Many anxious eyes are watching the outcome for the old Central Congregational Church on Rock St. The building by Hartwell and Swazey is of significant historical value, and is in a state of disrepair currently that requires considerable money to restore. Here is a new video detailing the history of the edifice.
This year the August 4th production at the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast will debut a new leading lady. She is no stranger to the part. The photos here are taken from an episode filmed last summer for the Travel Channel. Kathleen Troost-Cramer, day manager at the famous B&B in Fall River, may be remembered for performances in years past as Irish maid, Bridget Sullivan. This year, having gotten in a few practice whacks with a hatchet, Kathleen is ready to take on the legendary Lizzie Borden, probably the most difficult role of the lot as expectations are so varied and anticipated by the sold-out crowd which assembles every year on the 4th to re-live the Borden tale of mystery.
Mild-mannered mother of two, and Bible scholar, this role is quite a stretch, but anyone who has been “under the hatchet”to Kathleen can testify- she means business!
Congratulations and “break-a-leg” to Kathleen as we wait to see her unique spin on the unforgettable Lizzie Borden!
First performance on August 4th at 10:30 a.m., last performance at 3:30 p.m.
Grave of Joseph Courtemanche (Shortsleeve) His name is not on the stone.
Notre Dame Cemetery
Joseph Shortsleeve immigrated from Canada in 1876. Listed as being born in English Canada in 1847 as Joseph Courtemanche, he americanized his name to Shortsleeve as did many French Canadians in Fall River. He was trained as a carpenter and worked for Andrew Borden. On the morning of the murders he was with Jim Mather at a store near the corner of Spring and South Main putting in a new window for Jonathan Clegg, one of Andrew Borden’s commercial tenants. Mr. Borden owned the property.
Andrew had bumped into Mr. Clegg near the Granite Block on his way back home and had promised to check on the window that morning. Joseph Shortsleeve appears in the 1910 census as living at 40 Dover Street, a widower with several single daughters to support. He is still listed as a carpenter in 1910. He was 45 on the day of the murders and was questioned intently so as to fix the time of Andrew Borden’s arrival at home. From the Preliminary: *note In the preliminary and in newspapers, the name is usually plural, Shortsleeves, however in French Courtemache is singular, courtes manches being the plural form.
Q. Mr. Knowlton.) What is your full name?
A. Joseph Shortsleeve.
Q. Did you know Mr. Borden?
A. Yes Sir.
Q. Did you work for him?
A. I worked for him on different jobs, yes sir.
Q. What is your business?
Q. Were you working for him on the day that he was killed?
A. No Sir.
Q. Did you see him on that day?
A. Yes Sir.
Q. You remember the day, of course?
A. Yes Sir.
Q. Where did you see him?
A. In the building that he owns on So. Main street, No. 92.
Q. What street is that the corner of?
A. That is not exactly on the corner, sir, it is three buildings from the corner of Spring and So. Main.
Q. Spring is the next street above his house?
A. Above the store where we were working.
Q. If you were going to his house you would turn down?
A. He lives on the right hand side of the street, turned down on Second to the left.
Q. Go towards City Hall?
A. Yes Sir.
Q. It is between Spring street and the next one below it?
A. Between Borden and Spring street.
Q. Did you see him on some business that day?
A. Nothing, no particular business; he dropped in there. I supposed he was on his way home at the time. We were repairing this store for Jonathan Clegg; and he came in there.
Q. That was the store Clegg was to move into?
A. Yes Sir, he is moving in some of the stuff now.
Q. You were working in that store?
A. Yes Sir.
Q. Did you have some talk with him?
A. Yes Sir.
Q. Who was there with you?
A. My friend James Mather.
Q. How long did he stay there?
A. Between three and four minutes I should judge.
Q. Did you see which way he went when he left your place?
A. I could not swear which way he went, but he disappeared in a very short minute, but he was heading towards So. Main, towards Spring street.
Q. What time was that?
A. It was between half past ten and quarter to eleven.
Q. After half past ten?
A. Yes sir after half past ten.
Q. How do you fix that fact?
A. My friend there stepped out on to the sidewalk, and he looked down to the town clock, we can see the town clock very plain from where we were, and it was twenty minutes to eleven then.
Q. Was that before or after he had left?
A. It was just after he had left.
Q. You did not see him again after that?
A. No sir we did not.
Although there have been many comparisons in the past few days between Casey Anthony and O.J. Simpson, Bob Ward has added a few great remarks in his Crime Files column suggesting Lizzie and Casey might have more in common.
Just in time for Lizzie’s birthday: the guide to Borden-related graves in Oak Grove Cemetery. The booklet contains maps, biographies of people connected with the case who are buried at Oak Grove, three walking tours with maps of how to locate both minor and major personalities in the Borden story, a history of the cemetery, fun facts and trivia, who is NOT buried at Oak Grove connected to the Borden case, and articles on the Victorian celebration of death, symbolism on funerary statuary and much more! Designed in a black and white “Edward Goreyesque” style, the publication will go on sale July 19th. Pricing and outlets which will stock the guide will be finalized and announced here on July 15th.