independence, Dover is critical in America's history. As such, these historical influences can be spotted throughout Dover with the Old State House, the Green, and the Cenotaph. However, it is the bigger events like NASCAR that draw crowds from all over North America with the allure of CUP and Xfinity series at Dover Motor Speedway. Moreover, this quaint community is best known for its abundance of green spaces and the many birds that call the Atlantic Coastal Plains home.

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