What’s the History of Garrison Hill Tower in Dover, New Hampshire?
The name may be familiar to you, cause perhaps you've been there before. Or, maybe this is the first time you're hearing of Garrison Hill Tower, situated off of Central Ave in Dover, New Hampshire. Despite living in New Hampshire her whole life, this writer hadn't heard of this spot until she was in high school, so no worries if you didn't know it existed.
This video taken by New England Explorer shows aerial views of the tower, which is accessible to the public. According to the City of Dover, the structure is 76 feet tall and stands atop the 298-foot-tall Garrison Hill.
Here are a couple of photos taken from the top a few years ago by yours truly. The first one was snapped in August...
...and the second one in April, hence the lack of green foliage. But, you get a better view of downtown Dover in the distance, which is super cool.
So, what's the history behind this tower? Let's learn more about it.
What is the History of Garrison Hill Tower?
The City of Dover website explains that three towers have actually stood on this site. The first one was made of wood and constructed back in 1880 by a man named Harrison Haley. The five-story tower became known as “Haley’s and Ham’s Outlook", and had a telescope at the top for people to observe Mount Washington and the Isles of Shoals. A tiny restaurant was also situated at the base, and a picnic grove and roller rink were also on the property. Unfortunately, that first tower burned down in 1911.
Two years later, the second tower was constructed, having been commissioned by a woman named Abbey Sawyer in honor of her husband. The structure remained on the hill until 1990, when it was deemed unsafe and taken down. According to SeacoastNH.com, it was a few years later in 1994 when today's tower was built, "following 9000 hours of volunteer work." Thankfully, it still stands today for us to enjoy amazing panoramic views, and yes, you can still see both Mount Washington and the Isles of Shoals from the top.
You can visit Garrison Hill Park seven days a week from 7am-9pm at Abbey Sawyer Memorial Highway in Dover.