The Danvers Historical Society was founded and created in 1889 by Reverend Alfred Porter Putnam D.D. After the conception of the Society he headed the board as president for many years.
Putnam was born and raised in Danvers, he worked with his father who was the president of Village Bank, but after three years he left Danvers to pursue his education. Entering Dartmouth for a year and then transferring to Brown University to finish the remainder of three years and obtaining his D.D., Putnam soon returned to Danvers to teach. He returned to his own education attending Harvard Divinity School, graduating in 1855. He left the States for an extensive tour of Europe, Upon returning to the states, he settled in Brooklyn NY at the First Unitarian Society, where he remained for twenty-two years. Putnam helped create the Third Unitarian Church of Brooklyn, he also headed many charitable enterprises within Brooklyn. He married twice first to Louisa P. Preston of Danvers and the second time to Eliza K. Buttrick of Concord MA. Mr. Putnam published hundreds of books and was an accomplished lecturer.
When his health began to fail, he retired from the church he loved, turning his focus to his next love, local history. His love for history, especially Danvers history is what brought him to return home to Danvers. He spent his last years within the confines of his ancestral home; he died in Salem May 15, 1906 survived by his wife Eliza.