After 35 years, change is on the horizon. Soon, our organization will no longer be known as Cocheco Valley Humane Society or CVHS. Beginning July 1, 2019, we will officially be known as Pope Memorial Humane Society.

Our new name comes during a time of great transformation for our organization. Not only will we have a new name, but a new logo and brand-new facility




Welcome you to the Strafford County website. Whether you are a current, past, or prospective resident, we hope you enjoy your visit to our virtual home.

County Functions and Responsibilities

The County is currently responsible for: Caring for the elderly in need of nursing home care at Riverside Rest Home; operating a regional jail/house of correction, together with a jail industries program, community corrections program, drug and mental health courts, and a transitional housing program; the County Attorney oversees and provides for the prosecution of criminals; operates a domestic violence unit, child advocacy center, and family justice center; the Sheriff oversee and handles the transportation of criminals, delivery of writs and other Court-related paperwork, operates a Communications and Dispatch Center, and oversees Courthouse security; the Register of Deeds is responsible for the recording of official land transfer documents at the Registry; the Treasurer, together with the Commissioners, oversee the payment of all County financial obligations; as well as a variety of other community-related programs to assist the citizens of the County.

County Government’s Structure

The structure of County government today is modeled after a basic three-branch system of government. The three County Commissioners make up the Executive branch, with responsibility for the day‑to‑day operations of County government, in both fiscal and policy matters. In Strafford County, the Commissioners are elected for two-year terms, at large, meaning from anywhere in Strafford County.

By virtue of election to the State House, a Representative also becomes a member of the County Delegation, which in many counties meets several times a year. The Delegation works primarily on matters of budgeting, exercising its responsibility for appropriating money for County use, which makes up the Legislative branch of County government. It is likely that relatively few New Hampshire voters realize that when they elect their Representatives to the State House of Representatives they are also making them the legislative authority of their County.

Current County Events

Strafford County is made up of three cities: Dover, Rochester, and Somersworth; and ten towns: Barrington, Durham, Farmington, Lee, Madbury, Middleton, Milton, New Durham, Rollinsford, and Strafford, and is home to approximately 125,000 citizens. There are ten (10) counties in New Hampshire, of which Strafford County is the fourth largest in population. According to the 2010 Census the County's population was estimated at 123,143, with 80% of the population over the age of 18 and a median age of approximately 34. Strafford County's estimated racial/ethnic composition in 2010 was 94% White, 1% Black or African American, 3% Asian, and 0.2% American Indian or Alaskan Native, with the remainder of the population being made up of small percentages of other races. Individuals of Hispanic or Latino origin comprised almost 2% of the County’s population. There were 46,576 households reported in 2006-2010. The Census also found that the median household income in the County was $57,809.

A Brief History of Strafford County Government

County Government in New Hampshire began in 1771 with five (5) counties: Rockingham, Strafford, Hillsborough, Cheshire, and Grafton. Strafford County was organized at Dover in 1771 and was named after William Wentworth, 2nd Earl of Strafford. Today, the County borders on Belknap, Carroll, Merrimack, and Rockingham Counties in New Hampshire and York County in Maine. The Court system was once a part of County Government, but is now operated by the State of New Hampshire. Roads, which were also previously the responsibility of the County, are now cared for by the State of New Hampshire or the city or town in which they are located. The State Department of Health and Human Services provides services to assist families and juveniles with behavior problems. These services were also provided by the County at one time.

We hope this little synopsis of County government has enlightened you as to the workings at this level of government in New Hampshire. For further information on individual offices and departments within the County, please go to their web page.


Very truly yours,

Strafford County Commissioners

George Maglaras

George Maglaras, Chairman

 Robert J. Watson

Robert J. Watson, Vice Chairman

 Deanna Rollo

 Deanna Rollo, Clerk


Riverside Rest Home Challenges Sports Fans to a Throw-down During Annual Fundraiser Raffle


Biggest Fan Base Will Win Bonus Prize in Support of The Fondest Wish Fund


Riverside Rest Home has a challenge for football, basketball, baseball, and hockey fans to find out who has the biggest fan base. During the nursing home’s December raffle, which supports The Fondest Wish Fund, Riverside will raffle off four sports team hoodies (Patriots, Celtics, Red Sox, and Bruins). Here’s the twist; the committee will count ticket sales each day and tally the results. On the day the raffle winners are pulled, the committee will determine which team has the most ticket sales. The winner of the team hoodie with the biggest fan base will also win a portable, tailgating-style, propane grill (as well as some big-time bragging rights).


The purpose of The Fondest Wish Fund is to grant wishes to Riverside Rest Home residents for an activity or an event in which they might like to participate, but do not have the personal and family resources to do so on their own. The program’s intent is that wishes will enhance the quality of life for the grantee and expose him/her to activities or events which do not occur at the nursing home in the normal course of the year.  The Fondest Wish Fund does not use Strafford County tax revenues for funding.


“We know Riverside, the County Complex, and the whole of Strafford County has some really hardcore sports fans, so the challenge will be a fun way to muster that team spirit and drive ticket sales.” said Rick Aubin, Director of Volunteer Services and Public Relations for the nursing home. The idea was hatched when an anonymous donor pitched the idea of a sports team raffle prize. Diane Chessman, the chair for the Golf Tournament Committee which finances The Fondest Wish Fund, developed the idea for a fan contest with the committee during an impromptu meeting—a day in which she was wearing her own Patriots jersey. “It was really a no-brainer—we have such loyal fans in New England.” noted Chessman.


The raffle kicks off on November 24th and runs through December 19th. In addition to the sports hoodies, the raffle will include at least a dozen other prizes. You can buy your tickets directly at Riverside Rest Home, 276 County Farm Road, Dover, NH 03820. In addition to the December raffle, the major fundraiser for The Fondest Wish Fund is the annual golf tournament which is scheduled for Tuesday, June 17th 2015 at Cochecho Country Club in Dover, NH. If you’re a golfer, consider joining us for a round. If you are a local business, you could become a sponsor or contribute to one of our raffles. As an individual, you can make a direct contribution to the fund. For more information about The Fondest Wish Fund call 603-516-4175