Just about everyone has heard of Herman Melville’s classic “Moby Dick” but how many realize that the house where he wrote most of this famous book is right here in the Berkshires? Arrowhead the Herman Melville House Museum is just minutes away from our Lenox B&B in Pittsfield, MA.
Herman Melville lived at Arrowhead with his family from 1850 to 1863. It was a very productive time for him as an author. He worked on some of his most famous stories while here. Titles from that period include “Pierre or The Ambiguities,” “Bartleby the Scrivever,” “The Confidence-Man,” and, of course, “Moby-Dick.”
Arrowhead and the surrounding Berkshires appear in a number of Melville’s stories. Some even say that Mount Greylock was partial inspiration for his legendary white whale, Moby Dick.
“The Piazza” and “I and My Chimney,” offer very clear descriptions of Arrowhead and include details that can be seen at the museum to this day. “I and My Chimney” is one of the most accurate descriptions that exists of Arrowhead during Melville’s time. There’s even an inscription from the story’s text on the Arrowhead chimney, added by the author’s brother, Allan Melville. Another example, “The Piazza,” refers to a porch Melville added to the house.
Herman Melville published 11 novels, 17 short stories, and a great many poems during his lifetime. Much of his best work was accomplished during his 13 years at Arrowhead. Despite this, the author had trouble making ends meet here and eventually Moved to New York, selling Arrowhead to his brother.
Arrowhead stayed in the Melville family until 1927. The farm saw a variety of owners until 1975, when it was purchased for restoration by the Berkshire County Historical Society. The Herman Melville House Museum presents Arrowhead much as it was during the time Melville lived and farmed here.
The Herman Melville House Museum is a National Historic Landmark offering both guided and self-guided and tours of the home and grounds. Visitors will not only learn more about the fascinating and troubled author, they’ll also see his handiwork about the farm.
Who knows? You might even catch some of the inspiration that caused Melville to write his most famous and successful works here!
Arrowhead the Herman Melville House Museum
780 Holmes Road, Pittsfield, MA
Arrowhead is open daily for house tours, May through October. The grounds and nature trail are open year round, daylight hours.
Hour-long, guided tours are offered once a day at 11am. Self-guided tours are available all day, 10am to 5pm.
Parking and admission to the property are free.
Visit berkshirehistory.org for Arrowhead hours, current exhibits, and more.
Herman Melville House Lodging
The Berkshires present an endless array of attractions and our Berkshires B&B is ideally located in the heart of it all. Brook Farm Inn offers 15 tastefully decorated guest rooms, a massage studio, heated outdoor pool, and locally sourced, gourmet, buffet breakfasts. Let us help you to make the most of your Berkshires getaway. Book your accommodations at Brook Farm Inn today!