The historic Central Congregational church at 100 Rock Street, now the Culinary Institute and Abbey Grille is undergoing emergency repairs to its steeple. After debris fell to the ground from the old spire a few weeks ago, the mayor has closed the street for a city block in front of the building, much to the dismay of merchants and businesses on the street. Traffic is being re-routed until the facade is declared safe. Owner George Karousos said this week permanent repairs could cost $1.5 million to $2 million. Netting of the steeple began this week. http://www.heraldnews.com/news/x1670184015
Lizzie’s quiet older sister Emma kept a great deal to herself and was of a retiring nature. The reason for her sudden 1905 departure from the shared domicile of Maplecroft is not known for certain but there is much speculation it had to do with Lizzie’s entertaining of theatre people including rising stage star Nance O’Neil, and possibly the frivolity at Maplecroft which might have included alcoholic beverages at these theatre party soirees. Emma lived in Fall River and Providence for the years following their separation, and just perhaps her trip to England and Scotland in 1906, which followed hard upon their split, was to get away from the unpleasantness on French Street. The passenger list gives her age as 55 at the time of the voyage- certainly mature for a first visit away from the country. There is no record found to date of any other foray into a wider world for quiet Emma.
The White Star liner Cymric
What remains of Sargent’s store today on North Main Street
Much has been made about Lizzie Borden’s sudden mention of a sale of dress goods at Sargent’s store to the maid just before the murder of her father that Thursday morning. Bridget Sullivan, weary from washing the windows and doing chores all morning, paused to consider the news about the sale, and voiced the statement she hoped to get herself some of the dress yard goods. But with her morning nausea, and weariness from chores, she opted to rest upstairs on the third floor instead. It is about a ten minute walk to Sargent’s at average pace, so the maid would have been gone about 40 minutes, allowing time to travel back and forth, shop, and get back in time to begin the noonday meal had she gone to Sargent’s. Lizzie would have been left alone with her father. Did Lizzie suggest the sale to get the maid out of the house? The story may have ended very differently had Bridget stayed downstairs.
Original ad for the dress goods sale on August 4th
After passing a miserable night on August 2, 1892 due to stomach cramping and vomitting, Abby Borden went across the street to Doctor Bowen for a remedy on Wednesday morning and voiced the opinion that the family may be poisoned through the baker’s bread. He sent her home with directions to give castor oil a try, while Andrew Borden, too frugal to waste money on office visits, dosed himself with an over-the-counter preparation called Garfield Tea, named for the assasinated president. Manufactured by the Stillman Remedies Co. of 58 West 55th Street in New York, the concoction was made entirely of herbs, chiefly senna leaves and crushed couch grass. The price of a box was 25 cents and the tea was made by putting a teaspoonsful in a cup, covering with 8 ounces of boiling water, and allowing the mix to steep for a couple of hours. Taken before retiring, it promised relief from liver problems, constipation, and stomach upset. Andrew was still looking feeble on the morning of the murder, Thursday, August 4th in spite of his self medication although Abby was somewhat improved.
Plans are being made to install a 24 hour webcam at the scenes of the crimes in the sitting room and guest bedroom at the Borden house on Second Street. Interested viewers at home could then check in at leisure to see what was transpiring at any time of day or night in the sitting room, and the guest bedroom when not occupied by overnight guests. Followers of the paranormal are particularly excited by this prospect. The date when this experiment goes into effect has not yet been announced.
Lizzie Borden Mini #3: The Death of Abby Borden
Alice Russell, longtime friend of the Borden sisters, and one-time neighbor next door, had a rude shock when she spotted what looked to be an axe handle under her bed. Alice had been staying with the Borden family (or what was left of it) after the shocking murders of Abby and Andrew Borden. With the Irish maid gone for good, Alice became a comforting presence and helper. Staying in the Borden’s master bedroom, the wooden handle under the bed was explained to Alice by Lizzie as being her deceased father’s night stick, just in case an intruder should break in. There had been a break in at the house not long before the murders. Too bad Andrew did not have it handy under the sofa on the morning of August 4th! The management of the house currently keeps this facsimile on hand in the bedroom- just in case. . .
LIZZIE BORDEN LIVE IS BACK ON!!!
Lizzie “takes care of business”! No steel girders can stop her!
This Sunday, March 9th @ 3 pm.
78th Street Theatre Lab
236 West 78th Street
(bet. B’wy & Amsterdam – next door to Stand-up New York)
(#1 subway to 79th Street stop)
Tickets $20 at the door.
Mention ‘pears’ for $5 off
Don’t forget daylight savings time.
If you made a reservation you are still reserved.
LIZZIE BORDEN LIVE HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES.
The 78th Street Theatre Lab must be vacated on March 8th, 9th and 10th (the show dates). They are currently in the midst of an enormous construction project, which will eventually encompass 236 West 78th Street completely.
The contractors have chosen this weekend to hoist steel girders over
the building, requiring the top two floors to be empty. This is a
safety issue and the city is requiring them to empty the building. Up
until today the theatre had been assured all construction activities
would be over by 6pm at the latest on any given day, and they would not be working at all on the weekends.
The apparatus used to raise the steel requires blocking off the entire
street, and because of traffic it can only happen over a weekend.
THEREFORE, LIZZIE BORDEN LIVE, is being postponed.
It looks like the new date is Sunday, April 20th @ 3 pm
LIZZIE BORDEN LIVE has also been selected as part of the Six Figures Theatre Company’s 6th Annual Artists of Tomorrow Festival with two performances:
Friday, May 2nd @ 9 pm
Sunday, May 4th @ 3 pm
The West End Theatre
(Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew)
263 West 86th Street
(bet. B’wy & West End Ave.)
Lizzie Borden House
Youtube has featured one or two great little amateur filmettes by guests and visitors to #92 over the years. Beginning in 2008, no videography is allowed in the house (tours) . This offering has great music, effects, and camera angles worthy of Hitchcock. Watch for the spectral hatchet!
The Great Arch 1873 The Shadows Have Fallen and they Wait for the Day
Sunday, March 2nd at 9 a.m., the Friends group will begin surveying Oak Grove Cemetery plantings. Diseased and dead trees will be noted as well as thriving species as a first step in the ambitious tree replanting program. The city arborist will be on hand to help with determining species and condition. The group, made up of preservationists in the city and also out of state, has already planted two oaks and has actively been encouraging sponsors for future plantings. The official website for the group may be found at http://www.oakgrovecemetery.wordpress.com where a membership application can be found and a full-sized map of the cemetery which may be printed out.
Although the Borden plot, holding tomb, and Ladies Comfort station is of great interest to many Lizzie Borden visitors, The Friends of Oak Grove was founded primarily to replant gardens and trees, repair broken stones, document nearly-illegible stones, and preserve the character and design of the old Victorian cemetery which was laid out by Josiah Brown in 1855 on land bought from Dr. Nathan Durfee.
Annual membership is $25.00 per year. A list of benefactors and updates on projects, tours, lectures and exhibits for the future is also included on the website link above. All contributions to the Friends go directly for the benefit of the cemetery.