Fairies there, thought I; some haunted ring where fairies dance.
Herman Melville wrote these words at Arrowhead. In “The Piazza,” the narrator believes he sees fairy lights on Mt. Greylock.
And this recalls my inland voyage to fairy-land. A true voyage; but, take it all in all, interesting as if invented… Indeed, for a year or more, I knew not there was such a spot, and might, perhaps, have never known, had it not been for a wizard afternoon in autumn—late in autumn—a mad poet’s afternoon; when the turned maple woods in the broad basin below me, having lost their first vermilion …
All season the fairies danced at Arrowhead. Michael Melle worked his magic to sculpt fairies on the piazza, a dozen artists created delightful fairy houses along the field’s edge, and Betsy Bazcek helped children create fairy-inspired crafts. It was a magical summer!
Our hard working docents welcomed thousands of visitors to Arrowhead, taking pride in sharing stories of the Melville family’s life at the “old farmhouse.” A team of teenagers worked a sweltering week clearing brush and rebuilding part of the stonewall along the North field.
Jana Laiz, Arrowhead’s writer-in-residence, just published a book for young adults: Billy Budd and the Breadbox: the Story of Herman Melville and Eleanor. Tianna Darling, an intern from MCLA, created the popular new self-guided tour of Arrowhead. The list goes on – people sharing their time and talents with the Berkshire County Historical Society at Arrowhead.
We are inspired every day by the deep rich history of western Massachusetts. The Historical Society’s volunteer archivists and curators work all year, cataloging, preserving, exhibiting and publishing our vast collections of furniture, textiles, photographs, and much more. We love to collect and share our community’s shared history.
The list goes on. As a supporter of Historical Society at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead, I hope you have found your own inspiration here, whether taking a tour, attending a play, or simply taking in the beautiful views – perhaps on a “mad poet’s afternoon.”
I’m writing to ask for your help to keep the inspiration alive. Thank you!
Will Garrison, Executive Director