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Battle settled over control of Revolutionary-era Putnam Cottage

September 19, 2018

GREENWICH — A legal dispute over ownership and control of the Putnam Cottage has been settled.

An evidentiary hearing carried out by Superior Court Judge David Tobin concluded with an arrangement between the Israel Putnam House Association against the Putnam Hill Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

“It’s over,” said attorney Phil Russell, and a final written document now being assembled will complete the legal issue.

The Israel Putnam House Association filed a lawsuit this spring, contending that a merger vote was improperly handled. That vote had changed the leadership over the historic property, placing control of the site in the hands of the DAR.

The two affiliated organizations share membership and run the Putnam Cottage site through an arrangement worked out in the early 1900s. The DAR made claims that substandard accounting and business practices were a problem with the management of the historic site on East Putnam Avenue.

Attorney John Shaban, representing the DAR, said a mutual agreement was mostly in place at the end of the court proceedings.

“Both sides have decided to settle down, and re-tool,” he said, “They’ll reconstitute the management structure. We came up with a resolution, and now they’re going to work together.”

Some final issues are still being worked out, the lawyers said.

The property is used for school tours and other educational activities. The organization collects fees from local historic groups that pay to use the site.

The house was used by Revolutionary War Gen. Israel Putnam when he was commander of patriot forces in southern Connecticut. Putnam earned fame when he jumped on his horse and galloped to Stamford to get reinforcements to help fight British raiders in southern Connecticut in 1779.

rmarchant@greenwichtime.com

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