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 represents Zadock Pratt (1790-1871), the namesake of Prattsville and Pratt Rock Park, and a man of many talents. The son of a tanner who had moved to Greene County in 1802, Pratt began his career as a humble saddler and harness maker but went on to found one of the largest and most prosperous leather tanneries in the world in the Catskills, thereby founding the hamlet of Prattsville. In 1814 Pratt enlisted in the US Army and served during the war of 1812 as a cavalry sergeant under Captain Stone. Pratt also served in the New York State Militia for many years, eventually rising to Captain in the 5th Regiment of New York state artillery and was then promoted to the rank of Colonel, leading the 116th Infantry Regiment. Pratt held “numerous local, state and national elected offices, including Justice of the Peace (Town of Windham, 1824), member of the New York State Senate (1830), and Presidential Elector (1836 and 1852).” In 1843 he founded the Prattsville Bank, which operated until 1852, and in 1848 he received an honorary degree from Union College. Being well regarded in the community Zadock was elected twice to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, first in 1836 and then again in 1842. Pratt died at 80 years of age in 1871 and is buried at the Benham Cemetery in Prattsville.