Eleven years after a flood caused by Hurricane Irene devastated homes, businesses, and infrastructure across the town of Prattsville, NY, stable businesses have rebuilt better, and new businesses abound. With a post-pandemic influx of new residents and second homeowners relocating to this Catskill Mountain community that serves as a rural retail hub for the surrounding area.
Prattsville sits in the northwest corner of Greene County in a high valley along the Schoharie Creek. The area was first settled in 1763 when the region was known as ‘Schoharie Kill’. On August 28th, 2011, that old name became hauntingly ironic as the usually gently flowing Schoharie raged through Prattsville’s Main Street resulting in ‘a total loss’ as described by its then town supervisor.
At the time, it seemed that Government assistance couldn’t come fast enough as local authorities focused on cleanup and restoration of services for their respective constants. Prattsville was particularly critical as it served as a supply destination for rural residents in nearby smaller communities in Greene, Delaware and Schoharie Counties. As it became apparent that recovery funding would be coming in, local business owners and government officials worked together to get the most ‘bang for the buck’ and embarked on building back better than the town was before the storm.
Once the roads were fixed, power and water restored, and the bridge spanning the creek on NY 23 was replaced, Prattsville was ready to get back to business. The pre-flood destination for farm and building supplies – Young’s Ace Hardware, saw an immediate bump in sales as folks rebuilt. This positioned them to continuously expand over the next 8 years, offering not only everything you need for your house and garden, but full lines of sporting equipment and gifts with local flavor.
At the other end of the street, Jim’s Great American Supermarket also provided much needed supplies as everyone rebuilt. This place has a distinctly local feel, and has evolved to carry a wide range of ‘consumables’ on top of the great local meats and produce they were always know for. Today you can find an awesome selection of craft beverages, a top-notch deli, and local baked goods – all at prices the locals can afford.
Prattsville has always been a destination for those living in the surrounding area, but part of building back better was to leverage the visitors traveling to the now year-round draws of Hunter and Windham, and get them to take a scenic drive along the Schoharie Creek on NY 23A or the Batavia Kill on NY 23 to explore, shop and play.
The expansion of the Great American Plaza enabled it to house WTS & Company, a local producer of artisan soaps and crafts, as well as Catskill Mountain Wine & Liquor, G-JimMieS Ice Cream, and even a Laundry and Insurance Agency. This is also a great place to leave your car for a walk across the street to the park Gazebo, or a stroll down to other shops and cultural attractions.
Prattsville was named after Zadock Pratt, a US congressman and prominent citizen. Back in the 19th century, Pratt built a tannery larger than any other in the world at the time, helping Prattsville become a major town in upstate New York. His life is depicted through as series of stone carvings called Pratt Rock which he commissioned during his lifetime. Pratt Rock is a great picnic destination with a substantial climb up to the stone carvings, and The Pratt Museum preserves and promotes the history and culture of town from the 18th century to today.
Town and County officials have worked diligently to procure State and Federal funding, not only for restoration but for new infrastructure projects including: The Mews at Prattsville – a $21-Million multigenerational housing development features 45 apartments for seniors 55+ and working families with modest incomes set in a 12.4-acre campus; A newly constructed Firehouse and Emergency Response Center, and; Access to High-Speed Broadband connectivity.
If you haven’t been to Prattsville lately, you haven’t been to Prattsville.
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