Captain Valentine Pease House // c.1830

This charming little Greek Revival house has a lot of history, tied to literature and the whaling industry that shaped Edgartown in the 19th century. The home was built in around 1830 for Captain Valentine Pease (1797-1870), a master mariner and captain of the Acushnet, a prominent whaling vessel which often departed from New Bedford. In 1841, Captain Valentine Pease, his crew, and a 21-year-old Herman Melville shipped out of New Bedford 1841 for eighteen months as Melville’s only whaling voyage. Melville took part in the hunting and killing of whales and in harvesting and processing whale oil aboard ship. He endured gales and calm, experienced excitement and boredom, followed ship’s discipline, all the while absorbing the lore of the veteran seamen who made up the Acushnet’s diverse and colorful crew. It is speculated that Valentine Pease was an inspiration for the character of Captain Ahab in Melville’s book “Moby Dick”.