Famous People from the Berkshires

This region in Western Massachusetts is not only known for its beautiful landscape and rolling mountains, but also for the literary and musical legends that hail from the Berkshires. Who could blame them? The Berkshires is an undisputable source of inspiration for its plentiful nature reserves and parks. Well-known artists have taken advantage of the idyllic settings that this New England region provides.

Herman Melville

He might not be a popular name for today’s generation but Melville has made his mark as a literary genius. His classic novel Moby Dick was written at his home, Arrowhead, which is now a National Historic Landmark in Pittsfield.

Norman Rockwell

Creator of almost 600 works of art, Rockwell spent the last 25 years of his life in Stockbridge. His home became a museum in 1969 and stores the biggest collection of Rockwell art, as well as more than 100,000 collector’s items such as photos, fan mail, and other business documents.

Susan B. Anthony

Anthony was a great female figure in American history as an advocate for temperance and women’s rights during a time when women did not yet have the right to vote. You’ll find her Federal-style home in Adam now converted into the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum, also known as the “Cradle of Equal Rights”.

Daniel Chester French

French hailed from Chesterwood in Stockbridge and he was known as the creator of Abraham Lincoln’s sculpture in the Lincoln Memorial.

Gwyneth Paltrow

Not a lot of Paltrow fans would know this but she actually started her career at Williamstown Theatre Festival, one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious summer stages. It wasn’t in Hollywood but in Williamstown where she had her only dramatic training since she was five.

James Taylor

The singer and songwriter’s first encounter with the Berkshires is a rehabilitation center in Stockbridge. After his annual performances at Tanglewood, he finally decided to plant his roots in Lenox in 2011. Perhaps one day we’ll be seeing him making some sweet music at the lounge in the Gateways Inn and Restaurant.