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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Arrowhead


We visited Arrowhead, Hermann Melville's home in Pitssfield, this week, enjoying the fall foliage and the wonderful tour of this historic author.  Meville named this place Arrowhead due to the many arrowheads he found when he plowed his fields.



Melville's study was in the corner room over the porch. He built the porch and later wrote a short story about it, "The Piazza." The house was built in 1780. Herman bought it in 1850 and lived here for 12 years, though the house remained in the family until 1927.



The trees on this property are beautiful. Again, Melville's study is the room on the left corner, second floor. 



Melville wrote Moby Dick here on a table like this. The actual table is in the Melville Room in the Pittsfield Athenaeum, which we also visited. (lots of Melville archival material and books). He purposely arranged his chair and desk so he could gaze out onto Mount Greylock, highest peak in Massachusetts and featured in the wizardry story in J.R. Rowling's latest book.



The view of Mt. Greylock. Unfortunately a hazy day when we visited this week. 



A close-up of the window with the view to Mt. Greylock -- again, too hazy of a day to catch the mountain in the distance.



The chimney bears painted inscriptions from 1868 of text from Melville's story "I and my Chimney." written about Arrowhead.



Meilville's barn. Melville's writings, especially Moby DIck, never achieved much commercial success in his time. He gave up writing and worked in a customs house for most of his working life. A real shame, though a familiar pattern for many creative people. 



Spectacular trees. We saw photos of these trees from Melville's days there and they were tiny: 10-15 feet. Most of the area then was relatively deforested.


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