Putnam County Indiana

Near the famous Covered Bridge Festival, Putnam County Indiana has a lot to offer our visitors.  Just 39 miles west of Indianapolis along Interstate 70 lies "Covered Bridge Country."  This region, anchored by the towns of Cloverdale, Greencastle and Bainbridge is a getaway to the largest concentration of Covered Bridges in the Country.  Over 40 in a four-county area!

The largest waterfalls in Indiana, Cataract Falls, and the 1876 Covered Bridge are only 6 miles south of Cloverdale at Cataract Recreational Area.  Arts & Crafts, gift and floral shops beckon visitors to stop in Cloverdale after their Falls visit.  

North of Cloverdale on U.S. 231 is Greencastle's Courthouse Square.  Shopping and history combined for a memorable stop.  John Dillinger staged his largest bank robbery here ($75,000) and Eli Lilly had his first drug store before starting the present-day pharmaceutical research firm. A delightful variety of shopping includes arts & crafts, antiques, books, draperies and eateries.  

Greencastle is home to DePauw University. DePauw's rich history is centered around the 1837 East College Building.  

Just north of Greencastle on Highway 36 east of U.S. 231 is Bainbridge.  Antiques & Craft shops are near downtown, as well as 3 Covered Bridges.  Simply follow the conveniently-placed brown and white Covered Bridge signs along our county roads to discover the 9 Covered Bridges throughout Putnam County.  

We hope you enjoy exploring our Covered Bridges, shops, restaurants, rolling hillsides and most of all, our friendly people.  Welcome to Covered Bridge Country!

Putnam County Indiana Statistics

Putnam County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. As of 2010, the population was 37,963. The name is in honor of Israel Putnam, who was a hero in the French and Indian War and a general in the American Revolutionary War. 

  • Area: 483 sq miles (1,251 km²)
  • Founded: December 31, 1822
  • Population: 37,917 (2011)
  • County seat: Greencastle

The History of Putnam County Indiana

Land that comprises Putnam County was purchased from Delaware, Potawatomi, Miami, and Eel River Indians through the treaties of 1809 and 1818. In 1820 the land was surveyed and put up for sale. As the population started to increase steps were taken to form a local government. In December of 1821, the General Assembly approved an act organizing Putnam County. Putnam County was named after the General Israel Putnam of the Revolution. Greencastle was chosen as the county seat, named after Ephraim Dukes, who was from Greencastle, Pennsylvania.

The first fair was held in 1837 and became an annual event. Early farmers had one of the first railroads in the state passing through the Putnam County in 1852. The first Newspaper was published in 1830 named “The Hoosier”. The “Putnam Republican Banner” was started in 1852, now known as the “Banner Graphic”. Indiana Asbury University, located in Greencastle, was chartered in 1837. It was established under the patronage of the Methodist Episcopal Church so that the church might share in the education of future generations. Indiana Asbury University was one of the first institutions in the West to grant equal privileges to females. It is now known as DePauw University.

Putnam County’s continued advancements in both agriculture and industry maintain a balance making this quote from Topographical Atlas and Gasetteer of Indiana, and Company Atlas and Gasetteer of Indiana both by George H. Adams in 1871 still true today: “…Perhaps, no body of land of equal extent in the State is superior to Putnam County, taking into consideration all its advantages of timber, soil, springs of water, quarries of limestone, running streams, and healthy situations.”

For a small but ambitious beginning in the dense forest, Putnam County has grown to its current population of over 30,000 and contains 500 square miles of land.

Source: Putnam County Indiana Government Official Website