Cloverdale, Indiana is a beloved town that many are lucky enough to call home. However, many of us who live here know almost nothing about how our hometown originated. According to “IndianaHistory.org,” Cloverdale was founded in 1839; it got its name from all of the clover fields and lovely shady dales. At first, this town wasn’t even a town; it was a small village with a general store. It only started to grow once the railroad came along. The businesses around were things like, sawing lumber and grinding corn. Even though Cloverdale has grown greatly since the early 1800s, there are still only a little bit over 2,000 people living here. 

Putnam County was named after Isreal Putnam; he was a hero in the French and Indian War and then went on to become a general in the American Revolutionary War. He was known at the time, as “Old Put.” He was actually born in Salem Massachusetts, to Puritan parents in 1718. He then became a successful farmer in Connecticut right before the outbreak of the French and Indian War. 

One of the most obvious beauties of this town is the rural countryside. In our lovely county are many old covered bridges. Putnam County was the home to many covered bridges, of which only nine have been preserved as a snapshot of this county’s rich history. Most of these bridges were built between 1825 and 1875. The reason these bridges were covered was to protect them from the infamous Indiana weather. All the rain and snow would cause the wood to rot and decay faster. These bridges were almost always painted red. The often told folktale for the reason they were painted red was because the barns were also painted red, so horses would feel more comfortable going through the bridges because they reminded them of the red barns. 

In 1830, a one-story brick building was built as a school. It was often called the County Seminary, and its curriculum consisted of Readin’, Writin’, and Cipherin’. This school grew slowly but surely all the way through the 1800s. By 1850, Cloverdale, Russellville, and Bainbridge as well as Greencastle had schools in their communities. in 1855, 468 students attended the common schools and 92 attended the high school. Then, by 1910, each township had at least one high school. At that time, teachers were only paid 15 dollars a month, which is almost 500 dollars today. In 2000, Cloverdale High School was founded and only 40 people were employed there at the time. Today, Cloverdale High School has only 359 students and a teacher-to-student ratio of 15:1. 

Cloverdale has grown tremendously since the 1800s, but our traditions and overall attitude towards our hometown will always stay the same. Putnam County as a whole has become this wonderful and perfect place to grow up or move to if you want a change of scenery. Growing up here will always be one of the things that I am personally eternally grateful for.