The town of Carmel is on the south border of Putnam County. There are no incorporated villages in the town, although the hamlets of Carmel and Mahopac each have populations sizable enough to be thought of as villages.
The town was settled around 1740 by George Hughson. On the night of April 26, 1777, after learning the news that the British had begun burning nearby Danbury, Connecticut, sixteen-year-old Sybil Ludington rode her horse, Star, the entire night through the hamlets of Carmel, Mahopac, Kent Cliffs and Farmers Mills, warning those along the way that the British were coming before returning home at dawn. A statue memorializing the female Paul Revere sits alongside Lake Gleneida.
Carmel was established by splitting from the town of Frederickstown in 1795. Patterson also split from Frederickstown the same year, and the remnant of Frederickstown became known as Kent. Carmel was designated the county seat in 1812. In 1861, a small part of Carmel was taken to be added to the town of Putnam Valley.
Putnam County Courthouse
The Putnam County Courthouse was built in 1814. It is the second oldest working courthouse in New York State. A landmark on Gleneida Avenue in Carmel, the building has a classical front facade. There was one hanging in 1844; a jail was added in 1855. A new Putnam County Courthouse was completed in early 2008, located nearby on Gleneida Avenue.