Putnam descendants reflect on first reunion

The first ever reunion of the direct descendants of Rufus and Persis Putnam happened recently, with nearly 100 people coming to Marietta from all parts of the country. Since the following letter from a Putnam descendant sums up the reactions of many to the weekend event of June 28 and 29, I would like to pass along these words from Susie Dowd Markarian of Santa Rosa, Calif. Reading her heartfelt comments also helps to remind us of the unique historical significance of our quiet little town. It is with her permission that I share it, in part, with you:

Hello all of you, distant cousins, historians, and committee members.

I wish to thank you from the bottom of my heart for bringing this event to fruition. The history and beauty of Marietta will forever be with me. I was beyond impressed with the amount of work each of you had done, along with the great speakers and the venues. This was my first visit to Ohio. Each of you was so friendly and kind, I just cannot begin to thank you enough. Marietta is so important to the history of our country, and our ancestry, I was just blown away. I fully understand how proud you must be, to be part of such an historic place, and your desire to preserve the Putnam family history.

I hope to some day return, bring my brothers, husband, children and grandchildren to see first hand the amazing home of Rufus Putnam, Mound Cemetery, the First Congregational Church, Marietta College, the wide and beautiful Ohio River, and see some of you again.

I wish I had more time to spend this trip. I had a taste of something very amazing, and I want more!

I truly enjoyed Scott Britton’s talks, his delivery of the history was so poignant, and Dr. James O’Donnell’s account of the history was riveting. Glen Wolfe’s ancestry book and his tour of the museum was delightful and most importantly to me personally I wish to thank Mary Jo Hutchinson for her joyous smile and personable reaching out to me and my friend Linda Aust.

I am a Marietta fan! I have begun to revisit the Revolutionary War books and journals to find out more about this amazing man, Rufus Putnam, my great-great-great-great-grandfather!


Susie Dowd (Robbins) Markarian

I would personally like to thank these people whose efforts made this event such a success:

– Fellow committee members who worked together to make this happen: Glen Wolfe, Mary Jo Hutchinson, Jason Kahrl, Sheryl Corp, Ruth Thorniley, and Barbara Thorniley. Frances Parlin also had input.

– Scott Britton, both at the First Congregational Church and at the Mound Cemetery, who conveyed his deep knowledge and respect for our history and heritage in talks he gave at each place.

– Mayor Joe Matthews who spoke at the church with such obvious enthusiasm and pride in Marietta.

– Dr. James H. O’Donnell, whose engrossing talk at the museum about Putnam captured the essence of the man who played a key role in both our town’s and our nation’s history.

– The Campus Martius Museum staff of Bill Reynolds, Glenna Hoff, Le Ann Hendershot, Christina Graham, Jane Young, and Brian Hitchcock who helped with Saturday evening’s activities.

– The food providers who both served delicious meals: DaVinci’s at lunch and Valley Gem Caterers at dinner.

– Hotel LaFayette for allowing use of the Rufus Putnam Room for Friday evening.

– All of the Putnam descendants and their families who came to commemorate the man whose legacy still lives.

Judith Corner Piersall

Rufus Putnam descendant and reunion committee member