Pioneer Days Historical Photo - Putnam Sentnel
This photo - owned by Brenda (Clymer) Davis - shows Kalida Pioneer Day in 1896. (Photo submitted)

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KALIDA – A four-day celebration will be held in Kalida beginning this Thursday, Sept. 7. It will be the 145th year the county has observed a Pioneer celebration.

As you walk the streets of Kalida enjoying food, vintage cars, crafts, bands, and exciting entertainment, you can almost feel the presence of Putnam County pioneers as they first celebrated a society formed to “perpetuate the early history of our county.”

The Putnam County Pioneer Association was organized Sept. 6, 1873, in Kalida. Initially the meeting was set to meet annually on the first Saturday in September in Kalida. Then in 1962, the annual meeting date was changed to the first Saturday after Labor Day. This is the reason people always explain that the Pioneer Celebration is always set for the weekend after Labor Day.

The annual event was more than just a meeting of the Pioneer Association. It was a well-attended all-day affair that included speeches and a bountiful picnic according to “Putnam County Pioneer Association Centennial History.” For many years, a speaker would deliver a eulogy for deceased members of the Pioneer Association.

Attending these early celebrations often meant getting up...

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