Pittsfield in Berkshire County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
Home of Herman Melville
For thirteen years (1850-1863)
the home of
1819 — 1891
Mariner and Mystic
Author of Moby Dick (written in Pittsfield)
and other tales of the sea.
“Moby Dick is among the few very
notable literary achievements of
Raymond M. Weaver
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music • Churches & Religion • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the National Historic Landmarks series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1819.
Location. 42° 24.925′ N, 73° 14.913′ W. Marker is in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in Berkshire County. Marker is on Holmes Road, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 780 Holmes Road, Pittsfield MA 01201, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Pittsfield Veterans Memorial (approx. 1.8 miles away); Sergeant Edward J. Burns (approx. 1.8 miles away); Roman Walter Sadlowski Veteran of the Year (approx. 1.8 miles away); Sgt. Glenn R. Allison (approx. 1.8 miles away); Splitter (approx. 2.2 miles away); Peace Party House (approx. 2.3 miles away); Henry Shaw Briggs (approx. 2.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pittsfield.
Regarding Arrowhead. Herman Melville's home, Arrowhead, is now the home of the Berkshire Historical Society
In 1850, Herman Melville moved his family from New York to Pittsfield, seeking reprieve from city life and a quiet place in which to write. He purchased an 18th century farmhouse which he named Arrowhead and completed his most famous novel, Moby Dick. Here in Pittsfield he also penned great works such as Pierre, "The Confidence Man" and "The Piazza Tales." Melville lived, farmed and wrote at Arrowhead for thirteen years, developing many close literary friendships with other Berkshire authors including Nathaniel Hawthorne, Oliver Wendell Holmes, David Dudley Field and the Sedgwick family.
In 1850, Herman, Lizzie, and their baby son Malcolm spent the summer in Pittsfield at the Melvill farm. Herman was inspired by the
The impulsive Melville made the decision to follow Hawthorne’s example and move permanently to the Berkshires to find a quiet solitude in which to write. Melville thought of the beautiful view of Mount Greylock from the Melvill farm, and within a week had purchased the neighboring farm which commanded a similar view. He named the farm “Arrowhead” after the native relics he discovered as he was plowing the fields. The home would remain his for the next 13 years, and there he would write some of his finest works.
The house at Arrowhead had been built in 1780. A rambling old farm house, it became the home for Herman, Lizzie, Malcolm, and three more children, all born at Arrowhead: Stanwix, Bessie, and Fanny. Herman’s mother and sisters Augusta, Helen, and Fanny all moved to Arrowhead as well. Sister Kate
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. two other homes of Melville, in Albany and Troy, New York.
Also see . . . The Berkshire Historical Society at Herman Melville's Arrowhead. Society website homepage (Submitted on June 27, 2010, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.)
Credits. This page was last revised on July 30, 2022. It was originally submitted on June 27, 2010, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. This page has been viewed 1,158 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. submitted on June 27, 2010, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.