To be a fly on the wall!
If we could only go back to August 4, 1892 in a time machine, there are plenty of places in #92 Second Street one would wish to be on that fateful day. Borden neighbor, Addie Churchill, was first on the scene after being attracted to the spectacle of Bridget Sullivan racing up and down the Borden driveway. Lizzie’s cool quip,
“Oh do come over Mrs. Churchill, someone has killed father”-
or words to that effect have resounded down the century as being somewhat strange under the circumstances. Addie enters the house and gets the story from Lizzie, who is sitting in the turn of the lower steps of the back stairs.
(Prelim.) Addie Churchill
Q. What did you do or say?
A. I opened one of the windows and said “Lizzie, what is the matter?”
Q. Go right on now,
A. She said “O, Mrs. Churchill, do come over; somebody has killed father.”
Q. Go right on, if you please.
A. I closed the window, and went directly through my house out the front door, and went over to her house, and opened the screen door, and went in. Then she sat on the second stair at the right of the screen door, the back stairs.
Q. The stairs, as I remember the plan, came down, the foot of the stairs is very near the back door?
A. Just as the right of the door as you go in.
Q. She was sitting then opposite where she had been standing?
A. Yes Sir.
Q. What happened then?
A. I put my hand on her arm, and said “O, Lizzie”, I said “Where is your father”? She said “in the sitting room”. I said “where were you when it happened”? She said she went to the barn to get a piece of iron, and came back, heard a distressed noise, and came in, and found the screen door open.
Can you picture her there?
Jo Anne Giovino
Seeing that I have the privilege of playing Mrs. Churchill in the reenactment on August 4th,I have often thought about how strange it must have been to have your neighbor invite you over because her father had been killed ! After I read that Lizzie was seated on the inside back step when Addie did go over , I have revisited that site and sat on the same step . It is really quite eerie to put yourself in the exact spot Lizzie was on the day of the murders. I wonder what was really going through her brain at that time?