What a great poster for the upcoming Blue Coyote production at the Access Theatre, Broadway!
What a great poster for the upcoming Blue Coyote production at the Access Theatre, Broadway!
Just when you think everything has been done that can be done with the Borden case, along comes a new twist. We have Lizzie dolls, pins, magnets, teeshirts, bracelets, earrings, coffee mugs and shot glasses. There are books galore with more coming soon, paperdolls, collector cards, toy hatchets, and even Cat’s Meow has put out a wooden replica of the murder house on Second Street. And now- from ETSY, an online crafter’s catalogue, we have a Lizzie Borden perfume oil, in a limited edition, available only until November 2010. Have a look at the newest entry on the Lizzie market. Wonder what’s next?
This “eau de murder” is described as:
“A waft of Mother’s garden blooms, Father’s unlit pipe, tiny roses on the parlor wallpaper, and a dusty wooden axe handle.”
The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism recently released its list of “1,000 Great Places” and six spots were in Fall River, including the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum. The Spirit has an article on the other five places, and comment on the results by B&B owner, Lee Ann Wilber. For the article visit this link
Apparently the practice of chopping up bodies with sharp instruments can be found outside the city of Fall River. A new book on another grisly murder is out, this time the ladykiller, Ouida Keeton could say, unlike Lizzie, “She is not my stepmother- she is my mother!”
Here is a blurb from the dustjacket:
The Legs Murder Scandal
by Hunter Cole
Jackson: University Press of Mississippi (2010).
First Edition. Signed. $30.00
|“In Laurel, Mississippi, in 1935, one daughter of a wealthy and troubled family stood accused of murdering her mother. On her testimony, authorities suspected an equally prominent and well-to-do businessman, her reputed lover, of assisting. Ouida Keeton apparently shot her mother, chopped her up, and disposed of most of her body parts down the toilet and in the fireplace, burning all but the pelvic region, the thighs, and the legs. Attempting to dispose of these remains on a narrow, one-lane, isolated road, Ouida left a trail of evidence that ended in her arrest. People had seen her driving to the road. Within hours, a hunter and his dogs found the cloth in which she had wrapped her mother’s legs.Touted as the most sensational crime in Mississippi history at the time, the Legs Murder of 1935 is almost entirely forgotten today. The controversial outcome, decided by an unsophisticated jury, has been left muddled by ambiguity. With “The Legs Murder Scandal, ” Hunter Cole presents an intricately detailed description of the separate trials of Ouida Keeton and W.M. Carter. Having researched trial transcripts, courthouse records, medical files, and vast newspaper coverage, the author reveals new facts previously distorted by hearsay, hushed reports, and misinformation. Cole pursues many unanswered questions such as what, really, did Ouida Keeton do with the rest of her mother? “The Legs Murder Scandal” attempts to provide the reader with clarity in this story, which is outlandish, harrowing, and intriguing, all at once.”|
As posted earlier: The public is cordially invited to attend a presentation of “Lizzie Borden: The Mystery Continues,” sponsored by the Sippican Historical Society Thursday, Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. at Marion’s Music Hall.
The speaker will be Mr. Christopher Daley in a one hour retelling of the famous double homicide. Mr. Daley is a history teacher in the Silver Lake Regional School System in Kingston. If you get to Marion earlier, there are many things to enjoy, not the least of which is the scenery.
The Sippican Historical Society has a treasure trove of things to see including the Mary Celeste room,
and many beautiful paintings and sketches by Charles Dana Gibson, creator of the Gibson Girl.
It’s no wonder Lizzie wanted to go fishing in Marion with Dr. Handy’s cottage so close to the fishing pier. The photo below is the site of Dr. Handy’s cottage, but not the original building. The water is a moment’s walk away.
Borden case prosecutor, Hosea Knowlton enjoyed a summer rental in Marion, died there and had his ashes scattered over water there. The photo below is of his summer rental house, shown with the Second St. Irregulars on Front St.
Knowlton had built a beautiful summer home in 1900, but sadly died before he could enjoy many summers in it, He died in 1902. It is now a dormitory for Tabor Academy.
The Fall River Spirit just published a very interesting article about the current exhibit of Bordenalia at the Fall River Historical Society. If you have not seen this- hurry on down as the special exhibit has an expiration date of October 15th!
Assistant curator Dennis Binnette has commented in the article on the surprising amount of blood on the shams and coverlet which were in the guest room of the Borden house on Second St. For the article follow this link http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100812/PUB03/8120358
(photo credit: Dave Souza, Fall River Herald)
Not quite done with Lizzie and the Borden case yet? Here is the link to an article about what is yet to see, and news of a production opening soon about- Nance O’Neil!
click on this link to go directly to the feature.
This year the house outside was pristine, having just had a new coat of paint. The tent was up for visitors to wait under , shielded from the hot sun, and lemonade and hatchet cookies were ready for refreshment. Thanks go out this year to Debbie, Anna and Walter for keeping everyone cool and refreshed!
Naturally any photographs on the wall inside which were not family photos were taken down. Several crime scene photos were shown to visitors as “just having been developed and sent over by Mr. Walsh who was hired by the police department to shoot the crime scenes.”
For the first time this year, inasmuch as “CSI” was in the title of this year’s adaptation, blood spatter was applied to the wall and doors in the sitting room. After trying several concoctions, cherry preserves was found to give the best effect. John Morse mentions about 60 drops on the door into the parlor. Emma Borden would wash these off later in the evening on the 4th. Spatter was also applied to the framed engraving over the black sofa. Most visitors made a note of this on their exit polls. (photos courtesy of Lee Ann Wilbur)
This year the bed in the guest room where Abby Borden was killed was moved in order to reproduce the photo of Abby taken from the door way. A blood-spattered coverlet and shams were on the bed as well as a tuft of hair. More blood was used than on the genuine article which was on display down at the historical society in a special Bordenalia exhibit.
It is remarkable that the crime scene still exists after so many years, so everyone who visits is very forgiving of modern conveniences such as electric sockets, lamps, refrigerators, etc, and turns a blind eye to these minor things which distract from time travel to 1892.
The dress worn by Elizabeth Montgomery in The Legend of Lizzie Borden, and other clothing items usually on display were put in the upstairs bathroom, which at one time was actually a dress closet. Down in the cellar, the search for hatchets and other possible weapons, conducted by Detective Seaver, gave a glimpse to visitors of just where these items were found, and offers a visit to the Borden cellar, always a place guests wish to see.
Using a detailed sketch of the rooms done by Kiernan in 1892 as reference, Lizzie’s fainting couch was placed where it had been, between the two windows. Lizzie lounged with her pink and white wrapper with cherry ribbons which Officer Harrington would later describe in such detail that it brought a smile from Lizzie in court.
With so many period antiques in place in the house, dressing the house for a performance is easy. The two crime scenes are particularly accurate in furnishings, and most guests take note of this as they examine the 1892 photographs. With just a little imagination, it is not hard to go back in time and visualize how the rooms must have looked. At 9:30 and 11 a.m., a hush always falls on the house as cast and guests recall what was happening so many years ago.
It was a big day at #92 for the cast of the Pear Essential Players as they turned in 10 performances of Lizzie Borden CSI. Tickets sold out and the gift shop was buzzing with activity from early morning until the end of the day when the evening check- ins arrived. All previous records were broken this year.
Rufus Hilliard Ray Mitchell
There were a few new faces this year in the cast including Ray Mitchell who portrayed city marshal Rufus Hilliard and bore an uncanny resemblance to his character! Michael Brooks took over the role of James Winward, Undertaker and was suitably grave and distinguished.
(photo courtesy of Lee Ann Wilber)
For the first time, the bed in the guest room was moved in order to reproduce a lesser-known photo of Abby Borden.
With a nod to Richard’s Behren’s new book, Lizzie Borden: Girl Detective, Kathryn Woods played Miss Nellie Drew, girl detective and interviewed Uncle John Morse.
Molly O’Brien took over as Miss Manning from the Fall River Herald and also had a few things to ask Uncle John.
photo courtesy of Lee Ann Wilber
The men in blue were out in force this year with Ben Rose reprising Detective Seaver, and new B&B museum employees Justin Dunne and Will Clawson playing Medley and Harrington. Mustaches were a key element in bringing the characters to life with Hilliard’s famous walrus mustache and Harrington’s “handlebar” stash adding much to the characterization.
Will Clawson Phil Harrington
Justin Dunne played a young officer William Medley. Medley would become Fall River’s first Chief of Police.
Justin Dunne Chief Medley
Many actors have played Andrew Borden over the years and this year B&B employee Logan Livesey had the tough task of staying perfectly still under the sheet.
Tomorrow: Set dressing the house, our cast regulars, and the cast trip to Maplecroft!
Private funeral services for the deceased victims began at the house on Second Street at 11 a.m. on Saturday morning. The streets surrounding the house were packed with over 2500 people anxious to get a glimpse of the proceedings. Services were conducted by the Rev. A. Buck, William Adams, D.D. gave the invocation and read passages from the Bible. The bodies were each placed in a cedar coffin covered with black broadcloth and bore three silver handles on each side. The names of the deceased were engraved on a plate on the lid. On the casket of Andrew Borden was an ivy wreath, on Abby Borden’s a wreath of white roses, fern and sweet peas tied up with white satin ribbon. The bodies were exposed for viewing.
Family and neighbors attending the home service included Abby’s half-sister Sarah Whitehead, Mrs. Gray (Abby’s stepmother), Hiram Harrington (brother-in-law of Andrew Borden), Mrs. J. L. Fish (sister of Abby Borden), Dr. and Mrs. Bowen, Southard Miller and son, Mrs. Addie Churchill, Mrs. Thomas Cheetham, several cousins, neighbor Mrs. James Burt, Mrs. Rescomb Case, and Mrs. John Durfee. Over seventy-five in all were received at the home.
Miss Lizzie Borden was attired in a black lace dress with jet bead trimmings and wore a bonnet of dark material with small, high flowers. The funeral procession traveled north on Second Street, to Borden Street, on to South Main, and passed by the Andrew J. Borden Building. It continued north to Cherry Street, to Rock Street, and turned East on Prospect Street to the entry of Oak Grove Cemetery. The cortege arrived at the burial site at 12: 20 where several hundred people were assembled for the graveside services. The crowd was contained by a dozen policemen. None of the funeral party descended from their carriages except John Morse, Lizzie’s uncle, the bearers and the clergy. The tops of the graves were covered with branches of fir and the sides lined with cloth.
Pallbearers included John H. Boone, businessman, Andrew J. Borden, Merchant Manufacturing Co. (same name as the deceased), Jerome Cook Borden, cousin, Richard A. Borden, prominent businessman, George W. Dean, businessman, Abraham Hart, treasurer of Union Savings Bank, and James Osborn, a member of the Central Congregational Church. For Abby Borden: Frank Almy, John Boone, Henry Buffinton, Simeon Chace, James Eddy and Henry Wells. The bodies were not buried until after a cemetery autopsy on August 11th when both skulls were removed and a complete autopsy took place.
Richard Behrens,author of Lizzie Borden, Girl Detective gave a reading at the Fall River Public Library on August 3rd. Some of the character actors from the Borden house museum’s Pear Essential Players came dressed 1892 style for the occasion.
This year’s cast featured Kathryn Woods as Nellie Drew, budding girl detective and fan of Miss Lizzie’s sleuthing adventures!
Abby Borden (Shelley Dziedzic) on the arm of
Uncle John V. Morse (Joe Radza) at the library (photos by Jack Faria)
click on link to view video : Lizzie Borden, Girl Detective
Dr. Handy’s cottage, Lizzie’s Marion fishing destination (courtesy of Sippican Historical Society).
If you were busy elsewhere on August 4th and missed the Lizzie tizzy of activities in Fall River, you can still catch a program on the famous case in Marion, MA. on August 19th at 7 p.m. Marion, the charming little fishing town where Lizzie had planned to try her famous line and sinkers, has a program in the old music hall which should keep the case followers delighted in August. http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100805/PUB01/8050377
The cast enjoyed a great day at the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast Museum as they, for the 14th year, adapted the facts of the case for performance to the public. Tickets were sold out well before the afternoon, with starting times on the half hour this year. An exit poll was given to the visitors and over 60 % of those who filled out the form decided Lizzie was the guilty party, with Uncle John Morse coming in a distant second. There was a drawing at the end of the day for a gift certificate to the popular B&B. Some of the cast is shown above after the day was ended, before being treated to a tour of all floors of Lizzie’s home on French St., Maplecroft. It was a big day for all things Lizzie with the new exhibit also debuting at the Fall River Historical Society. For more about the day visit the Fall River Herald site article http://www.heraldnews.com/news/x84685033/Fall-Rivers-infamous-Borden-murders-reenacted-on-118th-anniversary
More script details and cast photos coming soon!
My Own Country (My Ain Countrie) was the hymn said to be that which Lizzie chose to be sung at her private wake in her home. Soprano Vida Turner was instructed to sing it, received her check and was told not to tell anyone what transpired on the day at Maplecroft.
The hymn shown below, based on a poem text and in Robert Burnsian dialect, was found in a period hymnal called The White Ribbon Temperance Hymnal. The Borden household was a temperance home, and perhaps Lizzie first heard this hymn at a meeting of the Women’s Temperance Society. In Lizzie’s library mantel at Maplecroft, At Hame in My Ain Countrie is carved along with Scottish thistles. It’s hard to know for sure if Lizzie had this done, or it was already there when she bought the house. She indicated an admiration for things Scottish, so it is possible she was responsible for the carving.
“I am far from my home, and I’m weary after whiles,
for the longed for home -bringing and my Father’s welcome smiles”
is text which causes one pause! The “F” in Father is capitalized, thereby referring to God, but perhaps she was thinking of Andrew Borden! Try this on your piano. This was played at Maplecroft and sung, on August 4, 1992 for the centennial of the crimes.
I am far from my home, and I’m weary after whiles for the longed-for home-bringing and my Father’s welcome smiles,
But I’ll not be full content, until my eyes do see, the garden gate of heaven in my own country.
The earth is flecked with flowers, many tinted bright and gay,the birdies warble blithely, for the Father made them say.
But these sights and these sounds will as nothing to me be, when I hear the angels singing in my own country.
I’ve his good word of promise that some gladsome day the King, to his own royal palace his banished home will bring.
With eye and with heart running over we shall see,
The King in his beauty in our own country.
My sins have been many and my sorrows have been sore,
But they’ll never vex me nor be remembered more.
For his blood has made me white, and his hand shall dry my eye,
When he brings me home at last, to my own country.
He is faithful that has promised, and he’ll surely come again,
He’ll keep his tryst with me, at what hour I do not know,
But he bids me still to wait and yes, ready,
To go at any moment to my own country.
So I’m watching, yes, and singing of my home, as I wait,
For the sound of his footfall, this side the garden gate.
God give his grace to all, and who listens now to me,
that we may go in gladness to our own country.
To hear more hymns from the White Ribbon Hymnal of 1892, visit this link http://dig.lib.niu.edu/gildedage/songs/whiteribbon.html
Many folks in town are less than pleased with the monstrosity that passes for a court house across the street from the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum but recently something new has appeared which is generating puzzled looks and outrage from passers-by. On the Spring St. corner at Second, the yellow “Kelly House” complex which consists of a house rental and a few retail businesses, is now sporting huge black and grey portraits of Albert Einstein and Marilyn Monroe. The big question mark has raised some speculation- who next?- Lizzie Borden?
St. Mary’s church has the corner lot where a large statue of the Virgin Mary is located. Einstein seems to be sticking his tongue out in that direction. But the big question is- WHY? Does the city have any regulation in place about public mural art? There’s bound to be further developments on this one.