Putnam Memorial State Park

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Putnam Memorial State Park
Connecticut State Park
PUTNAM MEMORIAL STATE PARK.jpg
General Israel Putnam statue at the entrance to Putnam Memorial State Park
Country  United States
State  Connecticut
County Fairfield
Towns Bethel, Redding
Elevation 600 ft (183 m) [1]
Coordinates 41°20′23″N 73°23′01″W / 41.33972°N 73.38361°W / 41.33972; -73.38361Coordinates: 41°20′23″N 73°23′01″W / 41.33972°N 73.38361°W / 41.33972; -73.38361
Area 183 acres (74 ha)
Established 1887 [2]
Management Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Location in Connecticut
Website: Putnam Memorial State Park
Putnam Memorial State Park
Location Jct. of Rtes. 58 (Black Rock Tpke.) and 107 (Park Rd.), Redding, Connecticut
Area 183 acres (74 ha)
Built 1778
Governing body State
NRHP Reference # 70000683[3]
Added to NRHP December 29, 1970

Putnam Memorial State Park is the oldest state park in Connecticut. It is named for Major General Israel Putnam, who chose the site that is now the park as the winter encampment for his men during the winter of 1778/1779, during the American Revolutionary War. The former encampment and park is located at the intersection of Route 107 and Route 58 in Redding, Connecticut, in the United States of America. It was established in 1887 by Redding resident Charles Burr Todd.[2]

History[edit]

Over 3000 men were sent into winter quarters spread throughout three camps in Redding. The camps were established to keep an eye on the storehouses in Danbury, Connecticut, and to protect Long Island Sound and the Hudson River Valley. Many of these men were the same who had suffered at Valley Forge the previous winter. The 2nd Canadian Regiment, or Congress' Own, under the command of Moses Hazen and the 2nd New Hampshire Regiment under the command of Enoch Poor were stationed at this location.[4][5]

The park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.[6]

Activities and amenities[edit]

  • Museum: The park's visitors center and museum display artifacts found at the park as well as donated items. The exhibits demonstrate colonial life and honor the men who were stationed here.
  • Putnam Statue: In 1969 at age 93, the sculptress Anna Hyatt Huntington donated the equestrian statue of General Israel Putnam which is situated at the entrance to the park. It depicts the horse going down steps. The legend states in February 1779, General Putnam escaped a cohort of British Dragoons by riding his horse down 100 stone steps at Horses Neck, Greenwich, Connecticut.
  • Grounds: There are numerous firebacks, which are the remains of the enlisted soldiers' chimneys, as well as reconstructed replicas of the guard house and an officers' quarters. A 40-foot-tall (12 m) monument commemorates the commanding officers and men who were stationed here. The grounds also have many natural wonders including a rock-shelter cave[7] and many large glacial erratics.
  • Events: The park hosts an annual reenactment in late October and a guided winter walk in December as well as weekend events in late July and early August. Events are hosted by the organization Friends & Neighbors of Putnam Park.[8]

The park also has picnicking, pond fishing, and ice skating.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Putnam Memorial State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 
  2. ^ a b "Creation of the Israel Putnam Memorial Camp Ground". Friends & Neighbors of Putnam Park. Retrieved 2013-02-13. 
  3. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  4. ^ Cruson, Daniel (2011). Putnam's Revolutionary War Winter Encampment: The History and Archaeology of Putnam Memorial State Park. Charleston, S.C.: The History Press. ISBN 978-1609492311. 
  5. ^ "Park History: Putnam's 1778-1779 Encampment". Friends & Neighbors of Putnam Park. Retrieved 2013-02-13. 
  6. ^ "National Register of Historic Places, Nomination Form: Putnam Memorial State Park" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2014-05-01. 
  7. ^ "The Geology of Putnam Memorial State Park". State Parks and Forests. Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Retrieved 2013-02-13. 
  8. ^ "Re-enactments, Activities, and Events". Friends & Neighbors of Putnam Park. Retrieved 2013-02-13. 
  9. ^ "Putnam Memorial State Park". State Parks and Forests. Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Retrieved 2013-02-13. 

External links[edit]