Rufus Putnam House

Corner of 2nd & Washington Streets, Marietta, Ohio

Completed 1790, for General Rufus Putnam (1738-1824) and his second wife Persis Rice (1737-1820). The house was part of the first fortification built by the Ohio Company of Associates, of which Putnam was a co-founder....
Putnam's home was one of the earliest examples in the Midwest of the simple frame houses built by the Puritans in seventeenth century Massachusetts, though it was both larger and more comfortable than the frame houses usually associated with early frontiersmen. The first town meeting in the Midwest was held at the house and Putnam managed the affairs of the Northwest Territory from his home until the arrival of the first governor, General Arthur St. Clair (1737-1818), 1st Governor of the Northwest Territory. Distinguished guests entertained by the Putnams included Louis Philippe I (1773-1850), afterwards King of France, and Harman Blennerhassett (1764-1831), of Blennerhassett Island.

Following the victory of General 'Mad' Anthony Wayne (1745-1796) over the Indians in 1794, there was no further need for the fortification at Marietta and apart from Putnam's house the entire complex was demolished in 1795. Putnam used some of the discarded materials to enlarge his house, adding two further bedrooms and a kitchen wing. He lived to see Ohio become a state and died at his home in 1824.

Putnam left the house to his two surviving sons, William Rufus Putnam (1771-1855) and Edwin Putnam (1776-1844). Around 1831, they sold it to Judge Arius Nye (1792-1865) for $600. Nye removed the kitchen wing and lived there with his wife Rowena Spencer (1798-1842) and their family. On his death, he passed the house to his daughter, Minerva Tupper Nye.

In 1900, Minerva leased the house to the Daughters of the of the American Revolution, who finally bought the property from her in 1919. They later persuaded the State of Ohio to purchase the home as an historic site and in 1931 the building was enclosed within the Campus Martius Museum.


Contributed by Mark Meredith on 21/11/2018 and last updated on 05/01/2020.


Be the first to connect to this house. Connect to record your link to this house. or just to show you love it! Connect to Rufus Putnam House →