Emails Related to Putnam Park

I grew up in Redding and my three sisters and I knew every inch of Putnam Park! We would fish for sunfish in the lake and watch the volunteer fire departments fill their tankers with water from the dam.

I notice on your page that there is nothing on the later years, 1995-present, about the park. About 15-20 years ago, the park fell to wrack and ruin because of neglect by the state of CT. There were two people very involved in fighting for the park--Hank Rasmussen and Hank Bielawa. Hank B was first selectman at the time and Hank R was my dad.

Between the two of them, they would mow grass, pick up trash, and generally clean up and make the park presentable. I remember clearly seeing Hank B put up and take down the American flag in the park every day. My little family helped, but the two Hanks did most of the work. There are a lot of letters to the editor of the Danbury News Times regarding the park by these two.

Unfortunately, we have lost Hank R, and more unfortunately, a lot of the history of the town went with him. He was the first policeman hired in the town of Redding in 1968 and he knew everything there was to know about Redding having lived there his entire life. One thing you might like to know is that beside the right blockhouse at the entrance to the park, there used to be a wading pool for children. Families would picnic every weekend there and I can remember as a child going myself.

What a shame most of the history of the park and its environs having to do with the social aspect of the park have been lost. But, Redding should thank these two men for all they did to preserve Putnam Memorial Park.

Belinda Garey

Webmaster Note: Fortunately in recent years major renovations to the park have greatly improved its condition. Click here for the Office Park Pages