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Pittsfield in Berkshire County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
 

Arrowhead

Home of Herman Melville

 
 
Arrowhead Home of Herman Melville Marker - Pittsfield, MA image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, November 18, 2008
1. Arrowhead Home of Herman Melville Marker - Pittsfield, MA
Inscription.
Arrowhead
For thirteen years (1850-1863)
the home of
Herman Melville
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
American literature”
† † † † † † Raymond M. Weaver
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the National Historic Landmarks marker series.
 
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.
 
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 (approx. 1.8 miles away); Veteran of the Year (approx. 1.8 miles away); Sgt. Glenn R. Allison (approx. 1.8 miles away); Splitter
Home of Herman Melville Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, November 18, 2008
2. Home of Herman Melville Marker
Melville's home, Arrowhead, is in the background.
(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 beauty of the region, particularly the view of Mount Greylock, highest point in Massachusetts, from the farm house window. He was working on a story about the whale fisheries as well as writing some
Arrowhead Home of Herman Melville Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, May 17, 2008
3. Arrowhead Home of Herman Melville Marker
The marker is beside the road, partially obscured by the vigorously growing planting.
literary reviews for a friendís magazine when he was invited to go on a picnic to Monument Mountain, just south of Pittsfield. Also invited on the excursion were two other literary notables: Oliver Wendell Holmes and Nathaniel Hawthorne, both Berkshire residents. Melville and Hawthorne met for the first time and struck up an instantaneous close friendship.

The impulsive Melville made the decision to follow Hawthorneís 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. Hermanís mother and sisters Augusta, Helen, and Fanny all moved to Arrowhead as well. Sister Kate and numerous other friends and relations would make their home there as well at various times. It was a busy, chaotic household.
 
Related markers. Click here
Arrowhead Home of Herman Melville image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, May 17, 2008
4. Arrowhead Home of Herman Melville
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. (Submitted on June 27, 2010, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.)
 
Categories. HeroesNotable BuildingsNotable Persons
 
Arrowhead Home of Herman Melville image. Click for full size.
Historic American Building Survey
5. Arrowhead Home of Herman Melville
Melvile's Home, Arrowhead, has been documented in the Historic American Builing Survey. The marker is in this photo.
Arrowhead Home of Herman Melville image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, May 17, 2008
6. Arrowhead Home of Herman Melville
Herman Melville's Arrowhead image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, May 17, 2008
7. Herman Melville's Arrowhead
Melville's former home is now the home to the Berkshire County Historical Society
Herman Melville House - A National Historic Landmark image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, May 17, 2008
8. Herman Melville House - A National Historic Landmark
Melville's Arrowhead was named a National Historic Landmark in 1963.
National Historic Landmark Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, November 18, 2008
9. National Historic Landmark Plaque
The National Historic Landmark plaque is mounted on a side of the house that faces away from the roadway, on the brick wall between a window and the corner of the building.
Herman Melville's Piazza image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, May 17, 2008
10. Herman Melville's Piazza
The Restoration of Melville's famous piazza (porch) was made possible by the Josephine B. Crane Foundation, the Massachusetts Historical Commision, and the Melville Society in 1977. Melville is said to have taken part of his inspiration for Moby-Dick from the view of the mountain from his piazza at Arrowhead in Pittsfield, since its snow-covered profile reminded him of a great white Sperm Whale's back breaking the ocean's surface.
The View From Arrowhead image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, November 18, 2008
11. The View From Arrowhead
The view to the east across the meadows from Melville's Arrowhead includes the hulking Mount Greylock, the tallest point in Massachusetts, which is said to have been Melville's inspiration for the Great White Whale.
<b>Herman Melville</b> image. Click for full size.
Library of Congress
12. Herman Melville
Born August 1, 1819 in New York City
Died September 28, 1891 (aged 72) in New York City
Arrowhead Home of Herman Melville Marker - Detail image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, May 17, 2008
13. Arrowhead Home of Herman Melville Marker - Detail
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 27, 2010, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. This page has been viewed 972 times since then and 25 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.
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