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Putnam Cemetery dates back to 1820

October 7, 2011
By Ashley Rittenhouse (arittenhouse@mariettatimes.com) , The Marietta Times

Some of those who are buried in the Putnam Cemetery in Devola were buried there just about a week ago but there are others who were laid to rest centuries ago.

"It's certainly one of the pioneer graveyards of Washington County," said Ernie Thode, manager of Local History and Genealogy at the Washington County Public Library in Marietta.

Putnam Cemetery is located on Masonic Park Road in Devola but Thode said some of those who are currently buried there used to be buried elsewhere.

"The pioneer graveyard of Wiseman's Bottom (which was located in what is now Muskingum Township) was located on the farm of Israel Putnam - here were buried the Putnams, the Barkers, Russells and Devols, and in fact, nearly all of the earliest settlers of that area," Thode said. "In later years the place was not used and became neglected (so) about the year 1820, a new cemetery was laid out half a mile east of Devol's Dam and in this ground were buried most of those who were laid in the old cemetery."

That new cemetery became what is known today as the Putnam Cemetery, where Thode said Lt. Maj. Gen. Israel Putnam is buried, along with many other members of the Putnam family.

Thode said Putnam was born in Salem, Mass. in January 1718 and died in May 1790. He was a major general in the Revolutionary War and was a friend and confidential advisor of General George Washington.

"He is certainly prominent," Thode said of Putnam.

Thode noted that there is a mound in the cemetery but he said no one is buried there.

The Putnam Cemetery is owned and operated by Muskingum Township, according to Cheryl Congleton, a sexton there.

"We have approximately 1,200 people buried there and we have a lot more empty grave (sites). A lot of them have been sold but a lot are available yet," she said. "We have four different sections and the A and B sections are the oldest two sections up there."

Local historian Henry Burke said several of his ancestors and relatives are buried in Putnam Cemetery.

"The oldest is Hannah Burke, the matriarch of all the black Burkes in Washington County," Burke said. "She was born in Prince William County, Virginia in 1802 and she was buried up there (in the Putnam Cemetery) in 1889."

Burke said another one of his relatives who is buried there is Charles Burke, an African American Civil War veteran.

"He served in the 127th United States Colored Infantry and was wounded in the Battle of Deep Bottom, Virginia in 1864 - severely wounded - and he was returned home," he said.

 
 

 

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