Sona Grigoryan, 16, exchange student staying in 2000
with the Cernikovsky
family in New York City
and Prattsville, is writing a series of
articles based on interviews with old-time residents, to capture
glimpses of life in Prattsville in the 20th century.
March 2000 Feature
Fran Lutz lives in TWO houses,
like a few other people in town
... find out why
... she also has the original 1835 map of
Being a teenager,
an ideal house for me would be a house with bright colors and
modern furniture. But after visiting and talking with 82 year old Fran
Lutz on Main Street, I
realized that a house does not have to be modern in order to become
the best place for you to live.
Lutz�s house is not only very pretty and homey and very bright on
sunlit days, but it also has a very long history. It�s one of very
few oldest houses in Prattsville.
house was built in 1820�s by Col. Pratt's workers. The front of this
house had two living rooms. These were originally four square rooms.
Some of the original beams are still visible.
1833 another house was moved from near the river and connected to
the back of the original building.
In this newly (1830's) attached house are the present dining room and the kitchen.
It was a
�story and a half�, which was changed upstairs into bedrooms in 1968 by raising
the roof. It was probably the only major change that
the Lutz family did, in order to live in there.
When this work was being done, the area where the two houses are
joined was exposed, Fran Lutz said.
She said that Pratt�s workers did a good job putting the
houses together at the bottom, but at the top, the beams from the two
separate houses are some way apart.
The workers in the 1830�s must have thought this was a "good
enough� job and covered up the gap by plaster.
fact that another building was moved to join to this one was given to
us by an elderly man, named Jordan, in 1950. According to him two other
houses nearby were treated the same.
This is not the only interesting thing about Fran Lutz�s house.
Every item there has its own history.
Go to the Top
Click to enlarge map view
Click to enlarge map view
of the most interesting things there was a very old, 1835 map of
Prattsville, made by the order of Zadock Pratt. The map was given to
Fran�s husband Claude by George Sachs in 1950�s.
George Sachs was a manager of a country store, the building of which
is now occupied by a woodworking factory. George inherited the map
from his parents. By the way Sachs were one of the first families who
came to Prattsville. George did not have any
children, so he gave the map to Claude, because
of his fear that relatives wouldn't care enough to keep it in
that way, he ensured the map stayed in this town, Fran Lutz
By that time the map was in a very bad condition, hardly anything was
seen. The Lutz family was afraid of spoiling it while being repaired.
They decided to restore it only in 1980. It took a year and a half and
cost them $60 ... only the materials, not the painstaking labor:
it was restored by students in Cooperstown, who did a great job on it.
Fran Lutz told me she intends for the unique map, showing the
original Prattsville houses, to stay in town, eventually going to the
Zadock Pratt Museum.
||But even the map
is not the only antique in Fran's wonderful house.
Her furniture, that came from her and her husband's great
grandfathers, are not only very pretty but also valuable
One of the beds was made by Claude's great grandfather in early
1800s in Schoharie County (right).
The other bed was handmade
also. It belonged to Fran's great grandfather in Chenango County
Go to the Top
Click to enlarge map view.
This will be another story, about the Larraway
Inn, now the O'Hara
house, with sign, to the right of the covered bridge.
for such an interesting story, Fran !
Our teenage website correspondent, Sona Grigoryan,
a 1999-2000 exchange student from Yerevan, Armenia,
attends high school and lives in New York City and Prattsville.
Here she is interviewing Fran Lutz at her home, in March 2000.