For more than 100 years, the Putnam Hill Chapter DAR Regent's Project has been the Historic Preservation of Putnam Cottage – Knapp Tavern Museum. Knapp Tavern and the Putnam Hill Historic District are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
See images of Putnam Cottage and events hosted by Putnam Hill Chapter DAR at Images.
Knapp Tavern Museum
243 East Putnam Avenue
Greenwich, Connecticut 06830
Putnam Hill Chapter DAR Historic Preservation Project
Early records show that in February 1680, a Greenwich Town Meeting ordered Mr. Holley, Sergeant John Lockwood and Joseph Ferris to lay out a township upon the land lying nearby Horseneck Brook, to number twenty home lots of four acres each and a piece of land for a common.
Timothy Knapp bought the Horseneck property in 1692. Architectural historians have stated that the east front room could have been built prior to this date.
Timothy’s son, Captain Israel Knapp, inherited the house in 1729 and converted it into a tavern in 1754. It was such when, in 1776, General George Washington stopped for lunch with his troops, and on February 26, 1779, when General Israel Putnam made his famous ride down Put’s Hill.
Israel Knapp Jr. inherited the tavern in 1783. When he died in 1790, it became the home of his widow, Margaret. In 1813 it was sold to the Tracy family.
In 1901 Colonel H. H. Adams and friends raised $7,125.00 to purchase the historic Putnam Cottage property. In 1902 the deed was presented to the newly formed Israel Putnam House Association to preserve and maintain as a museum. The property is held in trust by the said Israel Putnam House Association for the use and benefit of the Putnam Hill Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, Incorporated, as long as the said corporation shall exist, and upon its dissolution they do hereby certify that said property shall thereafter be held by the said Israel Putnam House Association for the benefit of the citizens of the Town of Greenwich.
In 1968 the discovery of rare fieldstone fireplaces marked the beginning of restoration of the cottage to its appearance when it was the Knapp’s home and then Knapp’s Tavern. Restoration included the cottage, barn, carriage shed, colonial gardens and special exterior illumination resembling moonlight.
In 1992 architectural historian J. Paul Loether of the Connecticut Historic Commission wrote, “The house is one of the most unusual and interesting which I have seen in Connecticut during my years of work as a professional in the field of historic preservation. There is no question, the building ranks as one of the real historic gems of the Town of Greenwich and the State of Connecticut.”
Putnam Cottage, furnished with 18th century pieces, holds a collection of General Putnam memorabilia, DAR library and office. Putnam Hill Chapter DAR volunteer members conduct tours for groups by appointment. Contributions are welcome.