7 Station Street
Coventry, RI 02816
phone: 401-385-9997
Museum Type(s)
Gift Shop
Brenda Titus, Treasurer
phone: 401-385-9997
Norma Smith, President
phone: 401-821-4117


Owned and operated by The Western Rhode Island Civic Historical Society. A one time Colonial home and Inn, restored and furnished in the period-style.
The Paine house originally was built by Francis Brayton Sr. After his death in 1783 the property passed to his son Francis Brayton Jr. In 1785 Francis Brayton Jr was granted a license to sell spiritous liquors and the house became a house of entertainment, an inn or a tavern. In 1797 it was sold to a Charles Holden and was known as the Holden tavern. Holden heirs sold it to Thomas Whipple April 9, 1849.
On April 25, 1866 the Whipple family sold the property to Phebe Paine and Mary Mathewson (Matteson). Mary sold her half to Phebe Paine Johnson. Through inheritance the property came to be in the Paine family for the next 87 years. Mr. Herbert F. Paine was the last of the family to live in the house and in 1946 after his death it passed to his half-sister Mrs. Zilpha W. Foster. The keys to the house were turned over to the President of the Western Rhode Island Civic Historical Society on July 24, 1953 after being left by Mrs. Foster as a memorial to her mother Phebe Paine Johnson and sister Orvilla Paine. The house was added to the National Historic Register in 1974.


We house and eclectic collection of items from all over the State of Rhode Island. Our house and its contents date back to 1668.


The society was incorporated under the laws of the State or Rhode Island as stated in the articles of association for the purpose of gathering and preserving historical materials relating to western Rhode Island and also to promote the social and cultural life of the area. Over the years, our collection has grown due to the generosity of current and past members. There is a wealth of information about many of the communities in western Rhode Island, as well as various items for furniture, quilts, clothing, and military items.

Artifacts Collections

One of the most notable of the military items the society has is the MacGregor Sword which was used in the war of 1812. The MacGregor family owned a tavern in the Rice City area of western Coventry that was destroyed by fire.


We are governed by a board of directors. We are incorporated by the State of Rhode Island.


  • We publish a monthly newsletter called "The Hinterlander"


Gift Shop