Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.


Morning Star, November 22, 1998, pg. 19

Last week in this column we featured a class reunion photograph from a century ago of the Riceville School. This week we have another old area country school photo to share with our readers. The Putnam School (Eckford District No. 5 Fractional) was located in Eckford Township. It was named for Orlin H. Putnam (1814-1897), a pioneer farmer who owned 160 acres of land in Section 13 of Eckford Township. In those days, schools were often named for a prominent area farmer who donated labor and/or materials for the erection of a new schoolhouse. The land the schoolhouse sat upon however, in Section 14, was once the farmland of 19th century Judge Charles Olin.

The schoolhouse was located on the south side of the intersection of 23 Mile road and F Drive South, east of the village of Eckford. The school is labeled on the 1858 Plat Map of Calhoun County.

Following a population decline in the 1930s, the school was closed in 1939 and students were sent to Warner School on a tuition basis for a couple of years, and then the school was reopened one last time for the 1942-43 school year. Mrs. Florence Sweet of Marshall was the final teacher. Putnam School was permanently closed in June 1943 and students were then sent to the Eckford Village School for the remainder of the 1940s. The Putnam district was then annexed into the Homer Public Schools, it being one of the first rural country schools in the area to annex into a city school district. The building itself was moved to the Carl Harris Farm where it has been used as a tool shed.

This week from our Historical Notebook we present a photo of some Putnam School pupils, estimated to be around 1899 during the time when Mary Ritchey was the teacher. Front row, left to right: Gregory Quick, Nellie Pease, Center row: Ella Leck, Maud Cutting, Jessie Butler, George Quick, Irene Ferguson, Ruth Butler. Back row: Vera Patterson, Earl Furgeson, Grace Putnam, Mary Ritchey (teacher), Gertrude Putnam.

A Putnam School reunion in which former pupils gather together to share their rembrances of growing up in the district is held at the end of July each year. How many persons remember the Putnam School?

Putnam School, circa 1899


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