New book of historic postcards

Over 200 postcards depicting the history of Pittsfield, all in one handsomely printed book! Volunteers at the Berkshire County Historical Society combed through the thousands of cards in our collection, conducted primary research, and wrote the captions.  Stop by Arrowhead to purchase your own copy, or shop on-line on our website.  The cost is $21.99; proceeds support the programs of the Historical Society.

Melville in Love

On August 17 in the Red Barn at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead, author Michael Shelden talked about his new book “Melville in Love.” This biography discloses the secret affair Melville had with his neighbor, Sarah Morewood who served as his inspiration for at least one major character in his novel “Pierre, or The Ambiguities” and helped birth the now classic American work of fiction, “Moby-Dick.”

This program was presented by the Berkshire County Historical Society, which owns and operates Herman Melville’s Arrowhead as a historic house museum. The book is available to purchase in the museum shop.

As much a biography of Sarah Morewood as of Melville, the book offers a new look at a known friendship along with insights into the nature of the author’s production of his books. Also an inspiration to the works of Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, a neighbor of both Melville and Morewood, she played a major role in the growth of women in the creative workplace writing and publishing her own poetry in a time when women were generally disregarded in that field.

Shelden, a professor of English at Indiana State University, is a well-known biographer, principally for his works on Mark Twain and the early political years of Winston Churchill. The talk, with a q & a afterward, should be illuminating, not only on its subject matter, but on the methods used by biographers in constructing the stories they tell in their own books.

For information contact the Berkshire County Historical Society at 413-442-1793 x14.

Gilded Age Murder & Mayhem in the Berkshires

Recently, author Andrew Amelinckx visited to discuss his new book.  Murder and dark deeds shadowed the extravagance of the Gilded Age in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. In the summer of 1893, a tall and well-dressed burglar plundered the massive summer mansions of the upper crust. A visit from President Teddy Roosevelt in 1902 ended in tragedy when a trolley car smashed into the presidential carriage, killing a Secret Service agent. From axe murders to botched bank jobs, author Andrew Amelinckx dredges up the forgotten underbelly of the Berkshires with unforgettable stories of greed, jealousy and madness from the Gilded Age.

Buy a shingle for Arrowhead

We’ve put a new roof on the main house Arrowhead! You still have an opportunity to be a permanent part of Herman Melville’s farm! Buy a new shingle, put a quote – or just your name – on the back. When we raise the funds to re-roof the historic barn, we will install your shingle.  Details – $15 for signature; $25 for signature plus quote. For $5 extra you can have as many old cedar shingles as you can carry in one armload! Call 413-442-1793 x11 for more details.  If you can’t stop by in person, please use our PayPal account.  Please contact Will Garrison with details of your name and quote.

Thank you!



Volunteer at Arrowhead!

There are many volunteer opportunities at Arrowhead.  Gives us a call to learn about all the activities at the Historical Society and Arrowhead. These include giving tours of Arrowhead, working in the museum shop, and grounds maintenance.  Location: Arrowhead, 780 Holmes Road, Pittsfield.  Bring a friend!  Call 413/442-1793 x10.  Training provided.