Coventry Past, Present & Future
Historic Coventry is the Gateway to Northeast Connecticut’s Quiet Corner. Spread over 37 square miles of woods and old farmlands, our town of 12,500 offers historic sites, herb farms and shops, antique and specialty shops, public beaches and a state boat launch on Lake Wangumbaug, good places to eat, and several cozy bed-and-breakfast inns.
Coventry is the birthplace of Nathan Hale, whose patriotism during the American Revolution distinguishes him as Connecticut’s official state hero. Visitors from around the world enjoy the Nathan Hale Homestead, an operating museum on the history of the Hale family. Coventry is the home of the Nathan Hale Ancient Fife and Drums, which performs throughout the East Coast and holds a Colonial Encampment and Muster at the Hale Homestead each July. Other annual events held at the homestead include Captain Hale’s birthday party, walking tours, lantern tours, and corn maze adventures.
Near the Hale Homestead is the Strong-Porter House, the early 18th century farmhouse of Nathan’s maternal ancestors. This museum, with its various outbuildings, features exhibits on local history. The classic one-room brick school house on Merrow Road is open to the public seasonally and also by appointment. The newly formed Museum of Connecticut Glass, located in the Coventry Glass Factory National Register Historic District, is open for special programs.
The Coventry Farmers Market, one of the largest in Connecticut, is located on the grounds of the Hale Homestead and is open Sundays from 11 AM to 2 PM from June though October. From the end of November through February the market moves indoors to Coventry High School. Coventry is also home to TopMost Herb Farm specializing in high quality, organic, medicinal, and culinary herbs with lectures and classes.
Coventry boasts many antique and collectible boutiques for your shopping pleasure. With a variety of flea markets, antique centers, and an auction gallery, we offer great opportunities for finding that perfect antique. Coventry is also home to several small art galleries and gift shops throughout town, as well as an old general store in the village, that are sure to be worth exploring.
South Coventry Village, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is significant for its well-preserved houses and early industrial landscape. The buildings reflect a variety of architectural styles, including Colonial, Greek Revival, Italianate, and Queen Ann. Several buildings are adaptively reused as antique centers and specialty stores. Our Visitors Center is also located in the Village and is open on weekends from 10 AM - 2 PM from April through mid-October. The center provides brochures, souvenirs, post cards, and information. The staff on hand will answer any questions you may have, suggest places to visit and to eat, and can provide directions to museums and historical areas.
Patriots Park on Lake Wangumbaug provides an excellent area for recreation, with a guarded beach for swimming, a playground, a picnic area, lodge facilities, a community center, and band shell for summer concerts. The park is also the home of the Coventry Lake Water Ski Team and the UConn Women’s Crew Team. Next door is a boat launch run by the State of Connecticut. The lake is popular for fishing, boating, and water sports. Coventry also has two 18-hole public golf courses.