Today's O'Hara House was the 18th century Laraway
Have you ever wanted to
live in a house with a long and interesting history, to wonder what
they did in what it is your today's dining room? Where they had their
own dining room?
I felt the first
disappointment in my life when, after deciding to do a research about
the history of my house I found out that it is just as young as I am.
Well, I am sure Betty and Tom O'Hara have never felt that
The house that Mr. and
Mrs. O'Hara live in has a history of 216 years. It was built in 1784
by Mr. Laraway. It was actually a stagecoach inn, which is an
inn that offered space for peoples� horses and wagons. Back then
there were no cars and the only means of transportation were horses.
John Laraway family were early settlers in the area. A son,
Martinus, kept an inn "shortly after the close of the
Laraway Inn and tavern,
named after Mr. Martinus Laraway, the builder of the
house, was very comfortable place to stay overnight for people who
were traveling between Oneonta and Catskills, as it is 30 miles away
from both Oneonta and Catskills.
Well, I guess now people do not need
inns like that as you can make it only in an hour or two from Oneonta to
The O'Hara house at the beginning of the
The Larraway Inn's original bar was
from Betty and Tom O'Hara's sitting room
and you can see it in the upstairs library room
of the Zadock Pratt Museum.
Museum director Andy Dresser showed it to me.
had fourteen bedrooms; and it cost only twenty-five cents for a night.
It�s ironic that Betty O�Hara�s great grandmother stayed there
once, she probably couldn�t even imagine that her granddaughter was
going to spend her life there.
The O'Hara house is also significant because of the fact that
the first town board meeting of Prattsville was held there. It
was supervised by Mr. Martinus Laraway, and Zadock Pratt was
present there himself.
being an inn, the house was not occupied for about half a
century. Then it was sold to Charles Fowler, who lived there
with his family till 1915. And that�s the year that Tom
O�Hara�s Grandfather � Tomas James O�Hara - bought it.
lived there for a while, and in the 1920's started operating a gas station right
in front of the house (see the May
2000 History Feature).
O�Hara himself moved to Prattsville from Ohio in 1931, when he
was 3 years old, and lives there till now. The house was
placed on the Greene County Register in 1996.
Go to the Top
Laraway Inn, with a sign,
near the covered bridge.
Click on the inn to see a detailed version
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
Here she is interviewing Tom and Betty O'Hara at their home in Prattsville.
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.
Gas station - 75
years old this year,
was featured earlier
in this series of "2000