A section of the former W. L. Wellwood General Store at 1140 Main Street in Coventry dates to 1787, making it one of the oldest general store buildings in the nation. In 1820, the large Greek Revival portion was added to the original store and living quarters, which also attach to a later Italianate residence to the northeast. Another addition, containing the west wing grain room and butcher shop, was added in 1883. The Loomis family owned the store from about 1810 until 1881. After 1905 it was owned and operated by the Wellwood family. In 1974 the building went from housing a general store to becoming an antiques shop. It has more recently been the “Coventry Country Store” (as in the image above) and is currently “Coventry Arts & Antiques.”
Captain Nathaniel Root, Sr. (1757-1840), a farmer, was one of the original seven proprietors who in 1813 agreed to erect a glass factory in Coventry, along the Boston Post Road. The Coventry glassworks would be in operation until 1849. Root built the Federal-style house at 1046 Boston Turnpike in 1809.
In 1822 Solomon Bidwell built a three-floor hotel at 1220 Main Street in Coventry. After Solomon died in 1858, his son Nathan Lyman ran the business, adding a wing to expand the hotel. When Nathan L. Bidwell died in 1877, it passed to his son Charles (died 1881) and then to Charles’ widow Lydia (died 1918). The hotel ceased operating in 1938. The Greek Revival building has a Colonial Revival two-story open porch across its front facade, added in the early twentieth century.
The main block of the Loomis-Pomeroy House, located at 1747 Boston Turnpike in North Coventry, is a transitional Federal-Greek Revival house. It was probably built c. 1833 by Eleazer Pomeroy (1776-1867), who had been operating a tavern in the vicinity since 1801. He deeded the house to his son George in 1843 and the Pomeroy family continued to own the house and farm until 1873. After passing through various owners, the property was acquired by James Otis Freeman in 1881. It was then owned by Freeman’s daughter Louise and her husband S. Noble Loomis and remained in the Loomis family until 1987. The Loomis farm, called Meadowbrook, extended to 100 acres, but was subdivided after 1968. Louise Loomis was librarian at the Porter Memorial Library across the street. In 1987, June Loomis bequeathed the house to the library association. It was eventually owned by the Town of Coventry, which leased to Coventry Preservation Advocacy for restoration and later sold it to support the Booth & Dimock Memorial Library.
At the northwest corner of the Boston Turnpike at 21 Bread & Milk Street in Coventry is a house built circa 1735 by John Wilson (1702-1773). After his death in 1773, the house passed to his son William (1729-1819), who married Sarah Rust, and his grandson Jacob (1749-1826), who married Hannah Dimmock in 1771. Jacob Wilson operated a tavern at the house from 1773 until 1817, when he sold the property to Joshua Frink.
Another early tavern in Coventry was the Pomeroy Tavern, at 1804 Boston Turnpike. It was built in 1801 by Eleazer Pomeroy II (1776-1867) to take advantage of the opening of the Boston Turnpike in 1804. By 1810 the Tavern was also a stage house where stagecoaches would stop (stages had previously stopped at the Hunt House to the west). Pomeroy placed some advertisements in the Hartford Courant seeking to sell the property in 1810-1811. One of these (appearing March 27, April 17 and May 29, 1811) reads:
That valuable and well-known stand, now occupied as a tavern and stage-house, situated in Coventry, north society, thirty rods west of the meeting-house, and sixteen miles from Hartford, on the great middle turnpike and stage-road from Hartford to Boston, and near the intersection of the Providence turnpike-road through Windham, with a large convenient two-story house and large stables almost new, and other out-buildings; and from 30 to 40 acres of choice land under high cultivation, well proportioned for mowing, pasturing, &c; with a well and aqueduct conveying water into the kitchen and barn. Said stand will be sold, a bargain, and possession given when wished.
Samuel Tracy Loomis (1819-1896), a farmer, acquired the property in 1868 and ran a hotel there until he moved to Andover in 1891. He also served as postmaster and the local post office continued to be at the building until 1905. Early stenciling from c. 1815 was found under later wallpaper in the hall on the building’s second floor.