Putnam in the Pandemic Recording COVID-19 Stories

The Putnam County Historian’s Office is seeking the public’s help to chronicle the extraordinary conditions we have lived through during the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents are asked to think back on the past year when they may have experienced COVID-19 testing, quarantine, school closings, and shortages in the stores.  Can you tell a story about how the pandemic affected your job or business? Did you experience sicknesses or, under the most tragic circumstances, lose a loved one to COVID-19?  Everyone’s story is vitally important.

An online form has been created on the Historian’s website for contributions of personal stories, photographs, or images of artifacts that reflect the individual’s response to this crisis. Contributions will help document 2020-2021 and be considered for inclusion in the Historian’s Collection at the Putnam County Archives.

“Everyone has a story to tell about living through this pandemic,” says County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “The past year was so shocking, with unimaginable events unfolding almost minute-by-minute, that it’s already hard to remember some of the details of what our days were like. If we don’t write it down now, there’s a good chance we won’t remember at all, and that would be a tragedy. We need to remember this and learn from it.”

The online form can be found on the Historian’s website www.putnamcountyny.gov/countyhistorian.  For those unable to submit online, oral history recordings may be arranged by contacting the Historian’s Office.

“We have lived through an historically significant event and we want to hear from residents and business owners alike,” says Michael C. Bartolotti, Putnam County Clerk and Records Management Officer.  “Your personal stories, thoughts and feelings about how our lives were affected by the pandemic will provide first-hand accounts of what happened here in Putnam County and, as public historical materials, be made available for generations to come for research and study. This is a unique opportunity to be part of local history.”

For further information or questions, please call 845-808-1420 or email historian@putnamcountyny.gov