A man visits the standing stone marker in 1939
PHOTO: TN State Library and Archives
County Seat: Cookeville

There are markers and monuments all over Tennessee. In most cases we know who built them and why. However, in Putnam County, there used to be a marker known as the standing stone. In 1788, settlers described it as being twelve-feet-tall, and said it looked like a big gray dog sitting on its hind feet. It was built by Native Americans (probably the Cherokee), but no one was  exactly sure why.

Unfortunately, the standing stone monolith was destroyed by the builders of the Nashville & Knoxville Railroad in 1895. Today a small piece of it is preserved and on display in Monterey, a community once known as Standing Stone.

A tombstone in Glade Creek
Speaking of monuments to Putnam County's distant past: on the southeast corner of the county is a small community called Glade Creek. Not many people live there now. However, there was a time when a lot of miners lived there. Many of them were brought in from Czechoslovakia by the Bon Air Coal Coal & Iron company.

Today there is a cemetery in Glade Creek that even has tombstones there with words written in Czech on them.

The "Big Falls" at Burgess Falls
Also in Putnam County: Burgess Falls is a great place to hike and relax. But back in the 1920s the city of Cookville built a hydroelectric dam there to generate electricity.

The power plant was shut down in 1944 and the dam hasn't produced electricity since. Click
here for our virtual tour of Burgess Falls.

As you can see, the Putnam County Courthouse says "In God We Trust" on it.