Coventry, lying some twenty miles east of Hartford, is the birthplace of Revolutionary War patriot Nathan Hale. On the National Register of Historic Places, Coventry Village is significant for its early industrial landscape and well-preserved houses that reflect a range of architectural styles including Colonial, Greek Revival, Italianate, and Queen Ann. Among sites of particular interest are Brigham Tavern (where George Washington enjoyed breakfast), the Ripley House, and the Hale Homestead. An important manufacturing area in the 1800s, Coventry was the site of seventeen mills that produced necessities such as cartridges for the Civil War, hats, wagons, paper goods, woolens, silks, yarn, and cotton material. From 1813 to 1847, the glassmaking industry flourished; today, early Coventry glass is a collector's item. In the early 1900s, Lake Wamgumbaug (commonly called Coventry Lake), with its popular Lakeside Park and Pavilion, became a vacation retreat. During the 1930s, vaudevillians and actors discovered the lake and settled in an area that became known as Actors Colony. Coventry traces the history of this unique town from its incorporation in 1712 to the mid-1900s.
About the Author
In celebration of its tenth anniversary, the Coventry Village Improvement Society selected more than two hundred images from the Coventry Historical Society archives and numerous private collections to create Coventry, a fascinating pictorial history of the town known as the Gateway to Connecticut's Quiet Corner.