Second Street Happenings

All the doings at #92 Second Street

  • Monsterquest visits Lizzie Borden B&B 2008

    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.

  • In Pursuit of the Dead

    Last weekend’s Ghosthunter’s University with Chris Moon seems to have produced  a few new twists.  The group, which meets several times a year to introduce students of the paranormal to ghosthunting equipment and techniques obtained some interesting messages and phenomena. Those who go in for this sort of thing will enjoy Phil Devitt’s article for the Fall River Spirit which was published in the Wednesday edition. Another ghost hunting group is planning to visit #92 in April.

  • Lizzie gets a facelift

    The old tan sandwich board sign which first appeared in 1996 at the house opening has had a sprucing up recently. The letters are now woodburned and Lizzie sports a perky pink bow, thanks to Ray!

  • Travel Channel March 11, 2010

    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

  • Travel Channel Returns to Lizzie’s

    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.

  • Youtube Lizzie

    Pear Essential Players Appear in Recent House Promo

    Ric Rebelo has produced another great Lizzie video, this one promoting the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast. The Pear Essential Players, a “Bordenian” Acting Troupe which performs only on August 4th, is featured in in 2008 and 2009 performances.  The video is accompanied by wonderfully atmospheric music and commentary by co-owner, Lee Ann Wilber.

  • Dr. Draper comes to call

    The diningroom at Second Street now has a gallery of photos of physicians who were in one way or another connected to the Borden case.  The most recent addition is Dr. Draper of Harvard Medical School, Boston, who assisted with the autopsy of Andrew and Abby Borden on August 11th in Oak Grove cemetery.

    Dr. Draper has an uncanny resemblance to Dr. James Starrs, a forensics expert who had attempted to gain support for the exhumation of the Borden bodies in 1992.  Professor Starrs was denied the request but did examine trial exhibits at the historical society and utilized ground penetrating radar to map the Borden plot. 

  • And the stockings were hung . . .

    Emma and Lizzie have a stocking at the mantel in the sitting room for Christmas.  #92 Second Street was a popular stop on last weekend’s Victorian home tour sponsored by the Preservation Society of Fall River. 


    It would be interesting to know just how elaborate the Borden Christmases were and whether or not any of the fireplaces were ever used since Mr. Borden had installed radiators. 


  • End of An Era- Dave Quigley Retires


    Chances are that if you only take the day tour at the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast, you have missed meeting one of the great assets of the establishment, longtime head chef, Dave Quigley.  Dave and the B&B started out together on the same day back in 1996, and Dave is the longest -serving employee of the business.  When the house first opened its doors, Dave would come on duty at 10 p.m. just as the night tour of the house ended, and would spend the “third shift” perched uncomfortably on the narrow, hard Victorian sofa in the parlor, watching the tiny television set which received only 3 channels with rabbit ear antenna. 

    The Mutton Eaters award Dave the Golden Spoon for Hospitality!


    Dave was oncall to answer a million questions from overnight guests and deal with all the night time emergencies that can happen in an old house.  “How do I get to Salem?”, “Where is Bellevue Avenue?”,  “What’s a jonnycake?”, etc. and many other pressing inquires Dave had to field every morning.  All these he answered cheerfully with good humor and an amazing talent for knowing the best places to eat, the best routes to take to most of New England attractions, and the usual queries about the Borden case and the house in general. Dave became a master of all trades by necessity.  Leaky faucets, plugged up toilets, fire alarms going off in the night, special requirements from guests, unwanted visitors, power blackouts, snowstorms – Dave saw it all.  And in the process probably flipped over 100,000 of the famous cornmeal jonnycakes. Foremost and primarily, Dave loved to cook and chat with the guests. Sometime’s Dave would forget the jonnycakes while visiting with the guests and the smoke alarms would sound, bringing the Fire Chief to the door in full gear, wielding an axe.  Memorable moments.

    Dave often filled the role of Uncle John Morse on August 4th (August 4, 2002)

    The menu has not changed much since opening day:  scrambled eggs, homefried potatoes, sausages or Canadian bacon, coffee, tea, fruit cup and jonnycakes, the last item served to the Bordens on the fateful day.  Dave used to love to tell the story about jonnycakes, a local delicacy and an acquired taste.  “Journey cakes, they were called because they could travel a long time in a saddlebag on a long trek”, Dave would intone every morning. “Put some maple syrup on ’em- then they have some taste”.

    Over the past few years Dave has been spared the hard sofa overnight, and arrives about 6 a.m. to get the coffee machine going for early risers.  Chefs in training, Will and Logan, will be taking over for Dave next weekend.  Here’s wishing Dave many happy golfing days on the greens, big wins at the casino, and relaxing hours with lovely wife, Jean.  Best Wishes!

    Dave’s old black gas Glenwood, once found rusting in a field in Vermont and refitted for gas pipes.  “She’s temperamental but works like a champ if you know how to appease her”!

  • Victorian House Tour 2009 December 12th

    The 2009 Fall River Historical House Tour Event sponsored by the Preservation Society of Fall River !  Start & Program Pickup: The Quequechan Club, 306 North Main St. Enjoy 6 Private Historic Homes, The Fall River Historical Society, Lafayette Durfee House, & The Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast.  Tickets are $17.00 Saturday December 12, 2009 11:am – 4:pm Advance Tickets Available at: New Boston Bakery Fall River Historical Society ArtCart or call 508-673-4841

  • Still in the Top 10


    With Halloween fast approaching, a few fearless souls are looking for a frightful weekend getaway at a spooky location.  The Travel Channel had placed the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast in the top 10 spookiest destinations 8 years ago at #1, even above the Winchester Mystery House.  Lizzie’s place is still on the top ten list, at #1 along with #2. The Bell Witch Cave in Tennesee, #3 The Villisca Axe Murder House in Iowa, #4 The Stanley Hotel in Colorado, #5  Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Kentucky, #6 Sorrel Weed House, Savannah, Georgia, #7 Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California, #8 Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, Pa., #9 The Myrtles, Louisiana, #10 Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, Chicago.  This Saturday 12 intrepid people will attempt to stay the night at Lizzie’s house.  Rooms have been booked for months.  October is second only to the murder anniversary month, August. Will the annual Halloween seance turn up any new clues?

  • 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!

  • August was a Bizzie Lizzie month

    LizziewhatIt’s been quite a month for Lizzie Borden doings!  August 4th brought the usual re-enactments at the Borden house on Second Street with the Pear Essential Players.  With a record attendance and largest cast ever, the little troupe was treated afterward to a tour of Maplecroft .  August 21-22 saw the return of Jill Dalton’s Lizzie Borden Live at the renovated Eagle on North Main Street with the Mutton Eaters in attendance.  Lizzie has been much in the news and on television this month as word of the patent on Lizzie Borden merchandise was acclaimed in newspapers yesterday.  Donald Woods, owner of  the bed and breakfast has obtained a national patent protection for all items other than books and publications to use the words “Lizzie Borden” on mugs, tee shirts, key chains, and other gift shop items.

    A new fiction book is out and available for sale at the historical society in Fallnewlizziebook River.  Written by a local author, it has the confession of Emma Borden as the doer of the foul deeds who comes to the writer in a dream.  The Fall River Historical Society has revamped their website to include some preview tidbits of the long-awaited book Parallel Lives which will be coming out in several months.  All in all it was quite a month for Lizzie. 

    September brings a re-enactment of the New Bedford trial of June, 1893 at the courthouse on County Street as part of the Bristol County Superior Court anniversary year events.  Fans and scholars of the Borden case have had a good summer with much to look forward to!

  • Uncle John’s return for lunch

    John V. Morse, Lizzie’s mother’s brother, had spent the night before the murders at the Borden’s house in the guestroom where Abby Borden would be hacked to bits the following day.  Although John had a good alibi for the times of both killings, he was an early and favorite suspect.  John had some training as a butcher, and was a jack of all trades around a farm.  Some think he knew about, or was an accomplice to the deeds, although no motive seems clearly apparent.  He also received no money or property after Lizzie was acquitted in June 1893.

    Joe Radza, an eighth grade teacher from Warren, Ohio will be playing the role of Uncle John Morse this year on August 4th at the Borden house for the annual re-enactments. Uncle John’s behavior when he returned for lunch has always seemed peculiar to students of the case. John bypassed the growing crowds by the Borden’s gate and went into the back yard by the barn and picked up and consumed several pears before ambling slowly up the side steps and going inside to see what was going on.  He had a reputation as a peculiar old guy in his boater and old gray suit and string tie.  Did he know more than he confided to the police?