Captain Abijah Putnam was an early settler in Jefferson County. In 1801, he came from Rome New York and settled on land around the Millens Bay area that would be known as Port Putnam. Because this was on the bank of the St. Lawrence river and straight across from Wolfe Island, Canada he soon started a ferry service to that island. This settlement would later be renamed Cape Vincent, and Putnam is regarded as that village's first settler. Putnam commanded several regiments stationed on the shores of Lake Ontario.