The state bird of Tennessee is the northern mockingbird, and the state flower is the iris. The state tree is the tulip poplar, and the state animal is the raccoon.
Putnam County, TN is located in the northern part of Tennessee and has a rich history that spans centuries. Originally inhabited by Native American tribes, such as the Cherokee and Shawnee, the area was later explored and settled by European settlers in the late 18th century. The county was officially established in 1842, named after General Israel Putnam, a hero of the American Revolutionary War.

In the early years, agriculture played a significant role in Putnam County's economy, with crops like tobacco, corn, and wheat being the primary focus. The construction of the Cumberland Turnpike, a major trade route, in the early 19th century further facilitated economic growth and development in the region. As more settlers moved to the area, small towns and communities began to emerge.

During the Civil War, Putnam County saw its fair share of conflict. Being located on the border between the Union and Confederate regions, the area experienced both Union and Confederate occupation at different times throughout the war. The Battle of Dugger's Ferry, fought in May 1863, was an important skirmish that took place in Putnam County. Despite the hardships of war, the county began to recover and rebuild in the post-war years.

In the 20th century, Putnam County experienced significant growth and development. The construction of major highways, such as U.S. Route 70 and Interstate 40, improved transportation connectivity and sparked economic progress. Education also became a cornerstone, with the establishment of Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, the county seat, in 1915. Today, Putnam County continues to thrive as a vibrant community with a diverse economy, a strong educational system, and a rich cultural heritage.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Putnam County, Tennessee.

  • 1761 - Putnam County is established as part of the Cherokee Indian territory in what is now Tennessee.
  • 1784 - The land that would become Putnam County is ceded to the United States government by the Cherokee Nation.
  • 1796 - Tennessee becomes the 16th state in the Union, and Putnam County is part of the new state.
  • 1842 - Putnam County is officially designated as a county by the Tennessee General Assembly.
  • 1901 - Tennessee Technological University, then known as Dixie College, is founded in Cookeville, the county seat of Putnam County.
  • 1930s - The construction of Center Hill Dam begins on the Caney Fork River, creating Center Hill Lake, which would later become a popular recreational area in Putnam County.
  • 1997 - A tornado outbreak devastates Putnam County and other parts of Middle Tennessee, causing extensive damage and loss of life.
  • 2010 - The population of Putnam County reaches over 72,000 people.
  • 2020 - Putnam County is hit by a deadly tornado that causes significant destruction and loss of life.