Second Street Happenings
All the doings at #92 Second Street
Fall in New England. Magic words for those who love the smell of hot mulled cider, the glow of bright orange pumpkins, the inferno shades of turning leaves and the autumn nip in the air. This is always a fun season at the house on Second Street as Halloween draws ever nearer and plans are made for what is always a great evening on October the 31st. The old stove in the kitchen gets a polish, the quilts are unpacked and aired, ripe fruit hangs heavily on the espaliered fruit trees in the yard, and everywhere windows are thrown open in the daytime to catch the golden sunshine and fresh air. Decorations and costumes are the hot topic of discussion as candy corn and marshmallow ghosties make an appearance in the kitchen pantry. August may be the most popular time to visit- but nothing beats autumn in Fall River.
Endless Vacation travel magazine has just issued their Sept-Oct. edition with a great feature showcasing scary destinations. The Lizzie Borden B&B made the top half-dozen along with the Menger Hotel, San Antonio, Groveland Hotel, Groveland, California, Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, CO., Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, and Thornewood Castle, Lakewood, Washington. The article is written with great good humor by Jaime Gross and magnificently illustrated by Claire Louise Mallison.
Heartfelt thanks for a job well done to the Ladies of Second Street whose enthusiasm and energy helped to make House of Mourning-House of Women such a great success this past Saturday: Barbara Morrissey as Emma, Samantha as Bridget, JoAnne Giovino as Mrs. Churchill, Colleen Johnson as Alice Russell and Judi Davis as the “body” of Abby Borden.. Special thanks also to Andrew Correia as Andrew Borden- our only man in the house of women. Of course, he only had to lie quietly and let the women do all the talking! Andrew is training as a mortician and what better way to get exposure to his chosen field!
Many thanks for the patience and superb photographs of Herald News photographer Jack Foley who seemed to be having as much fun as anyone and returned Saturday for more. Thanks Jack! And finally, orchids to Emily and Andrea who kept the cold lemonade and cookies coming in that 97 degree heat . Great job Team Borden! And now – on to NEXT year.
The sun rose over the horizon and hung suspended like a pale wafer in the haze. Upstairs, the beams stabbing through the lace curtains of Bridget’s Sullivan’s third floor room were a harbinger of the relentless inferno to come. Downstairs in the kitchen, the inhabitants of 92 Second Street pushed back half-eaten breakfasts, thinking of the somber line of mourners soon to stream through the wide front door, now bedecked with a silken black wreath of pale lilies and fern.
In the dining room society’s mortician, James Winward, poured fresh water into the ironstone basin as spirals of lifeblood unfurled into the deep pool . The lifeless bodies beneath his deft touch lay cool and still under the shrouds of white cotton sheeting. They were dressed for all eternity as they had been in life. Already the sober taffeta clung damply to the small of Lizzie’s back, the fluttering ministrations of her feather fan ineffective in the saturated air which was heavy with the scent of Death and putrefying lilies. Outside in the garden, a lone pale rose spread her satin petals, then wilted in despair.
The Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast on Second Street will be presenting a new re-enactment this year featuring for the first time, an all-female cast. The date is August 5, 1892. Andrew and Abby Borden have been murdered the previous day and their remains lie waiting in the diningroom to receive the tender ministrations of Mr. Winward, the mortician. Emma has returned from Fairhaven, Alice Russell, trusted family friend of many years, is upstairs tending to Lizzie who is prone on her fainting couch, fanning her flushed cheeks.
Uncle John has gone downstreet under the watchful eye of the police and the women are all alone in the house draped in heavy mourning. A breeze stirs the black ribbons on the wreath of white lilies on the door.
In the kitchen Emma and Mrs. Churchill are preparing some refreshment for the crowds of funeral attendees who are expected to arrive by 10 a.m. the next day. Bridget is in a hurry to get up to her old room on the third floor to pack up her meager belongings and send her trunk across the street. The clock on the sitting room mantel has been stopped at 11 a.m. and portraits of Abby and Andrew, draped in black crape stare down from the black mantel at the spot where, on the morrow, two long black cloth-covered coffins will lay. The house is eerie, hushed and silent as moats of dust, perfumed by the heavy scent of lilies fills the room . . . . .
Call Hours are at 11- 3 p.m.
Over the decade of the 1990’s, several enterprising homeowners and business people entertained the notion of cashing in on the Lizzie name to open businesses around town. The Lizzie Deli on Third Street (which is now the Lizzie Bldg office space) did a rip-roaring business in “Lizzie Burgers”- rare hamburgers served up with a lot of ketchup in the demure, lace-curtained Victoriana-decor eatery.
Just next door to the scene of the crime, a Lizzie B&B sprung up about 5 years before #92 opened its doors for business, and on Third Street, in what would have been 1892’s Crowe’s Yard, another rambling old house hung out their B&B sign. The great thrill was when , in 1996, Ron Evans and Martha McGinn opened Second Street to the wildly curious, and soon after Maplecroft jumped on the booming business to be made on Lizzie.