Bidwell Tavern (1880)

October 28th, 2017 Posted in Commercial Buildings, Coventry, Industrial, Vernacular

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.

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