What’s new in Lizzieland?

It’s been a while since we’ve had an update and many things have fallen into place recently.  The big news, of course, is that Maplecroft has been sold to the owners of the Second Street Bed and Breakfast Museum and will probably be open early this Spring. This is exciting for many who have wanted to see inside Lizzie’s home after the acquittal and the place where she passed away in 1927.

http://www.heraldnews.com/news/20180202/maplecroft-officially-sold-to-owners-of-lizzie-borden-bampb

LIZZIE, the upcoming film with Chloe Sevigny and Kristen Stewart was sold at Sundance and is to debut on the big screen sometime this summer.  August 4th would be a good date! There’s a lot to Google about the film including mixed reviews. A good many liberties have been taken with the history of the case but it should find an appreciative audience.

http://www.indiewire.com/2018/01/chloe-sevigny-lizzie-sundance-interview-1201921269/

Kristen Stewart as Bridget Sullivan

A new Lizzie play is previewing March 1st in Ontario at The Black Door.

https://www.southwesternontario.ca/whatson-story/8139316-black-door-theatre-presents-lizzie-borden-of-fall-river-/

Also in March, the Travel Channel will present a documentary by the British production company ICON which will travel all around Lizzie country: Taunton, Swansea, New Bedford and of course Fall River and the house on Second Street. No air date known at this time. Stay tuned.  Looks like a very Lizzie summer ahead.

Lots of Lizzie in the News

Nothing new to report on the sale of Maplecroft.  The price was recently lowered but no takers so far. It’s never looked better, inside and out!

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Seems like we’ve been waiting forever for the upcoming Lizzie film.  Here’s what Fall River Development News has to say.

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“The city of Fall River will be receiving worldwide attention soon with the release of the Hollywood film Lizzie. The new film will have its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2018. Lizzie is a biographical thriller film directed by Craig William Macneill and written by Bryce Kass. The film is based on the true story of Lizzie Borden, who was accused and acquitted of the ax-murders of her father and stepmother in Fall River, in 1892. The film stars Chloë Sevigny, Kristen Stewart, Jay Huguley, Fiona Shaw, Jamey Sheridan, Kim Dickens, Denis O’Hare, and Jeff Perry.

The film could be a boon for tourism in Fall River, but the city will first need to come up with a plan to capitalize on the momentum. The city has been looking for a signature event for years to replace Fall River Celebrates America. Could a yearly Lizzie Borden event or convention be the answer?

The new look at the Borden mythos is billed as a “gothic psychological thriller with an indelible romance at its core.” The film will explore “the events that led up to the notorious murders of the Borden family — and reveals the many layers of the strange, fragile woman who stood accused of their brutal murder” and will pick up “when Bridget Sullivan, a young maid, comes to work for the Borden family, [and] Lizzie finds a sympathetic and kindred spirit, and what begins as innocent companionship eventually escalates into attraction, love and bloody vengeance.”

A new documentary for the Travel Channel just wrapped in Fall River.  Look for it in March. You will be pleasantly surprised to see Lizzie-related locations seldom visited and hear a few new angles.  Things to look forward to in 2018!

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Looking for a stocking stuffer for Lizziephiles?  Can’t go wrong with these two recent releases!

Sarah Miller’s Lizzie Borden & The Trial of the Century

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There is cause for rejoicing in Lizzieland!  Sarah Miller’s upcoming book, Lizzie Borden & The Trial of the Century is a winner.  Aimed at the young adult demographic, this is a page-turner for anyone wanting to get the facts on the infamous Borden double homicide of 1892.

Miller has an appealing you-are-there style which engages the reader from the start, but best of all, this is a work based on the source documents in the case without all the speculations, theories, rumors and misinformed myths which mislead and muddy the case .

Thoughtfully organized by chapter from the events of August 4th through the inquest, preliminary, trial and aftermath, this is a sensible read which enlightens and frankly,  – entertains.  The text is studded with inserts of useful knowledge set off in gray which provide useful background information on everything from the jury, Lizzie’s dresses to places and people.  These enrichments, along with a Who’s Who of all the important players in the story help to expand the reader’s  understanding of the finer points of the case.

The author’s aim to create a balanced view of the case, along with painting a truer picture of Lizzie as a real human being, not an axe-wielding caricature, as so often portrayed , has been amply realized.  It’s refreshing to see Lizzie in a neutral light while considering the possibility that she may have been innocent. This is a thinkers’ book which engages the reader from the very  first page and kicks those little gray cells into overdrive.

A cold winter ‘s night, a cup of hot cocoa and Miller’s, Lizzie Borden  & The Trial of the Century- nothing could be better for the true crime reader.  Just be warned, it will be a long night as you will not want to put this one down!

Maplecroft Memories

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Over the years the Second Street Irregulars and the Pear Essential Players have been fortunate to be able to visit Maplecroft on many occasions, either individually or as a group. Photos allowed to be taken of the interiors were promised to be viewed privately until such time as the owner sold the house. Now these may be shared. The most remarkable feature about Maplecroft is the wood – floors, paneling and woodwork, especially the fireplace mantels. The stonework in Lizzie’s hearth in the back bedroom over the porch and the big stone chimney are memorable. It was very exciting to see her own dining room wall paper choice and the tin ceiling in the kitchen. Here is a sampling of the interiors and exteriors, from the entry to the third floor. It was thrilling to see the window seat in the front second floor room and imagine Lizzie watching out. Link to photo album below.

https://picasaweb.google.com/109993181558388557388/SlideAlbumMaplecroft

Maplecroft Sold!! A new B&B coming to Fall River

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MaplecroftpaintedFor 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.

History of Oak Grove Cemetery Now Available

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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.

Ebay link   http://www.ebay.com/itm/321575112181?ssPageName=STRK:MESCX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1554.l2649

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.

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Legend of Lizzie Borden Finally Available on DVD

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

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Dr. Kelly and Family resurface

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KellyfamilyDr. 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.

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Death Documents of Andrew & Abby Borden

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

Coming Soon! Lizzie Borden Returns to Fall River!

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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!!


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CAST FOR 2014

Miss Porter/FR Herald JoAnne Giovino
Abby Borden Robin Bertoldo/Shelley Dziedzic
Andrew Borden
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

Shopping for Lizzie’s House

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.

Fall River Historical Society to debut a new photo of Maplecroft interior

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?

maplecroft seal“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).