Ripley's 'Believe it or not' called it "New York's Mt. Rushmore."
Another, less generous appraisal termed it "a monument to vanity." Some have called it one of the earliest Civil War monuments in the nation.
Zaddock Pratt (1790 – 1871) was an early settler of Greene County who worked hard and rose in his career from a tanner, to a banker, to a soldier, and then finally to the House of Representatives. He built the largest tannery in the world (at the time), founded the town of Prattsville, and is credited with proposing the transcontinental railroad during his second term in the House. He even established a bank, named for him, that printed its own currency. While the bank closed within a decade, Pratt’s legacy did not fade into history.
When he reached the pinnacle of his career, he commissioned stone workers to immortalize his life’s achievements on a nearby cliff. The result is a series of carvings in stone depicting the highlights of his life, such as his self-portrait and that of his son’s, a horse, an arm holding a sledgehammer, and his birth date.
Located off Route 23E on the outskirts of Prattsville, the Pratt Rock hiking trail is great for beginner hikers and cultural adventure fiends. At 3.1 miles round-trip, it’s short but the climb to the rocks is steep, and may be unfit for young children.
Wear sturdy shoes, practice safe hiking and make sure to visit the Zadock Pratt Museum to learn more about Prattsville’s founding father. Open every day, there is no admission.