Second Street Happenings

All the doings at #92 Second Street

  • Sorry, No Ghost for Guests!

    There was great excitement last weekend when a guest at the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast continued to get a pale reflection in a mirror while using a digital camera in Emma Borden’s room on the second floor. The little room had once been Lizzie’s from age 12-30 before Emma changed rooms with her younger sister.  It certainly seemed as if something supernatural was trying to “come through the veil”.

    After trying several digital cameras and obtaining the same eerie effect, someone suggested taking the shot without the flash. No ghostly image appeared!  The flash was apparently bouncing off the framed oval portrait of Emma over the bed and reflecting it into the mirror.  But it was fun for a few moments!


  • The portraits of Rochelle Pettenati

    Capturing the characteristics of a person in a portrait is never easy, especially when the subject is as well known as Lizzie Borden.  From late 1995-1996, Rochelle Pettenati, sister of the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast Museum office manager offered her abilities and talent to create individual portraits for the house which was undergoing renovations to become a bed and breakfast under the management of Martha McGinn and Ron Evans.  Antique oval frames were found and Rochelle got to work producing portraits for all of the rooms which were named for various key figures in the Borden Case.  Particularly pleasing are the two portraits of Lizzie, who has never quite been adequately captured by other artists over the years. Rochelle painted the Swansea Farm, Uncle John Morse, Hosea Knowlton, and other incidental art around the house. Rochelle also appeared in the media dressed in Elizabeth Montgomery’s size 4 Lizzie Borden acquittal gown on loan to the house from Paramount Pictures and worn in the 1975 film.

  • A big change to the skyline

    As the new courthouse rises on Second Street, the skyline takes on a whole new look.  Fourth of July will never be the same from the front steps of the Borden house-this year the fireworks over the Taunton were blocked by the new construction.  Guests at the B&B will have to fight the traffic at Heritage Park next year to catch a glimpse!

  • Another Day on Second Street

    A steel worker peers over the edge in the morning light as work continues on the Second Street courthouse,  Crews are working on Saturdays. 

    Summer arrives in a hurry with a flurry of pink june roses in full bloom.

     August must be coming soon- the pear trees have set fruit !

  • Two New Lizzie Home Movies

    Two mini-movies from Garden Bay Films have just been released. From the camera of videographer Richard Behrens, documentary maker, and producer of the multi-part Lizzie Borden series, these are short subjects about the court house being built across the street from #92 and the new house mascot.  As the giant building grows daily in size, there is some concern it will overwhelm its lot and cast a dark shadow on the Borden house across the street. 

    The second home movie features Max the Cat, a permanent fixture now at #92.  Max, formerly a tenant of the old Kelly house next door, has relocated in style to the Borden house and has a few words to say on film about his thoughts on who-dunnit!  Courthouse   Max’s solution to the crime

  • Lizzie Borden Comes to Monsterquest

    The word this week is that the Lizzie Borden episode, shot at the house on Second St. last winter, should air June 11th at 9 p.m.  The program usually showcases things like Big Foot, Champ, the Loch Ness creature, and other cryptozoology beasties. I wonder what this says about Lizzie? 

  • Court House taking shape

    Just across from the Borden driveway, the towering girders of the new court house throw a dark shadow across #92.  The structure is finally moving along in construction at a fast pace.

  • Big doings in the neighborhood


    Lots of action in the neighborhood this week.  Dr. Kelly’s house next door to #92 is for sale along with the shop attached to the house next door to it.  Saint Mary’s across the street is being sandblasted and stones re-pointed, and work is continuing at an accelerated pace across the street on the new courthouse.  Hope the dust settles before August 4th!


    Old St. Mary’s Church


  • Garfield Tea-What was in that stuff?

    Andrew’s inexpensive cure- cheaper than a house call from Dr. Bowen!

    After passing a miserable night on August 2, 1892 due to stomach cramping and vomitting, Abby Borden went across the street to Doctor Bowen for a remedy on Wednesday morning and voiced the opinion that the family may be poisoned through the baker’s bread. He sent her home with directions to give castor oil a try, while Andrew Borden, too frugal to waste money on office visits, dosed himself with an over-the-counter preparation called Garfield Tea, named for the assasinated president.  Manufactured by the Stillman Remedies Co. of 58 West 55th Street in New York, the concoction was made entirely of herbs, chiefly senna leaves and crushed couch grass. The price of a box was 25 cents and the tea was made by putting a teaspoonsful in a cup, covering with 8 ounces of boiling water, and allowing the mix to steep for a couple of hours. Taken before retiring, it promised relief from liver problems, constipation, and stomach upset.  Andrew was still looking feeble on the morning of the murder, Thursday, August 4th in spite of his self medication although Abby was somewhat improved.




  • Webcam coming to Second Street



    Plans are being made to install a 24 hour webcam at the scenes of the crimes in the sitting room and guest bedroom at the Borden house on Second Street.  Interested viewers at home could then check in at leisure to see what was transpiring at any time of day or night in the sitting room, and the guest bedroom when not occupied by overnight guests.  Followers of the paranormal are particularly excited by this prospect.  The date when this experiment goes into effect has not yet been announced.

  • Youtube Gem from December

    Lizzie Borden House

    Youtube has featured one or two great little amateur filmettes by guests and visitors to #92 over the years.  Beginning in 2008, no videography is allowed in the house (tours) . This offering has great music, effects, and camera angles worthy of Hitchcock.  Watch for the spectral hatchet!

  • Signs of the Times

    At one time the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast had the word Museum tacked onto the end of its name and there were plenty of framed photographs with captions and signs on all three floors. A few of these original signs survive today from 1996, and a couple of them always raise a few questions from visitors. The brass plaque on the attic crawlspace refers to the story about Mr. Borden killing Lizzie’s fancy pigeons.  Andrew Borden did twist the necks of the hapless birds and brought them into the kitchen to be cooked.  When the air conditioning components were being installed in the attic, co-owner Ron Evans and his friend Ken Souza (a familiar name among Borden case enthusiasts) found the carcasses of two dead pigeons in the attic and decided to memorialize the moment. George Quigley, brother of longtime house chef, Dave, was an innkeeper and tour guide in the early years of the B&B.


    The next sign is pretty self-explanatory and can be found over the steep staircase at the front of the house.



    This sandwich board sign from 1996 usually sits out on the curb in front of the house, and the discerning eye can just note a drop of blood dripping off the little hatchet. In the years before the Borden barn was rebuilt as a gift shop and visitor’s center, the old Leary Press served as ticket window for day tours.



  • Monster Quest Comes to Second Street


    A production crew from the popular History Channel program, Monster Quest has been filming at the Borden house for the past three days and wrapped the shoot tonight.  The show is due to air either this summer or as late as the autumn.  House owner, LeeAnn Wilber took charge of the hatchet as Lizzie Borden with veteran Ed Thibaut reprising his role as Andrew.  Samantha Carey did duty as Bridget while Mrs. Borden was played by Shelley Dziedzic.  The program focused on paranormal possibilities at #92.


  • 1995 Second Street opens its doors

    It is wonderful to revisit the first days of the the Lizzie Borden B&B via Youtube, only weeks after it opened on August 4, 1995. All of the original staff are there including George Quigley, brother of present cook, Dave Quigley, owners Ron Evans and Martha McGinn, and day manager Rochelle Pettenuti who painted the portraits of the Borden clan which still hang in the rooms on the second and third floor. It was Ron Evans who had the vision and passion to open the house to the public as a museum and bed and breakfast. Sadly, he lived only a very short time afterward and would not know how very successful his dream would become. The house had just been repainted in a tan and brown color scheme, and furnished as closely as possible to the house as it was in 1892.