Carrie Pratt

by Laurel | October 23rd, 2014


Carrie Pratt's House of Pleasure

Carrie Pratt’s House of Pleasure

In August 2014, I posted an article about a police raid at the “pond houses” — Carrie Pratt and Prudie Williams “houses of ill fame.” It made me wonder about the exact location of these houses, cited in the article as being “near Ashley Pond.”

Looking through L. J. Richard’s of Springfield, MA, 1894 maps of Holyoke in their Topographical Atlas, I was surprised to find the location of Carrie Pratt’s house clearly marked on the map below. It is pretty much dead center of the map at the intersection of what is labeled Rock Valley Road and West St. If you follow Rock Valley Road toward the bottom of the map there is also a house labeled “J. Williams” and this may (or may not, have yet to  verify) be the Prudie Williams location. You may wish to click through on the map to see a larger version.

Location of Carrie Pratt's House

Location of Carrie Pratt’s House

According to her tombstone, Carrie Pratt was born in 1861, so at this time she was only about 33 years old. On her marriage record to Joseph Lapointe in 1900,  Pratt reports her age as 35 — which would make her birth year about 1865 — perhaps making a difference in this situation as Joseph Lapointe’s age is recorded as 25. The marriage record has her as Caroline Pratt,  born in Boston to unknown parents, so to think of that era and the difficulties of an orphan carving out a life — despite the “career” it is a bit amazing to see she owned a house. Carrie’s marriage was a short one, Joseph died in 1904.

More research when the off-season arrives here.

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