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“A Showcase for Melville”

Herman Melville's Arrowhead
Ranked #5 of 26 things to do in Pittsfield
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Closed for the season. Tours will start in May, 2017.
South Windsor, Connecticut
Level 6 Contributor
232 reviews
103 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
“A Showcase for Melville”
Reviewed August 10, 2013

Our tour guide, Cecilia, made the life of Herman Melville interesting and we learned much we did not know about the author whose major claim to fame, "Moby Dick" became popular long after his death. If it wasn't for a granddaughter who made this possible, this homestead would probably just be another house on Holmes in Pittsfield. There is nothing spectacular about the house and most that was there in the years Melville was the owner is no longer around, but with the guided tour you learn about this author which makes it worth a visit.

There was also an exihibit of sculptures about African American soldiers in the Civil War that was interesting. Coupons for a discount on the admission are available in free tourist magazines which you find readily available at motels and restaurants.

Visited August 2013
2 Thank Calhu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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115 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level 6 Contributor
164 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“Fascinating House”
Reviewed August 9, 2013

You tour Arrowhead with a guide. Our guide was extremely well-informed and our tour was wonderful. It is amazing to imagine Herman Melville writing here in the shadow of the Berkshires. There is a small but interesting shop on premises.

Visited April 2013
Thank DEngelJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“This high quality tour will inspire you to (re)read Melville”
Reviewed July 22, 2013

We arrived before the first tour, which is at 10 am (and again every hour after), with time enough to go on the nature trail. FYI: tour rates are $13 for adults and children & students (with I.D.) are $8.00. The nature trail is well marked from the parking area and heads through a field and into the woods. It's about a 15 minute walk and I do not recommend the woods section because it leads nowhere, is short, and is not scenic. In late July the woods were pretty buggy. The field does offer good views and only takes a few minutes to stroll up so I recommend that.

We were the only two on the tour and our guide (Will) was informed and personable. You can tell that he takes an interest in Melville and because he does he keeps yours. If you have a question, and I had many, he will likely have an informed response.

The house itself is neat to visit as it is where Melville wrote most of his most famous works and you get to absorb a fair approximation of what he did, himself. The furniture is historically accurate and much of it was owned by the Melville family, if not by Herman himself. The tour is about 45 minutes and the time went by quickly and satisfyingly. Neither the house nor much of the furniture is aesthetically impressive as the Melville's were not wealthy, so I would not recommend visiting unless you are particularly interested in literature, history, or the writer.

Herman Melville’s Arrowhead is open daily from Memorial Day Weekend through Columbus Day, from 9:30 am. to 5 pm.

Visited July 2013
3 Thank pcouture29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fall River, Massachusetts
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“I learned a lot”
Reviewed June 15, 2013 via mobile

Funny how I live near New Bedford, the city mentioned in Herman Mellville's "Moby Dick" and didn't know anything about the book or the man who wrote it until I drove three and a half hours away to this mans former home in the Berkshires. Its a very modest place for someone so famous, but take the tour and you'll find out why

Visited June 2013
Thank Walt_Lucas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Massachusetts, USA
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Great way to learn more about Melville”
Reviewed June 1, 2013

We enjoyed our tour of Arrowhead, given by a young man who was very knowledgeable about Melville and his works. Even so, I was glad we were fairly knowledgeable beforehand.

Many of Melville's and his family's actual belongings are in the house, which was a nice surprise; many such historic homes depend on period pieces but not actual artifacts.

Unfortunately, it was a very hot day, too hot to walk around the grounds more extensively. Definitely a worthwhile visit.

Visited May 2013
Thank penel523
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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