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County Puts Inmates to Work Restoring Historic Markers

Last month, numerous historic markers throughout Putnam County were reinstalled after having been restored by individuals involved with the Community Work Program out of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office’s corrections division.

The marker restoration project, led by Corrections Officer Matt Amato and County Historian Jennifer Cassidy, is an ongoing project that seeks to restore curb appeal to Putnam and provide incarcerated individuals with a sense of purpose in contributing to the beautification of the county.

“The restoration of these historic markers is a significant contribution to preserving our county’s rich history,” said Cassidy. “I can’t thank CO Amato and his team enough for their participation in helping to educate the public. I’m grateful for their dedication and for the community’s generous donations to help subsize the projects.”

The Community Work Program’s marker restoration initiative was originally overseen by Corrections Officer James Seem, but was abandoned in 2014 following his passing. Years later, during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Amato approached the Putnam County Historian’s Office with the proposal to resurrect the project.

“The commitment and dedication by CO Amato and all the officers that continue to assist in the work being done by our Community Work Program should be lauded,” said Sheriff Kevin McConville. “This is exactly the kind of work our corrections division should be engaging in when given the opportunity. Excellent job done by all those individuals involved, and I look forward to seeing more markers go up in the future.”

“I commend Sheriff McConville and his team, our county historian, and all those involved in the Community Work Program for their hard work to restore these tangible representations of our county’s incredible history,” said County Executive Kevin Byrne. “The markers are a great point of pride for Putnam County that not only educate residents, but also promote heritage tourism.”

Putnam is home to more than 200 historic markers and memorials. The first historic markers were created and dedicated in the 1930s by the New York State Department of Education. Since 2020, more than 30 of them have been removed, sandblasted, painted and replaced.

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