Colonel George W. Pratt
The 20-acre Pratt Rock Park is located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York. The park is perhaps best known for the stone carvings depicting the life of Zadock Pratt, a local 19th century tannery owner and founder of Prattsville. Carvings include a bust of Zadock Pratt, a bust of George Pratt (Zadock’s son), a horse, a hemlock tree, a scroll, the tannery, the Pratt family coat of arms, a wreath in honor of two of Pratt’s children and an arm raising a hammer.
In addition to the historic carvings Pratt Rock is also home to a wonderful overlook that offers views of the beautiful Schoharie Valley. The scene includes the Schoharie Creek, local farms, public playing fields and distant mountains. The overlook is easily accessible with an estimated 1.5-mile roundtrip hike along an unmarked but easily followed trail.
Pratt Rock Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, being considered “historically significant for its association with Zadock Pratt, founder and benefactor of the hamlet of Prattsville, industrialist, statesman, inventor, banker, and philanthropist.” The park is open to the public year-round. There is no admission fee.
The sculpture seen in this photograph depicts Colonel George W. Pratt, son of Zadock Pratt. George Watson Pratt (1830-1862) was born in 1830 at Prattsville. Pratt was first educated at Prattsville, but completed his education in Germany, where he received a degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Upon graduation he traveled extensively in Egypt, Israel, Turkey and Russia. He returned to the United States in 1855, when he married Anna Tibbits and worked as a leather manufacturer in Kingston, New York. Pratt was elected to the New York State Senate in 1858 and 1859. Pratt served as Colonel of the 20th New York State Militia, also known as the Ulster Guard, during the Civil War. At the second battle of Manassas in Virginia on August 30, 1862 he was shot in the left shoulder and the spine. He died nearly two weeks later at the age of 32 on September 11, 1862 at Albany, New York. He is buried at Albany Rural Cemetery.
The carvings dedicated to George W. Pratt at Pratt Rock were one of the earliest Civil War monuments. The inscription reads:
Hon G. W. Pratt, Ph.D
Col XX Regt., N.Y.S.M., Ulster Co., Born Apr. 18, 1830
Wounded Aug. 30, In the 2nd Battle of
Manassas, Va. Died at Albany, N.Y. Sep. 11th.
Good Brave Honorable 1862.