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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Dover in Strafford County, New Hampshire — The American Northeast (New England)
 

The American House Hotel

 
 
The American House Hotel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 9, 2019
1. The American House Hotel Marker
Inscription.  The American House Hotel opened ca. 1865 by William B. Smith in what was originally a private residence. After Smith’s death, his wife operated it through 1867 until selling to Col. Adams T. Peirce and L.P. True. By 1878, Peirce and True, incorporated as the A.T. Peirce Co., added a new partner, Thomas K. Cushman, as well as the annex building, principally to accommodate the ex-mayor Dr. James Lothrop and his wife who lived at the hotel for many years.

Col. Peirce eventually moved to Fall River, MA to open the Narragansett Hotel, but the A.T. Peirce Company continued to own the American House Hotel and the adjacent livery stables in Dover until Peirce's death, at age 76, in 1910 and later, Cushman's death, at age 75, in 1914.

On October 23, 1912, thousands gathered in front of the American House's porch to hear a short speech by President William Howard Taft. The president was on a pleasure trip to Poland Springs, ME and stopped in Dover to greet loyal Republicans and over 2000 schoolchildren who were given the day off from school for the occasion. Thirty boy cadets from St. Charles School, in full military uniform, lined
Marker detail: The New American House image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: The New American House
Click or scan to see
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the steps of the American House to greet the president.

Modern amenities such as electric lights, steam heat and baths; garage facilities, and a telephone in each room attracted motorists and business men. Around 1920, the hotel closed for a time and then re-opened in 1924 as the "attractive and home-like" New American House. New owner William E. Wiggin offered both American and European plans and livery services featuring "heavy and long distance hauling."

Mrs. Madeline T. Reynolds took over by 1933 and advertised rooms "newly decorated and renovated throughout." The livery stable was permanently closed and a new Grill Room opened and was promoted as a "Licensed Liquor Dispenser." Rooms were $1.50 per night.

In 1938, the Dover Hotel Company, Inc. took over management of the American House. Called "NH's Distinctive Place to Dine" and "the leading hotel in a progressive city," the premises were nonetheless sold again in 1950 to Robert J. Smith, the last owner. Smith's ads listed 75 rooms, 50 baths, and a lovely Crystal Dining Room. In the late 50s, a coffee shop was added.

By 1966, the American House, a Dover fixture for a century, was torn down and replaced by a modern motel, the Imperial, in 1968. By 1970, it was known as the In-Towne, and most recently became part of the Days Inn national chain in 1990.
 
Erected
Marker detail: The American House image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: The American House
"newly decorated and renovated throughout"
2015 by Faces of Dover, and Dover Main Street, Inc. (Marker Number 1.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #27 William Howard Taft series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1865.
 
Location. 43° 11.901′ N, 70° 52.46′ W. Marker is in Dover, New Hampshire, in Strafford County. Marker is at the intersection of Central Avenue (New Hampshire Route 9) and Third Street, on the right when traveling south on Central Avenue. Marker is located on the sidewalk, at the southwest corner of the intersection. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 478 Central Avenue, Dover NH 03820, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Merchants National Bank (within shouting distance of this marker); The New Depot on Third Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Dover’s Two Largest Retail Chain Stores (within shouting distance of this marker); The Two Morrill Blocks (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Dover Mill Girls (about 500 feet away); Dover NH WW I Dobbins Memorial (about 500 feet away); St. John's Methodist Church (about 600 feet away); Dover's Black Day (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dover.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
 
Also see . . .
The American House Hotel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 9, 2019
4. The American House Hotel Marker
(looking east across Central Avenue)

1. The American House. (Submitted on July 5, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. The American House. (This link presents more details and photographs of the American House Hotel's history) (Submitted on July 5, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. American House Post Cards and History. (Submitted on July 5, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
4. Hotels of Dover’s past, from the simple to the luxurious. The turn of the century was a time of buses and trains — automobiles a novelty, decent roads that allowed for long comfortable travels still not available. It was the era of the traveling salesman carrying display cases, coming from Boston and other major cities to show his wares to local merchants. The most famous, and most successful of Dover’s early hotels was the American House. But there were many others... (Submitted on July 5, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 5, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 2, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 79 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 5, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Jul. 29, 2021