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

Throughout the year 2000, we highlight interesting items from Prattsville history.  
This is Number 2 in our new feature series.


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Fran Lutz's house on Main Street
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 Prattsville. 

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.

Fran 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.

The 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. 

Before 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.

The 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.  
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Original 1835 map of Prattsville.  Please click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge map view

Most of Zadock Pratt's original town houses are shown on the 1835 map
Click to enlarge map view

One 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 Prattsville. So that way, he ensured the map stayed in this town, Fran Lutz said. 

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.  

Lutz furniture ...

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 antiques.
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 (left).

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Lutz bedrooms

1835 map of Prattsville, showing the covered bridge over Schoharie Creek

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.

Thanks for such an interesting story, Fran !

Fran Lutz and Sona Grigoryan in Prattsville, March 2000

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.

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Updated on:
21 February, 2019

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