Archive for the ‘Coventry’ Category

Bidwell Tavern (1880)

Saturday, October 28th, 2017 Posted in Commercial Buildings, Coventry, Industrial, Vernacular | No Comments »

The Bidwell Hotel in Coventry was built in 1822 and closed in 1938. The hotel’s Tavern continues in business at 1260 Main Street, not far from the old hotel building. The Bidwell Tavern is located in the former office building of the E. A. Tracy Shoddy Mill. The company, which expanded greatly in the later nineteenth century under the leadership of Eugene A. Tracy, produced shoddy, a recycled wool made by shredding old cloth to be rewoven into a reusable lower-grade product. The mill complex grew to include twenty buildings, but it closed in 1929 and the town of Coventry took ownership of the property. The former office building was used as the Coventry Town Hall from 1934 to 1964. Today, a section of the Bidwell Tavern is an area called “the vault,” where town records were once stored.

D. W. Huntington House (1830)

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 Posted in Coventry, Federal Style, Greek Revival, Houses | No Comments »

The house at 234 Armstrong Road in Coventry, dramatically situated on a hillside, was built c. 1830. Originally the Stanley family farmhouse, the house was later the home of D. W. Huntington, who owned a silk mill along the nearby Mill Brook in the 1860s-1880s. Originally from Montville, Huntington had moved to Coventry in his youth. He had been overseer of a cotton mill and studied civil engineering. In 1874, Huntington and William A. Hempstead patented an improvement in water-meters.

Old Congregational Church Parsonage, Coventry (1792)

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 Posted in Coventry, Folk Victorian, Houses, Vernacular | No Comments »

When the house at 99 High Street in Coventry was built as the Congregational Church‘s parsonage, c. 1792, the church building was located nearby, facing what is now Veterans Memorial Green. By the time the church’s congregation merged with that of the Village Church on Main Street in 1869, the former parsonage had become a private residence. Built as a one-story structure, the house was raised to two stories after the Civil War, with the front porches likely added about the same time. The hexagonal corner porch was probably added c. 1900.

Dr. H. S. Dean House (1820)

Monday, April 17th, 2017 Posted in Coventry, Greek Revival, Houses | No Comments »

The Greek Revival house at 1104 Main Street in South Coventry dates to circa 1820. By 1857 it was the property of the owners of the D & W Huntington silk mill, located along Mill Brook. It was later the home of Dr. Henry S. Dean (1823-1898). Born in Holland, Massachusetts, Dr. Dean, a graduate of Jefferson Medical School in Philadelphia, practiced medicine in South Coventry and surrounding towns for forty years. In a 1912 poem celebrating the two hundredth anniversary of the First Congregational Church in South Coventry, Forrest Morgan honored the late doctor:

Not cold in our hearts the physician, best brother in homes beyond name.
Whose face that the kind soul illumined bore healing wherever it came;
Who not seldom gave life to the new-born, kept sickness a lifetime at bay.
Then closed the cold eyelids forever and paid the last rites to the clay.

Cummings House (1855)

Thursday, March 30th, 2017 Posted in Coventry, Houses, Italianate | No Comments »

The Cummings House, located at 984 Main Street in Coventry, was built c. 1855. The house has a typical New England gable-roofed form that goes back to the Colonial period, but the detailing is distinctively Italianate in style. The 1857 map of Tolland County identifies the owner of the house as J. Cummings and the 1869 atlas of Hartford and Tolland Counties indicates it is owned by William M. Cummings.

Kenyon Mill (1863)

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017 Posted in Coventry, Industrial, Italianate | No Comments »

The town of Coventry was once home to a number of water-powered mills. One in South Coventry, known as the Kenyon Mill, was built next to a mill pond in 1863, replacing an earlier mill (built in 1836) that had suffered a major fire. The mill was acquired by C. H. Kenyon from S. R. Moredock, manufacturer of satinet, in 1864. Kenyon had begun making woolen pants (Kentucky jeans) in Coventry in the 1840s and by 1870 his mill had developed into a major enterprise with over seventy employees. He later made ladies dress flannels. After Kenyon, a series of textile manufacturers occupied the mill, ending with National Silk, manufacturers of Tioga yarn, which occupied the building from 1934 until 1972. In more recent years the town was seeking proposals for the adaptive reuse of the mill. In 2007 it was acquired by the Corporation for Independent Living, which has converted it into condominium units known as Kenyon Falls.

1079 Main Street, Coventry (1800)

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017 Posted in Colonial, Coventry, Houses | No Comments »

The house at 1079 Main Street in Coventry is an example of a late eighteenth-century (certainly built by 1800) central-chimney residence that was later expanded and used as mill housing. In the late 1850s it was owned by the N. Kingsbury Company, manufacturers of satinet and by the late 1860s it was owned by the Mill Brook Woolen Company.