Two markers were unveiled in Dover, NH on Wednesday honoring the city as the birthplace of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
The city celebrated that creation with a state highway historical marker on Central Avenue and a decorative manhole cover outside 28 Union Street. The house where the characters were dreamed up has since been destroyed, but the street-level marker outside the former residence will be a reminder that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were first born above these sewers.
The commemorative sign reads: “In November 1983, while living in Dover, Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird created a cast of ninja-weapon wielding turtles during a late-night drawing session. Amused by the absurdity of the idea, the duo developed the story of four teenage brothers — Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo. The one-shot comic, published independently by Mirage Studios on Union Street, debuted in 1984. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles soon became a full comic series and ultimately an international multimedia franchise.”
In addition to a historical marker on Central Avenue, a decorative manhole cover was placed on Union Street, where TMNT creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird lived when they created the comic book in November 1983. Eastman designed the artwork for the manhole cover.
Kevin Eastman’s design for the commemorative manhole cover
Laird and Eastman brought the original comic book chronicling the saga involving Donatello, Michaelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo to a convention in Portsmouth on May 5, 1984 and it took off.
“This spot needs to be recognized. I’ve been a Turtles fan since the comic book days,” said James Lane, a TMNT fan. “I love little Easter eggs hidden in neighborhoods about history, and this could be one of Dover’s biggest.”
The events mark the 40th anniversary of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle franchise and the 400th anniversary of Dover.