Putnam Memorial State Park

Redding, CT

230 acres

Sources: Anderson, Katherine S. #29; Keyarts, #2


From the Merritt Parkway take Exit 45, CT 58 (Black Rock Turnpike); follow CT 58 for 13.8 miles to ins intersection with CT 107; bear left at the triangle; enter the park at the statue of Israel Putnam. Park along the road inside the park.

There are two sections of the park. To get to the other section drive out of the park and turn left on CT 58; drive 0.5 of a mile and turn right to enter the other part of the park which surrounds Lake Putnam. Here there is a lot of picnic tables.


1718  --  Israel Putnam born in Salem, Massachusetts.

1739  --  at the age of 21, Putnam came to Connecticut and settled on a farm in the "Mortlake" district of the eastern town of Pomfret.

1755  -- Putnam  joined Rogers' Rangers during the Seven Years' War and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel of militia.

1759  --  Putnam lead a regiment in the attack on Fort Ticonderoga.

1762  --  he participated in the expedition that captured Havana, Cuba.

1766 --  Putnam elected to the Connecticut General Assembly.  He was also one of the founders of the Connecticut Sons of Liberty.

1775  --  shortly after the Battle of Lexington, Putnam led the Connecticut militia to Boston.  Congress made him a major general and one of two principal commanders at Bunker Hill/Breed's Hill. 

1776 (April 13)  --  General Washington, the newly-named commander-in-chief, replaced Putnam.

1776  --  Putnam helped in the planning of the Battle of Long Island, which came to a near disastrous end  for the Americans who were pushed out of Brooklyn across Manhattan and all the way up to White Plains, New York before they scored a victory at the Battle of White Plains.

Washington and Putnam found themselves at odds on several occasions.  Perhaps because of this and the disaster at the Battle of Long Island, Putnam was given less challenging posts. 

1777  --  Putnam was given command of the forts at Bear Mountain, New York.  When the British attacked the forts, Putnam abandoned Forts Montgomery and Clinton.  He was brought before a court of inquiry (but was exonerated).

1778  --  General Putnam was at West Point and in the following winter was posted at Danbury, Connecticut, with three brigades. 

1779 (February 26)   --  General Putnam narrowly avoided capture by a British raiding party at a house in Greenwich by thrusting his horse down a steep set of steps. The feat seemed so impossible, that none of the enemy followed Putnam in his deed of derring-do.

1778-1779  --  during the winter of what became known as "Putnam's Valley Forge", there was a winter encampment of some eight to nine thousand Revolutionary War soldiers under the leadership of the senior Major General Israel Putnam (a statue done by Anna Hyatt Huntington when she was in her nineties) making good his mounted escape down steep 100 stairs from pursuing British dragoons at Horse Neck, Greenwich, in 1779. Still here are piles of stones that are the remnants of chimneys and fireplaces from the wooden huts that sheltered 8-12 soldiers each. There are many reconstructed buildings including a guard house, log huts, officer’s huts, and powder magazine.

There is a burial monument here marking the site where fifteen Revolutionary War soldiers died during the encampment.

1779  --  in the campaign of 1779, General Putnam superintended the completion of the defenses at West Point. During the following winter he visited his family.

1779 (December)  --  Putnam suffered a stroke, which forced him to end his military career.

1790 (May 29)  --  death of the old soldier.


There is a museum here where you can pick up a map of the area. Take a counter circular walk north along the road and return past the burial monument and Lake McDougall.

8/27/05.  On a warm day, Rosemary Cooney, Cefe Santana, dog Sonar and I walked along Lake McDougall.  There must have been a thousand lotus flowers in bloom on the lake.  In a narrow part of the lake, the flowers were wall to wall.  And there must have been more than a thousand purple bladderworts sticking out from the lake's surface.  What a treat!  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney

dates = plants blooming on dates of field trips, 4/5/2002, 8/27/2005

Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple) 4/05/02
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory)
Carya glabra (pignut hickory)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Larix sp. (larch)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Ostrya virginiana (American hop hornbeam)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Populus deltoides (cottonwood)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Salix sp. (willow) 4/05/02
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Alnus serrulata (smooth alder)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cephalanthus occidentalis (buttonbush)
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush)                 8/27/05
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel) lots
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Rhamnus frangula (European buckthorn)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Salix discolor (pussy willow)
Salix sp. (willow)
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)
Spiraea sp. (spiraea)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Vaccinium sp. (a low-bush blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum (smooth arrowwood viburnum)
Vinca minor (periwinkle)

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Cuscuta sp. (dodder)                                               8/27/05
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Polygonum scandens (climbing bindweed)             8/27/05
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis labrusca (fox grape)

Acalypha sp. (three-seeded mercury)
Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)
Agrimonia gryposepala (common agrimony)    8/27/05
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)     8/27/05
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)              8/27/05
Apocynum sp. (dogbane)
Arctium minus (common burdock)
Arisaema triphyllum Jack-in-the-pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Bidens sp. (beggar tick)
Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle)
Chelidonium majus (celandine)                                         8/27/05
Chenopodium album (pigweed)
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye daisy)                8/27/05
Cichorium intybus (chicory)                                               8/27/05
Cicuta maculata (common water hemlock)                        8/27/05
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)?
Conyza canadensis (horseweed)                                      8/27/05
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace)                                8/27/05
Desmodium rotundifolium (round-leaved tick trefoil)     8/27/05
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink)                                   8/27/05
Epifagus virginiana (beech drops)
Epilobium coloratum (purple-leaved willowherb)             8/27/05
Erechtites hieraciifolia (pileweed)                                     8/27/05
Erythronium americanum (trout lily)
Eupatorium fistulosum (trumpetweed)                              8/27/05
Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset)                                     8/27/05
Euphorbia nutans (eyebane spurge)                                  8/27/05
Fragaria virginiana (wild strawberry)
Galium mollugo (wild madder)                                           8/27/05
Galium spp. (bedstraw)
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)
Geum canadense (white avens)
Hemerocallis fulva (tawny daylily)
Hieracium paniculatum (panicle-leaved hawkweed)     8/27/05
Hieracium spp. (hawkweed)
Hypericum mutilum (dwarf St. Johnswort)                    8/27/05
Hypericum perforatum (common St. Johnswort)          8/27/05
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)                         8/27/05
Impatiens pallida (pale jewelweed)                                 8/27/05
Lactuca biennis (tall blue lettuce)                                   8/27/05
Lactuca canadensis (wild lettuce)                                   8/27/05
Lathyrus latifolia (everlasting pea)                                8/27/05
Lepidium virginicum (poor man's pepper)                      8/27/05
Lespedeza sp. (wand-like bushclover)                            8/27/05
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs)                                   8/27/05
Lotus corniculatus (birdfoot trefoil)                                 8/27/05
Ludwigia palustris (water purslane)
Lycopus americanus (American water horehound)        8/27/05
Lycopus sp. (bugleweed)                                                 8/27/05
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)                             8/27/05
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Melilotus alba (white sweet clover)                                 8/27/05
Mentha arvensis (wild mint)                                             8/27/05
Mentha x piperita (peppermint)                                       8/27/05
Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe)
Nelumbo lutea (American lotus)                             8/27/05  lots and lots
Nuphar variegata (spatter dock)                             8/27/05
Nymphaea odorata (white water lily)                      8/27/05
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)     8/27/05
Osmorhiza sp. (cicely)
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel)                                 8/27/05
Pastinaca sativa (wild parsnip)
Peltandra virginica (arrow arum)
Penthorum sedoides (ditch stonecrop)                      8/27/05
Pilea pumila (clearweed)                                            8/27/05
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)                      8/27/05
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum arifolium (halberd-leaved tearthumb)    
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed)         8/27/05
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)           8/27/05
Polygonum hydropiper (water pepper)                       8/27/05
Polygonum sagittatum (arrow-leaved tearthumb)      8/27/05
Pontederia cordata (pickerel weed)                            8/27/05
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)
Potentilla sp. (cinquefoil)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal)                                        8/27/05
Rumex obtusifolius (broad-leaved dock)
Saponaria officinalis (bouncing bet)                           8/27/05
Satureja vulgaris (wild basil)
Silene latifolia (white campion)                                   8/27/05
Silene vulgaris (bladder campion)                               8/27/05
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal)
Solanum nigrum (black nightshade)                           8/27/05
Solidago bicolor (silverrod)                                         8/27/05
Solidago canadensis var. scabra (tall goldenrod)      8/27/05
Solidago rugosa (rough-leaved goldenrod)                8/27/05
Sparganium sp. (burreed)
Stellaria pubera (star chickweed)                               8/27/05
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue)
Trifolium hybridum (alsike clover)                         8/27/05
Trifolium pratense (red clover)                               8/27/05
Trifolium repens (white clover)                               8/27/05
Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot)
Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail)
Utricularia purpurea (purple bladderwort)            8/27/05
Veratrum viride (swamp hellebore)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)                   8/27/05
Viola sp. (violet)
Zizia aurea (golden Alexanders)

Juncus effusus (soft rush)

Carex intumescens (bladder sedge)
Carex lurida (sallow sedge)
Carex laxiflora type (sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Carex vulpinoidea (fox sedge)
Cyperus strigosus (umbrella sedge)
Dulichium arundinaceum (three-way sedge)
Scirpus atrovirens (dark-green bulrush)
Scirpus cyperinus (woolly grass bulrush)

Cinna arundinacea (wood reedgrass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Digitaria sp. (crab grass)
Echinochloa sp. (barnyard grass)
Elymus sp. (wild rye grass)
Elytrigia repens (quack grass)
Glyceria sp. (mannagrass)
Leersia oryzoides (rice cut grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Poa sp. (bluegrass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little blue stem grass)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)
Tridens flavus (purple top grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies
Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)
Thelypteris palustris (marsh fern)


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