If Lizzie could only have known!
For many summers the For Sale sign has been up in front of the famous address on French Street, Lizzie Borden’s beloved and last home. Over the past few weeks, an interested buyer has made trips to Fall River and at last the house, owned for many years by Robert Dube, has transferred ownership. The Fall River Herald News broke the story this afternoon at this link. http://www.heraldnews.com/article/20141121/NEWS/141128850
The house will operate as a Bed & Breakfast and it looks like exciting times ahead for the old Queen Anne house. The photo above was taken recently after a fresh coat of cream-colored paint was applied. The new owners should be taking possession after the holidays. The house did operate briefly as a B&B some years ago. It will be fun to watch what the months ahead will bring.
Released on Halloween, the 96 page, full color publication is now available at the Fall River Historical Society, Ebay, by Paypal, personal check, or money order via snail mail. Postage by Priority mail within the continental United States will be $5.95. The publication is priced at $30.00.
The Paypal Send Money address is Revdma@aol.com, the total with Priority mailing postage is $35.95 for shipping within the continental United States. Via snail mail, please send checks or postal money orders in the same amount to: Shelley Dziedzic, P.O. Box 86, North Stonington, CT 06359. Personal checks made out to Shelley Dziedzic will need to clear before shipping. Shipping to Canada or outside the United States will be determined by the seller. Please contact Revdma@aol.com for those shipping costs.
The publication features 3 cemetery walking tours with bios and maps of Borden case-related graves, Victorian mourning customs, a glossary of cemetery terms, other famous burials, information on the Borden autopsies and funerals, and a history of the cemetery.
After years of watching grainy old VHS tape, the long-awaited DVD version of the Legend of Lizzie Borden with Elizabeth Montgomery is available through Amazon.com! Get ‘em while they’re hot! The 1975 version of the Borden tale is the best thing to date on film. http://www.amazon.com/Legend-Lizzie-Borden-Elizabeth-Montgomery/dp/B00HZVX14O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412913687&sr=8-1&keywords=Lizzie+Borden
Dr. Kelly, the Irish pediatrician who lived with his family in the house next door to the Bordens, has been discussed here many times, with an article about him to be found above (see header). This year the Pear Essential Players who perform once a year at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast debuted a new role, that of Caroline Cantwell Kelly, Dr. Kelly’s wife who was probably the last, except for the killer to see Mr. Borden alive as she hurried down the street to a dentist appointment around 10:45 on the morning of the murders. Caroline, (called Carrie by family) and her mother, Mrs. Cantwell spent the afternoon of August 4th behind locked doors as policemen flooded the neighborhood looking for clues. Dr. Kelly was away and the ladies were terrified.
Today Warps and Wefts is happy to finally obtain a photo of Mrs. Kelly, courtesy of the Cantwell family and an article detailing her wedding at St. Mary’s church which is located just across the street from the Borden house. She is shown here with her family members: Dr. Michael Kelly is in the center with Caroline in front of him, and their two daughters, Eva and Philomena.
With the anniversary of the Borden murders fast-approaching, many are turning to the internet for information and photos. Here are copies of the physician’s certificates which were filed 122 years ago. It’s interesting to see the signatures of names we know, even the undertaker, Mr. Winward.
(copies courtesy of The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum Library
The temperature is rising, the pears are getting ripe and attention turns once again to the doings of August 4. 1892 in Little Old Fall River. The Pear Essential (PEP-PY) Players welcome two new members this year in the roles of Alice Russell, the Borden sisters’ bosom friend, and Dr. Dolan, medical examiner, played by husband and wife team of Ted and Loretta Sisco. The couple have been vistors at the house for several years and will take the plunge this year on August 4th! The Usual Suspects will be making a return this year in the old familiar roles and a few undertaking new character roles. Advance tickets may be reserved beginning on July 5th for the Monday, August 4th schedule of eight performances at 10:30, 11, 11:30, 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30, 3. Call the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast Museum at 508-675-7333 to reserve tickets. Reservations are recommended as performances sell out early every year. Miss Carol Ann Simone will reprise her role as Miss Lizzie for her third year running. Did she do it? You decide!!
CAST FOR 2014
|Miss Porter/FR Herald||JoAnne Giovino|
|Abby Borden||Robin Bertoldo/Shelley Dziedzic|
|Emma Borden||Danielle Cabral|
|Lizzie Borden||Carol Ann Simone|
|Dr. Dolan, M.E.||Ted Sisco|
|Mrs. Bowen||Ellen Borden|
|Mrs. Kelly||Kat Woods|
|Mrs. Burt/Nosey Neighbor||Shelley Dziedzic|
|Officer Harrington||Rick Bertoldo|
|Marshal Hilliard||Ray Mitchell|
|Miss Manning/FR Globe||Barbara Morrissey|
|John Morse||Joe Radza|
|Alice Russell||Loretta S. Sisco|
|Detective Seaver||Michael Shogi|
|Bridget Sullivan||Suzann Rogers|
|Undertaker Winward||Jerry Pacheco|
It’s always fun to find just the right thing to add years to the Borden house. Co-owner LeeAnn Wilber haunts the antique shops and auctions on a quest to find just the right object to bring the 1890s feel to the house on Second Street. Here are some new finds which will greet you on your next visit to Lizzie’s home. The dead pigeons and pears print in the “Death in the Dining Room” genre is typical Victorian decor and is especially fitting for the Borden dining room for those who know the significance of pears and pigeons! The kitchen refrigerator has received a face lift in the form of oak panels to evoke the old ice box once found at the house in the sink room. Lizzie loved blue and pansies and this charming Eastlake footstool is just the ticket for Lizzie’s own room. Lizzie’s room also boasts a wonderful Sailor’s Valentine made of shells on the south wall. Rhode Island Antique Center in Pawtucket was the place to unearth a delightful summer fireplace screen for the sitting room. In the Eastlake, ebonized and gilded style, the canvas is hand – painted with blue summer blooms. Little touches can add so much age and charm to period settings.
The FRHS announced an exciting donation to the Borden archive today. The following appears on the FRHS Facebook page and is very exciting. How can we wait until August 4th?
“Lizzie Borden’s home: Extremely rare photograph discovered! Lizzie Borden had this green and gilt “Maplecroft” seal made for use on her correspondence — a rare example of her personal style during her years in that residence. Now we are excited to report that a truly unique photograph taken inside the French street mansion while Lizzie lived there has been given to the FRHS! It’s the only suchphoto ever to have surfaced, and anyone with an interest in Lizzie will find it fascinating. For the first time, we have a partial but revealing glimpse of the interior of her home. And the subject of the photo – something Lizzie apparently cherished — helps to debunk one of the biggest myths perpetuated about her.
Donated by a descendant of Lizzie’s personal maid, Ida S. Carlson, the photo came to us with impeccable provenance. Lizzie hired a professional photographer to capture the compelling image and had it mounted in an ornate frame, and around 1899 she gave it to Ida, who displayed the treasured piece in her home until her death, at which time it was acquired by a relative.
The photo will make its debut at the FRHS at a special exhibit opening on August 4, 2014, where it will join a collection of other recently acquired Borden-related items of note. Mark your calendar, and be sure to come and take our informative tour about the life and trial of Lizzie Borden!” (Posted April 22, Facebook).
You never know what you may find in an auction box stuffed full of odds and ends. Recently Lizzie Borden B&B co-owner, LeeAnn Wilber inherited an interesting document signed by Abby Borden’s half-sister, Sarah Bertha Whitehead. Case historians will tell you how important the Gray-Whitehead house on Fourth Street figured in the further decline of warm family feelings among the Borden sisters and their stepmother when Andrew Borden bought out and deeded over this property to his second wife without informing “the girls”.
This 1901 document grants right of way for septic hook-up on the property until such a time Spring Street pipes were installed, and is signed by Bertie Whitehead. At the time of the murder, Spring Street stopped at the corner of Second Street. Later on the Gray-Whitehead house was shifted onto a new foundation on the continued Spring Street where it rests today.
(courtesy of the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast Museum Archive)
Released on May 13th, most likely prompted by the recent popularity of the Lifetime Channel’s Christina Ricci effort- the 1975 version with Elizabeth Montgomery can now be pre-ordered on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Legend-Lizzie-Borden-Elizabeth-Montgomery/dp/B00HZVX14O/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1394644302&sr=1-1&keywords=Legend+of+Lizzie+Borden
For many, this made-for-TV movie was the starting point for interest in the Borden case. Highly recommended viewing, as Montgomery gives a compelling performance in the title role and the script stays closer to the real story than the recent Lifetime Channel effort, even though some liberties are taken and some key figures left out. Youtube has had the film online, albeit chopped up in segments, for some time but it will be a treat to see it start to finish uninterrupted. The film’s signature musical theme is unforgettable.
Poor Uncle John Morse- left out the movie yet again. Morse, the brother of Lizzie and Emma’s real mother, went missing in both made-for-TV movies. He had been invited to spend the night before the murders in the guest room where Abby would be murdered the next morning. Morse was an early suspect and was followed by an angry throng the night of the murders when he went to mail a letter. Morse had a very detailed and iron-clad alibi but many still think he knew something about the murders. An eccentric, and ill-clad old bachelor farmer and livestock dealer, he seemed on kindly terms with his niece Emma but not very close to Lizzie. He probably wished until his dying day that he had not stopped by the day before. He is buried in Iowa. Oh, and he once had training as a butcher.
After the great ratings and enthusiastic reception of the less-than-accurate Lifetime attempt at telling the Borden story, you can be sure a little flurry of books will soon be out there, hopefully getting it right. Random House has signed up a new Lizzie young adult book to be published in Spring ‘16. It’s a narrative non-fiction book called The Borden Murders, and is by Sarah Miller. Another released this month is now available on Amazon. Keep your fingers crossed for accurate research. We can only hope, Lizziephiles!
The hatchet killing which happened just before Lizzie’d trial began and which was referred to in the Lifetime movie this past weekend was the Bertha Manchester crime- which thankfully was solved. Care was taken that Lizzie’s jurors did not learn about this case as it would seem to suggest a killer was still on the loose in Fall River with a hatchet. Bertha Manchester is also buried in Oak Grove Cemetery.http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F50B17F7345B1A738DDDAC0894DE405B8385F0D3