Lectures & Exhibits
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!
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
Those interested in the Borden Case will have a week ahead chock-full of things to see and do. It has been a long time since the conference at Bristol Community College and many who are fascinated with the case and needing a good dose of Bordenalia are heading to Fall River this week to take in as much as possible. Great weather is predicted!
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
1. The Fall River Public Library is hosting a book reading with author Richard Behrens, reading from his new book, Lizzie Borden, Girl Detective beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 3rd. Costumed cast from the annual Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum August 4th performances, The Pear Essential Players, will attend in character with a few words to say about Wednesday, the 4th on Second Street.
2. The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast will have daytime tours on the hour from 11 a.m. -3 p.m. on August 3rd. Don’t miss the gift shop! Advance tickets are on sale for August 4th performances of CSI Lizzie Borden. Richard Behrens will also be autographing his book on the 4th in the gift shop. A drawing will be held at the end of the day for a night’s stay for two at the house. Program GPS devices for 230 Second Street or 230 2nd Street.
3. Oak Grove Cemetery has convenient black arrows on the pavement from the office gate to the Borden plot and is open from early morning until dark. Many other case personalities are buried in the historic Victorian cemetery.
4. The Fall River Historical Society will be open with a special augmented Borden exhibit, featuring some items which are generally not on display all the time This is a must-see on the list for visitors coming to Fall River for the day. The society can be found at the corner of Maple and Rock streets. There is also a great gift shop selling Lizzie Borden merchandise and books.
5. A little drive around the city in the late afternoon might be a great way to end the day. The Andrew Borden Building is still standing on the corner of Anawan St. and South Main, Lizzie’s little school can also be found in the South End on Morgan Street, and Maplecroft is convenient if you plan to see the cemetery as it is only a short drive from Prospect to French Street. There is much beautiful Victorian architecture to be seen on The Hill and some fantastic restaurants in which to sample the local cuisine for dinner at the end of your day.
Tuesday, August 3rd, 6:30-7:30pm
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Author Richard Behrens
will be presenting a reading from his latest book
Lizzie Borden: Girl Detective
PLUS: A visit from The Pear Essential Players
The reenactment group from the Lizzie Borden B&B including :
Marshal Hilliard, Miss Lizzie Borden, Mrs. Churchill, Alice Russell, Abby Borden, Uncle John Morse, Officer Phil Harrington and Miss Nellie Drew (Girl Detective Reporter for the Herald)
Fall River Public Library
104 North Main Street,
Fall River, MA
Main meeting room, basement
With the arrival of scorching temps and high humidity, the cast of the Pear Essential Players (P.E.P.) layer on the petticoats, corsets and false beards in preparation for the August 4th re-enactment at the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast. Rehearsals will begin in two weeks, and this year the script is new. Written every year by night tour innkeeper Shelley Dziedzic, this year’s script will harness the flavor of popular CSI programs. Here is what the B&B website has to say about the annual event:
“Thirty minutes have passed since Abby Borden’s body has been found upstairs in the guest room. #92 has become a beehive of activity with Fall River’s Men in Blue flocking to the crime scene. Doctors, bystanders, policemen, newspaper reporters, neighbors and friends are all converging on the little drab house on Second St. Inside on the Second Floor, Miss Lizzie Andrew Borden is reclining on her fainting couch, medicated with bromo caffeine. Uncle John has wandered bewildered into the dining room, trying to make sense of what he has just heard. Bridget Sullivan is frightened in the parlor, already planning to pack and flee that very afternoon. The lifeless bodies of Andrew and Abby Borden are covered with bloody sheets, awaiting procedures and the ministrations of the undertaker. Sister Emma is rushing back home on her way from Fairhaven. Helpful neighbors mill around looking for answers and trying to be useful in comforting Lizzie and assisting the police. Meanwhile, the police begin the questioning and searching. Our visitors will be “deputized” as they begin their tour of the crime scene, and will be encouraged to “assist” the police with their photographic equipment and by carefully surveying the crime scenes. They may even be motivated to ask a question themselves and to be on the lookout for CLUES! By means of the police questioning, the visitors to the house will hear the story as it happened, unfolding through the answers of the family members. As the tour of the premises ends, visitors will be asked to cast a vote on the GUILTY PARTY, based on what they have seen and heard during their inspection of the scene of the crime. ”There will be a few new faces in the cast this year and a few new characters from out of the past. Information on ticket sales, parking and times will be posted here and on the B&B site soon. The first performance will be at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, August 4th. This will be the fourteenth year that the house on Second Street has reproduced the historic details of the famous case in an entertaining and educational way.
It was a charming June afternoon at the Fall River Historical Society when author Richard Behrens’s treated an appreciative audience to selections from his new book, Lizzie Borden: Girl Detective. The gardens were in bloom, lemonade and gingersnaps were on the sideboard, and spellbound fans of the latest Lizzie Borden fictional incarnation were held in rapt attention for a delightful interlude. Copies of the book may be found at the historical society or may be ordered through the website (link in right hand column). Thanks to Mondo Lizzie and Youtube for the following videos from this afternoon.
Today’s Fall River Herald News has a wonderful article about New Jersey author Richard Behren’s book, Lizzie Borden: Girl Detective and the upcoming Saturday reading and booksigning http://www.heraldnews.com/newsnow/x1834540560/Historical-fantasy-novel-features-Lizzie-Borden-as-a-detective
photo credit: LeeAnn Wilber
Popular indy actress and fashion trend-setter, Chloe Sevigny strikes a familiar pose on the black sofa. Ms. Sevigny has family ties to Fall River and a great interest in the Borden case. Tuesday marked her second overnight visit to the house on Second Street.
Painting on #92 has come to a halt due to the weather. More scraping and primer touch -ups are in the future before color can be applied, hopefully next week. Costuming and casting have begun for the upcoming August 4th re-enactments. Busy days on Second Street.
This coming Saturday, June 5, from noon to 2:30 p.m., come and meet the author of Lizzie Borden: Girl Detective, Richard Behrens. The reading selection will take place from 1- 1:30. Come and enjoy an afternoon of fiction and light refreshments!
“It’s Nancy Drew meets Victorian Fall River!” Copies available at the historical society giftshop.
On May 27th papers in the United Kingdom posted news that Stephen Griffiths of Bradford, North Yorkshire would be charged with the homicides of three women. ” ‘I have decided that there is sufficient evidence to charge Stephen Griffiths with their murders, and that it is in the public interest to do so,” ‘ said Peter Mann, head of the Crown Prosecution Service complex casework unit in the West Yorkshire. ” Body parts recently found in a local river are being examined to try and establish if they are from the bodies of the three women.
For the last six years Griffiths had been studying at Bradford University for a doctorate in criminology. His thesis was to have been about 19th-century murders. On his Amazon.com wishlist was Goodbye Lizzie Borden: the Story of the Trial of America’s Most Famous Murderess. For more on the story http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/may/27/bradford-murders-man-charged
For those who remember the film, could That House made so famous be a candidate for a B&B? Read all about what the Lizzie Borden B&B has to say about it. http://www.flashnews.com/news/wfn03100527fn19014.html
The new court house across the street is preparing to open in June, #92 should get its new Rhino Shield paint color applied this week, and rumor has it that the house on Second Street may receive a call from a very special guest soon.
New England Bites bloggers Laura and Diane ( a Mom and Daughter team) paid a visit to Second Street and had a great write-up with photos on their visit. The Fall River natives also give great tips on where to eat in the Fall River area. http://www.newenglandbites.com/2010/05/may-2010-vacation-goin-out-with-bang.html
For a to-die-for photo of Nance O’Neil and some interesting back story on The Legend of Lizzie Borden with Elizabeth Montgomery check this out http://www.filmsinreview.com/2010/05/18/camp-david-may-2010-gettin-lizzie-with-it/
And of course the month started with a bang with the publicizing of that Lizzie note found in a Massachusetts museum in Brighton –http://www.heraldnews.com/news/x2084248292/Local-historian-deciphers-letter-penned-by-Lizzie-Borden And it isn’t even AUGUST yet!!
Graphology, the “pseudo-science” of deciphering personality attributes by analyzing handwriting samples provokes mixed opinions as to the validity of these observations. The formation of letters, the slant of the writing, the way a “t” is crossed- and many other points come under the lens in formulating possible characteristics of the writer.
Janice Warren, master certified handwriting analyst, will present “You Are What You Write,” on Friday, June 18, at 6:30 p.m. at Christ Church, 57 Main St. in Swansea. The owner of “Different Strokes” in Fall River, Ms. Warren gives workshops for teachers and lectures for civic groups and cruise ships.
The program will feature discussion on various traits revealed in handwriting, samples of the rich, famous and infamous, including Lizzie Borden, and will include audience participation by helping to analyze their personal handwriting samples. This is far from the first time that Lizzie’s handwriting has been examined. It will be interesting to see if Ms. Warren agrees with other graphologists.
Refreshments will be served after the program, and tickets may be purchased at the door or by calling Marsha at 508-678-6486. The fundraiser will benefit Christ Church outreach projects.
Hard to believe that May will top the month of April as a busy month at #92. On May 4th the Travel Channel will be returning for the third time since April to film footage for another program which will feature haunted hotels and B&B’s. The same cast from April will be portraying Lizzie, Abby, and Andrew Borden (LeeAnn Wilber, Shelley Dziedzic, & Dan LeLievre). The exterior of the house is undergoing extensive scraping and repainting so the cameras will roll on the inside.
The Discovery Channel will be shooting at the house in two weeks, and will be bringing a full cast of actors to play the key parts in the story. This upcoming Fall season promises to be full of Lizzie Borden and the Fall River Tragedy.
The pansies are in bloom, the pear tree is laden with blossoms which will yield plenty of pears in August, and a few new touches have been added around the house, bringing a feeling of 1892. An 1880’s silver caster set now has pride of place in the diningroom, there’s a new globe lamp on the piano, a beautiful oil painting of roses by a local artist, painted in 1897 hanging in the parlor, and Mr. Borden has a walnut Eastlake mirror in his bedroom. Over the parlor sofa, a display of Victorian memorials adds decades to the room decor and features a shadowbox of handmade flowers and a framed memorial of a cross and flowers composed entirely of hair, a popular activity from 1860s-1880s.
Across the street, the new court house is preparing to open. All along the west side of Second Street, parking places have been defined. Lots of changes are afoot for the busy season at #92.
After the visit to the police station, the flock descended on the Fall River Public Library to have a look at the Fall River Room and exhibit of Fall River artist paintings. A happy hour was spent there looking through old street directories, postcards and reference materials-some rare, and all chock full of information about the city. After a tour of the library it was check-in time at #92 Second Street and preparations for the annual banquet, this year at the old Quequechan Club on North Main Street. Some Mutton Eaters opted for vintage clothing. The group handed out awards and enjoyed a superb dinner in the Captain Study on the second floor after taking a tour of the bowling alley and other rooms of the 1894 former gentleman’s club. Dinner was followed by the cutting of the 2010 Cheesecake- a tradition for the Mutton eaters, this year featuring a topper of Lizzie Borden counting dollars instead of sheep in her little bed back on Second Street. It was a late night with lots of singing and presentations by members which included new material on Dr. Seabury Bowen and Sarah Cornell.
It’s been a busy few weeks on Second Street with the filming of a documentary and a visit by the Travel Channel. The Travel Channel returns in April to shoot footage for a new program, America B&Bs which will showcase bed and breakfasts that will be visited and rated by two couples who will check in as regular guests and experience the property and visit attractions and restaurants in the city. Producer and camera crew will be spending the night as well. #92 is getting ready for its close-up!
Youtube has a release of the 2008 episode of History Channel’s Monsterquest which was filmed at the house in January. The usual favorite topics are included, the “children in the well” tale of the disturbed Mrs. Ladowick Borden who lived next door and threw 3 children in the cistern (only 2 are mentioned here), the roving rocker in Bridget’s bedroom, and the ghost of “Michael” in the chimney room on the third floor. This episode also marked the last appearance of Ed Thibault as Andrew Borden. Ed, one of the very early Borden Case scholars, worked at the Borden house for many years and gave lectures far and wide to schools and civic groups. He is now retired from the “LizBiz” although his wife Eleanor is often seen in her capacity as Saturday night tour guide for the house. House co-owner Lee Ann Wilber plays Lizzie in the Monsterquest production, with Shelley Dziedzic as Abby Borden.
(still photography from Monsterquest filming session, January 2008)
All four episode segments are available on Youtube.
Filmed as a made-for-TV-movie, the 1975 Legend of Lizzie Borden with Elizabeth Montgomery is an eagerly-sought after commodity for guests visiting the Borden house. For those abandonning VCRs for Blue-Ray format, taping the film from a television airing no longer fills the bill. For about 11 dollars, a DVD copy can be had from Lost Movies at the link below.
Photos from last Thursday’s filming. The new Mr. Borden could double as Abraham Lincoln. A few are rather eerie!
Bridget Sullivan: Molly O’Brien
Lizzie Borden: Lee Ann Wilber
Mr. Borden: Dan LeLievre
Mrs. Borden: Shelley Dziedzic
Thursday will be a busy day at #92. The Travel Channel will be returning for a taping session. The programme filmed many years ago at the house still runs on the Travel Channel frequently and the phone at #92 rings off the hook any time it airs.
House co-owner Lee Ann Wilber will play Lizzie with newcomer Dan LeLievre in the role of Andrew Borden and Shelley Dziedzic as Abby. Stay tuned for air date.
Recently the crew from the paranormal TV web site http://www.30oddminutes.com/ (which films uncut and unedited) came to check out the Borden house. The young host is particularly charming and the thirty-odd minute session is a good representation of what most paranormal crews attempt during their investigations in the house. Have a look at http://www.blip.tv/file/3291682 Episode 27 Live at Lizzie Borden’s.
Here is the site teaser for the episode:
“In Episode 27 we come to you “Live” from the haunted Lizzie Borden house in Fall River, Massachusetts. Okay, not totally “live” because we filmed the episode about a week before it aired. Nobody does a documentary like the 30 Odd Minutes crew! And Lizzie Borden is no different. Just like our studio show we do the whole thing live, straight-through, in one take. You get a tour of the house, learn about some of the history, hear from the manager, Lee Ann, and learn from our special guests: EVP specialist, Mike Markowicz, and the host of Spooky Southcoast Radio, Tim Weisberg. You just don’t know what will happen during this show. Do we uncover evidence of the paranormal or just a prank? Tune in to find out! If the truth is out there… 30 Odd Minutes will find it… but only by sheer accident.”