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Georgia was the last of the original 13 colonies to be established. It was founded in 1732, over 100 years after the first English settlement in Virginia.
Putnam County, Georgia has a rich history that dates back to the ancient Native American tribes that inhabited the area for thousands of years. The region was initially home to the Creek and Cherokee tribes, who left behind various markers of their presence in the form of mounds, pottery, and artifacts.

European settlers began to arrive in the 18th century, with the area being officially established as Putnam County in 1807, named after Revolutionary War hero General Israel Putnam. The first county seat was established in Eatonton, a town that would become central to the county's development. Putnam County's early economy was predominantly agrarian, with cotton plantations and farms providing the main source of wealth.

During the Civil War, Putnam County experienced the effects of the conflict as both Confederate and Union troops passed through the area. Although the county was relatively untouched by major battles, it did feel the impact of the war's destruction, particularly in terms of its economy and infrastructure.

After the war, Putnam County began to rebuild and diversify its economy. The construction of railroads in the late 19th century brought new opportunities for growth, allowing the transportation of goods and materials more efficiently. This led to the establishment of various industries, including timber, textiles, and manufacturing.

In more recent years, Putnam County has focused on preserving its historic sites and promoting tourism. The county is home to several notable landmarks, such as the Rock Eagle Effigy Mound, a prehistoric structure shaped like a bird, and the Georgia Writers Museum, which honors famous literary figures associated with the area. Today, Putnam County remains a blend of its agricultural roots and modern development, attracting visitors with its rich history and natural beauty.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Putnam County, Georgia.

  • 1807 - Putnam County is established on December 10.
  • 1820 - The county's population reaches 3,181.
  • 1829 - Samuel Rockwell makes the first successful cotton crop in the area, leading to the rapid expansion of cotton farming.
  • 1830 - The first courthouse is built in Eatonton, the county seat.
  • 1861-1865 - Putnam County residents actively participate in the American Civil War.
  • 1879 - The railroad reaches Eatonton, boosting economic growth in the county.
  • 1911 - Putnam County experiences a devastating fire, destroying many buildings in Eatonton.
  • 1921 - The county's first public high school is established.
  • 1957 - Georgia Power Company completes the construction of Lake Sinclair, providing hydroelectric power and recreational opportunities.
  • 1975 - The Old Governor's Mansion in Milledgeville, now part of Putnam County, is designated a National Historic Landmark.
  • 1993 - The Rock Eagle Effigy Mound, a Native American ceremonial site, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.