Established in 1708, the First Unitarian Church has maintained a history of tolerance, social responsibility, and spiritual exploration despite shifting ideologies since its inception. The Church’s granite Gothic style structure, built in 1838, was designed by architects Alexander Jackson Davis and Russell Warren. A highlight within the sanctuary is a large 1911 Favrile glass mural by Frederick Wilson prominently displayed behind the pulpit depicting a pilgrim traveling along a narrow treacherous mountain path. Behind him is an angel guiding him on his journey through the increasingly difficult terrain. Perhaps the mural serves as a gentle reminder that guidance, support, and understanding are necessary for all journeying through life regardless of disposition.
While Episcopalians had met in homes to worship in the town of Durham since the 1880s, St. George’s Episcopal Church was not formally organized until 1948. Members of the community and the diocese contributed and gathered funds to build its current structure, which was dedicated in 1954. Combining modesty with elegance, architect John Carter merges Gothic elements and the Episcopal tradition with modernist design, winning the Church Architectural Guild of America “Best Small Church” design award in 1955.
Built in 1768, the Dover Friends Meetinghouse is the oldest surviving 18th century Quaker meetinghouse in the state of New Hampshire. The Quaker movement in Dover began with the arrival of three Quaker English women missionaries in 1662. Met with strong resistance from Puritan officials, they persevered establishing a congregation in 1680. The Dover Religious Society of Friends’ current meetinghouse and their two previous meetinghouses, have not only been used for religious gatherings, but have served as a meeting place for such social and political activities as the plight against slavery. The congregation aspires to continue this practice “on behalf of peace and nonviolence, social, racial, and sexual equality; simplicity and honesty; and, in recent years, environmental awareness.”