Putnam County is rich with history. This is evident by the number of local buildings, homes and structures that are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Often people think only of homes being on the registry but structures like iron and covered bridges, farms, churches and other commercial buildings are often included, say Historic Preservation officials.
In fact, in Greencastle the Courthouse Square District bounded by College Avenue, Walnut Street, Market and Franklin Streets are included in the registry. These buildings date back to 1800's and as far forward as 1949. They include architecture that is late Victorian as well as late 19th and 20th Century Revival.
Two well-known sites are the Brick Chapel United Methodist Church just north of Greencastle and the Putnamville Presbyterian Church (also known as Putnamville Methodist Church) located on the town green in Putnamville.
The Presbyterian Church will be 175 years old next summer. According to Ann Phipps, a member of the Putnam County Historical Preservation Society, the church is the oldest church in the state to have continuous services.
"The church even has an old belfry and bell with a cord. We ring it every Christmas," Phipps told a group of visitors recently.
Bridge No. 159, known as the Reelsville Bridge, was added to the preservation list in 1999. It is located on 650 W. over Big Walnut Creek in Reelsville. The old concrete arch bridge, built in 1929, was replaced by a two-lane structure in a million dollar project that was many years in the making. The old iron bridge was left standing to be restored as a pedestrian walkway. In 2007 County Commissioners approved preserving the bridge and received federal funds for the work on it as a condition of its preservation. The project cost around $1 million, and the bridge is open only to foot traffic.
Two farms are registered as well. They are the Appleyard (Alexander C. Stevenson farm or Ballard Farm) in Greencastle and the Melville McHaffie Farm (Schuyler Arnold Seed Farm) in Stilesville.
These include East College, McKim Observatory, and the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity House.
With close ties to the University, the F.P House known as The Towers sits on Seminary Street.
Several homes are also listed and include The Boulders on E. Washington St., Greencastle, the Alfred Hart House on W. Walnut, the O'Hair House near Brick Chapel, the Lycurgus Stoner House on Manhattan Rd. and the William Van Arsdel House known as The Elms on Wood Street in Greencastle.
The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate and protect the historic and archeological resources.
Included among the over 80,000 listings that make up the National Register are: all historic areas in the National Park System and over 2,400 National Historic Landmarks, which have been designated by the Secretary of the Interior because of their importance to all Americans.
Information about the National Register of Historic Places is available on their Web site at www.natonalregisterofistoricplaces.com or by calling 202-345-2213.