In the News

What a difference 2 hours and 30 volunteers can make

April 8, 2015: More than 30 individuals participated in the Tuscarawas River cleanup event Saturday, March 4 along the southern bank of the river in downtown Dover between the Dover Light and Power plant and the low head dam just west of the wastewater treatment plant.The event was sponsored by the Historic Canal Dover Association and coordinated by the efforts of Rural Action. A grant in the amount of $430 from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency provided funds used to pay for a dumpster and tire disposal.Rural Action provided trash bags and rubber boots for anyone who needed them and the Dover Fire Department donated vinyl gloves.Uncommon Grounds of Dover provided coffee, and oatmeal raisin cookies were provided by Dutch Valley Restaurant of Sugarcreek.Volunteers gathered and bagged 68 bags of trash, 18 tires and various other items over the course of the two-hour event.“I had done plenty of scouting in the area before the event to better understand the terrain,” said Rachel Woods of Rural Action and an AmeriCorps member with the Ohio Stream Restore Corps. “The flood waters had receded and it was muddy, but we were able to access the riverbank and reach areas with a significant amount of trash.”

The largest percentage of trash was plastic bottles, about 90 percent according to Woods.

“It amazes me most of the trash is generated because of stuff we drink,” said Woods. “It would help so much if we got back in the habit of using a reusable bottle and when we can’t, we take the time to properly dispose of or recycle our plastic bottles.”

As efforts to restore the riverfront as a place for recreation ramp up, residents have taken an interest in helping the revitalization process.

HCDA holds the annual Tuscarawas River Canoe Kayak and Race, now in its fifth year.

“The race attracts residents and visitors from all over,” said Howard Dugger, president of HCDA. “We want the area to look nice.”

In addition to the area looking better, the cleanup also benefits wildlife in and around the river.

“It would be nice if we could do this again,” said Shane Gunnoe, president of Dover City Council who participated in the event.

Before the group dispersed, plans were already being discussed on holding another event to keep the riverfront trash-free.

Volunteers sought for riverbank cleanup in Dover
March 27, 2015: Volunteers from Huff Run Watershed office of Rural Action and the Historic Canal Dover Association will gather April 4 from 10 a.m. to noon along the banks of the Tuscarawas River in downtown Dover for a spring river cleanup. The public is encouraged to participate.The target zone for cleanup is the riparian zone from the low head dam up to the banks near the Dover Light and Power plant.Free parking for volunteers is located at 317 E. Broadway at the parking lot across from the power plant.Volunteers will be provided with all supplies needed for the event, including trash bags and disposable gloves. Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own canvas or leather gloves, rubber boots, sunglasses, sunscreen, hats and a water bottle. Some rubber boots will be available on a limited basis. Refreshments will be provided.According to Rachel Woods, AmeriCorps member with the Ohio Stream Restore Corps and Huff Run volunteer, the majority of the trash in the river and along the river’s banks isn’t directly thrown in from people in the community.“When people litter, that piece of trash does not stay in one location until a good Samaritan disposes of it unfortunately,” said Woods. “Our waterways are interconnected, it is a beautiful system that helps the Earth flush nutrients to different locations and unfortunately litter also flows through our waterways.”

Much of the trash in and around the river includes plastic bottles and bags, fast food containers, cigarette butts and tires.

“It always amazes me how people ditch tires and trash in a secluded location, even along our river banks,” said Woods. Most of these items can be recycled at drop-off recycling centers in town or curbside recycling.”

Woods said many auto-repair locations accept old tires, and Bridgestone Tire Company has a recycling program in the area.

Woods said trash affects wildlife in and around the river.

“Any toxic chemicals on or in litter will pollute the water and change the chemistry, and will either poison wildlife when they drink it or harm them when they swim in it, said Woods. “Litter, if large enough, can strangle wildlife. If the litter is heavy enough, it could sink to the bottom and harm the life that lives at the bottom of the river bed.”

The solution to trash in the river is simple according to Woods.

“Stop littering. It is that simple,” said Woods. “When you are not near a trash can and you have trash to dispose of, just keep it with you until you find somewhere to dispose of it. Take a moment to stop and pick up trash you find on the road. If everyone took the effort just to pick up litter in your yard or parks when you’re outside, I promise there will be a decrease of trash in the river.”

Woods said another step to help reduce trash is to use reusable containers instead of small single-use bags and containers.

For more information about the river cleanup, contact Rachel Woods at 330-859-1050, or visit for more information.

America’s Best Communities contest: Dover throws hat into the ring
March 26, 2015: In September 2014, Frontier Communications, DISH Network and CoBank launched America’s Best Communities, a $10 million prize competition to facilitate growth and revitalization in small cities and towns across the nation.The city of Dover has decided to throw its hat into the ring. Howard Dugger of the Historic Canal Dover Association has worked tirelessly to meet the March 25 application deadline.“It’s a lengthy application with a lot of restrictions,” said Dugger. “The biggest challenge was concisely putting down on paper the potential Dover has.”The city of New Philadelphia announced they would participate in the contest earlier this month.America’s Best Communities $10 million prize competition will reward communities with 9,500 to 80,000 residents with the best business plans for economic development and improved quality of life.The winners will share best practices and great ideas for innovative growth among all the communities that participate in the competition.

America’s Best Communities has already drawn more than 200 participating communities across the 27 states served by Frontier Communications.

Up to 50 quarter-finalists will be selected April 29 and awarded $35,000 in development funds for their revitalization proposals. They will be required to obtain $15,000 in community matching funds. They will also be awarded a GoPro camera so they can document their journey on video.

“Regardless of the outcome of the contest, Dover needs a formal plan,” said Dugger. “There are stakeholders, and no single stakeholder should be tasked with creating it. HCDA along with the help of other civic groups in the community should sit down together. Dover needs this.”

The 50 communities will be chosen from the initial pool of applicants based on their ability to demonstrate the greatest potential for revitalization, relative to other applicants. They will be scored on context and commitment, community identity, economic development and vision and impact.

Up to 15 semi-finalists will be chosen January 13, 2016. Up to eight finalists will be chosen April 15, 2016.

At the end of the competition in April 2017, the top three applicants will share $6 million in prize money — $3 million to the winner, $2 million for second place and $1 million for third place — to be used to continue to implement their improvement plans.

The first-place prizewinner will also receive an original outdoor mural depicting the vibrancy and resiliency of their community painted by a locally identified artist and a sign identifying the city as an America’s Best Communities winner.

“The America’s Best Communities contest is a fantastic opportunity to share how small and rural towns are developing creative solutions for economic and cultural sustainability,” said DISH CEO and President Joe Clayton. “At its core, the contest gives voice to the best ways we can help communities across the country thrive for generations to come.”

Grant approval launches next wave of riverfront development in Dover
January 15, 2015: The Ohio Department of Natural Resources awarded Cooperative Boating Facility grants totaling more than $2.2 million to a dozen Ohio counties including one for Tuscarawas County.The Historic Canal Dover Association received a grant of $227,000 for the construction of a public boat ramp on the Tuscarawas River near downtown Dover. A member of HCDA as well as a canoe and kayak enthusiast Mary Jo Monte-Kaser spearheaded the project more than a year ago. The project was approved by the city of Dover in March 2014 with 90 percent of funding coming from the grant, 10 percent from the city of Dover and additional funds from HCDA.Monte-Kaser worked with the Ohio Mid-Eastern Government Association, a collaborative body of member governments that serves as a facilitator between state and federal government agencies and local entities to provide opportunities in economic and community development through networking, education, planning, research and allocation of resources to secure the competitive grant.“We really have to give credit to Mary Jo,” said Howard Dugger, HCDA president. “She came up with the idea, she found the grant and she did all the legwork. She pushed the city to approve it. So much time had passed, we weren’t sure if we would get it. We are so excited.”HCDA sees the grant as a milestone as development gets underway at the underutilized riverfront that historically served as a recreational are for generations of Dover residents and visitors.“ODNR was approached for a development grant about 10 years ago,” said Dugger. “We think they were turned down because of the power poles and the set up down there. Things were different this time around. They must really see the potential.”

Other counties in the state that received grants include Clermont, Cuyahoga, Delaware, Franklin, Gallia, Hamilton, Hancock, Montgomery, Summit, Trumbull and Union.

No further Cooperative Boating Facility Grants will be dispersed until 2016.

Friends of Dover’s Riverfront to have inaugural meeting
January 9, 2015: The Historic Canal Dover Association is taking advantage of renewed interest in the development of the neglected and underused community resource that is the Dover riverfront. Its new committee Friends of Dover’s Riverfront will further the mission to improve the riverfront for the benefit of residents and visitors, as well as addressing economic, recreational, historic and safety concerns. The task force’s first initiative will be to develop a master plan that will turn the area into a city park.Howard Dugger, president of HCDA, believes a designated committee will help to expedite initiatives that have led to securing grants, including one from the Kimble Foundation in the amount of $25,000 for property acquisition and land development. Another grant, which has yet to be approved, from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, will fund a public boat ramp. The City of Dover has applied for a grant from the Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation fund for the project.In addition, HCDA has secured bed tax grants that facilitated new bike racks in downtown Dover, new picnic tables at the former brewery site on Front Street and funds that will allow signage to be place along a more than nine mile urban bike path this spring. “All of our projects are connected and will improve Dover for residents and visitors,” said Dugger. “We have the support of the city, and are developing partnerships that will make even more improvement possible. We believe a dedicated group will help us reach our goals even faster.”The committee includes representatives from both public and private organizations like Rotary, Lions and the Exchange Clubs as well as the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, the Tuscarawas River Canoe & Kayak Race, the Tuscarawas County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Dover Parks and Recreation and others. “We’ve had a great response from individuals and organizations we’ve reached out to,” said Dugger. “It’s very exciting.”Riverfront development plans include a public park that would stretch east from the Tuscarawas Avenue Bridge along the northern bank of the river past the Wooster Avenue Bridge. In addition to a public boat ramp, the park would include walking paths, a playground and visitor information. Eventually, the park would link the expansion of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Towpath Trail when it makes its way to Dover.Friends of Dover’s Riverfront have short term objectives that include engineering and laying out the city-owned property along the river to establish the use for public recreation, fitness and community sponsored events. The group also plans to enlist public opinion, to enlist city officials for their guidance and expertise, to provide an area that is safe and convenient for families to use and to provide safe access to the river itself for boaters.

The newly formed group will meet for the first time on Jan. 20.

For more information about HCDA and Friends of Dover’s Riverfront, visit

Big Chuck: Television icon will visit Dover
January 7, 2015: One of northeast Ohio’s more recognizable television personalities is Big Chuck Schodowski. Even locals who weren’t allowed to stay up late for the Hoolihan and Big Chuck show that later became the Big Chuck and Lil’ John show might remember his Couch Potato Theater that aired earlier on Saturday mornings on Cleveland’s WJW.After spending 47 fulltime years on Cleveland television, Schodowski has plenty of stories to share. The Dover Public Library and the Historic Canal Dover Association welcome Big Chuck Wednesday, Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. in the Dover High School Auditorium as they host the event that also includes a book signing.Still on the air today in a part time capacity, Schodowski and longtime television partner Lil’ Jon Rinaldi host a half hour show on WJW Saturday mornings at 11:30 a.m. “I’ve been on the air 54 years,” said Schodowski. “I think it’s a world record. Dick Goddard is trying to get me in the Guinness Book.”Schodowski retired from fulltime work in 2007 and wrote “Big Chuck! My Favorite Stories From 47 Years on Cleveland TV,” with longtime Cleveland Plain Dealer writer Tom Feran. The book was released at Ghoulardi Fest in 2008.Schodowski shares hundreds of funny and personal stories that allow readers to recall a career that started in 1960 as well as Schodowski’s younger days growing up in what is now known as Cleveland’s Slavic Village.On television Schodowski portrayed characters like the Kielbasa Kid in a parody of television westerns, and Stash Kowalski where he poked fun at his own Polish heritage. In his book he takes readers behind the scenes of television production, but also shares warmer stories like his courtship with high school sweetheart June Kole, short for Koleczek, also of Polish decent.

The pair raised five children, Michael, Mark, Marilyn, Melissa and Michelle. Today they have 16 grandchildren.

“I enjoy doing the book signings,” said Schodowski. “Dover’s close to home, too. I can still get out a bit. You know I just turned 80?”

Schodowski credits his busy lifestyle for keeping him in good mental and physical health. “Doctors have proven it, you know. It’s the truth. You’ve got to keep busy.”

HCDA member Russ Volkert coordinated the event along with the library. “I had read Chuck’s book and really enjoyed it,” said Volkert. “It is something an awful lot of folks can relate to around here. Many of us have memories of watching Chuck on TV. It was different back then. Back then we watched TV as a family; we had to plan for it. For some of us, Chuck’s show was the first time we got to stay up late or watch a horror movie.”

Schodowski’s career and reputation for being community minded spans multiple generations.

“Sometimes you have a preconception of how someone might be,” said Volkert. “I saw Chuck one time at a charity function at Canton South some time ago and he seemed like a nice enough guy. How gratifying to talk with him and invite him to Dover to discover he really is a nice guy. No pretense, no ego, and he took an enormous amount of time to talk with me. He is a decent, committed guy. I hope the residents of Dover come out in the middle of the week to laugh a bit and enjoy Chuck’s stories.”

The Spirit of Dover: Public art that shares history

While the design of “The Spirit of Dover,” a historic piece of proposed public art, has not been finalized, the completed piece will stand seven feet tall and be situated on the northeast quadrant of the square in downtown Dover.

 By Kyle Valentini

 Established by two brothers-in-law from Baltimore in 1807, Dover grew slowly and by 1818 only had five buildings, three of which were taverns. In 1825 when the Tuscarawas River was incorporated into the Ohio Canal system, Dover transformed from a small agricultural center to a thriving industrial community. It was the canal that made it possible.In an effort to celebrate the heritage of the city, members of the Historic Canal Dover Association had initiated a project called “The Spirit of Dover,” a seven-foot tall bronze statue depicting a canaller aboard his boat, the Union, a canal boat built in Dover that would be installed on the northeast quadrant of the square.“We had imagined this years ago, but the project was tabled when the economy got so bad,’” said Russ Volkert, an HCDA member and a part of the original steering committee. Now, with an improved economy along with a motivated group of HCDA members, the civic organization believes it is time to revisit the possibility of the Spirit of Dover.While the project was put on hold, HCDA had invested considerable time and resources in developing the design of the statue that included a maquette or scale model of the statue. “We’ve considered a redesign at this point,” said Volkert. “We’ve considered adding a second figure, perhaps a child.” According to Volkert, a father and child would have been a common sight on the canal boats that helped to define the community from 1825 until 1913, when a great flood destroyed vast portions of the commercial route.“The point of the statue is to depict the heritage of Dover and the nature of the people who made the community what it is today,” said Volkert. “We are a community built by families, ethics and hard work.”“The Spirit of Dover” would face due west. It would include a plaque with the text, “The canal system was built and canal commerce was developed by ordinary men who were willing to work hard and take some risk to provide a better life for the generations that followed them; in a large sense these same traits have come to define our community. Dover was founded, built up, and continues to grow and prosper because of its citizens, our true strength. In the years since Dover’s founding in 1807, successive generations of pioneers, canallers, millworkers and other ordinary people shared a strong work ethic, sound values and a deep sense of the value of family; they are the firm foundation upon which the City of Dover is built.”A series of creative fundraisers will help to facilitate the project. “A statue of this size and quality could be as much as $150,000,” said Volkert. “This is a project that could realistically take three years to complete.”Volkert believes Dover lacks iconic buildings and the strong physical identity they lend to a community. “The Spirit of Dover” would be a symbolic reference to the people that created the city. “Public art is important,” said Volkert. “Hopefully the community will see the value in it.”
‘Tis the season for the 10th annual downtown Dover Christmas parade
Published November 21, 2014 by Kyle Valentini

The Historic Canal Dover Association created a float for a previous parade that resembled a canal boat.

Weather doesn’t seem to dampen the spirits of the hundreds of residents and visitors who attend the annual Historic Canal Dover Association/ City of Dover Christmas Parade, now in its 10th year.This year’s parade is Saturday, Dec. 6 and will begin immediately after the traditional downtown lighting ceremony, which gets underway at 5:15 p.m. on the square.The Dover Public Library and the Historic Canal Dover Association will award the “Season of Good Cheer” prize on the square prior to the parade.

After downtown decorations are illuminated, Mayor Richard Homrighausen will read “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” more commonly known as “’Twas The Night Before Christmas.”

The parade steps off from Crater Stadium and makes its way downtown via East Third Street at the Cross Street intersection. After a left turn on Wooster Avenue, the parade continues one block south to Second Street.

During the parade, letter carriers will walk the parade route to receive letters addressed to Santa. Any entries involving horses must provide for their own cleanup for accidents that occur along the parade route.

The parade lineup is from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on East Seventh Street at Crater Stadium.

Registration is free and all are welcome to participate. Preregistration is recommended, and entry forms are available at City Hall at 110 E. Third St. or the Dover City Auditor’s office at 122 E. Third St. Participants can also register at the parade lineup.

“There are close to 100 entries each year, with lots of treats to be passed out along the parade route,” said Jeff Beitzel, parade coordinator. “Everyone is encouraged to stay downtown after the conclusion of the parade to meet Santa at the Santa House on the southeast quadrant of the square. Children can get their picture taken with Santa for free.”

Photos can be picked up later at the mayor’s office at City Hall. Santa will welcome children of all ages on Wednesdays from 6-8 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. throughout the holiday season. Photos with Santa will also be available on those dates.

Open House: Public welcome to tour Dover home

The 1880 home being renovated by Brian and Rachel Ice of Dover will be open to the public Saturday, Oct. 25. from noon to 5 p.m. All donations will benefit the Historic Canal Dover Association.

Dover resident Brian Ice noticed an old home in his neighborhood was going on the auction block. As the owner of an older home on the same street, he saw the potential in the 2,100-square-foot, 1880 brick Victorian Italianate at 303 E. Third St. in Dover.

Surprisingly, Ice and his wife Rachel presented the highest bid and decided the home was worth renovating. “We were told the home was turned into a duplex in the 1940s or ‘50s,” said Ice. “We started restoring the exterior, then moved inside to renovate the front three-bedroom apartment.”

The home also includes a two-bedroom apartment that has yet to be renovated. Both apartments include two stories, as well as a basement.

The Ices originally intended to paint the exterior of the home. They received a lot of public input when they shared photos of the newly purchased home on members-only Facebook page called, “Dover, Ohio” as restoration efforts got underway.

There was so much interest in the home being restored to its original brick, the Ices looked into the possibility. Through their painting contractor, they found a sandblaster who was able to use a recycled glass blasting media that when used with water, took years of paint from the brick, which was in excellent condition. “We were concerned about damage,” Ice said. “We had planned to use a walnut shell media but the contractor assured us the recycled glass would not damage the brick and be more effective.”

So far, the Ices have added a new front porch fashioned after the porch in a photo they received from New Philadelphia resident Christine Lanzer Farnsworth, whose grandfather then parents owned the home when she was a girl growing up in the house.

Like any renovation project, the Ices spent more than they anticipated. The front apartment got a new electrical service, a new furnace, an updated kitchen with new appliances, flooring and granite countertops, and updated first- and second-story bathrooms.

“Whenever I am here mowing the lawn or working on the house, people from the neighborhood will stop by and ask to see how it is coming along,” Ice said. “We have had a lot of interest from the community and especially people in the neighborhood who are glad we fixed the place up.”

The amount of public interest led Ice to decide to host an open house for the benefit of the Historic Canal Dover Association, a civic organization focused on improving Dover, beginning with the downtown.

The open house is Saturday, Oct. 25 from noon to 5 p.m. Ice asks that visitors donate $2 with all proceeds going to HCDA for its continued community improvement efforts. All are welcome to attend.

Further renovations will include the two-bedroom apartment and eventually both apartments will be rented.

In the meantime, Ice said he is a tiny bit overwhelmed as the open house date approaches. “I still have a little bit of electrical work to do, a little bit of drywall work and a whole lot of cleaning before the open house,” Ice said. “I’ll get it all done. I’ll get it done.”

Many hands make light work as riverfront beautification continues in downtown Dover

Published: October 24, 2014 by Kyle Valentini

Members of the Dover Exchange Club and the Historic Canal Dover Association came together to work on the continued beautification of the riverfront in downtown Dover.

Local organizations continue to partner with the City of Dover in an effort to make improvements that will benefit all residents and visitors.

Last Saturday, cool weather did not stop 12 members of the Dover Exchange Club, along with two members of Historic Canal Dover Association from beginning work on the beautification of the riverfront bank at the southwest corner of Wooster Avenue and Front Street.

“This project is the result of a beautification grant to the Exchange Club from the City of Dover,” Roy Crawford, a member of both organizations, said. “Included will be the placement of mulch and flowers at the top of the bank, rock fill along the slope of the bank, planting of flowering grasses and shrubs, and the planting of ornamental trees at the bottom of the slope.”

Saturday’s work included the removal of sod and weeds and leveling the surface in preparation for landscape fabric and mulch.

Continued efforts have facilitated the award of grants that have allowed HCDA to install picnic tables on the riverfront near the boat launch, bike racks throughout downtown Dover and signage for a nine-mile urban bike path that will promote tourism, offer residents and visitors a safer way to bike and hike through the city and encourage an active lifestyle for better health and wellness.

The Dover Exchange Club meets each Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Sunnyside Store in Parral. The HCDA meets the third Thursday of each month at noon at Sunnyside Store, located at 5495 N. Wooster Ave.

HCDA gets grant from bed tax for bike racks

Published Aug 22, 2014 by Kyle Valentini
Dover resident Steve Gloeckner installs one of several bike racks in downtown Dover. The bike racks were purchased by the Historic Canal Dover Association with grant money they received from the city of Dover.
The Historic Canal Dover Association received a $4,900 grant through the City of Dover for new bike racks downtown and at the former brewery on Front Street near the Tuscarawas River. Funds came from the city’s bed tax. Dover City Council passed an emergency resolution March 14 to distribute those funds that also allowed the purchase of three picnic tables for the riverfront area.“We really want to promote biking and physical fitness in downtown Dover,” said HCDA President Howard Dugger. “The city has been great to work with. We are very excited to be moving forward with the project. If more people know there are places to safely park their bikes, they’ll visit downtown more often.”The unique bike racks are located at the northwest quadrant of the square, at Third Street and Wooster Avenue and at the northwest corner of Third Street and Tuscarawas Avenue. Six additional two-wave style bike racks are awaiting installation along Third Street and another at Front and Poplar streets.HCDA member Russ Volkert and Dover resident Steve Gloeckner volunteered their time to install the racks for the benefit of residents interested in visiting downtown Dover.HCDA’s plans for the future include a 9.23-mile urban bike and walking trail that will allow residents and visitors to Dover a safer way to travel by bike and by foot. The trail will have a northern circuit and a southern spur and include retro reflective signs marking the path. Other signs would designate significant or historic sites along the path and the direction of local attractions such as museums. HCDA hopes to receive the support of Dover City Council.HCDA is a civic organization in Dover focused on improving the downtown area and the development of the city’s riverfront for recreational use.HCDA meets the third Thursday of each month at noon at Sunnyside Store, 5495 N. Wooster Ave. NW, just north of Dover in the village of Parral. Volunteer opportunities exist for residents of all ages and new members are welcome.For more information, visit HCDA at
HCDA proposes Urban Bike Route through Dover
TimesReporter 8/20/14

In another matter, council heard a proposal to establish a 9.23-mile urban bike and walking path through the city.

The proposal was presented by Roy Crawford and Howard Dugger of the Historic Canal Dover Association. They said the overall route, to be developed in four phases, would be marked with retro-reflective signs the size of typical parking signs, at a cost of $15.75 each.

Crawford said the overall initial costs of the signage would be $1,900, with the signs being placed on the city’s existing utility poles.

Council President Shane Gunnoe assigned the request to council’s Parks and Recreation Committee.

HCDA offers urban hike and bike tour of Dover
by Kyle Valentini / Tusc Bargain Hunter
The following article is used with permission from the Tuscarawas Bargain Hunter.
Back Alleys and Back Stories is a self-guided urban hike and bike tour that allows participants to see the city of Dover in a historical light. The Historic Canal Dover Association (HCDA) in cooperation with the American Gas Pump Heaven Museum and the Auman Museum of Radio & Television invite hikers and bikers to their inaugural event, Saturday, May 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.The event kicks off at the hard-to-miss American Gas Pump Heaven Museum, located at 99 N. Tuscarawas Ave. at the bridge. “This museum and the radio and television museum are two often overlooked gems in Dover,” said Russ Volkert, HCDA member. “They offer a unique piece of Americana. Many residents have never even been to these museums. With the hike and bike tour, people really get a closer look at Dover. The tour allows them to get a feel of the town, see some of the history and learn how the community has prospered.”The event is free and open to the public. The museums do charge a small fee for admittance.The event is appropriate for individuals of all fitness and skill levels. “The event is to promote healthy and safe biking in the community, and to provide a bit of an historical overview of some aspects of Dover’s history,” said Volkert.The route takes participants from the American Gas Pump Heaven Museum through downtown, across town to the city park and back to the starting point in a self-guided tour that could take a few hours to several, depending on the pace of the participants.Thanks to a grant HCDA received from the Ohio Chapter of American Pediatrics, they will distribute 25 bike helmets to children who need them at the event. “HCDA’s goal is to promote safe biking for residents of all age levels,” said Volkert. “We want to make biking safer and easier in Dover.”For more information, contact HCDA by email at
Roger Ramsey (L), owner of the American Gas Pump Heaven Museum, Howard Dugger, HCDA president and Russ Volkert, Dover fire chief and HCDA member.
Photo by: submitted

Historic Canal Dover Association and the City of Dover Apply for Grant

Dover, Ohio – The dream of a riverfront park in Dover is taking a step toward reality.  The Historic Canal Dover Association has partnered with the City of Dover to apply for grant funds from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for a public access boat ramp.

For decades, civic organizations and residents of Dover have expressed the desire for a beautiful park along the Tuscarawas River.   Attempts have been made to create such a space between the Tuscarawas Avenue and Wooster Avenue bridges.  But due to lack of funding, the projects have been set aside.

Over the last several years, the City of Dover has acquired additional property along the river, allowing room to install an access ramp for motorized and hand-powered boats.  The city has also shown its commitment to the project by pledging the ten percent in matching funds required to apply for the grant.

The Historic Canal Dover Association is a long-time group of local community leaders and business owners interested in the economic prosperity of the community of Dover as a whole, starting with the downtown.  The association sponsors the Tuscarawas River Canoe & Kayak Race each year in July.  The proceeds from the race are reserved in a fund for this long-awaited riverfront project, currently amounting to $3400.

“This will mean so much for the city of Dover!”  Howard Dugger, president of the Historic Canal Dover Association, said recently, “We need to showcase our riverfront.  This boat ramp will mean that boaters can take advantage of this beautiful stretch of river for fishing, kayaking and relaxing on the water.”

Another advantage that putting a boat ramp here will do, according to Dugger, is “this will tie in nicely with the walking and biking trail that we hope is coming through Dover.”  Dugger is referring to the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail that is projected to come through Dover.

The grant sought to complete this project is highly competitive and community support is vital.  Letters of support for this project are needed and should be mailed to the HCDA, 301 ½ N. Wooster Ave. Suite 201, Dover, Ohio  44622 by March 14, 2014.

Contact:  Mary Jo Monte-Kaser  330-340-5180


The following article is used with permission from the Tuscarawas Bargain Hunter.

Historic Canal Dover Association sees potential in future projects that will benefit the city of Dover

By Kyle Valentini


–>By Kyle Valentini, Tuscarawas Bargain Hunter

Caption: The replica toll house along the Tuscarawas River on Front Street, constructed by HCDA volunteers, is just one of the community improvement projects initiated by the organization.

Local merchants and residents founded the Historic Canal Dover Association in an effort to improve the city of Dover, beginning with the downtown business district. They participate in a variety of seasonal activities, including the annual Canal Dover Festival coordinated by the Dover Exchange Club, the Downtown Dover Car Show, the Tuscarawas River Canoe and Kayak Race in cooperation with Dover Boat and Ski Club, the Dover Lions Halloween Parade, sidewalk sales, Dover’s Night of Good Cheer and the Dover Christmas Parade. “I joined HCDA three years ago,” said Howard Dugger, recently elected president of the civic-minded organization. “I think downtown Dover is a quintessential small-town-USA town, and I wanted to get involved in helping promote and protect what we have here.” Dugger, along with wife Sarah, owns a downtown Dover building that houses their own art studio business as well as three other independently owned businesses. The HCDA has assisted in the installation of the information kiosks located on Public Square at North Wooster Ave. and Third Street and has cleared the former canal towpath to make way for proposed biking and hiking trails that will, once complete, be a part of the Towpath Trail system. HCDA was instrumental in the construction of a replica of the Canal Dover Toll House on Front Street. The original was one of 11 toll houses along the Ohio & Erie Canal that ran from Lake Erie at Cleveland to the Ohio River at Portsmouth from 1825-1861. Built about seven years ago, the replica was constructed by Gary and Jeremy Hunt of Dover and completed by John and Sarah Little and Russ Volkert. The slate was donated by the Baltic historical society and the roof was installed by John Feller, a retired school teacher who learned the skill from his father, a former roofer proficient in slate roof installation. The building was stained by a volunteer group from New Pointe Church. “Many people think it is bare wood, but it is actually a semi-transparent grey stain,” said Russ Volkert, HCDA member. “The doors came from the old Elks building that the city had razed and the windows came from a house on Race Street that the city owned. The city paid for the foundation. The fence behind the building is valued at $12,000 and it was donated by someone in the community.” The riverfront development project is currently slowed, according to Richard Homrighausen, mayor of Dover. “We have been concentrating on getting the Ohio & Erie Canalway developed and connected,” said Homrighausen. “Part of that is cleaning up the area of the boat ramp and gradually moving west with those efforts.” The Mayor cites challenges of acquiring the funds to further develop the riverfront and the subsequent funds to maintain once it is developed. “Neither the city or HCDA has the resources at this time,” said Homrighausen. “We have been making progress, although it has been slow,” said Volkert. “The former brewery building and property was donated to the city, and this year the city was very fortunate to have the building razed at no cost through the diligence of Jeff Beitzel, Dover’s building and zoning codes administrator, through the state’s Moving Ohio Forward program. This is very exciting because the Brewery property consists of four city lots right at Poplar and Front Street and it is a perfect access point for the riverfront area. While it is unfortunate to have to tear down an historic structure, it had serious structural issues that would have been too costly to fix, and the removal of the building really opened the area up and improved the neighborhood, which is exactly the purpose of the state’s program, to improve the value of residential neighborhoods by removing blighted buildings.” “The riverfront is an untapped asset for Dover and it has a lot of potential,” said Dugger. “We’d like to see a bike and hike trail be set up between the bridges that heads east past the Wooster Ave. Bridge. There is grant money available for things like boat ramps and other public works. The goal would be to have infrastructure in place by the time the Ohio & Erie towpath bike trail reaches Dover.” The HCDA is always seeking input from the community to help further their goals. “We are actively seeking new members who share the same interest in promoting Dover and preserving its history,” said Dugger. For more information about HCDA, visit their website at

Published: December 12, 2013

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