The Dorchester War Monument sits in the centre of the village square. The village square was also the location for the courthouse, jail, the local records office and the Windsor Hotel. During the nineteenth century, Dorchester was home to a number of prominent and wealthy lawyers, some of whom, like Edward Barron Chandler, Sir Albert J. Smith, Daniel Hanington and Sir Pierre-Amand Landry, were also among the province’s leading politicians.
The timber and wooden shipbuilding boom of the mid to late century made the fortunes of several major shipbuilding families—the Palmers, Chapmans and Hickmans—while the commerce they spawned brought prosperity to local merchants, innkeepers and other businessmen of the area. One result was a disproportionately large number of fine homes, some of them still standing as a reminder of the Shiretown’s importance in earlier years.