Although Putnam was not made an official town until 1855, earliest settlement date is around 1691 when a road was extended from Providence, RI to Woodstock, CT. Initial settlers were engaged in agriculture. The rich, fertile land and abundant water were the reasons for their locating here.
Grist mills, blacksmith shops, trip hammer and fulling mills grew up around Cargill Falls. Mr. Smith Wilkinson and some family members came from Rhode Island in 1806, bought the mill complex, and built the first cotton textile mill in Windham County. The second textile mill was built further upstream by James Rhodes in 1827. Formation of the Union Block and Main Street commercial districts followed the coming of the Norwich and Worcester Railroad in 1839.
The Town of Putnam was named after General Israel Putnam – famous for cautioning his men at Bunker Hill, “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes.”.
Larger textile mills followed, bringing about a need for laborers filled by immigrants from Canada and Europe. The population increased enough for Putnam to become a city in 1895. This made available increased services for the townspeople.
In August of 1955, Putnam was devastated by a major flood. Since the mid 1970′s, Putnam has rebuilt and progressed rapidly – expanding industry and population. Putnam today is a bustling center containing Day Kimball Hospital, a branch of the Connecticut Superior Court and the Department of Motor Vehicles. The town has also become well known as the Antique Capital of the Northeast. Historic sites include many early mills and mansions of mill owners.
Area: 20.4 square miles
Population:(1990 census) 9,031
Form of Government: Mayor / Board of Selectmen / Town Meeting
Mill Rate: 20.45
|Director of Parks and Recreation||963-6811|
|Public Works Department||963-6813|
|Superintendent of Schools||963-6900|
|Putnam Elementary School||963-6925|
|Putnam Middle School||963-6920|
|Putnam High School||963-6905|
|St. Mary’s Parochial School||(860)928-7046|