Borden Family,  Borden Spaces and Places,  Second Street Happenings

“Will do windows”


A most important element in the Borden case involves the washing of the first floor windows by the Borden’s Irish maid, Bridget Sullivan.  Bridget was accustomed to doing the windows about twice a month inside and out.  The house was located on a busy street with much horse and carriage traffic.  On the morning of August 4th, Bridget had been asked by Abby Borden to wash the windows -a job which she commenced about 9: 15 with a brush and pole and pail, telling Lizzie she could lock the screen side door and that she could get water from the barn.  Later on Bridget came in the house again for a dipper.  The screen door on the side of the house was possibly unlocked for the entire time Bridget was doing windows and chatting up the Kelly maid, Mary Doolan, next door. Had Lizzie locked the door, entry by an intruder would have been effectively blocked.  Bridget had commenced washing the lower right quadrant of this window pictured above when Mr. Borden pounded on the front door to be let in somewhere around 10:40-10:45 a.m. As her hands were wet, Bridget had some trouble manipulating the triple lock, swearing at it under her breath.  Bridget would at first say Lizzie laughed at her from the top of the stairs – later she would say “I don’t know where the girl was” when Andrew came home.  This is one of only four original casement double-hung windows in the house.  Of particular interest is the “pinch lock” which must be compressed in order to slide the window up and down in the wooden groove.  All other windows have been replaced with modern screens and fittings.