From the Burlington [Vermont] Daily Free Press and Times, Friday Evening, August 1, 1873:
Found on Newspapers.com
PERSONAL.F. B. Perkins of Boston, and Herman Melville of New York, are among the guests of the Van Ness House.
The same item appeared in the morning edition of the Burlington Free Press on Saturday, August 2, 1873. The Van Ness House in Burlington, Vermont had opened on October 25, 1870, so it was still a new hotel. As shown in later photographs, the oldest section featured the
"two-story frame verandah wrapping the corner of Main and St. Paul Streets." --University of Vermont - Historic Preservation Program
F. B. Perkins is Boston librarian Frederic Beecher Perkins (1828-1899). Author of Connecticut Georgics and My Three Conversations with Miss Chester, Perkins like Melville had been a contributor to Putnam's Magazine in the glorious 1850's. Nephew of Henry Ward Beecher, father of Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
Evidently, taking the Free Press for gospel, Herman Melville celebrated his 54th birthday in Burlington, Vermont. Burlington?
Melville biographers only locate him in Pittsfield, where he and his wife Elizabeth definitely were for a good part of Herman's two-week break from his Custom House job. The Springfield Republican informed readers on August 4, 1873 that
"Herman Melville, the well-known author, now employed in the New York custom house, is spending a short vacation in Pittsfield."The same announcement appeared in the Pittsfield Sun on August 6, 1873.
"hide of the great Champlain serpent to add to my mammoth World's Fair Show."After their stay in Pittsfield, Elizabeth went on (without Herman) to Boston. On August 15, Elizabeth Melville wrote Kate Gansevoort from Boston with news of the "delightful visit in Pittsfield" that "did us both much good."
--Lake Champlain Region
We spent nearly all the time walking, or driving, or sitting out doors--and it seemed as if we could not get enough of the reviving air, after being nearly suffocated in the heat and smell of New York. --quoted in Jay Leyda, The Melville Log Vol. 2, pages 734-735.Hershel Parker has all this and more in Herman Melville: A Biography V2.761-3, including the happy news Herman got first about the engagement of Milie Melville and Willie Moorewood.