Coventry, Rhode Island

Coventry is a town in Kent County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 35,014 at the 2010 census.

Coventry, Rhode Island
Location in Kent County and the state of Rhode Island.
Location in Kent County and the state of Rhode Island.
Coordinates: 41°41′38″N 71°35′45″W / 41.69389°N 71.59583°WCoordinates: 41°41′38″N 71°35′45″W / 41.69389°N 71.59583°W
CountryUnited States
StateRhode Island
 • Total62.3 sq mi (161.5 km2)
 • Land59.5 sq mi (154.2 km2)
 • Water2.8 sq mi (7.3 km2)
423 ft (129 m)
 • Total35,014
 • Density588/sq mi (227.1/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)401
FIPS code44-18640[1]
GNIS feature ID1220082[2]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 62.3 sq mi (161 km2). 59.5 sq mi (154 km2) of it is land and 2.8 sq mi (7.3 km2) of it (4.49%) is water. The town is bordered by West Warwick to the east, Foster, Scituate, and Cranston to the north, West Greenwich and East Greenwich to the south, and Sterling, Connecticut, to the west. It is the largest town in land area in Rhode Island, being surpassed in total area only by South Kingstown, Rhode Island, with water and land area of 79.8 square miles (207 km2).


Coventry was first settled by English colonists in the early 18th century, when the town was part of Warwick. Since the area was so far away from the center of Warwick, the section that became Coventry grew very slowly. However, by 1741, enough farmers (about 100 families) had settled in the area that they petitioned the General Assembly of Rhode Island to create their own town. The petition was granted, and the new town was named "Coventry", after the English city. For the rest of the 18th century, Coventry remained a rural town populated by farmers. Among the buildings that survive are the Waterman Tavern (1740s), the Nathanael Greene Homestead (1770), and the Paine Homestead (late 17th century/early 18th century). The oldest church, Maple Root Baptist Church, dates from the end of the 18th century. The congregation was organized in 1762 and was affiliated with the General Six-Principle Baptists.

During the Revolutionary War, the people of Coventry were supporters of the patriot cause. Nathanael Greene, a resident of Coventry, rose through the ranks to become a leading general of the American army. By the end of the war, Greene was second in command in the US army after George Washington.

In the 19th century, the Industrial Revolution came to Coventry with the building of the first mill in Anthony. Over the next century, the eastern end of town became very industrialized, with manufacturing centers being located in Anthony, Washington, Quidnick, and Harris villages. Many of the old factories still stand in the town, and the village centers (in particular, Anthony and Quidnick) remain mostly intact. The demographics of the town changed, as industrial jobs at these new mill villages attracted French Canadian and Irish immigrants. By the end of the 19th century, almost one fourth of the population was born outside the US, and French was the primary language for many of the people in the eastern part of Coventry. Not all immigrants worked in the factories. Census records from the late 19th century show that some owned farms.

By comparison, the western end of the town remained very rural, with the only centers of population being located at Greene and Summit, both established as railroad stations on the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad.

In the 20th century, the town went through much change. The advent of the automobile brought an end of the railroad. (The track was dismantled in the 1970s, and in the early 21st century, the right of way was revitalized as the Washington Secondary Rail Trail/Greenway). By the mid-20th century, industry had largely left the town and most of the factories closed.

Since the late 20th century, the town has attracted new residents, and the eastern part of the town became suburbanized. In the early 21st century, a movement in the town has developed to limit residential development to keep the rural flavor of the western part of the town.


Coventry offers a few recreation facilities. The town has youth sport leagues for football (boasting the 2006 American Youth Football National title), basketball, baseball, and softball. Carbuncle Pond off Route 14 (Plainfield Pike) near the Connecticut border is a 39-acre (160,000 m2) pond that is popular for freshwater fishing. Johnson's Pond, a waterfront neighborhood, houses facilities for fishing and watersports. Wakeboarding Magazine rated Johnson's Pond as the best location for wakeboarding in Rhode Island. The 860-acre (3.5 km2) George B. Parker woodland, owned by the Audubon Society of Rhode Island, offers several hiking trails. The woodland caretaker's home dates from the mid 18th century.

Audubon Trail in Coventry

The town has been investing in the Coventry Greenway, a pedestrian and bicycle path built on the old New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad right-of-way and part of the East Coast Greenway, a trail running from Maine to Florida. The Coventry Greenway travels 15 miles (24 km) from the Connecticut state line to the West Warwick town line. The greenway has recently undergone a massive renovation and has reopened to the public as a walking, cycling, and horse trail.


Coventry has numerous villages founded in the 19th century; they are:

  • Anthony - Mill village in the eastern part of the town
  • Arkwright - Mill village founded by James DeWolf, a slave trader
  • Blackrock - Named after a large dark rock rumored to be the site of Native American marriage ceremonies
  • Colvintown - Named after original settlers, the Colvin's
  • Coventry Centre - Village in the geographic center of Coventry
  • Fairbanks - Mill village along the Moosup River
  • Greene - Old railroad village in the western end of town
  • Harris - Mill village in the northeastern part of town
  • Hopkins Hollow - Rural hamlet in the southwestern part of town, almost unchanged in over 150 years
  • Quidnick - Mill village on the border of West Warwick
  • Rice City - Rural village in the northwestern part of town, dominated by Rice Tavern (1804), which used to serve travelers on their way to Connecticut
  • Spring Lake - Former mill village
  • Summit - Railroad village near Greene
  • Tiogue - Formerly Barclay, after Robert Barclay
  • Washington - Mill village in the center of the town
  • Whaley's Hollow - Mill village and location of Waterman Tavern

Historic homes

Coventry boasts many old homes, churches and cemeteries. Farmhouses from the 18th century can be found scattered around the town, and many are still private residences. On the eastern side of town, many homes from the 19th century can be found, ranging from the two-family mill workers residence to mansions owned by the town elites. The village of Greene and the Rice City and Hopkins Hollow parts of town have remained unchanged since the 19th century. Also, many of the churches in Coventry date from the 19th century and are still functioning churches.

National Historic Places in Coventry


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201534,988[3]−0.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[4][5]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 33,668 people, 12,596 households, and 9,295 families residing in the town. The population density was 565.5 people per square mile (218.3/km²). There were 13,059 housing units at an average density of 219.3 per square mile (84.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.60% White, 0.39% African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.56% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.31% from other races, and 0.97% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.14% of the population.

There were 12,596 households out of which 34.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.4% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.2% were non-families. 21.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the town, the population was spread out with 24.9% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 13.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $51,987, and the median income for a family was $60,315. Males had a median income of $40,174 versus $29,357 for females. The per capita income for the town was $22,091. About 3.6% of families and 5.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.6% of those under age 18 and 7.0% of those age 65 or over.


Coventry town vote
by party in presidential elections
Year GOP DEM Others
2016 52.52% 9,199 40.15% 7,032 7.33% 1,283
2012 42.22% 6,969 55.26% 9,122 2.51% 415
2008 42.57% 7,367 55.60% 9,622 1.83% 316
2004 45.40% 7,249 52.71% 8,417 1.89% 301
2000 35.28% 5,111 58.08% 8,415 6.64% 962
1996 26.66% 3,633 54.92% 7,485 18.42% 2,511
1992 29.63% 4,466 40.38% 6,086 29.98% 4,519
1988 49.77% 6,348 49.88% 6,362 0.36% 46

Pursuant to its charter, Coventry's municipal government is classified as Council-Manager, with all powers vested in an elected Town Council, including the appointment of a Town Manager. Each Town councilperson represents one of five municipal districts. Members of the School Committee are also elected using these districts.

In the Rhode Island Senate, Coventry is a part of the 21st and 33rd Districts. In the Rhode Island House of Representatives it is part of the a part of the 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th and 40th Districts. At the federal level, Coventry is included in Rhode Island's 2nd congressional district and is currently represented by Democrat James R. Langevin.

Notable people

International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Coventry, Rhode Island is twinned with:


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  4. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  5. ^ Snow, Edwin M. (1867). Report upon the Census of Rhode Island 1865. Providence, RI: Providence Press Company.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
  8. ^ "Whelen champ Stefanik celebrates ninth title". 2006-12-17. Archived from the original on April 23, 2009. Retrieved 2008-10-26.
  9. ^ Gelman, Mitch (1995-03-31). "Shattered : We know all about Mike Tyson's release from prison--the limo, the mansion, the boxing prospects. But what about the woman he raped? Desiree Washington is still trying to pick up the pieces of her life". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-03-23.
  10. ^ Shipp, E.R. (1992). "Tyson gets 6-year prison term for rape conviction in Indiana." The New York Times. Retrieved from
  11. ^ Griffin, Mary (2011-08-02). "Coventry's twin towns". Coventry Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2013-08-06. Retrieved 2013-08-06.
  12. ^ "Coventry - Twin towns and cities". Coventry City Council. Archived from the original on 2013-04-12. Retrieved 2013-08-06.

External links

Big River (Rhode Island)

The Big River is a river in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. It flows 6.8 miles (10.9 km). There are no dams along the river's length.

Coventry High School (Rhode Island)

Coventry High School is a public high school located in Coventry, Rhode Island. Servicing grades Nine through Twelve, it has close to 1600 students, and is the only public high school in Coventry, Rhode Island. According to the latest report from Public School Review, the school is 40% male and 60% female. In terms of ethnicity, Coventry High School is 97% Caucasian, 1% Asian, 1% African-American, and 1% Hispanic. Coventry High School is located off of Route 3, at 40 Reservoir Road.

Elisha Harris

Elisha Harris (September 8, 1791 – February 1, 1861) of Coventry, Kent County, Rhode Island, was Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island, 1846–47 serving under Governor Byron Diman and the 20th Governor of Rhode Island 1847–49.

Fred Corey

Frederick Harrison Corey (1855 – November 27, 1912) was an American pitcher and third baseman in Major League Baseball in 1878 and from 1880 through 1885, encompassing seven seasons. He played for the Providence Grays, Worcester Ruby Legs, and Philadelphia Athletics. Corey was born in Coventry, Rhode Island, and died in Providence, Rhode Island, and is interred at the North Burial Ground.

Greene, Rhode Island

Greene is an unincorporated village and census-designated place in the western part of the town of Coventry, Rhode Island, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 888. It is 2 miles (3 km) east of the Connecticut border and the same distance north of West Greenwich. The name derives from Nathanael Greene, a Rhode Island-born general in the American Revolution.

Harris, Rhode Island

Harris (formerly known as Harrisville) is a village with the town of Coventry, Rhode Island on the north branch of the Pawtuxet River near West Warwick.

The village was once part of the Burton and Potter farms. Around 1813 Caleb Atwood built a textile mill in the village, known as the Dumplin Mould, and later the building became the Lamphear Machine Shop in the 1840s. The village was named for Elisha Harris who arrived in 1822 and formed the Harris Cotton Manufacturing Company, which eventually constructed several mill buildings in the area. The company continued under Harris' son-in-law after his death. In 1900 the Arkwright-Interlaken Manufacturing Company purchased the Harris Mill and kept it operational until 1954. Many of the mill buildings and worker housing survive today.

Henry Howard (Rhode Island politician)

Henry Howard (April 2, 1826 – September 22, 1905) was an American lawyer and politician. He served as the 32nd Governor of Rhode Island from 1873 to 1875.

Hopkins Hollow Village

Hopkins Hollow Village is an historic district along Hopkins Hollow Road, Narrow Lane, and Perry Hill Road in Coventry, Rhode Island, United States, and West Greenwich, Rhode Island.

The village features American colonial and Federal era architecture. The Hopkins Hollow Church, built circa 1850 in a Greek Revival style, is located within the village adjacent to the Hopkins Hollow cemetery. The village was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.

Jared Nunes

Jared R. Nunes (born August 11, 1982) is an American politician and a Democratic member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives representing District 25 since January 2011.

Mishnock River

The Mishnock River is a river in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. It flows 3.1 miles (5.0 km). There are two dams along the river's length.

National Register of Historic Places listings in Coventry, Rhode Island

List of Registered Historic Places in Coventry, Rhode Island, which has been transferred from and is an integral part of National Register of Historic Places listings in Kent County, Rhode Island

This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted June 7, 2019.

Nooseneck River

The Nooseneck River is a river in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. It flows approximately 5.5 miles (8.9 km). There are three dams along the river's length.

Quidnick, Rhode Island

Quidnick is a village within the town of Coventry, Rhode Island.

Before the American Revolution the area where Anthony and Quidnick are today was originally named Greeneville for the Greene Family who had operated an iron forge in the mid-18th century. By 1811 the village was renamed Taftville for Stephen Taft a local cotton manufacturer. After the Sprague Family acquired the village in 1840, they changed the name to Quidnick, which is a Native American word meaning “at the end of the hill.” The current Quidnick Mill Complex was constructed in 1848.

Robert Nardolillo

Robert A. Nardolillo (born July 7, 1979) is an American politician and a Republican member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives representing District 28 beginning in 2015.Nardolillo was running in the United States Senate election in Rhode Island, 2018 but has since withdrawn his candidacy for the seat.

South Branch Pawtuxet River

The South Branch Pawtuxet River is a river in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. It flows approximately 9.8 miles (15.8 km). There are 11 dams along the river's length.

Summit, Rhode Island

Summit is a village within the town of Coventry, Rhode Island.

Summit developed as a railroad village near Greene, Rhode Island with "half-dozen white clapboard houses [which] center around a church, a library, and a store." The original Summit Baptist Church building was constructed in 1862 and served the congregation until a new building was constructed nearby in 2001. The Coventry Historical Society now owns the old church building and maintains exhibits at the nearby Summit library. The Summit General Store, dating to 1888, is still in business.


WCVY is a local student-run high school radio station in Coventry, Rhode Island that broadcasts on 91.5 FM. The station is owned by Coventry Public Schools of Rhode Island, and broadcasts from Coventry High School. The station broadcasts a combination of adult album alternative (AAA) and modern rock music formats from 2-8 p.m. on school days, with NPR news and talk programming from Rhode Island Public Radio airing at all other times.The station, which went on the air October 19, 1978, has been assigned these call letters by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).The station operates on a designated non-commercial educational frequency and therefore is not authorized to run commercial ads but does occasionally run Public Service Announcements.

From 2007 until 2009, WCVY shared time with Spanish-language religious station WRJI; that station left the air in November 2009 and did not return for over a year, and was thus deleted by the FCC in January 2011. In June 2011, the FCC removed the provision in WCVY's license that only allowed it to operate from 2–10 p.m. on weekdays, as the deletion of WRJI rendered the time-share agreement between the two stations moot. The station now broadcasts 24 hours a day, with Rhode Island Public Radio programming airing outside of student programming hours since July 2011.

Washington, Rhode Island

Washington is a village within the town of Coventry, Rhode Island.

The village was first settled in the 1670s around the time of King Philip's War. It was re-settled after the War and named Braytontown after a local family, the Braytons, who resided in the Paine House which is "the oldest surviving building in the village of Washington and was once a Tavern. This house was built in 1748 by Francis Brayton. Today the Paine House is home to the Western Rhode Island Civic Historical Society." The village was renamed "Washington" in 1810 after the Washington Manufacturing Company. The Hartford, Providence, and Fishkill Railroad maintained a train depot and other buildings near Station Street and along the bike path. The Spencer Marble Works (later Richmond Marble Work), which was located near the train depot, was operated by Oren Spencer and produced gravestones into the twentieth century. Starting around 1880 Calvin Hopkins operated a Blacksmith Shop at 137 South Main Streetwhich later developed into an automobile repair shop with the advent of the automobile. Coventry's town house was constructed in Washington in 1881. When the Flat River Road was widened the village-like character of the area changed drastically.

Whaley's Hollow, Rhode Island

Whaley's Hollow (also known as Pottersville and Maple Valley) is a village in Coventry, Rhode Island.

Thomas Whaley was an early settler in the area who operated a saw mill and whose home still stands today on Maple Valley Road. John Waterman built Waterman’s Tavern around 1747 which was used for town meetings until the new Town House was constructed in 1835 at Maple Valley Road and Matteson. The tavern also had stocks and a whipping post for punishment of crimes. During the American Revolution, the French Army under Rochambeau camped near the Tavern while marching to Virginia in 1781 and on their return in 1782. In 1851 Robert Potter, John Potter II and Albert Potter created water-powered bobbin mill near Whaley's Hollow from Thomas Whaley’s old saw mill, and the village then became known as Pottersville. In 1872 the Union Bobbin Manufacturing Company was formed and operated from 1895 until the land was sold to Lewis E. Williams. Waterman’s Tavern still exists as a family home on Maple Valley Road and near the Whaley homesteads are three family cemeteries. Today, Whaley’s Hollow is often known as Maple Valley.

Municipalities and communities of Kent County, Rhode Island, United States
Major cities
Cities and towns
Cities and towns
Cities and towns

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