Potpourri

All sorts of unusual things related to Lizzie Borden and Fall River

  • Dr. Kelly and Family resurface

    KellyfamilyDr. Kelly, the Irish pediatrician who lived with his family in the house next door to the Bordens, has been discussed here many times, with an article about him to be found above (see header). This year the Pear Essential Players who perform once a year at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast debuted a new role, that of Caroline Cantwell Kelly, Dr. Kelly’s wife who was probably the last, except for the killer to see Mr. Borden alive as she hurried down the street to a dentist appointment around 10:45 on the morning of the murders. Caroline, (called Carrie by family) and her mother, Mrs. Cantwell spent the afternoon of August 4th behind locked doors as policemen flooded the neighborhood looking for clues. Dr. Kelly was away and the ladies were terrified.

    Today Warps and Wefts is happy to finally obtain a photo of Mrs. Kelly, courtesy of the Cantwell family and an article detailing her wedding at St. Mary’s church which is located just across the street from the Borden house. She is shown here with her family members: Dr. Michael Kelly is in the center with Caroline in front of him, and their two daughters, Eva and Philomena.

    Kellymarriage

  • Shopping for Lizzie’s House

    It’s always fun to find just the right thing to add years to the Borden house.  Co-owner LeeAnn Wilber haunts the antique shops and auctions on a quest to find just the right object to bring the 1890s feel to the house on Second Street.  Here are some new finds which will greet you on your next visit to Lizzie’s home. The dead pigeons and pears print in the “Death in the Dining Room” genre is typical Victorian decor and is especially fitting for the Borden dining room for those who know the significance of pears and pigeons!  The kitchen refrigerator has received a face lift in the form of oak panels to evoke the old ice box once found at the house in the sink room.  Lizzie loved blue and pansies and this charming Eastlake footstool is just the ticket for Lizzie’s own room.  Lizzie’s room also boasts a wonderful Sailor’s Valentine made of shells on the south wall. Rhode Island Antique Center in Pawtucket was the place to unearth a delightful summer fireplace screen for the sitting room.  In the Eastlake, ebonized and gilded style, the canvas is hand – painted with blue summer blooms. Little touches can add so much age and charm to period settings.

  • Officer Peter Gaskell Bence

    One has to wonder if Eli Bence consulted his half-brother Peter Gaskell Bence in the matter of giving evidence to the Fall River Police Department regarding the attempt by the woman he identified as Lizzie to purchase prussic acid on August 3rd.  Peter Bence had received a political appointment to the Fall River Police Department in 1878 and served as a patrolman until 1880.  He is pictured above in his policeman’s uniform.

    The Bences were a large and close-knit family.  In 1892 Peter Bence, a widower, was preparing to marry again to Emma Macomber on August 25th.  His first wife, Sarah Jane Ball Bence had died in childbirth at their home at 117 Bay Street in 1890.  The house is still standing.  The topic of the Borden case, Eli’s evidence, and trial must surely have been a hot topic of discussion within those walls.  In 1893 Peter and his new wife moved into 56 Palmer Street, a duplex owned by the Harringtons, where they lived until after his second wife passed away.  Peter died in 1919 in Newport where he had been spending his last days with his son.

    After leaving the police force, Bence tried his hand at mill work as a weaver, many years as a carpenter and finally in later life, a janitor at the Mount Hope Elementary School.  Carpentry was his first love and he did decorative interior woodworking at the B.M.C. Durfee High School and the Granite Block downtown. Boat building was a hobby.

    Peter Bence, born in 1849, and his sister Ellen were born in Heaton Norris, Lancashire, England. Ellen died as an infant and Peter immigrated with his father William and stepmother Sarah in 1854.  The family were living in Braintree when Eli Bence was born.

    Peter and his wives are buried in the family plot in Oak Grove Cemetery, next to his parents.  He does not have a marker.

    *Photo above and some data courtesy of Ancestry.com and the Bence family descendants

  • Bence in later years

    As mentioned in an earlier article on Warps and Wefts, http://lizziebordenwarpsandwefts.com/mutton-eaters-february-article/, Eli Bence and his testimony about Lizzie Borden coming into the pharmacy where he was a counter clerk on the day before the murders was bombshell testimony.  Although allowed through the Preliminary, Bence’s important revelations did not make it into the 1893 trial, being ruled as “too far remote in time” from the actual killings.  No prussic acid was found in the bodies of either Borden, not surprising as the lady who inquired for the deadly poison could not obtain it without a prescription.  Perhaps Bence’s and the testimony of the dress burning incident by Alice Russell might have turned the tide for Lizzie, had either been allowed.

    Bence moved to New Bedford and set up his own drug store by 1894, then after the death of his wife, remarried a Fairhaven girl, Annie Coggshell Maxfield, whose father ran a successful plumbing concern on Bridge St.  Bence eventually moved to Pittsfield, Massachusetts with son Roy by his first wife Sarah Hayhurst, and his son Maxfield by his second wife Annie.  They also had a little girl Priscilla who died very young. Bence died at his Pittsfield home after suffering a stroke while riding in a car returning from the Berkshires with his son and daughter in law and wife on May 4, 1915.  He is buried in Fairhaven by the side of his wife Annie and their daughter Priscilla.

    The only photograph we have seen of Bence until now has been of the earnest, 27 year old who tried to give his testimony at Lizzie’s trial.

    Thanks to the Barrett Family and Ancestry.com, an older Eli is shown below, photo taken in New Bedford, year unknown.

    Bence’s parents, William and Sarah are buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Fall River.

    William Bence, Eli’s father who was active in Globe area politics.

    A medicine dispensing bottle from the Bence Pharmacy in New Bedford.

  • And the results are in for August 4th

    After the annual August 4th dramatization by the Pear Essential Players, visitors on tour at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum were asked to fill out an exit poll and give any comments they wished to leave.  Some of the results were surprising and humorous.

    Lizzie Guilty  55, Lizzie Innocent  11, Lizzie undecided or neutral  1,  Uncle John Morse Guilty or Involved  24,  Billy Borden, Guilty  1, Typhoid Mary  1, Emma Borden Guilty  1,  Hired Professional Killer 1, Bridget Sullivan Guilty  6, Uncle John and Bridget together  1.

    Motives ran the gamut: greed and hatred of stepmother, money and revenge, secret love affair between Lizzie and her Uncle John, mental instability,  resentment, payback, anger, jealousy, incest, left out of will, freedom,  and envy of her wealthy girlfriends on the Hill.

    Other suspects considered were:  an evicted tenant of Andrew Borden’s, and Lizzie and Bridget working together, Bridget aiding in the cover-up.

    One very interesting motive for murder proposed was the effect that “overly busy patterns on the wall paper and carpeting brought on mental stress”, as did the killing of Lizzie’s “pet raven” which was probably confused with the pigeons Andrew Borden killed by wringing their necks.

    Under the category of weapon, all agreed on HATCHET, with one writer filling in the word “Sufficient”!

    For the most part all agreed that the murders would never be solved, with only two claiming confidence that they would be.

    After the performances ended, there was a drawing for an overnight stay for two at the B&B.  The Aruda family, who live in Fall River, won.  The cast of 16 was the largest ever since the B&B opening in 1996.  Carol Ann Simone debuted as Lizzie this year to an appreciative crowd.  Tickets had sold out by lunch time.

  • A Weekend with Lizzie Borden Not to Be Missed

    For those who cannot get enough of the Borden Case, this will be a four-star weekend featuring the annual dramatization at the house on Second Street ( tickets on sale now at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast) and a VERY special exhibit which opens on August 4th and runs through September 30th at the Fall River Historical Society. For Letterboxers, a special letterbox will be hidden in Fall River to mark the 120th anniversary of the historic crime. Atlasquest.com will have the clue, so bring your stamp and notepad, an inkpad is provided in the box. To see the clue type Fall River, MA in the locator box at the Atlasquest.com site. Got Lizzie?  And how!

  • 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)

     

  • Lizzie’s favorite hymn

    Much has been speculated about why Lizzie chose to have this particular hymn sung at her wake at Maplecroft.  Here is yet another, and very romantic version about the background on the hymn- one which probably appealed to Lizzie who was somewhat sentimental.

    http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/m/a/i/mainctry.htm

    Vida Turner, who sang the hymn as requested, then never mentioned it again, would be amazed that it is still a topic of interest and discussion so many years later.  Perhaps there is no secret message here- it may simply have been the romantic story behind the writing of it which captured Lizzie’s attention.

  • What is a Home Without a Father

    Chances are that if you were to Google or Bing “Andrew Borden,” most of the photos under IMAGES will be of Lizzie Borden.  The accused is more famous than the victim.  Andrew Borden has taken a pretty hard rap over the decades, and has been charged with some foul things from incest to extreme frugality.  A visitor to the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum once declared, “He deserved what he got!”  Sadly, very little of what is commonly bandied about as the truth about Andrew Borden and his family relations is true. People will believe what they want to believe or what they see on television “reality shows” which are made purely to titillate and entertain, but seldom educate.

    Thanks to PARALLEL LIVES, we now know that there existed a warm and affectionate feeling between Lizzie and her father.  We have known for many years that he died with Lizzie’s little gold ring on his hand.  We also know that to placate his daughters after the real estate transaction deeding the Fourth Street house over to Abby Borden, Andrew settled the Ferry Street house on Emma and Lizzie and what’s more, he bought it back from them for cash in July 1892 when it became too much for them to manage.

    The house on Second Street had city water, central heating, wall-to-wall carpeting, and a toilet in the cellar.  Things were not so bleak and dreadful as many have promoted over the years and were a lot more luxurious than many in the city lived in 1892- and Andrew Borden was not the monster so many have portrayed.

    Father’s Day did not become an official U.S. holiday until 1972 although the idea was tried out in 1910 without much success. Andrew never celebrated Father’s Day, nor did Lizzie and Emma make little cards and gifts on the third Sunday in June.  But fathers in Victorian times, as the cross stitch sampler above will testify, were venerated at the hearth as head of the family and the final arbiter in all matters.  There is little doubt Lizzie and Emma had a great respect for their father. Parenting is the hardest job of all.

    And, if you believe Lizzie was guilty of the crime- well, Andrew Borden probably should have spent more time inspecting that window for Mr. Clegg and should have arrived home MUCH later- it might have all had a different ending. . . .

    Happy Father’s Day Andrew Borden- wherever you may be.

  • Legal Documents of Borden Case Personalities

    So much can be learned about individuals by studying the wills, birth, marriage and death documents. Wills are particularly revealing in listing specific bequests to certain beneficiaries- and in some cases in what is not left to others. Below are thumbnails of some of the Borden case personalities’ documents. Click on thumbnail to enlarge and use ZOOM detail.

    Bridget Sullivan                    Emma Borden                    Lizzie Borden

    Sarah Morse Borden   Nance O’Neil          Edwin Porter

    Last Will & Testament of Bridget Sullivan

  • Muttoneaters return to Fall River

    This past weekend the cordial society of armchair sleuths returned to #92 Second Street for the annual flocking of the Second Street Irregulars (Muttoneaters) for a jam-packed tour of many Borden-related sites around the area. Friday morning the group of 16 visited the Fall River Historical Society to bestow the yearly awards upon the recent publication by Michael Martins and Dennis Binette, Parallel Lives. The flock enjoyed a coffee hour, tour and photo session in the beautiful Victorian garden before heading off to Fairhaven for a picnic at Fort Phoenix and a city tour given by Chris Richards who was dressed to impress!

    Chris fired off a vintage rifle, explained how teeth were extracted, limbs were amputated and the life and activities of a wartime barber-dentist-surgeon, a role he re-enacts in costume with a local history group at Fort Phoenix annually.  Afterward the Muttoneaters toured city hall and learned about Mark Twain’s dedication speech given on the stage there, visited the locales of the homes in which Helen Brownell stayed (Emma Borden’s alibi), and visited the beautiful Millicent Library where a letterbox was found in a very special place inside. (see Atlasquest.com for clues!) The group then returned to Fall River for a pizza party and presentations on the Villisca murders of 1912 and discussions on Andrew Jennings, one of the attorneys for Lizzie whose journals they saw at the historical society earlier.

    Andrew Jennings’ journal and newspaper clipping collection

    Saturday was a busy day which began with a trip to Oak Grove Cemetery to see the room in which the Bordens were autopsied on August 11, 1892, and to inspect the interior of the holding tomb used to house the coffins of the Bordens both before and after the heads were removed by Dr. Dolan.

    The morning concluded with a very special visit to Maplecroft and a great tour by Mr. Bob Dube who conducted the group through every room of the three-storied home and explained what was original to Lizzie’s tenure there. This was a very special and much-appreciated opportunity as the house is currently for sale with the future owner still unknown.

    On the “piazza” at Maplecroft in the spot where the recently published photo of Lizzie and her dog appeared in Parallel Lives.

    Poppy garden at Maplecroft

    After lunch the Muttoneaters visited the Animal Rescue League of Fall River, an annual stop, to bring dog and cat treats and a special 1927 newspaper detailing Lizzie and Emma Borden’s donation to this worthy cause, bequeathed in their wills.

    The afternoon brought a real surprise when the group was invited to visit the cellar of the Lodowick Borden (also known as Dr. Kelly’s) home next door to the Borden house on Second Street to view the chimney and cellar where in 1848 Eliza Darling Borden threw three of her children in a cistern and then committed suicide behind the chimney.  Beautiful cabinetry with little drawers and cupboards were added much later when the Kellys moved to the house in 1891 and are still intact. The room was most likely used then as Dr. Kelly’s home office.

    Muttoneaters flocked to June Street to pose on the porch of Andrew J. Jennings house which must have one of the best views of the Taunton River in Fall River.

    Saturday evening concluded with a visit from the “Women’s Christian Temperence Union” with Muttoneaters dressed as Mrs. Brayton, Carrie Nation and Mother Willard, followed by a Sunday-style chicken Gospel bird dinner and many hours of animated conversation about the famous Borden case. As always, nobody wanted to leave on Sunday morning and the planning begins again for next year’s adventures.

  • Bridget Sullivan in Later Years

    Perhaps the most thrilling photo from Parallel Lives was that of Lizzie on her veranda at Maplecroft with her little dog. Now we have two photos of the Borden maid around the same age. Whereas Lizzie looks rested, prosperous and content in her photo, Bridget has a stern and careworn visage. Two elderly ladies- worlds apart in many ways, but sharing one extraordinary day in common- August 4, 1892.

    Photo of Lizzie and her dog courtesy of the Fall River Herald News Online as seen in Parallel Lives by Michael Martins and Dennis Binette.

    Photos reproduced here courtesy of Diana Porter, a relative of John Sullivan

    Photo of Bridget Sullivan courtesy of Diana Porter attributed as coming from the Barbara Knightly Hockaway Collection

    Marriage license courtesy of Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum

  • Bridget Sullivan is news in Fall River- again

    When the phone rang at the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast several months ago, the voice at the end of the line wishing to book a room was none other than the great niece of John and Bridget Sullivan.  For years, the only photo known of the Borden’s Irish maid was the one taken at an unknown date shown below.  The relative will be a guest, in Bridget’s room of course, this summer and will be giving an interview to Borden house co-owner, Lee Ann Wilber.  There are plenty of questions to ask! Employees at the house have been excited about the photos and news for many weeks and have a list prepared. Will we now find out just where Bridget was from 1893 until she showed up in Montana in 1896?  The story will be featured in the newspaper tomorrow but has a live interview at the link below with Lee Ann and reporter Deb Allard recorded early today.  http://www.heraldnews.com/multimedia/video/x826304472/New-photos-of-Lizzie-Borden-maid 

  • The Lizzie Borden-Titanic Connection

     This year will mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City.  This year will mark the 120th anniversary of the Borden tragedy.  It would be hard to conceive any possible connection between the two-   until last month’s revelation.

    With the publication of BUILT FROM STONE: THE WESTERLY GRANITE STORY, the sketch  and work order for the Borden Oak Grove monument revealed the names of all the workers who worked on the main monument and the four small headstones. The headstone lettering, A.J.B. (Andrew Jackson Borden), A.D.B. (Abby Durfee Borden) for the victims, S.A.B. (Sarah Anthony Borden, Lizzie’s mother), and ALICE (Lizzie’s other sister) were cut by William J. Drew.  R&P stand for “raised and polished”on the headstones.  J.F. Murphy did the polishing of the letters.

    William John Drew and his two brothers came to America in the 1880’s from Cornwall, near Falmouth, England.  The sons of an early-widowed mother, the boys had gone to work in the famous granite quarries of Cornwall at a very young age.  Simon Drew would head to Maine but William and his brother James Vivian Drew would eventually start a marble and granite monument business in Greenport, Long Island, N.Y.  William’s first wife, Louisa, died in 1894 and for a time William J. Drew lived in Westerly, and did some work for Smith’s Granite Company, easily the most prestigious monument company in the Northeast.  Orders came in from all over the country for the Westerly blue, red, and rose granite which had a fine grain. The blue was especially easy to carve. Smith’s was the most-desired company to fill the order.  Lizzie and Emma Borden placed their order through the Smith’s Providence branch.

    William Drew soon found a new love in Elizabeth Brines of Westerly, and on June 24, 1903, they were married.  With the Greenport business now growing, the two brothers and their wives found a home together. James Vivian Drew married Mary Louise (Lulu) Thorne Christian and they all settled happily into married life and work at the new business on the harbor in Greenport. William’s son by his first wife had died in 1898, and when his new bride of only a year gave birth to a son on March 30, 1904 life was looking hopeful.  The child was called Marshall Brines Drew.  About three weeks after his birth, Mrs. William Drew (Elizabeth), died, leaving Marshall motherless and William Drew yet again, without a wife.

    His brother James V. Drew and his wife Lulu took the infant in to raise. They had lost their only son Harold not long before so Marshall seemed a godsend.

    James Vivian Drew

    Marshall at 7

    In October of 1911, James, Lulu and little Marshall decided to go back to Cornwall to visit Grandmother Priscilla Drew.  They sailed on the sister of the R.M.S. TITANIC, the OLYMPIC, making them among the very few who ever sailed on both. In April, 1912, Marshall, now aged 8, boarded TITANIC in second class with his aunt and uncle. On the night of April 14, the ship hit the iceberg and sank on the morning of April 15th about 2:20 a.m.  Uncle Jim had bundled Lulu and Marshall into lifeboat #11 and both were saved.  Jim never had a chance.  His body was not found.  Back in Greenport, his brother William was devastated at the news and hastened with Lulu’s father to meet the rescue ship, CARPATHIA, in New York harbor, only to find the worst was true.  Jim was gone.  William Drew carved this monument, a cenotaph, to his late brother Jim out of Westerly blue granite.  The brothers were famous for their carved lilies and roses.  It is in Oak Grove Cemetery– but not Oak Grove in Fall River- in Ashaway, Rhode Island where Aunt Lu and Marshall lived after Aunt Lu remarried Mr. Richard Opie.

    William Drew also carved the stone for his first wife Louisa in River Bend Cemetery, Westerly and is buried there with both wives, and both sons.

    William Drew died of tuberculosis in 1917 in Greenport, L.I. His son lived to be 82, and died in June of 1986.  His stone was designed by this site’s administrator and funded by Titanic International Society,  It is made of Westerly blue granite and carved by one of the last of the old Westerly granite men, Donald Bonner.

    Marshall Drew was a much-beloved figure around Westerly.  He had taught art and was acclaimed for his photography.The epitaph is his own, the name copied from his own german fractur handwriting.

    Below is the work order showing William Drew’s name.   History is full of strange coincidences and unlikely links. It is hard to know if William Drew was familiar with the notorious case of Lizzie Borden, or that his work would find its way to the heads of two of crime history’s most famous victims.

    Work order  from Smith Granite Co, archives containing William Drew’s name as carver of the four headstones, courtesy of Linda Smith Chafee, Babcock-Smith Museum, Westerly.

    Photos and text: Shelley Dziedzic, March 2012

  • The Borden Monument Work Order

    The Borden Monument

    By Shelley Dziedzic (all rights reserved, February 2012)

     

    Click on the photo of the worksheet above to use enlargement ZOOM tool

    Not surprisingly the Borden plot is the most visited site in Oak Grove Cemetery.  On the day of the funeral of Abby and Andrew Borden, only grass and many trees surrounded the open graves lined with pine branches.  Of course the Bordens were not buried on the date of their joint funeral, August 6, 1892, but instead lingered in a holding tomb at the cemetery awaiting a full autopsy on August 11th and burial at last on August 17th.  It would not be until January 1895 that the stately Westerly blue granite monument would be set in place, along with the rectangular headstones bearing the initials of the victims.

    With Fall River being famous for granite, especially rose granite, one wonders why Emma and Lizzie Borden did not shop for a fitting monument in their own home town.  The fact was that Smith’s Granite Company of Westerly, Rhode Island was the most prestigious monument supplier of its day, with offices in many major American cities.  Providence would have been the nearest branch to Fall River. Smith’s could claim orders from all of the finest old families as well as being in demand to supply important statues and civic monuments and memorial stones across the country. Emma and Lizzie chose the very best to mark the site of their eternal rest.

    The stone was ordered on July 2, 1894, almost two years from the date of the burial of Abby and Andrew Borden.  The stone is nine feet in height and is divided into five separate segments.  The cost of the labor and materials is carefully noted in the order book, and the date of each stage of the work is listed when completed at the top of the page by stone numbers 1-5.  The stone was crated and shipped by rail on January 4, 1895. The base is Stone #1, #2 is the section containing A.J. Borden in raised and polished letters, #3 is the panel stone where names and dates are inscribed, #4 is the most intricately carved by master carver, Mr. L. Galli who was paid $230.79 and #5 is the cap stone.  At the bottom of the page appears the order for the small headstones.  There are four of them with the lettering and polishing done by William Drew and J.F. Murphy.  The four are AJB,(Andrew Jackson Borden) ADB, (Abby Durfee Borden) SAB (Sarah Anthony Borden) and the full name Alice, the sister who died very young.  No doubt the matching headstones of Lizzie and Emma were added at a much later date, and also the inscription on the panel of the main marker added in 1927 or later.

    It is interesting to note on this order sheet that the panel engraving had to be done twice due to an error.  Many have remarked that there is an “S” added to Lizzie’s name and wondered if this was an order left by Lizzie to be completed after her death or merely an error on the part of the carver, who may have thought Andrews was a surname and that Andrew was an unlikely middle name for a woman.  Lizzie had, herself, opted to change her name unofficially to Lizbeth, but is not known to have added an “S” to her middle name of Andrew.

    It is unknown exactly when the names of Emma and Lizzie, and their dates of birth and death were added to the panel, or whether either sister ever actually saw the panel with their names on it.  It is not uncommon to have names and dates of birth engraved on a stone while the person is still alive, with the death date added after the fact.  This may or may not have been done at the time of the creation of this monument. As particular as Lizzie was known to be, it would be easy to make the case that she never saw the panel in life to catch the error.

    Newspapers printed that on the day of the stone’s installation, Lizzie and Emma went out to inspect the work.  It was reported that Lizzie only gave a cursory glance and then went back to her carriage.  Emma is said to have made a careful inspection.  The cost today of the stock and labor for this monument would be many times the figure on this work order.

    A list of artisans who worked on the Borden monument:

    Pat Holliday, Jas. Brown, Mike Burke, Jas. Dower, Tom Holliday, George Rae, P. Craddick, F. Polletti, J.D. Craddick, Joe Frasier, L. Galli, Dan Kelleher, James Blake, Ira Norman, George Dunn, William Frances, Frank Roads, John Moore, J.F. Murphy and William Drew.

    • Alexander Lawson, a Scottish-born stone carver from Aberdeen, who immigrated in the great Scottish wave which came to America lived and worked in Westerly, Rhode Island before moving to Fall River to open his own granite works and monument business on Prospect Street, just outside the gates of Oak Grove Cemetery.  The family lived on Robeson Street for many years, and the business was inherited by Frederick Lawson, Alexander’s son and prospered for many years. Alexander Lawson is credited with the carving of the 1873 arch at Oak Grove.

    The diagram and details for this article were furnished by the Smith-Babcock House Museum on Granite Street in Westerly, R.I. The diagram is reproduced with permission.  Additional information on Smith’s and the granite industry in Westerly may be found in the excellent publication, Built From Stone: The Westerly Granite Story by Linda Smith Chafee, John B. Coduri, and Dr. Ellen L. Madison. Copies may be purchased at Other Tiger Bookstore on High Street in Westerly or at this link http://www.builtfromstone.com/

    Visit the Smith-Babcock House Museum, which is the premier repository of archived materials relating to the granite industry in Westerly. http://www.babcock-smithhouse.com/

  • Fionnula Flanagan to receive award

    In Lizzie Borden circles she is best-remembered for her spot-on portrayal of Bridget Sullivan, the Borden’s Irish maid in The Legend of Lizzie Borden, but in years since the 1975 film, Flanagan has had an amazing career.  The Dublin-born actress admits to the tough time she endured as an Irish actress in Hollywood in this article http://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/insider-do-you-know-you-are-giving-a-reception-for-murderers-3009822.html  and her perseverance to reach the top as a much-beloved star of television and the big screen. She will soon receive a lifetime achievement award from the Irish Film and Television Academy.  To see her long lists of credits including current projects visit http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001217/  Borden house co-owner LeeAnn Wilber has met Ms. Flanagan and has invited her to spend a night in Bridget Sullivan’s room on Second Street.!

    studio publicity photo

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gwdaeIKQb4

     

     

  • 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/