On Herman Melville's 200th birthday, we look back on the famed Moby Dick author's stay on Nantucket at what is now the Jared Coffin House.
As Smithsonian Magazine reports, Herman Melville visited the island of Nantucket in July of 1852 for a two-day exploration. During this brief vacation, Melville stayed at the Ocean House, which today still stands as the Jared Coffin House! In honor of Melville's stay, we look back at the history of the property that once housed the legendary author.
The Jared Coffin House stands as a historical mansion on the top of Center Street, in the heart of downtown Nantucket. The mansion was built in 1845 by Jared Coffin as a family home. Jared Coffin was a successful whaling caption on the island, during a time where the whaling industry on the island dominated the globe.
It is noted in the article, Follow Herman Melville's Footsteps Through Nantucket, that during Melville's stay in the now Jared Coffin House, his room overlooked Capitan Pollard's mansion on Center Street. Capitan Pollard is famously known as the captain of the Essex, a whaling ship that departed Nantucket for the Pacific and was fatefully struck by a whale, eventually inspiring the story of Moby Dick. This view over the former home of Pollard can be seen from a King Corner Room at the Jared Coffin House. To see for yourself, book today and look out over the same view from the historic hotel as Melville himself. Gaze over the former home of Pollard, the muse of the beloved Moby Dick.
Although times have changed on Nantucket, not everywhere has lost its original whaling-era style. From the cobblestones on Main Street to the tall brick entrance of the Jared Coffin House standing tall at the top of Center Street, some places never lose their historic charm.