Zadock Pratt Museum - "Millennium History Feature of the Month" 

Throughout the year 2000, we highlighted interesting items from Prattsville history.  
This is Number 10 in our new feature series.   


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December 2000 Feature
Today's O'Hara House was the 18th century Laraway Coaching Inn

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 disappointment. 

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.

The John Laraway family were early settlers in the area.  A son, Martinus, kept an inn "shortly after the close of the revolution." 

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 Catskills.  

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The O'Hara house at the beginning of the 19th century

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The Larraway Inn's original bar was removed 
from Betty and Tom O'Hara's sitting room 
and you can see it in the upstairs library room 
of the Zadock Pratt Museum.  

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Museum director Andy Dresser showed it to me.
The porch at the O'Hara house ... a long time ago

The Laraway Inn 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.

After 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. 

He 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).

Tom 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.

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Part of the old 1835 map of Prattsville
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, is 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 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.

The O�Hara Gas station - 75 years old this year,
was featured earlier 
in this series of "2000 History Features".

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Updated on:
21 February, 2019

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