{short description of image} 1st Traveler's Choice

Destination:
The Berkshires
of
Western Massachusetts

Peru & Pittsfield

Herman Melville, wrote Moby Dick in Pittsfield

Introduction

Lodging

Restaurants

Recreation

Attractions

Parks

Calendar of Events

Museums & Galleries

Architectural Wonders

Directions

Peru

The territory that ultimately evolved into Peru originally attracted the investment dollars of then-Governor Francis Bernard.

In what today would definitely be considered a major conflict of interest, the governor teamed with Oliver Partridge and Elisha Jones to purchase a parcel of unincorporated land that the government had put on the auction blocks as "Northern Berkshire Township No. 2." The land was divided into 63 settling lots and incorporated into the Township of Partridgefield in 1771. The town did not change its name to Peru until 1805.

A beautiful Federal-style church was designed and built in 1808 by noted architect Shadrack Pierce, then rebuilt in 1848 and replaced toward the end of the 19th century. Two of the few remaining remnants of Peru's history were also removed when in 1973 the Creamer Store and U.S. Post Office were purchased and relocated to a museum village in Moodus, Connecticut.

Pittsfield

The Mohegans hunted in this area before English and Dutch settlers came to this region called Poontoosuck "haunt of the white deer." The first settlers from Westfield began clearing the land in 1743. The town was incorporated in 1761 and named Pittsfield in honor of British statesman, William Pitt the elder.

In the post-revolutionary period wool, cotton, shoes and paper were the main industries and during the war between the states, Pittsfield suppled uniforms and weaponry for the Union forces.

Famous visitors and residents include Oliver Wendell Holmes who built a summer home on land once owned by his grandfather. Herman Melville purchased Arrowhead Farm in 1850 where he wrote "Moby Dick" and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was a frequent visitor. He wrote "The Old Clock on the Stairs" on the site where the Pittsfield High was later built.

Today this once industrial town is steeped in literary and artistic history and shares that wealth with visitors to the Berkshires.

In the Area:
Berkshire Artisans / Lichenstein Center for the Arts at 28 Renne Ave.
South Mountain Concerts
Arrowhead home where Melville wrote Moby Dick
Berkshire Athenaeum Herman Melville Memorial Room
Hancock Shaker Village
Berkshire Museum
Onota Lake and Pontoosuc Lake
Pittsfield State Forest

Chamber of Commerce of the Berkshires
75 North Street, Suite 360
Pittsfield, MA 01201
(413) 499-4000
Fax: (413) 447-9641

The Berkshire Visitors Bureau
Berkshire Common, Plaza Level
Pittsfield, MA 01201
(800) 237-5747

Towns
Adams
Alford
Becket
Cheshire
Clarksburg
Dalton
Egremont
Florida
Great Barrington
Hancock
Hinsdale
Housatonic
Lanesborough
Lee
Lenox
Monterey
Mount Washington
New Marlborough
North Adams
Otis
Peru
Pittsfield
Richmond
Sandisfield
Savoy
Sheffield
Stockbridge
Tyringham
Washington
West Stockbridge
Williamstown
Windsor
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