Known by its residents as the “Town of Lakes,” Putnam Valley is a pleasantly scenic wooded town, separated from the commercial atmosphere of many of the surrounding suburbs.
Situated in southwestern Putnam County, the entirety of Putnam Valley encompasses an area of 43 square miles, with a population of about 12,000. Winding local roads, such as Peekskill Hollow Road, provide transportation throughout the town itself, while Putnam Valley is also a short distance from such major roadways as Route 6 and Route 202. For commuter service to New York City, or elsewhere in the state, Putnam Valley is also located near several train stations, such as those in Peekskill or Garrison.
The area that would become Putnam Valley first belonged to the Canopus group of the Nochpeem band of the Wappinger Indian Confederacy. In 1683 and 1697, tracts of land were obtained by the Van Cortlandt family and Adolphe Philipse. In the late 18th century, some of this land, owned by Colonel Beverly and Susannah Philipse Robinson, was confiscated by the state of New York due to the owners' support of the British during the American Revolution and was sold to the area's tenant farmers in 1781.
This land would eventually split from Dutchess County in 1812, and the independent town of Quincy – originally part of the larger town of Philipstown – was incorporated in in 1839. Quincy's name was changed in 1840 to Putnam Valley, supposedly due to the mostly Democratic residents' skepticism of John Quincy Adams' political views.
COFFEE & COMMERCE
As a mainly residential town, commercial options within Putnam Valley itself are somewhat limited. The Oregon Corners shopping center includes several businesses, including a grocery store, bank, law and medical offices, among others.
Otherwise, several major shopping areas can be found within a very short drive, in Putnam Valley's neighboring communities. The Cortlandt Town Center, located in the bordering hamlet of Cortlandt Manor, provides varied options for shopping and eating, and any shopping needs not met by the Cortlandt Town Center can be satisfied by the nearby Jefferson Valley Mall.
Within its 43 square miles of woodland and lakes, Putnam Valley offers many options for recreational activities, particularly with regard to nature-related activities. The renowned Clarence Fahnestock State Park, encompassing a 5,500-acre area, provides miles of hiking and riding trails, in addition to opportunities for fishing, boating, and cross-country skiing. Other parks in the town include the California Hill State Forest, the Agatha A. Durland Scout Reservation, and the Taconic Outdoor Education Center.
In addition to these recreational activities, the town hosts many events throughout the year. These include a concert series during the summer and holiday parties for Putnam Valley children. The largest event sponsored by the town is Putnam Valley Town Day, typically held at the end of summer. Town Day attracts several thousand people from Putnam Valley and neighboring towns, and includes rides, a petting zoo, craft vendors, food booths, a vintage automobile parade, and a fireworks display.
Putnam Valley is serviced by the Putnam Valley Central School District, which consists of one elementary school, one middle school, and one high school.
Additional information for the town of Putnam Valley, including public safety, government, and resources, can be found on their website.