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Coventry Town


Coventry Town Hall is located at 1670 Flat River Road, Coventry, RI 02816; phone: 401-822-9170.

Wilson Winslow House, ca. 1812, 2414 Harkney Hill Road, Coventry, RI, National Register

Photo: Wilson Winslow House, ca. 1812, 2414 Harkney Hill Road, Coventry, RI. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. Photographed by User:John Phelan (own work), 2013, [cc-by-3.0 (creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons, accessed May, 2014.

Beginnings [1]

When Coventry was incorporated in 1841, textile mills were already in operation, the first having been built around 1800.

From Coventry comes the Legend of Carbuncle Pond. Years ago when that particular region was claimed by Narragansett and Mohegan alike, there lived on Carbuncle Hill a great snake. Its species was unknown, but its size was enormous and in the center of its head was a large gem — a carbuncle deep red, glowing with the brilliancy and radiance of a great fire. Whenever it moved about at night, its coming was announced by the glow of the gem, and even by day its light could be seen in a crimson flood in the darkness of the woods. Efforts of the Indians to capture the snake were unsuccessful until, shortly before the coming of the first white men, a large party of Indians surprised the reptile, and after a terrific battle killed it and secured the carbuncle. Tradition relates that at the scene of the battle a large rock was cleft in twain by the snake's tail. The carbuncle served the Indian tribe as a talisman and warning of danger for many years. When the white men came and heard the story of this wonderful gem, they longed to possess it and arranged an expedition against the Indians for that purpose. They attempted a surprise attack, but their advance was announced by the increased glow of the stone, and the Indians were prepared. After a battle which decimated the Indians, the chief alone was left standing; but when the white men tried to take the carbuncle from him he drew back his arm and gave it a mighty throw. It landed with a great splash in the middle of the pond and was lost forever.

  1. Workers of the Federal Writers' Program of the Works Progress Administration for the State of Rhode Island, Rhode Island: A Guide to the Smallest State, American Guide Series, Riverside Press, Cambridge, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1937.
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