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Gertrude Chandler Warner: Teacher Turned Writer
Outside of Putnam, you might not have heard of Getrude Chandler Warner, but many kids across the country have read her beloved Boxcar Children adventure series books.
Though she never finished high school, Warner became a teacher during World War I and discovered her ability to connect with youngsters. She began writing children's books centered on an abandoned boxcar and a group of children who set up house in it, inspired by her own childhood adventures at the railroad tracks near her home.
As she worked on the stories, Warner read the drafts to her first-grade classes. There are 10 books in the classic series as well as several spin-off titles.
Warner died at age 89 in 1979. A small museum/bookstore set up in—what else?—a boxcar at the edge of town pays tribute to the Putnam native and lifelong resident. The museum is generally open on the weekends from 11 am to 3 pm early May through early October, but it's best to call ahead (860/963-6800).
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