The Florida State Capitol building in Tallahassee is the only state capitol in the United States that is taller than the United States Capitol in Washington D.C.
Putnam County, Florida is located in the northeastern part of the state, bordered by the St. Johns River to the west. The area that would become Putnam County was first inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Timucua and Seminole people. European settlers arrived in the area in the 18th century.

In 1774, British naturalist William Bartram explored the region, documenting the flora and fauna. However, it was not until 1821, when Florida became a United States territory, that organized settlement of Putnam County began. The county was officially established in 1849 and named after Benjamin A. Putnam, a soldier in the Seminole Wars.

In the late 19th century, Putnam County experienced a significant economic boom due to the growth of the citrus industry. The riverfront town of Palatka became a major center for citrus packaging and shipping. The industry played a crucial role in the county's economy until a series of hard freezes in the 1890s caused extensive damage to citrus groves, leading to a decline in production.

The early 20th century brought new opportunities to Putnam County with the arrival of the railroad, allowing for increased connectivity and trade. The town of Crescent City, located on the western edge of the county, became a popular destination for tourists seeking recreational activities on the lake. Today, Putnam County continues to maintain its ties to agriculture, with farming and forestry as important industries, while also embracing its natural beauty and history as a draw for visitors.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Putnam County, Florida.

  • 1832 - Putnam County is established and named after Benjamin A. Putnam, a soldier during the Second Seminole War
  • 1838 - The county seat is established in Palatka
  • 1860 - Putnam County's economy is primarily based on agriculture, including citrus farming and timber production
  • 1884 - The Ocklawaha River is dredged, opening up trade routes for the county
  • 1893 - Henry Flagler's Florida East Coast Railway reaches Palatka, boosting economic development
  • 1908 - The construction of the Rodman Dam begins, creating the Rodman Reservoir
  • 1930s - The Great Depression severely affects Putnam County, leading to economic decline
  • 1968 - Hurricane Dora hits Putnam County, causing significant damage
  • 1971 - The completion of the Palatka-to-St. Augustine State Trail, now known as the Palatka-to-St. Augustine Rail Trail
  • 1998 - The completion of the new Palatka Memorial Bridge over St. Johns River