PUTNAM — The Putnam Aspinock Historical Society recently announced its Annual Appeal Campaign,”Protecting the Future by Preserving the Past.”   The goal is to raise $10,000.  Proceeds will be used to enhance programs and projects of the Society.  A number of local citizens have volunteered to serve on the Campaign Leadership Team.      .  
 The general chairmen are brothers, Marc and Tom Archambault of the Archambault Insurance Associates.  They were raised in Putnam and have expanded the family insurance business started by their grandfather.  They have been involved  in community activities all their lives and believe that Putnam has a wonderful and varied past which needs to be preserved. 
They said, “We have enjoyed growing up and living in a community where our history surrounds us every day.  From the mills along the river, to Main Street, and even the building we work in, our past can be seen and touched.  It has instilled in us a strong sense of community and pride in the history that our town has enjoyed.  We are excited to be able to help preserve this knowledge for future generations. “    
Assisting the Archambaults will be John Miller and Dick Loomis as division leaders for Corporate and Finance and former Mayor, Richard “Pete” Place who is the chair for Businesses.   Greg King will lead the Major Gifts division while Scott Pempek leads the division for Organizations.   Chairing the division for Community is Robert Garceau, and Dr. Louise Pempek chairs the division for Aspinock Historical Society members and directors.
Although proceeds from the campaign will assist the Society in continuing its on-going activities, immediate attention must be given to preserving, organizing and storing the memorabilia, photos, and archives which are now housed in the antiquated historical society building. A committee is researching and writing about the Irish and Scottish immigrants who came to Putnam.  With the funds from the appeal, this book will be added to the three previously published volumes about the Italian, Polish and French-Canadian families who immigrated here.
The Putnam Aspinock Historical Society was founded in 1972 when a dozen citizens recognized the need to preserve our past and educate people in the area about our rich heritage.  The first public event was celebrating the 200th anniversary of the raising of the Liberty Flag on the Putnam Heights green at which then Senator Abraham Ribicoff spoke. 
 Later, the Society procured a boxcar and developed it into a museum dedicated to beloved local teacher and author of The Boxcar Children series, Gertrude Chandler Warner.  Each year the museum receives visitors from all over the U.S. Many interesting and diverse programs have been held through the years, featuring a vast variety of topics from major themes such as the Flood of 1955 to very specific historical items. A Rhode Island man bought a box of wooden pieces at a yard sale.  Once he had put the pieces together, he realized it was a carousel which had been hand carved by a Putnam native, Marshall Whittemore, at the turn of the last century and shared his find with the Society members.   
 Each year members provide tours and talks to local schools, groups and the community. Members are also called upon by the Town of Putnam to provide historical information.  Members often assist students in researching information from Putnam’s past and provide resources for teachers.
A major project which is a “work in progress” is restoring the Cady-Copp cottage, built in 1732, on the Putnam Heights green.  The Society hopes to outfit and open it as a museum to the public in the future.   
The most recent and notable event was the honoring of World War II veterans. The names and pictures of Putnam’s World War II veterans were posted on a Wall of Remembrance and the 35 Putnam young men who gave the ultimate sacrifice were memorialized during the 70th anniversary of the ending of the war.  Programs were held throughout the summer months. Incidentally, a publication of this “Wall” will soon be on sale to the public.  
The Annual Appeal for funds will guarantee that the dedicated volunteers who provide these important tasks of preserving the local history and sharing it with the community will be able to continue and expand the services of the Putnam Aspinock Historical Society.    
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