Two questions often asked by visitors at the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast are: 1. Is there anything original left in the house? 2. Why is there a broken plate hanging on the diningroom wall?
The Borden sisters retained ownership of #92 Second Street until it was sold in 1918. How much of the original furniture was taken with them to Maplecroft in 1893, how much was put into storage, and what was left in the house is unknown. Anything which was stored is rumored to have been lost in a flood during a storm. There is nothing original left today. The Glenwood woodstove is a favorite item in the house and must be very like the one in which Lizzie burned that famous Bedford Cord dress on the day after the funeral of her father and stepmother and on which Bridget cooked the equally famous mutton for breakfast. This old woodstove was found rusting away in a field in Vermont and was refurbished and piped for gas in 1995.
The white ironstone plate in a shadowbox in the diningroom was retrieved from the ground when the barn was rebuilt a couple of years ago. The location was in the backyard northeast corner of the lot where the barn privy had been located. What could not be burned was buried or tossed into the outhouse or privy vault. Many items of metal and glass and transferware plate fragments were found, including a broken doll commonly called a “Frozen Charlotte.” Lizzie was 12 when the Bordens moved into Second Street, but it is still fun to think it may have been hers.
The Bordens used a practical white ironstone for daily use and this was on the diningroom table at the time of the murders in readiness for the noonday meal which never took place. Many fragments of white ironstone crockery were found in the privy excavation including this plate, which may have been from the Borden’s cupboard.