Zadock Pratt Museum - "History Feature of the Month" 

In this section of the Pratt Museum website, we highlight interesting items from Prattsville's history

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Archive:       As the collection of regular features grows, it is becoming part of an archive of such historical notes on this site.

Sources:      Articles 11-14: research and feature writing are by Muriel Pons, Prattsville Town Historian, and former President of the Zadock Pratt Museum and other museum members.  You can contact her at:  Research for stories 1-10 was conducted by Sona Grigoryan, exchange student living with the Cernikovsky family, attending a high school in New York and spending weekends in Prattsville.  She interviewed old-time residents about memories, life experiences and private collections of Prattsville history in the 20th century.  (Sona is now back in Yerevan, Armenia - you can write to her at:

The Hardenbergh Manor House - a history and photos.  One of the oldest house in the Catskills, is just west of Prattsville.  For the July 2002 Zadock Pratt Museum History Progressive Dinner, it opened its doors for the first time since the 1987 Greene County Historical Society's Historical House Tour of Prattsville.

13.   World Trade Center - September 2001.  This is a special feature, No. 13 in our series, by David Cernikovsky, 17, a student at Stuyvesant High School in lower Manhattan.  David has also been a resident of Prattsville for 16 years on weekends and summers, and spent two summers as a tour guide at the Pratt Museum. 

12.   The Prattsville Fire Rim - February 2001.  Now located on Pratt Museum grounds, it stood in the center of the town and announced danger or celebration.  Its ear-splitting noise could be heard a mile away.

11.   The Old Manse - February 2001.  Built in 1845 for the Grace Church, with help from Zadock Pratt.  Later the "Lutz Villa", the Sayers Lutz house, and now, in 2001, converted again into a minister's residence, by the Reformed Dutch Church.

Old Laraway Coaching Inn   Tom and Betty O'Hara own the oldest house in town, the old Laraway coaching inn.  Tom and Betty talk about the history and share some old photos of their house.

9.     Ken Rappleyea grew up at Mosquito Point and recalls the school he went to.  He shares a very funny 1926 story about his two 17-year-old uncles' escapades that made it to the local newspapers ... 

8.     Prattsvile Ginkgo Tree, planted in the 1820's by Zadock Pratt is doing well and growing.  Read about this interesting tree on the Museum grounds.  

7.      The Jacob Myers and Isaac Searles Furniture factory of the 19th century.  Now, The Pratt Museum Summer dinner is held here, at Tomas & Barbara Cernikovsky's "Waterfalls House" !   Some of Isaac Searles' furniture is still in Prattsville.  One side business, casket-making, led early owners into undertaking, which ran under different owners till the mid-1980's.  

6.   Basil Becker's family operated a major Tourist Home on Main Street, Prattsville.  His family operated a major Tourist Home, one of many boarding houses in town.  He shares some memories of old Prattsville, his love of music, his old hobby of flying aeroplanes from the old Prattsville airfield, his old fiddle, and other stories.

5.  Snapshots in time.   Remembering the Town of Prattsville through postcards.  From the collection of Milton Ballard, owner of Shirley's Pizza on Main Street in Prattsville.  Story by Muriel Pons, Prattsville Town Historian.  Sona Grigoryan wrote down the stories about some of the postcards by Muriel, assisted by Perry Chatfield, Betty O'Hara and Theresa Schaefer.

4.       Tom O'Hara talks about early years in the gas station business.  The O'Hara Gas station that celebrates 75 years in business this year.  Tom recalls there were many gas stations in Prattsville, and very few (summertime) drivers as customers.  His dad's gas station boasted "New York's oldest elm tree" under which tourists could picnic.

3.       Perry Chatfield's family had a teahouse over Schoharie Creek - in the 1920's and 30's and a Tourist Home, one of many in Prattsville � this one by Pratt Rocks. Perry recalls Prattsville many years ago and shares some old photographs.

2.       Fran Lutz talks about how she lives in TWO HOUSES.  She also shows off the original 1835 map of Prattsville.   The original Prattsville houses, built for his workmen by Zadock Pratt, consisted of many neatly built houses.  They were built so well that some were, later, moved and joined to other houses to make Main Street residences.

1.       Addi Lee Quilt - Muriel Pons explains the story behind the 1840�s quilt given to Pratt Museum, originally made for Reverend Addi Lee by his parishioners.  The quilt has been the subject of well-attended lectures by Muriel Pons, former Pratt Museum President.  

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Updated on:
21 February, 2019

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