Coventry (/ˈkɒvəntri/ KOV-ən-tree) is a town in the Capitol Planning Region, Connecticut. The population was 12,235 at the 2020 census.[1] The birthplace of Captain Nathan Hale, Coventry is home to the Nathan Hale Homestead, which is now a museum open to the public. Coventry was incorporated in May 1712.

Coventry, Connecticut
Town of Coventry
The center of South Coventry, nearby Coventry Lake
The center of South Coventry, nearby Coventry Lake
Official seal of Coventry, Connecticut
Coventry's location within Tolland County and Connecticut
Coventry's location within the Capitol Planning Region and the state of Connecticut
Coordinates: 41°47′04″N 72°20′20″W / 41.78444°N 72.33889°W / 41.78444; -72.33889
Country United States
U.S. state Connecticut
RegionCapitol Region
 • TypeCouncil-Manager
 • Town ManagerJohn A. Elsesser
 • Town councilLisa Thomas, Council Chair
Marty Milkovic (D), Vice-Chair
Jonathan Hand (D), Secretary
Julie Blanchard (R)
Robyn Gallagher (D)
Mather Kyer (D)
John French (R)
 • Total38.4 sq mi (99.5 km2)
 • Land37.7 sq mi (97.7 km2)
 • Water0.6 sq mi (1.7 km2)
656 ft (200 m)
 • Total12,235
 • Density324.5/sq mi (125.2/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s)860/959
FIPS code09-17800
GNIS feature ID0213413

Geography edit

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 38.4 square miles (99 km2) of which 37.7 square miles (98 km2) is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) (1.67%) is water.

Principal communities edit

History edit

Coventry was named in October 1711, the first town in the colonies to be named "Coventry" for Coventry in the West Midlands, United Kingdom.[2]

Settlement and founding edit

The Middle Post Road, one of the three Boston Post Roads declared in 1671 with the creation of the Colonial post, ran through Coventry. The Post Roads were meant to connect the colony of New York, formerly New Amsterdam, with the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Middle Post Road connected Hartford and Boston, Massachusetts via Coventry and Pomfret, Connecticut, and Mendon and Roxbury, Massachusetts. Chapter 1 DOT History

The first house in Coventry was said[by whom?] to have been built near the shore of Wangumbaug Lake by Nathaniel Rust, a Hartford, Connecticut man, originally from Northampton, Massachusetts. The entire Rust family is said[by whom?] to have made their final move to Coventry from Massachusetts in a group of a dozen families in 1709. Along with Nathaniel Rust, the names of some of the earliest settlers were David Lee, Thomas Root, Samuel Gurley, Ebenezer Searl, Joseph Petty, Benjamin James and Benjamin Carpenter. Four other settlers were also from Northampton and two from Reading.[3]

The land was said[by whom?] to have originally been given to men from Hartford by Joshua, Indian sachem. The Connecticut General Assembly, held in Hartford in 1706, appointed William Pitkin, Joseph Tallcot, William Whiting and Richard Lord, as a committee with full power to lay out the bounds of the town and divisions of the land, to admit inhabitants. A 1711 revision added Nathaniel Rust to the committee and the task of procuring a minister of the gospel.[4] Coventry was formally formed as a town in Hartford County in 1712. The first church was established in October 1714.

Coventry became a town in Windham County on 12 May 1726, then became a town in Tolland County when it was originally formed on 13 October 1785.

St. Mary's Church is a Roman Catholic church in Coventry. The church is part of the Diocese of Norwich, located at 1600 Main Street in town.

To the present edit

The old center of the town is in South Coventry, near the intersection of Main Street (Route 31) and Stonehouse Road (Route 275). In the 19th century, there was a small industrial center including mills powered by the water from Coventry Lake Brook as it flowed towards the Willimantic River. South Coventry Village, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, also includes several Victorian houses, a museum, the main branch of the public library and the Bidwell Tavern, a bar/restaurant established in 1822. The Bidwell used to keep Coventry's town records in the "vault" area behind the bar, as well as hosting town meetings.[5] A few doors away is the W.L. Wellwood General Store, which under new ownership has been renamed "Coventry Country Store". The general store was originally built in 1787 making it the oldest General Store in America (a past owner claimed to have not found an older store). In all, the area has over 100 historical buildings on the national register.

North Coventry's settlement is less dense, and its housing and businesses are of more recent construction. In the 18th century, this section of the town was largely used for dairy and vegetable farming. As the United States expanded westward, many farming families left the rocky fields of Connecticut for the more fertile land of the Ohio River valley. Most of the farms in North Coventry were abandoned, and the land reclaimed by second-growth forest. In the 1960s and 1970s, tract housing developments were built on some of this land, mainly raised ranch or split-level houses on one acre (4,000 m2) lots. Development slowed from the mid-1970s through the 1990s, but several new developments were constructed in North Coventry after 1990. These tend to feature larger houses on two acre (8,000 m2) lots.

Places of interest edit

  • Wangumbaug Lake, also known as Coventry Lake, covers 373 acres (1.51 km2). The lake is fed by springs, and has one natural outlet, known as Coventry Lake Brook. The brook flows towards South Coventry center and ultimately into the Willimantic River. Patriots Park, located on Wangumbaug Lake, contains a guarded beach, playground, picnic area, lodge facilities, Community Center, and band shell for summer concerts. It is also home of the Coventry Lake Water Ski Team, Coventry Lake Community Rowing (CLCR), Coventry High School Rowing, E.O. Smith HS Rowing, UConn Men and Women's Crew Teams and UConn Sailing Club. The boat launch is run by the State of Connecticut. Occasionally, during the winter months, the lake will freeze over and residents have the opportunity to skate or fish on the ice. A lake island, Underwood Island, is located 100 yards from the coast of the lake.
  • Nathan Hale Homestead, first established around 1740 by Deacon Richard Hale (1717–1802), the present structure has been standing since 1776 and was built to house the combined family of Deacon Hale and his second wife Abigail (Cobb) Adams. The original house, birthplace of Nathan Hale in 1755, is said to have been on the property, just southeast of the 1776 house. The original 450 acres (1.8 km2) of the Hale farm now make up a large portion of the Nathan Hale State Forest. Today the Hale family home, located on South Street, is a museum open seasonally for tours and education programs. It is also home to a Farmer’s market, with food trucks and local small businesses. It is ran on Sundays in the summer months of the year. nathan hale homestead
  • The Strong-Porter House Museum, c. 1730, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and serves as the Coventry Historical Society's museum. Five rooms of the house, as well as several outbuildings, including a carpenter shop, carriage sheds, and barn are open to the public.
  • The Brick School House, second construction completed in 1825 after original burned, it is one of the four remaining district schoolhouses in Coventry and was used through 1953.
  • Caprilands Herb Farm, c. 1740 colonial farmstead, home for over 65 years to the late herbalist and author, Adelma Grenier Simmons.
  • Hytone Farm, owned and operated by the Peracchio family since the early 1940s and a fully operational dairy farm since 1960, they raise all their own Holstein cows, currently have 165 young stock and use over 350 acres (1.4 km2) of corn and grass for silage. Hytone Farm has received many Distinguished Farming awards through their years.
  • Museum of Connecticut Glass is a new museum focusing on glassmaking in the state.[6]

On the National Register of Historic Places edit

Strong-Porter House

Annual events edit

Memorial Day-Memorial Day Parade – Capt. Nathan Hale is recognized along with members of the Armed Forces

  • CoventryFest – with fireworks, food and live music. Held in early July at Patriot's Park on the lake.
  • June 6 – Captain Hale's Birthday Party – held at the Hale Homestead
  • July – Colonial Encampment and Muster – July—held by the Nathan Hale Ancient Fife & Drums at the Hale Homestead.
  • December – "Old-Fashioned Christmas in Coventry". Main Street first Saturday in December.

Demographics edit

Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[7]

At the 2010 census,[8] there were 12,435 people, 4,783 households and 3,426 families residing in the town. The population density was 330.0 inhabitants per square mile (127.4/km2). There were 4,783 occupied housing units. 316 vacant housing units. The racial makeup of the town was 94.00% White, 0.90% African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.80% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 0.20% from other races, and 1.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.60% of the population.

There were 4,783 households which 31.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.5% were married couples living together, 7.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.4% were non-families. 20.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.01.

23.3% of the population were under the age of 18, 12.1% from 15 to 24, 25.0% from 25 to 44, 33.2% from 45 to 64, and 10.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.5 years. 50.6% of the population were male and 49.4% were female. 38.4% of the males were over the age of 18. 38.2% of the females were over the age of 18. For every 100 females, there were 102.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.8 males.

The median household income was $86,244, and the median family income was $91,931. Males had a median income of $65,572 versus $53,690 for females. The per capita income for the town was $34,524 About 2.4% of families and 3.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.9% of those under age 18 and 1.1% of those age 65 or over.

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 29, 2019[9]
Party Active voters Inactive voters Total voters Percentage
Democratic 2,520 79 2,599 28.57%
Republican 2,084 63 2,147 23.60%
Unaffiliated 4,050 158 4,208 46.26%
Minor parties 138 4 142 1.56%
Total 8,792 304 9,096 100%
Presidential Election Results[10][11]
Year Democratic Republican Third Parties
2020 51.6% 4,011 45.6% 3,545 2.8% 216
2016 45.5% 3,083 48.2% 3,262 6.3% 426
2012 56.3% 3,358 41.7% 2,621 2.0% 126
2008 58.7% 3,888 39.6% 2,621 1.7% 111
2004 56.3% 3,588 41.5% 2,641 2.2% 141
2000 55.5% 3,005 35.6% 1,927 8.9% 481
1996 50.4% 2,591 30.4% 1,564 19.2% 989
1992 42.7% 2,393 26.2% 1,465 31.1% 1,743
1988 51.9% 2,341 46.8% 2,111 1.3% 58
1984 38.7% 1,682 60.7% 2,637 0.6% 24
1980 37.1% 1,520 40.8% 1,671 22.1% 901
1976 50.9% 1,955 48.4% 1,859 0.7% 25
1972 42.1% 1,680 56.8% 2,267 1.1% 46
1968 48.1% 1,546 45.3% 1,455 6.6% 214
1964 68.8% 2,033 31.2% 923 0.00% 0
1960 46.6% 1,409 53.4% 1,613 0.00% 0
1956 32.6% 881 67.4% 1,821 0.00% 0

Education edit

  • Coventry Grammar School, K – Grade 2
  • G. H. Robertson Intermediate School, Grade 3 – Grade 5
  • Capt. Nathan Hale Middle School, Grade 6 – Grade 8
  • Coventry High School, Grade 9 – Grade 12

Notable people edit

Sister cities edit

Twin town edit

Coventry is twinned with Coventry in the United Kingdom.[12][13]

Notes edit

  • Cole, J. R., History of Tolland County, Connecticut W.W. Preston and Co., 1888
  • Philips, David E., Legendary Connecticut / ISBN 1-880684-05-5 /

Climate edit

This climatic region is typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Coventry has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.[14]

External links edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Census - Geography Profile: Coventry town, Tolland County, Connecticut". Retrieved November 27, 2021.
  2. ^ The Connecticut Magazine: An Illustrated Monthly. Connecticut Magazine Company. 1903. p. 331.
  3. ^ "History of Tolland". Archived from the original on August 13, 2006. Retrieved September 14, 2006.
  4. ^ "Coventry, CT Charter". Archived from the original on July 12, 2006. Retrieved September 14, 2006.
  5. ^ "Bidwell Tavern Draws from Its Past - Hartford Courant". Archived from the original on August 18, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
  6. ^ Connecticut Glass Museum website
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  8. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  9. ^ "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 29, 2019" (PDF). Connecticut Secretary of State. Retrieved January 4, 2020.
  10. ^ "General Election Statements of Vote, 1922 – Current". CT Secretary of State. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  11. ^ "Election Night Reporting". CT Secretary of State. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  12. ^ Griffin, Mary (August 2, 2011). "Coventry's twin towns". Coventry Telegraph. Archived from the original on August 6, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  13. ^ "Coventry – Twin towns and cities". Coventry City Council. Archived from the original on April 12, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  14. ^ "Coventry, Connecticut Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase.