August 6, 1892 The Borden Funeral

Andrew Jackson Borden R.I.P.

As the funeral party left #92 on its way to Oak Grove, the hearse carriages, containing the two coffins would have gone first, followed by the carriage of the undertaker and pall bearers, then the family followed by friends and neighbors.  Emma and Lizzie would ride in the procession to Oak Grove, arriving at 12:20,  but would not descend and follow the minister and their uncle, John Morse, to the graveside for the final prayers which lasted perhaps only two minutes.  This was not expected of Victorian ladies, as it was judged too taxing on their fragile feminine constitutions to be confronted with the yawning open grave.  The graves themselves were lined with dark, thin cloth and strew with evergreen fir branches, a common practice before the advent of grave vaults.  The viewing of raw earth was too grim a reminder of the phrase, “Ashes to ashes- dust to dust”. All along the cortege route, hundreds of Fall River citizens lined Second Street and were waiting with interest to view the spectacle at the cemetery.  The procession turned left on Borden Street and made a pass by the Andrew J. Borden Building on South Main before continuing up to North Main Street bearing right onto Cherry Street, then left onto Rock Street and northward to Prospect Street where the procession went east into the main gate of Oak Grove. The custom of passing by the place of business of the head of house is still carried on today, if it is logistically possible.   The procession then passed beneath the great granite Gothic arch, which had been erected in 1873, emblazoned with the motto, “The shadows have fallen and they wait for the day”- an apt sentiment considering the circumstances of the Borden murders.

Entrance to Oak Grove today
Entrance circa 1903
Abby Durfee Gray Borden R.I.P.

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