Blackhawk Putnam Tavern, 1813 - Houlton, Aroostook County

The Blackhawk Putnam Tavern, a two-story house in the Federal style, overlooks the town of Houlton at the intersection of US Route 1 and US Route 2. Purportedly the oldest wood frame building in Aroostook County, it also features Greek Revival-style elements such as pilasters and an entablature. It's distinctive portico, or porch, was added in the early twentieth century. It was built in 1813 for Aaron Putnam by master carpenter Amos Wormwood of Alfred. Located near the Military Road (Route 2), which was completed in 1828, the house also operated as a tavern. Beginning in 1836, the house was used as the Washington County Courthouse, before Houlton became the shire town of Aroostook County in 1839. John Varnum Putnam served as a sheriff for many years. John named his sons Osceola and Blackhawk after Native American chiefs. Blackhawk, by all accounts, was a charismatic man who commanded Co. E of the 1st Maine Cavalry. During the Civil War, he was wounded at Middletown, West Virginia, and captured. He eventual escaped into the mountains and to Union lines. He later became a successful trader and farmer.

Year Listed: 1975

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