Murder & Mayhem in Prattsville

Christine Lucretia “Critije” Martin was born in Kinderhook, Columbia County in 1772. At some point, she came to Prattsville, married Peter Lewis (she may have met and married him before coming to Prattsville – still researching.)

On Oct. 9, 1846, Peter Lewis died at the age of 89-90, leaving Critije a widow. Critije was a well-known businesswoman who owned and operated a little cake and ale shop at the west end of town. In 1847, a year after her husband’s death, Critije met her own unfortunate demise at the hands of John Kelly, a sometime employee at the Bushnell tannery in Lexington, NY.

You can read all about this 19th century story of crime and punishment in former Pratt Museum curator Patricia Millen’s article, “At the Hour of Midnight, The Murder of Lucretia Martin Lewis” in the Spring 2022 issue of Catskill Tri-County Historical Views, available locally at Brier & Brambles Bookstore (Windham), Mountain Top Historical Society (Haines Falls), Zadock Pratt Museum (Prattsville), and Roxbury General (Roxbury). Historical Views is available in 24 locations in three counties. Just ask and we’ll let you know if there’s a location near you.

Carolyn Bennett

Prattsville Town Historian

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