Perry Chatfield's family ran a teahouse over
the Schoharie Creek
... and a tourist home, one of many in Prattsville
... Mr Chatfield remembers a lot about Prattsville in the 20th century
town of Prattsville, charming with its beautiful nature and relaxing
with its cool weather, was a perfect spot in summer for all the city
people who were tired from the city life. Back in 1900s Prattsville
was always full with visitors every summer. Nearly every house in the
town offered bed and breakfast. One of those was the house where
little Perry Chatfield lived with his family.
The house was not the only thing that Chatfield family offered to the
visitors. Perry�s dad built a teahouse in 1920�s, right in front
of their house. The teahouse was open only in summers, from Memorial
Day to Labor Day. It was a very nice caf� where they served drinks,
ice cream and sandwiches. It also had a beautiful view of Schoharie
did very well and is well remembered by Muriel
Pons, who was one of their visitors when she was a child. Unfortunately
they had to knock the teahouse down, because of the spring flood, as
it was so high that practically spoiled it.
Perry Chatfield, in 1921,
with Elijah V.Richmond, Ada Speenburgh, Bertha Richmond, Arthur Speenburgh, Vernon
Chatfield and Edith Chatfield
Chatfield, who kindly agreed to tell us this story, still lives in
Prattsville, in one of the oldest houses in the town that was built in
He was born 1917
in Prattsville. He went to the Prattsville school, of which he
kindly lent us an old photo, which I used in a couple of other stories
... please follow this link to see the old school, now the Prattsville
Chatfield�s life was full of changes and difficulties. He changed lots
of jobs to make his living.
Mr. Chatfield worked in one of the two old creameries that were in
Prattsville. But he had to quit after he got seriously injured in his
hand. He had an operation, which left a scar as a terrible memory of it.
After that he was a truck driver. By that time he was still living with
Perry got married in 1939,
moved to another house in Prattsville. As the job of driver
didn�t make much money, he had to start working on the
structure of the road leading to Ashland.
Chatfield had a beautiful wife and three lovely children. Two of
children live and work in Prattsville.
Perry�s life didn�t settle down even there. He managed a
store in Ashland, worked as a security guard in Gilboa, and then in
Ski Windham, he was also in World War II for three years. But
the longest job was in Victory Market, on Main Street in
Prattsville (nowadays in its building is the Liquor Store) where
he worked for 32 years.
Chatfield Tourist Home,
one of many boarding houses in Prattsville that prospered in the
1920's and 30's. Some operated into the 1950's.
now lives in the original house that served as a "Tourist
home" way back then.
I guess having a rough life was not a strange thing back then. But
it�s thanks to those people that now we can have more comfortable
I enjoyed meeting Perry at his comfortable home and learning another
bit of Prattsville history.
Please join us next month for another Prattsville 2000 History Feature
of the Month.
Go to the Top
Perry Chatfield in his WW II uniform.
for sharing an interesting story
with our website visitors, Perry !
Our teenage website correspondent, Sona Grigoryan, 16,
a 1999-2000 exchange with the Cernikovsky family. Sona, from
Yerevan, Armenia, attends high school and lives in New York City and
Prattsville. Here she is interviewing Parry Chatfield at his home, in March 2000.
Sona is writing a series of
articles based on interviews with old-time residents, to capture
glimpses of life in Prattsville in the 20th century.