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Portrait of Herman Melville


Herman Melville was the author of a novel abut what we'd now consider an illegal activity; the commercial hunting of whales for oil and meat. In capturing the whaling industry at its peak, showcasing the rebellious white whale, in our view he was lobbying for the whales, the innocent victims in his story. Following his death in New York City in 1891, he posthumously came to be regarded as one of the great American writers.



Herman Melville was born in New York City on the 1st of August 1819. He died on the 28th of September 1891. He was an American novelist, short story writer and poet of the American Renaissance period. Among his best-known works are Moby-Dick (1851), Typee (1846), a romanticized account of his experiences in Polynesia, and Billy Budd, Sailor, a posthumously published novella. The centennial of his birth in 1919 was the starting point of a Melville revival, when Moby-Dick began to be considered one of the great American novels.




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.

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

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

While there is no historic district designated in Lansingburgh, the Herman Melville House is recognized by the City of Troy as a Local Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (Reference Number 92001081).


The Herman Melville House is the headquarters of the Lansingburgh Historical Society. The first floor contains two connected parlors which are used for meeting and display. They are furnished with pieces from local historic homes.


There is a doll house, a box which once held letters exchanged between the Melville and Gansevoort family members, a book collection, and items (photos, art works, models, tin ware, etc.) related to Lansingburgh people and industries.


The third floor has a collection of artifacts from the brick, brush, and rope making industries along with street signs, toys, tools, and various other items from Lansingburgh’s past. Across First Avenue is Melville Park, once the site of ship building and a carpenter shop.





Burghers first met February 3, 1965 at the Van Schoonhoven house, 538 Third Avenue:


“to propose the organization of an historical society to promote interest in our past of the Village of Lansingburgh and to plan for the preservation of historical landmarks. Also to promote the general welfare of the community and to awaken civic interest. The discussion touched on such matters as the improvement of parks, the river front, and the marking in some way of historical and interesting houses”.


The Lansingburgh Historical Society was granted a provisional charter November 19, 1965 and an absolute charter December 26, 1968.



President – John Ward
Vice President – Mary Ellen Ward
Treasurer – Kathy Howard
Assistant Treasurer – Sue Busta
Recording Secretary – Linda Segreto
Corresponding Secretary – Kathy Fomuk

TRUSTEES - elected 2015


Michael Barrett
Sue Busta
Pat Dorow
Byron Moak
Chris Philippo
John Ward
Mary Ellen Ward
elected 2016
Kathy Fomuk
Linda Segretto
elected 2017
Kathy Howard
Heidi Klinowski
elected 2018
Toni T. Dickinson


Chris Philippo



Dr Sweeney's 'Herman Melville' students visit to Lansingburgh


HISTORIC OUTING - Dr. Sweeney’s 'Herman Melville' class visit to the Melville house, Sunday, February 7. Located at 2 114th Street, Troy, NY. Students, faculty, and friends were treated to a presentation by Warren Broderick, Melville scholar and a guided tour of the house.





Physical Address: 2 114th Street at First Avenue in the Lansingburgh section of Troy, Rensselaer County, New York.

Mailing Address: Lansingburgh Historical Society
PO Box 219
Troy NY 12182-0219

Email Address:

Telephone Number: 518-235-3501

Please contact by email but you may also leave a telephone message. The Corresponding Secretary will direct your message or inquiry to the appropriate person for action. Please make your inquiry or request clear.















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