The central feature of Coventry, Connecticut is Wangumbaug Lake or Coventry Lake (the names are interchangeable). This lake is somewhat over a mile long, and its shores witnessed the first European colonization of the site slightly more than 300 years ago, when Nathaniel Rust built his house here. The famous Nathan Hale Cemetery, named for the Connecticut Revolutionary War hero who remarked on his regret that he had only one life to lose for his country, stands at its eastern end.
The densest concentration of roads and buildings is just to the south of the lake, but parts of Coventry extend north and northwest of it as well. Much of the area is wooded, and consists of the rolling New England countryside that is found throughout much of rural Connecticut. The town is notable for its many historic buildings, also, with over 100 Revolutionary era structures still dotting its streets and lanes. The Coventry Country Store is a general store dating to 1787 which is still in use for its original purpose, though the family that founded it no longer owns it, and there are many other interesting buildings in excellent repair here as well.
There are four schools in Coventry, through which children pass in succession as they grow to university age. There are no colleges or universities in the town. The educational journey begins in Coventry Grammar School, which teaches up to second grade. From there, students move on to G.H. Robertson Intermediate School, then to Captain Nathan Hale Middle School – again, named for the heroic Coventry warrior (whose father’s house is still preserved in the town as well. Finally, Coventry High School prepares these students for college.
Coventry Lake Brook formerly provided water power for several small local factories, but today, services and retail are the lords of the economic scene, and manufacturing is greatly reduced. It is not completely absent, however, and some small scale production is still carried out. In any case, Coventry is not too far from major urban centers. Connecticut is so compact that nearly any point is accessible from any other point within an hour, traffic conditions permitting, so commuting is always an option.
Coventry is 96.95% white, with the next largest racial groups being Asians – at 0.61% – and African-Americans – at 0.57%. The median household income in this three century old town is a very comfortable $84,177, while unemployment stands at 7% and 3.7% of those who dwell near the shores of Lake Wangumbaug are living below the poverty level.
The median age of those who live in Coventry is a very typical 37 years, and out of the 4,261 households within it bounds, around 64% are made up of a married couple. Children are moderately common, with dependents present in close to 38% of homes in the town.
Location within State
Coventry is found in the south central area of Tolland County, which is itself located in the northeastern quarter of Connecticut. State Route 44 extends along the town’s northern edge, and is readily accessible since Main Street, Coventry’s principal road, leads directly to it. Route 44 is also known as the Boston Turnpike and the Hartford Providence Turnpike, indicating the major cities which it connects.
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