Carvings on Pratt Rock

Pratt Rock

Things To See in Upstate New York

Learn more about the history that surrounds our Windham, NY lodging with a visit to Pratt Rock and the Zadock Pratt Museum. Pratt Rock, a one-of-a-kind attraction less than 20 minutes from Hotel Vienna, is where Civil War history meets the Catskill's expansive beauty.

As the story goes, this monument started when Zadock Pratt, who owned the world's largest tannery in 1825 and future congressman, was accosted for money by a panhandler. Always one to value work over charity, Pratt asked about the man's previous occupations instead. Hearing he had been a stonecutter, Pratt asked the man to carve elements of Pratt's own life into the face of a cliff on his estate.

The project continued for over 25 years with a bust of Pratt himself, a horse, miniature tannery, a scroll reading "Bureau of Statistics" (which Pratt helped found), and other symbols included in the tableau. A wreath and other tributes were added in honor of Pratt’s deceased son, George. This site that had begun as a slightly eccentric display came to take on the role of a memorial instead.

Today, the site is as popular as it ever has been, thanks in part to Ripley's Believe it or Not declaring it the Mount Rushmore of New York. While it is far too humble for a direct comparison, its merits make it well worth a stop. These include a path with a view of Schoharie Creek and the surrounding valley from atop the rock. As the way is narrow and steep, we recommend taking your time and a snack to enjoy at one of the benches along the way.