1971 St. Vincent de Paul Church asked
Lillian Thursten to plan their annual fashion show. Along with
Mathias Hopkins, they collaborated "Historic Fashion Musicle."
That was how the society became to be back in 1971. In 1972 the
society received its charter and the lease was signed in the Read
Schoolhouse in 1973. The Read Schoolhouse is the official
headquarters for the society. It was restored with the help of the
members and is now on the National Register of Historical Buildings.
Numerous students visit the school from the Coventry school systems
throughout the year. To make arrangements to view the school, call
Lillian at 821-0545 for an appointment.
In December of 2000, the Coventry Historical Society
purchased the Summit Baptist Church at 12 Old Summit Road in Greene, RI,
with a grant that was received for that purchase from the Chaplin
Foundation. The society has had many fundraisers to do repairs on
the building. The first repair was the installation of a new ceiling
in "Summit Hall" that was done by Patrick Morgan (and a group of
other boy scouts) in order to get his eagle badge. The bushes
were trimmed and groomed on the outside of the building by Nathan
Powers with his group of boy scouts in order for him to receive his eagle
badge. We are very grateful to both Patrick and Nathan for the
wonderful results of the work that resulted from their efforts to help
restore out historical building.
The Town of Coventry has given the society a 25 year lease on the Summit
Free Library. We are in the process of planning the "Summit
Free Library/Museum. We have display cases in the library/museum
that will be used to display items that have been donated to the
society. We will have a display case of the month that we will let
residents use to display that family heirloom. This will be done on
a "first come-first served" basis. The elementary school
children in Coventry or neighboring communities could arrange a Field Trip
to both the Read Schoolhouse the the Library/Museum with the option of
having lunch in the "Summit Hall." There is a lot of work
to be done and we plan to have the building ready as soon as
possible. Anyone having items to donate may call Lorraine at
397-7616 or Lillian at 821-0546.
The Read District was named for the Read family. This section
of Coventry was a farming area. However, just above the schoolhouse
, there stood Thomas Arnold Acid works. Acid was produced here from
birch and maple wood, which was used in the printing of calico.
Today, the site is marked by an obscure foundation.
In 1831 Bradford Read and Thomas Read sold a small parcel of
land to the School District #13 in consideration of the sum of one dollar
paid by Thomas Watson, the district treasurer. Thusly, the present
school became known as the Read School. In 1903 the school district
law was abolished and in 1904 the Town took over the schools by purchase.
Some of the names of the early faculty have been lost to
time. We do know that a William Greene taught school for the
district in 1860, which was his first term as a teacher.
Other teachers at the Read School were: Mr. M.W. Whelan,
A.C. Whipple, Jennie M. Eldred, Mary A. Creamer, Nera V. Farrell, Marion
E. Whipple (1914), Vera A. Fiske (1918), Mrs. Sarah Brown, and Mrs. Ethel
Palmer. Mrs. Palmer began teaching at the Read School in 1922
and continued teaching there until 1951., when the school closed and was
moved to Wood Street at the new Washington-Tiogue Elementary School.
August 6th -Blueberry Crepe Breakfast
13th - 4th Annual Craft Faire
September 10th - First Historical
B us Trip
October 15th - Harvest Breakfast
November 12th - Annual Holiday Bazaar
December 17th - Breakfast with Santa