A Family Business since 1948
Dover Marine has been a family owned business since 1948. Started by two of the Merrill brothers, Rip and Bob, as a Western Auto Store located on Central Ave. The business found its footing supplying Dover Residents along the Cocheco River. But then, with Rip going to serve in the Navy and Bob moving to Connecticut, Rip’s father stepped in and began running the business partnered with Norman Beardsworth. Rip, upon returning from the service, met and fell in love with Norman’s daughter, Norma. The couple married and had four children. The family business outgrew the location in downtown Dover and in 1977, they moved to the present location.
Through all the years, the Merrill family has run the business. The Western Auto affiliation ended in 2000 as the focus became boats and trailers sales and repair, water sports, hunting, fishing, and the ski shop, Covered Bridge Sports.
Rip and Norma’s sons now manage the business with Gary running the Service Department and Frank managing the retail business. Many of the Grandchildren have had their first jobs and several have stayed working throughout the business. You will still find Norma and Rip managing and answering the questions at the Marine counter.