The Melville House and Museum is located at 114th Street and 1st Avenue. Built in 1786 by Stephan Gorham, the first postmaster of Rensselaer County.

Detail showing Melville House at 528 1st Avenue (numbered 2 114th Street now) cropped from “Map 39.” Troy, Rensselaer County, New York, 1903. Vol. 1. New York: Sanborn Insurance Maps, 1903. [Scan by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute]

A New York State historic marker commemorates the nine years that Herman Melville lived there and wrote his first two novels, Typee and Omoo. Melville was a graduate of The Lansingburgh Academy and taught in the area. The furnishings at the headquarters reflect the various architectural changes the building has undergone during its two centuries of existence. The society’s collections includes maps, photographs, diaries, business records, town and village records, and the Burleigh panoramic views.

Burleigh-115th-Street-detail

The unique “Attic Museum” houses tools, materials, and products of the communities extensive 19th century brush and oil cloth industries.

attic-museum-_1_

In 1973 the society established “Melville Park” directly across First Avenue from the Melville House. The park is located on the site of the early 19th century shipyard of Richard Hanford.

Appointments can be made well in advance by email to the Corresponding Secretary. See the Contact Us page. Please be specific about when you want to visit,  the number of people and if you have a particular interest.

An account of a visit to the Melville House.