Did you know that Arrowhead, The Herman Melville House in Pittsfield, MA is just a 15 minute drive from Applegate Inn? It’s true and both history and literature fans will enjoy a visit to this popular, historic house museum.
Between 1850 and 1863, Arrowhead Farm was home to one of America’s great writers. It was also his most fruitful period. During that time, Melville penned not only “Moby-Dick” but also “Pierre or The Ambiguities,” “Bartleby the Scrivever,” and others.
Melville moved to the farm near Pittsfield from New York City, naming it after the arrowheads found on the property during planting season. He lived in the house with his wife, children, and often his mother and one or more of his sisters.
The Berkshires were inspirational to Melville, and many local details found their way into in some of his writings. “The Piazza” and “I and My Chimney,” in particular, describe the Arrowhead Farm of Melville’s day, including many details that still remain.
Melville produced most of his best work while at Arrowhead but he was not a success during his own lifetime. After 13 years here, Melville sold the farm to his brother and went out on the lecture circuit to make ends meet.
Arrowhead stayed in the Melville family until 1927. Berkshire County Historical Society purchased the property in 1975, 13 years after it had been declared a National Historic Landmark.
Visiting the Herman Melville House Museum
Visitors to Arrowhead may feel as if they’ve been whisked back in time to the mid 19th century. Despite many additions over the years, the farm has been restored to how it looked during the author’s time.
Tours of the house and grounds include examples of the author’s own handiwork, such as the porch he added to the house and wrote about in “The Piazza.” Visitors will gain insight into not only the author’s works and daily life but also the history of the area.
Arrowhead – The Herman Melville House is located at 780 Holmes Road, Pittsfield, MA 01201.