The Putnam Examiner

Bye, Bye Bicentennial

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A year from the date Putnam was put into the hands of County Executive Maryellen Odell, local lawmakers, organizations and community members celebrated the close of the county’s bicentennial celebration Sunday. Using Veterans Day as an opportunity to end a year dedicated to the history and culture of Putnam, the county buried the 2012 time capsule in hopes of preserving 2012 for 50 more years to come.

Contrasting where we were as a county in 1962 when the previous capsule was buried to where we are now, Odell praised the values of Putnam as a driving force that will carry the county to and through an uncertain future.

“The promise for a bright future for our children is in our hands and what lies in the balance between mankind, Mother Nature and technology will determine where we are as a society in the next 50 years,” Odell said as she addressed a crowd of nearly 200 people outside the Historic Courthouse. “I truly believe in the talent and achievement of the American people and I believe in the resolve of New Yorkers, especially those who believe that Putnam County is the American Dream.”

Odell also commented on the special nature of hosting the end of the county’s yearlong bicentennial celebrating on Veterans Day, which was held at 2 p.m. as municipalities hosted their own ceremonies throughout the morning.

“I’m proud that we honor of first responders, and I’m proud that we honor our veterans and I’m proud that we’re a county that says the Pledge of Allegiance with the proud emphasis that we are ‘one nation, under God,’” Odell said.

Local organizations and community members contributed items to this year’s time capsule, which will be revealed to a brand new group of constituents and officials 50 years from now in 2062.

“I’m so grateful to have so many people here who played a small part in coming into our office week after week bringing us mementos from their organizations,” Libby Pataki, head of Putnam County’s tourism department, said. “What we’re putting in I can’t reveal, but it’s very very interesting, it’s very different—we’ve had tremendous participation from the people of the county, so I want to thank everybody for really honoring history today and making it so worthwhile to be a Putnam County resident.”

A small group of local high school football players led by District 3 Legislator Richard Othmer helped bury the time capsule, which will be located in a masonry chamber outside of the Putnam County Historic Courthouse.

“Remember this day, and 50 years from now, if you can, be here,” Othmer said. “Keep it in the back of your mind as the years goes on.”

Putnam County History Books are available at the county offices at 40 Gleneida Avenue in Carmel or by contacting the county historian’s office via phone (845-808-1420) or by email (

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