Herman Melville's Arrowhead
GPS: N42° 24.924; W073° 14.914
Arrowhead, the home of Herman Melville during his most productive writing years, is located at 780 Holmes Road in Pittsfield, MA
The farmhouse and inn, built in the 1780's, known as Arrowhead was the home of Herman Melville for the 13 most productive years of his literary career. He live here from 1850 to 1863. During this time he wrote several novels including his allegorical masterpiece, Moby Dick.
Melville lived at Arrowhead from 1850 to 1863 then returned to his place of birth, new York City. Melville sold the property to his brother. The house was a private residence until it was acquired by the present owner in 1975, the Berkshire County Historical Society.
Herman Melville was born in New York City on August 1, 1819. As a young man Melville had wanderlust and went to sea, first across the Atlantic Ocean then, in 1841, on the whaling ship Acushnet across the Pacific Ocean. He joined the crew of the USS United States for a return trip to Boston. His experiences as a seaman inspired his novels Typee, Omoo and White-Jacket.
In 1847 Melville married, lived for a short time in new York City then moved to Pittsfield, MA in 1850. It was here in a farm house he called Arrowhead that Melville wrote his greatest novel the allegorical masterpiece Moby Dick. Herman Melville lived here for 13 years.
Melville also wrote poetry that was published in later life. He wrote Battle Pieces and Aspects of the War in 1866 and published an the epic-length verse, Clarel, in 1876. His second great novel Billy Budd was published after his death.
A bronze plaque outside his Pittsfield residence, Arrowhead, contains an image of a sailing ship and is inscribed:
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