Borden House Interiors

  • Haunted U Returns

    ghosthoverChristopher Moon and Haunted University will be returning to the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast Museum for this weekend, giving classes in how to set up paranormal-detecting equipment, and monitoring the house for “activity”.  With a full moon on the rise for Saturday night- this should be a good tune-up for Halloween!

  • House of Secrets

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    One by one, over the years, the homes on Second Street between Spring and Borden streets have been demolished.  Miraculously the Andrew Borden house has survived as well as the neighboring house to the south.  Emma and Lizzie’s good friend Alice Russell had lived in this unpreposing cape-style home and thus became well-acquainted with the Bordens.  Alice was a key witness at Lizzie’s trial, stayed with the family for some days after the murders, and testified about Lizzie burning a dress in the kitchen woodstove the day after the funerals of Abby and Andrew Borden.

    On the day of the murders, Mrs. Caroline Kelly, wife of pediatrician Dr. Michael Kelly,(new occupants to the house next door) saw Andrew Borden trying to enter his home around 10:45.  She was on her way to the dentist and was probably the last non-family member to see Andrew Borden alive.  Most Borden historians still refer to the house as the “Kelly House”.

    Several decades before the Borden murders, a Mrs. Ladowick Borden, depressed and at wits’ end, threw three children in the old cistern at this house.  The two young boys died, but her daughter survived. Mrs. Ladowick Borden went upstairs and slit her throat with her husband’s straight razor. Who knows why.  This is a house with dark secrets and tragedy to rival that of #92 Second Street.  And today the two houses of death and horror remain-sole survivors of the wrecker’s ball. The Kelly house is for sale-for anyone who wants a house with a history.

  • The new face of Second Street

    It’s been a rough winter in Fall River with plenty of ice and snow as the familiar name in the photo below will testify.

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    But work on the new court house continues slowly.  The building looms over South Main Street and the back of the building dominates Second Street just across from the Borden house.  At one time the twin spires of St. Anne’s and the single steeple of St. Mary’s were the landmarks easily spotted from the Braga Bridge top-now the court house steals all the thunder.

  • The magic of Rick Geary

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    Rick Geary has spent a good many years as illustrator and cartoonist, capturing on paper  some pretty grisly tales from the corridors of dark history.  The Borden case caught his fancy and was immortalized as a graphic book, some years ago.  It is a must-have for fans of the case and is available on Amazon for as little as five dollars. 

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    Mr. Geary also produced a charming paper cutout sheet of the house on Second Street, which was, for a time available for sale at #92. It is not now so readily available.  Once selling for $1.95, the cardstock cutout, which when colored and assembled is a strikingly good facsimile of the house, is now sought after by Bordenites.  If readers know where it might be purchased- send us a comment!

    Visit Rick Geary’s website at http://www.rickgeary.com/

  • It pays to buy quality!

    Andrew Borden knew a thing or two about home improvements and value.  The cast iron radiators he put in when the family moved into 92 Second Street in 1872 are still going strong today. Here is a photo taken on the day of the crimes in 1892 of the radiator in the front hallway.

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    Today, the same radiators heat #92 .  The current boiler is also located in the same place in the cellar that was the location in 1892. Oh, to get a metal detector under that boiler!

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  • #4 Guest Room Crime Scene

    The bedroom furniture in the guest room today is such a very good replication of what was actually in the room on the day of the murders that guests to the house think it is the actual furniture.  Abby’s head is seen in the old sepia photographs lining up at the middle knob on the dresser as she lay on the floor between the dresser and the bed.  There was a small folding canvas camp chair in front of her head and the sewing machine was in the northwest corner where the large armoire is today.  The green dress in the corner was worn by Elizabeth Montgomery in the 1975 film The Legend of Lizzie Borden and was designed by Guy Verhille for the Paramount Studios production.

  • Diningroom #3

    The diningroom holds a great fascination as a place where many things transpired during the week leading up to the murder.  After being served seafood in this room on Tuesday evening, August 2nd, the family became violently ill Tuesday night. Abby Borden sought help from the physician across the street on Wednesday morning.  Uncle John arrived later Wednesday afternoon and partook of lunch in this room before leaving for errands in nearby Swansea.  On the day of the murder, this was the site for the “Last Breakfast of Abby and Andrew Borden” and Uncle John before the threesome would part company forever. The menu is memorable: mutton, mutton broth, over ripe bananas, sugar cookies, jonnycakes and coffee.  The diningroom is also the last place Abby is seen alive by maid, Bridget Sullivan as she discussed the noonday meal with Lizzie before going upstairs to her grisly end.  Later, when Mr. Borden returns home, Bridget, in the diningroom, overhears what will be the last conversation between Lizzie and her father before Bridget goes upstairs to the third floor to lie down.  At some point around eleven o’ clock a killer will pause in the doorway between the diningroom and sittingroom shown in the photo above, before striking down Mr. Borden.  The corpses of the two murder victims lay in the dining room from Thursday through Saturday morning.  Mrs. Borden’s stomach was removed in this room. 

    This is today the room where overnight guests share their breakfast.

  • Crime Scene-Andrew Borden #2

     

    The house on Second Street has many visitors over the year, both day tourists and overnight guests at the B&B and all without exception gravitate to the black sofa, a close copy of the original upon which Andrew J. Borden breathed his last.  So many have sat for photos on this piece of furniture that the original one put in the sitting room in 1996 has been reupholstered twice and has retired to the gift shop while a second black sofa had to be purchased for the sitting room.  The sitting room, crime scene of the second August 4, 1892 murder is little changed today from what it was 116 years ago.  The windows are original, the doors and moldings, mop boards and  fireplace are just the same.  There were 2 chairs, a sofa, a tripod table and a small center table in the room.  The closet under the staircase was used for hats and old coats and jackets. It is a deep closet, with the original hooks intact today.  Considering the blood spatter pattern, the general consensus was that the killer most likely stood near the diningroom doorway near the head of the sofa to administer the blows to the dozing head of Andrew Borden.  The photo montage below is a 360 degree view of the room beginning north, clockwise around the room. 

    https://picasaweb.google.com/109993181558388557388/SlideAlbumCrimeScene2?authuser=0&feat=directlink

  • If Walls Could Talk- Entry and Kitchen #1

    This is the first of a new series featuring 360 degrees of still photography of each space within the Borden house on Second Street as it appears today.  The entry and kitchen were scenes of much action on August 4th. The side (North) entry door would appear to have been the only way a killer could have sneaked in unaided, during the time the maid was out washing windows and Lizzie was in the barn.  The bottom of the back stairs was the spot where Lizzie told her neighbor Mrs. Churchill, first on the scene, all about what had happened.  Lizzie was seen leaning against the screen on the inside.  Later pharmacist Mr. Bence would peer down this same back entry hall and identify Lizzie as the woman who had tried to buy Prussic acid on the day prior to the murders.  Many neighbors, friends and police would pace up and down the short length of back hallway that day, coming in and out of the house.  Emma, returning from Fairhaven would walk into this space after she got off the train, finding shocking things going on in the sitting room and diningroom.  The day after the funeral, Lizzie would be observed burning up a skirt and blouse in the kitchen stove by her friend Alice Russell.  If walls could talk, the entry and kitchen would have plenty to say!