• Coming Soon! Lizzie Borden Returns to Fall River!


    The temperature is rising, the pears are getting ripe and attention turns once again to the doings of August 4. 1892 in Little Old Fall River.  The Pear Essential (PEP-PY) Players welcome two new members this year in the roles of Alice Russell, the Borden sisters’ bosom friend, and Dr. Dolan, medical examiner, played by husband and wife team of Ted and Loretta Sisco. The couple have been vistors at the house for several years and will take the plunge this year on August 4th!  The Usual Suspects will be making a return this year in the old familiar roles and a few undertaking new character roles.  Advance tickets may be reserved beginning on July 5th for the Monday, August 4th schedule of eight performances at 10:30, 11, 11:30, 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30, 3.  Call the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast Museum at 508-675-7333 to reserve tickets.  Reservations are recommended as performances sell out early every year.   Miss Carol Ann Simone will reprise her role as Miss Lizzie for her third year running.  Did she do it?  You decide!!


     

     

    CAST FOR 2014

    Miss Porter/FR Herald JoAnne Giovino
    Abby Borden Robin Bertoldo/Shelley Dziedzic
    Andrew Borden  
    Emma Borden Danielle Cabral
    Lizzie Borden Carol Ann Simone
    Dr. Dolan, M.E. Ted Sisco
     Mrs. Bowen  Ellen Borden
     Mrs. Kelly  Kat Woods
    Mrs. Burt/Nosey Neighbor Shelley Dziedzic
    Officer Harrington Rick Bertoldo
    Marshal Hilliard Ray Mitchell
    Miss Manning/FR Globe Barbara Morrissey
    John Morse Joe Radza
    Alice Russell Loretta S. Sisco
    Detective Seaver Michael Shogi
    Bridget Sullivan Suzann Rogers
    Undertaker Winward Jerry Pacheco
  • Fall River Historical Society to debut a new photo of Maplecroft interior

    The FRHS announced an exciting donation to the Borden archive today.  The following appears on the FRHS Facebook page and is very exciting.  How can we wait until August 4th?

    maplecroft seal“Lizzie Borden’s home: Extremely rare photograph discovered! Lizzie Borden had this green and gilt “Maplecroft” seal made for use on her correspondence — a rare example of her personal style during her years in that residence. Now we are excited to report that a truly unique photograph taken inside the French street mansion while Lizzie lived there has been given to the FRHS! It’s the only suchphoto ever to have surfaced, and anyone with an interest in Lizzie will find it fascinating. For the first time, we have a partial but revealing glimpse of the interior of her home. And the subject of the photo – something Lizzie apparently cherished — helps to debunk one of the biggest myths perpetuated about her.

    Donated by a descendant of Lizzie’s personal maid, Ida S. Carlson, the photo came to us with impeccable provenance. Lizzie hired a professional photographer to capture the compelling image and had it mounted in an ornate frame, and around 1899 she gave it to Ida, who displayed the treasured piece in her home until her death, at which time it was acquired by a relative.

    The photo will make its debut at the FRHS at a special exhibit opening on August 4, 2014, where it will join a collection of other recently acquired Borden-related items of note. Mark your calendar, and be sure to come and take our informative tour about the life and trial of Lizzie Borden!”  (Posted April 22, Facebook).

     

  • August 4th is Coming Soon !

    The Pear Essential Players Present

    A Dramatization of August 4th on Second Street 

    Saturday, August 4, 2012

    Reserved Tickets are Now On sale at

    The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum

    Turn back the clock to the morning of August 4, 1892.  The bodies of Abby and Andrew Borden have been discovered cruelly murdered at their home on Second Street.  The friends and neighbors have gathered around daughters Emma and Lizzie as the police and doctors collect evidence and question the inhabitants of #92.  Can you help the police solve the mystery?  Who could have committed such a grisly deed? 

    A drawing for the day’s tour visitors will be held after the last performance for a Gift Certificate for Two for a night at the Bed & Breakfast.  The Drawing is at 4:15 p.m. Follow the Pear Essential Players on Facebook and at http://pearessentialproductions.org/ 

    Abby Borden- Shelley Dziedzic

    Andrew Borden- Don Sykes

    Lizzie Borden- Carol Ann Simone

    Emma Borden- Barbara Morrissey

    Uncle John Morse- Joe Radza

    Bridget Sullivan- Suzann Rogers

    Marshal Hilliard- Ray Mitchell

    Officer Phil Harrington- Mark Lomastro

    Dr. Bowen- Jack Sheridan

    Mrs. Phebe Bowen- Ellen Borden

    Addie Churchill- JoAnne Giovino

    Dr. Dolan- Michael Shogi

    Miss Manning- Eliza Marks

    Nellie Bly, Intrepid Globe-Spanning Reporter- Katrina Shogi

    Undertaker Winward- Jerry Pacheco

    Alice Russell- Kristin Pepe

    A new Miss Lizzie is making her debut!  Tickets go on sale July 15th! Call 508-675-7333 to reserve.

  • Send for Mr. Walsh!

    One very good reason the Borden case has made such a long-lasting impression in the public consciousness for so many decades must surely be the unforgettable crime scene photos of Abby and Andrew Borden.  For these we have James A. Walsh to thank for forever capturing the brutal wounds inflicted upon the elderly couple.. Even in black and white, the victims and the grisly scenarios which unfolded that day in 1892 still fascinate and horrify today.

    James Walsh was a portrait photographer- one of many with shops on North and South Main Street in the 1890s.  It was fashionable to have photographs taken of all family members, individual portraits, groups, youngsters and even infants.  Post mortem photographs were also commonly done to preserve one last glimpse of a precious family member recently- departed.

    It is unknown just who on the police force decided the Borden homicides were important enough to be carefully photographed but Mr. Walsh and his camera were sent for on the afternoon of August 4th.  His home was on nearby Rodman Street and the studio was at 66 South Main, neither very far from the Borden residence on Second Street.  The police departments in most cities did not include a crime scene photographer on their payroll.  It is doubtful Mr. Walsh could ever imagine that so many years later, those memorable photos would still be carefully studied by so many interested in the case.

    The prints online of the crime scenes, interiors and exteriors of #92 Second Street do not do justice to the original prints held in the Fall River Historical Society archives where the details are much clearer and sharper. Unfortunately, by the time Mr. Walsh arrived late in the afternoon, the bodies of both victims had been examined and moved and so the positions seen in the photographs were not exactly as they were following the attacks. Mrs. Borden had been turned over and back at least once, and Mr. Borden’s pockets had been gone through to see if burglary had been a motive. It is even likely that he was arranged in a more decorous manner on the sofa for the photo, befitting his stature in the city.  His arm is clearly propped up with a pillow and it is likely his slip-on Congress boots were put back on his feet.   It is hard to imagine police forensic work today without the all-important crime scene photos. During the Jack the Ripper investigation, one policeman suggested photographing the victim’s eyes as the last thing seen would still be imprinted on the retina! Those photos have also immortalized the Ripper case.

    Cartes de visites (CDVs) or cabinet photos by Walsh are fairly common on Ebay in the 4-5 dollar range and are fun to collect.  Often the back of the card is as interesting as the front; Walsh’s were very elegant. Who knows- more photos of the Borden family might still be out there! (scans below W&W archive with thanks to Joseph Soares)

     

  • Tatyana’s Graphic Design

     

    Tatyana Jula, a Philadelphia graphic designer and illustrator made a visit to the Borden house in October, opting for the day tour, but not quite brave enough to spend the night. She has captured her unique vision of Miss Lizzie as a hospitable  “innkeeper” of a bed and breakfast, a mix of gracious charm with wicked intent! (images used with permission)

    To see how these designs were created step by step, and to order a poster visit these links http://tatyanahjula.com/post-itsngs/lizzie-borden-bed-breakfast/ To order on paper or canvas http://society6.com/tatjula/Lizzie-Borden-Bed-amp-Breakfast_Print

    Visit Tatyana’s web site for more travel posters, postcard and travel art. http://tatyanahjula.com/

  • The Dead Files visits #92

     

    Popular Travel Channel program, The Dead Files, will be making a visit to the Borden house.  Ghosthunters and psychics are nothing new at #92 but this show has a different slant.  According to the channel web site –

    “On The Dead Files, physical medium Amy Allan and retired NYPD homicide detective Steve Di Schiavi, combine their unique and often conflicting skills to solve unexplained paranormal phenomena in haunted locations across America.” 

    Ms. Allan, will “go into the house cold” and form impressions and hopefully channel information about what happened in 1892.  It is up to NYPD detective Di Schiavi to investigate actual factual data to support her findings. Air date for this program has not been released, but it will be posted here when the time has been set. To learn more about the investigation team visit http://www.travelchannel.com/tv-shows/the-dead-files/articles/meet-amy-and-steve

  • Christmas on Second Street

    Hoping yours was a Merry Christmas, and wishing everyone a healthy, (from Abby), prosperous (from Andrew), sober (from Emma) and adventure-filled (from Lizzie) 2012!

     

  • A Red Letter Day in Fall River

    Christmas came early this year for those who enjoy Fall River history and have an interest in the Borden case and the enigmatic Miss Lizzie.  Parallel Lives was released this morning to the public. By 11: 30 a.m. a long line snaked its way down the pavement toward Maple Street and there was a feeling of restless expectation in the air as the noon hour approached. .  A man came around the corner bearing two copies of the coveted tome as heads swiveled to catch a glimpse.  A spontaneous outburst of appreciation went up from the crowd followed by many comments as to the  SIZE of the massive tome.

    No preview copies were released for reviewing to anyone, so it was with enormous excitement today’s release was anticipated.  Beginning on Friday, the benefactors of the publication enjoyed a special gathering, followed by Saturday night’s annual Christmas Open House for members, and capping off an extraordinary weekend with today’s public release of the book, viewing of a special exhibit of materials featured in the book (cards, letters, gifts Lizzie presented to friends, etc.) and a tour of the Christmas decorations, always an annual treat.

    The authors held court in the front parlor at a beautifully decorated table with a red rose Christmas arrangement, signing autographs and having photographs taken with visitors.  On the lawn, on the stairs, and anywhere one could sit, people clutched their volume, looking eagerly through the pages. From all corners came appreciative little shrieks of excitement as never-before-seen photos were discovered, especially those showing Lizzie herself. Even those who vowed not to ruin the surprise until they could sit at leisure soon gave way to overwhelming curiosity and were soon leafing furiously through the pages. Some had driven hours to pick up their copies.

    It would be presumptuous to attempt any sort of review of this major work until the whole was digested, therefore the Warps & Wefts review will be forthcoming in the near future.  Suffice it to say, Parallel Lives is as plummy a Christmas pudding as anyone could ever wish for, chock full of juicy morsels, delicious facts and photos, fascinating history, surprises and many hours of enthralled reading.  To reveal too much would be to ruin your own Christmas surprise- so-

    Just spring to your sleigh, to your team give a whistle,

    To Rock Street fly like the down of a thistle.

    Parallel Lives is the gift sure to please, so take heed,

    Happy holidays to all, and to all a good read!

  • Paranormal Week at Lizzie’s August 21-30

     

     

    “Abby & Lizzie” on the sofa during the filming for Ghost Adventures

    The spirits were restless last week at the Borden house!  My Ghost Story crew checked in on Sunday the 21st. This is a program featured on the Biography Channel. http://myghoststory.com/ Monday- Thursday morning, the well-known crew from Ghost Adventures were in residence with equipment for their “lock down”.  Fans of  host,  Zack,  knocked on the door of #92 and looked longingly through the windows hoping for a glimpse of the handsome host.  Word has it that some interesting EVPs were captured by the team.  This weekend, as hurricane Irene blasted the Northeast, Jeff Belanger, lecturer and author of paranormal books camped out for the weekend.  http://www.jeffbelanger.com/ All in all, the old house on Second Street had an exciting time of it and weathered the hurricane without  incident.  Air dates for these programs featuring the Borden house have yet to be announced.

     

  • Bad news day

    The front page of the Fall River Herald for August 4th featured a large colored photo of Kathleen Troost-Cramer and Barbara Morrissey as Lizzie and Emma Borden on the day of the infamous murders re-enacting the news about the killing of their father and stepmother.  The front page also featured a headline of the Dow down to the lowest point since 2008 and news of bacteria levels in the Taunton River. At least one of the stories was old news from 1892.

     

    Ray Mitchell as city marshal Rufus Hilliard.  Story by Deborah Allard.

  • Congratulations to the Cast of 2011

    The Cast for 2011
    Lizzie Borden: Kathleen Troost-Cramer

    Detective Seaver: Ben Rose
    Abby Borden: Shelley Dziedzic (flat on the floor)
    Andrew Borden: Nicole (under the sheet)
    Bridget Sullivan Suzanne Rogers
    Emma Borden: Barbara Morrissey
    Addie Churchill: JoAnne Giovino
    Alice Russell: Kristin Pepe
    Uncle John: Joe Radza
    Dr. Dolan: Michael Shogi

    Undertaker Winward  Richard Marr-Griffin
    Miss Manning from the Herald: Christina Lambertson
    Internationally acclaimed world reporter, Nellie Bly- Katrina Shogi
    Marshall Hilliard; Ray Mitchell
    Mrs. Dr. Bowen: Ellen Borden

  • Taking a Whack at Lizzie

    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.

  • She’s Back for August!

    In addition to anticipating the upcoming release of the historical society’s Parallel Lives, August will welcome a new play about the famous case.  The Herald News reports:

    A new play, “Lizzie Borden Took an Axe,” depicting the well known Lizzie Borden case will be staged in Fall River for the 119th anniversary of the hatchet murders of Andrew and Abby Borden.

    There will be two performances on Aug. 5 and 6 at the Nagle Auditorium at B.M.C. Durfee High School by the Covey Theatre Company of Syracuse, N.Y.
    Fresh from winning two Syracuse Area Live Theatre awards for Best Original Play and Best Costumes, as well as the Gloria Peter Playwright competition from Aurora, NY, “Lizzie Borden Took an Axe” left critics enthralled and Bordenophiles raving.

    “Lizzie Borden Took an Axe” will be staged Friday and Saturday, Aug. 5 and 6 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by calling 315-420-3729 or online at”  www.thecoveytheatrecompany.com.

    Read more: http://www.heraldnews.com/archive/x2108614302/-Lizzie-Borden-Took-an-Axe-to-be-staged-at-Durfee-High-School#ixzz1QatgYTzn 

    The annual costumed recreation of August 4th will take place as usual at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast on the 4th, which this year, will be a Thursday, just as it was in 1892.

    Plenty of Lizzie on the way for August!

  • Today Show visits Second Street

    The Borden house is hosting guests from the TODAY show this afternoon.  The filming, which was to have taken place last Wednesday, was postponed until today.  The segment is slated to air sometime in May.  The crew will be filming at the house, with an interview by Barbara Borden Morrissey and will then relocate to the Fall River Historical Society to film case artifacts and to discuss the upcoming Parallel Lives.  The crew picked a beautiful day to be in the city, with high temps and plenty of sunshine.

    MSNBC and NBC reporter Amy Robach is shooting the feature.

  • Reunion of the Second Street Irregulars

    The annual banquet for the Second Street Irregulars was held at the Quequechan Club Saturday evening. This year, among the awards given, the first Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to long-time Borden case historian, Ed Thibault of Somerset, Massachusetts.  The original Irregulars joined Ed and his wife Eleanor at the head of the table.  Barbara MacDonald, Deborah Shannon Valentine, Shelley Dziedzic, and Leonard Rebello enjoyed getting the old gang together once more.  Ken Souza was unable to be contacted to round out the original six members. 

     Ed Thibault traces his interest in the Borden case to the age of 14, and has researched and shared his discoveries for many years with local civic groups, schools and visitors to the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast where he and his wife Eleanor have worked for many years.  Congratulations- and thanks, Eddie!

    Ed “assumes the position” one  more time back at the Second St. house.

  • The Buzz is Global on HBO project

    Chances are if you Goggle Lizzie Borden under the “News” heading, you will find several pages of stories on the Chloe Sevigny HBO project for a four hour mini-series, including stories in Polish, French, Russian and Italian!  And if you live in Connecticut, Rhode Island or Massachusetts, tonight at 6 p.m., Channel 10 news jumped on the promotion band wagon.  With all of the very positive buzz and excitement, it is hard to believe Tom Hanks and Playtone would change their mind about producing the four -hour series.  To view the Channel 10 clip, http://www2.turnto10.com/entertainment/2011/mar/17/sevigny-may-play-lizzie-borden-miniseries-ar-426649/

    The casting of Miss Sevigny as Lizzie is spot-on.  She has all the right physical attributes, right down to the mesmerizing and unsettling eyes, and is of the right age to pull it off.  She is also a better-than-good actress.  It will be very interesting to see who will be cast in the major roles.   Maybe Uncle John Morse will be included this time around.

     Due to street noise and the encroachment of modern living, and many other factors, the house on Second Street will not be a likely candidate for the  filming venue.  The 1975 Elizabeth Montgomery attempt did a pretty fair job of recreating Borden house interiors on stage sets. 

    There are very high hopes in Fall River, among the Borden house bed and breakfast employees, and students of the Borden case and Fall River history that this version will get the facts right and do the story justice.  Playtone and Hanks are synonymous with quality productions, so the end result holds very great promise.  It is surprising that it has taken so long to revisit the case and Lizzie Borden as the topic has been building momentum and interest since the Borden house opened for business in 1996.

    The buzz about the upcoming  Fall River Historical Society’s Parallel Lives, detailing Lizzie’s life and Fall River has been the hot topic around Fall River for many months as it promises revelations about Miss Borden which will open a few eyes.  The date of publication has not yet been announced but the long-awaited tome is in final proofing and chances are  it will be published by late Spring.  The nearly thousand -page volume will feature over 500 photographs, including some new views of Lizzie herself, and will disspell some commonly -held notions about her. It will be a must-read for Miss Sevigny and should have some major impact on her characterization of the enigmatic Lizzie. The series will probably have an early 2012 air date according to some sources.

     In any event, Lizzie is bigger now than ever, and the upcoming series will be a boon to the city as well as book sales of Parallel Lives.  It will be a very exciting year ahead.

    http://screenrant.com/hbo-chloe-sevigny-lizzie-borden-miniseries-yman-106311/

  • Oddity in the Borden Kitchen

    Many visitors at the Borden house are delighted to capture video and photos of peculiar phenomena while on tour or spending the night. In the photo above, it is clear that the glass door knob and brass lock above it are merely smears, perhaps from motion of the camera while the picture is being taken.  Even the round “orb” at the top center might be explained as dust or moisture.  What is very odd, however, is the appearance of a wooden handle which seems to appear springing from  the middle of the door.  Do you see anything peculiar in this photo which was taken August 4, 2010? Maybe the missing hatchet handle is making an appearance at last!