Mohican Experiences with Museum Repatriation Today – virtual lecture with Bonney Hartley, Historic Preservation Manager for the Stockbridge-Munsee Community

Friday, October 22 – 7 pm

The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) offers certain criteria for the return of Tribal Nations’ ancestral remains and cultural heirlooms. After 30 years of this law, there are still staggering numbers of human remains that have not been returned. There are also often discrepancies between how Tribes and Museums determine if the NAGPRA categories apply to items in museum collections. Bonney Hartley, NAGPRA representative for Stockbridge-Munsee Community, the Tribal Nation indigenous to the Berkshires, will share insights from the community’s recent experiences with repatriation efforts in the region and highlight the ways that museums have increasingly shifted their understandings of Tribal stewardship.

This programming is presented in conjunction with the exhibit Muh-he-con-ne-ok:  People of the Waters that are Never Still, on view at the Berkshire Museum through January 9, 2022.

This FREE event is sponsored by Greylock Federal Credit Union and supported through a grant from Housatonic Heritage. To receive Zoom details, please email 

Pittsfield Cemetery Tour

Wednesday, October 27, 5 pm. Rain date October 28.
Please note: the October 13 tour of the Stockbridge Cemetery has been cancelled. But we encourage you to join us in Pittsfield!

BCHS Executive Director Lesley Herzberg will lead the tour of the Pittsfield Cemetery, located at 203 Wahconah Street. The cemetery dates to 1850 and is the final resting place of many prominent Pittsfield residents, including Lucinda Williams, Phineas Allen, Col. William Williams, Henry Dawes, Sarah Morewood, and Rev. Thomas Allen (also known as the fighting parson).

Please meet at the cemetery entrance. 

This FREE event is sponsored by Greylock Federal Credit Union. This program is supported in part by a grant from the Pittsfield Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

Special Tour with Elizabeth Melville

Wednesday, October 6th, 4pm

Sold Out Again!

As our tour on September 29th sold out, we added a second date! Join actress and Arrowhead docent Francine Ciccarelli as she portrays Herman Melville’s wife Elizabeth and leads a special tour of her house sharing anecdotes about life at Arrowhead, her children, her gardens, and her work as Herman’s copyist.

This FREE event is sponsored by Greylock Federal Credit Union. However, as spaces are limited, we request that you contact us to reserve a spot. 

Tour: Architecture and Landscape at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead

Saturday, October 2, 11 am

Long-time Arrowhead tour guide John Dickson and Berkshire County Historical Society Executive Director Lesley Herzberg will conduct an enlightening walking tour of the Arrowhead grounds. Dickson will provide an overview and evolution of the architectural features of the building from the 1780s to the present. In her walk through the north field, Herzberg will discuss the cultural landscape where the entire Melville family participated in the cultivation of the farm and gardens in the 19th century. (Rain date: Saturday October 9, 11 am),

This FREE event is sponsored by Greylock Federal Credit Union

Offered as part of the Housatonic Heritage Walks

Lecture and Film Screening

Saturday, September 25: Lecture by author Robert K. Elder, and screening of 1955 short film Moby-Dick, 4 pm


Award-winning author Robert K. Elder discusses discuss his latest book, Gilbert Wilson’s Moby-Dick, a decades-in-the-making illustrated edition of Herman Melville’s masterpiece. During his lifetime, artist Gilbert Wilson (1907-1991) lived in relative obscurity. Despite a critical splash in the 1930s, Wilson sacrificed financial security for artistic freedom creating more than 200 paintings and drawings inspired by Moby-Dick.  In 2019, Elder edited and published an illustrated version of the book utilizing Wilson’s work. 

Wilson’s Moby-Dick art was also the basis for Jerry Winter’s 1955 short film of the same name. The film is narrated by actor Thomas Mitchell (most famous as Scarlett O’Hara’s father in Gone with the Wind) and is illustrated solely with Wilson’s paintings.

This FREE event is sponsored by Greylock Federal Credit Union.

Lecture: “Victorian Sentiments: The Art of Mourning Personal and Public” with Joanne and Dennis Picard

Wednesday, September 15, 5 pm

Jewelry and gravestones may seem to be an unlikely combination, but both reflect society’s beliefs about death and mourning in similar ways. And though we may identify mourning jewelry and sentimental gravestone symbolism with the Victorian period, their roots and usage go back to antiquity. During this lecture Joanne and Dennis Picard of Westfield, Massachusetts, will share images and stories spanning the past hundred plus years that reveal the dramatic regional changes in how people thought about death and mourning.

This FREE event is sponsored by Greylock Federal Credit Union. This program is supported in part by a grant from the Pittsfield Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

Film Screening: “Call Us Ishmael”


This event has been postponed – please stay tuned for the new date!

Michael Hoberman, an American literature professor at Fitchburg State University, will make his case that Melville is an ideal writer for people who describe themselves as skeptical romantics. His talk highlights his own path to Melville’s writing, and it will also offer a brief discussion of how he teaches two lesser-known texts (“Benito Cereno” and “The Encantadas”). Call Us Ishmael chronicles filmmaker David Shaerf’s journey into the world of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. Throughout his quest he encounters artists, musicians, professors, and performers, all of whom are singularly seeking the white whale. Call Us Ishmael gives viewers an insight into a community devoted to this timeless text.

$15 BCHS members, $20 not-yet-members

Tickets available at

Performance: ReWritten

August 13–15 – ReWritten, 7pm
Please note: the performances for Saturday and Sunday have been sold out.
ReWritten is an immersive performance that explores the often-silenced intimate relationship between authors Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville. Moving between their lives, work, and remaining letters, ReWritten reimagines an intergenerational queer love story that helped shape American literature. Through dance, live music, visual art, projection, and text this performance questions what happens when we say no to dreams when we want to say yes. Co-created and performed by Tom Truss and Matthew Cumbie.
$10 for BCHS members; $15 for non-members. Tickets available HERE.
Use your EBT card and get 50% off
Kids 12 and under free

Summer Party

Come to the shores of Morewood Lake at the Country Club of Pittsfield to enjoy a summer fete! Sarah Morewood once called her home “Broadhall,” and threw grand parties for all of her friends, including the Melvilles.

This year’s outdoor party begins at 4pm, and includes heavy hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, special cocktails, and a short performance about the “Dutchess of Broadhall.” Please join us and support the BCHS as we complete important
historic preservation projects this season.

Supporter level: $125 for 1, $240 for 2
Friend level: $85 for 1, $160 for 2

Tickets available HERE.