The first settler in Livingston County was Colonel Solomon Peterson of New York State who obtained land from the government on May 13, 1828. His 160 acres were in section 26 of Putman Township (the name was later changed to Putnam) near the intersection of two Indian trails.
The population of the Township grew slowly at first, increasing by only a handful of families during the next dozen of years. By 1836, the slow trickle of settler had turned into a steady stream and in May of that year, the Township had 367 inhabitants. It was about that time when William Kirkland, principal of a girl’s school in Detroit, was caught up in the land speculation fever.
William Kirkland dreamed of starting a new town in the wilds of Michigan to serve the needs of the ever-increasing population. Such dreams were not uncommon during this time. The price of land was relatively cheap and prospects for considerable profits were good if the land was improved and resold. Kirkland journeyed to Putnam and purchased land from Colonel Peterson and others, for starting a new village.
The library sponsors a great link into Pinckney History. Check it out!