Last week, happening to be over in Harmar, we took a look at the Putnam House. We thought that, when built, it must have been a pretty commodious tavern for a village such as Harmar was, twenty-five years ago. On inquiry, we learned that it was erected in 1838, by a man named Brooks; that it was opened early in 1840 with a grand ball; and that it was then so out of proportion to the travel and business of this part of the country, that it presently went by the popular name of "Brooks' Folly."
Brooks was, in those times, a prominent merchant. He took sundry contracts for building locks on the Muskingum improvement, lost heavily, got embarrassed, went to Texas, and came to his death by a fall from his horse. When his Ohio business was settled up, his affairs were found in a perfectly solvent condition.
For years after his death, the big tavern he built met with indifferent success. The M. & C. Railroad once leased the house for three years - kept it open one year, and closed for the balance of the time. Afterward, Dr. Seth Hart bought it. He kept tavern for awhile, and last winter sold it to J. A. Freeborn. Under his management, the Putnam House is getting to be pretty well known by the travelling public,and what is better, it is of "that good fame, without which glory's but an idle song."
|The Marietta Times, September 28, 1865|
Since Mr. Freeborn took possession in January last, he has been fixing up the property in diverse ways, and he intends to carry forward his improvements until the Putnam House shall be one of the best hotels of its class in all the West. We noticed that his register showed a very fair list of travelers from day to day. Mr. Freeborn tries to deserve success, and we are sure he will get it. We want just such men in all branches of business.