Putnam Memorial State Park,
Redding, Connecticut

Site of 1778-1779 Winter Encampment of Putnam's Troops

QUESTIONS ON PARK FACILITIES: Please direct to Park Supervisor, Vincent Messino at Putnam Park. Call 1-203-938-2285.

HOURS: The park is open daily 8:00 a.m. to sunset.

LOCATION: The park is located southeast of Danbury, Connecticut at the junction of Routes 58 and 107.


Look for these numbered signs (see route on map)

1. MUSEUM - This building contains exhibits and historical material related to the Redding encampments. Museum is open weekends and holidays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., May 1st through October 31st. Guides are on duty to assist visitors.

2. ENCAMPMENT SITE - The more than 100 piles of stone in this area are believed to mark the locations of the huts that sheltered Continental Troops in the winter of 1778 - 1779. These men belonged to the New Hampshire Brigade of Enoch Poor and the 2nd Canadian Regiment of Moses Hazen. Among them were many veterans of the battles of Long Island, Brandywine, Germantown, Ticonderoga, Bemis Heights, Saratoga, Barren Hill and Monmouth. Historical evidence indicates that the huts were constructed of logs from the site. The fireplaces were made of fieldstone and were probably topped with a chimney of wood heavily plastered with clay. The huts had dimensions of 14 x 16 x 6 feet high at the eaves and were occupied by 12 soldiers or a smaller number of officers. The huts were arranged in long rows. It is hoped that archeological field work will eventually show the exact layout of the camp. The log building nearby is an early attempt at reconstructing a hut.

3. "MAGAZINE" - This stone-lined pit is traditionally identified as the camp's powder magazine.

4. PHILIPS CAVE - A local legend tells of a soldier named Philip returning after the war to live in this cave.

5. "OFFICERS' BARRACKS" - This structure was built upon an earlier foundation believed to have originated with the encampment.

6. CEMETERY - This plot was fenced off many years ago when a few mounds of earth were still visible and were considered to be the graves of men who died in camp.

7. MONUMENT - Constructed In 1888, one year after the campground became a memorial park, this monument honors the men who suffered the hardships of the winter encampments in Redding.

8. ENTRANCE AREA - Civil War cannons and miniature blockhouses flank the road. Blockhouses were used in frontier areas during the French and Indian War when Israel Putnam achieved fame for courageous exploits. The log structure to the north represents the camp's guardhouse. The bronze sculpture, depicting General Putnam's legendary ride down the stone steps in Greenwich, Connecticut, was created by the late Anna Hyatt Huntington, renowned sculptress, who was 94 when she completed it.

The above map and text are taken from the brochure "Putnam Memorial State Park" distributed by the State of Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Office of State Parks and Recreation, 165 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106.

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