Sierra Nevada Place Names and the Putnam Family


You never know where your next hints to those family records will come from.Last week one of my “cousins” posted a link to an Obituary …read more  

That was last weeks blog and it got me pulling out all the old pictures I have from my grandparents Ira (Ike) and Etta (Gay) Putnam. Included in the photo above is a book that my sister Madeleine gave me back in 1997.


BY Peter Browning
If you were ever wondering how the mountain, meadows, or creeks in the Sierras got their name, this book on place names in the Sierra Nevada may just answer that question. Originally published in 1986 by Wilderness Press out of Berkeley, California. It is a source book that Madeleine found over 20 years ago. We originally were interested because so many of the names around Three Rivers were named for our ancestors and were in this book. Now I find I quite often use it to answer new questions.

Ike Putnam Logging near the Sequoia’s


Ira B. ‘Ike’ Putnam was born in Three Rivers, California in 1883 Prior to Ike’s marriage to Etta Jane Francis in 1907 he worked at Mill Creek falling timber. The photo to the right shows Ike working a steam donkey (steam powered winch invented in 1881).

Ira B. Punam at Quinn Ranger Station

Quinn Ranger Station

The sign on the door reads “Quinn Ranger Station”, once a horse camp then a ranger station named for Harry Quinn.



Whether it was hunting or fishing the mountains east of Visalia was where the Putnam Family went for relaxation. Three Rivers was the gateway to Sequoia’s and the Mineral King Wilderness area.


Ed Bryant and Ike Putnam shown in the photo were brothers. Uncle Ed was the oldest of Ida May Clough’s Children by C.E. Bryant. Ed was born 1872, his sister Allace born 1875 and Maude born 1877. Ida May married Joseph F. Putnam December 30 1880.
Both Joseph and Ida had been married previously. together they had three children (Ike, Lena, and Blanche)

Ready for the Rodeo
Lloyd, Dorothy, Eunice (Babe) and Ike Putnam


Lloyd Putnam, Dorothy (Dougherty), Gertrude Eunice (Babe), and Ike about 1937, probably headed out to the rodeo or maybe even the dance hall. Etta was probably taking the picture.

Blanche (second from left), Ike (second from right)


Franklin Pass Entrance Sequoia National Park

Such  a great shot of a group pack trip. If you know who the others are in this photo please comment below or if you can tell about when this photo was taken I would also love to know.