Local History | Writers & Books

Herman Melville’s Arrowhead

Herman Melville lived at his Pittsfield farm at Arrowhead was the from 1850 to 1863 while he wrote Moby Dick and others of his major works: the novels Pierre, and The Confidence Man among others.

The view of Mount Greylock from his desk inspired Moby-Dick, the white whale, he wrote later, because Melville had spent a year on a whaling ship as a young man, and the line of the mountain ridge on the horizon looked to him like the back of a sperm whale showing above the water as it came up to breathe.

The Berkshire County Historical Society now manage the property and have restored most of the house to Melville’s period. The house is open as a museum from Memorial Day to Columbus Day weekends, and it is the first National Historic Landmark to be designated in Berkshire County.

780 Holmes Road
Pittsfield, MA 01201
23.9 miles (36 minutes) from Williamstown.