• Dressing Miss Lizzie Paper Dolls at Jules Antiques in R.I.

    Signing party with Q & A and refreshments, July 13th, Saturday 12 -4 p.m. Jules Antiques and General Store, Rt. 138 in Richmond, R.I. (Exit 3 East off 95). Copies of Dressing Miss Lizzie are now available exclusively in Rhode Island at Jules! Miss Lizzie is getting out of town this summer!

    Yes! Even the props are for sale at Jules Antiques!

  • January Musings

    The temps are falling and the long quiet season has arrived.  After the  excitement of the release of Parallel Lives in November, the Victorian house tour in December and virtually a year’s worth of Lizzie suspense, we’re all looking for January adventures.  Many of us are reading the massive volume, Parallel LivesDown on Second Street, the B&B is only open weekends for overnighters although the day tours continue through the week. The B&B web site has had an overhaul.  Re-runs of last year’s paranormal sessions at #92 are in full tilt on television, no update on the Chloe Sevigny HBO mini-series has been released yet, and the historical society is closed for the winter.

    “Axed”, two one-act plays has debuted and will be running this month http://www.pressherald.com/life/go/on-the-case_2012-01-05.htm   No new ideas here, but a fresh treatment.  January is a great time for catching up on our Lizzie reading and some new entries in the historical crime arena.  W&W recommends Murder and Mayhem in Essex County by Robert Wilhelm. Murder and mischief was alive and well in Massachusetts long before Miss Lizzie! http://www.murder-in-essex.com/  If the name sounds familiar, Mr. Wilhelm also publishes the popular vintage crime blog, Murder by Gaslight and The National Nightstick, all great reading for the amateur armchair sleuth on a cold winter’s night.  http://murderbygasslight.blogspot.com/  and http://www.snakeoilgraphics.com/NightStick/  Stay tuned for reviews.  Here’s wishing you a cozy January by the fire and a good wallow in crimes of the Past.

  • Oak Grove Facebook Quiz Tonight at 10!

    Need more excitement in your life?  Nothing good on T.V.?

     Tune in tonight,( September 15th) at  10 p.m. for the first ever (but not the last) So you think you know Oak Grove Cemetery? Jeopardy-  style online quiz.

    Questions and photo identifications will be posted in rapid fire, each going up after the previous one has been correctly answered.  There will be one winner, with difficult brainbusters in case of a tie. Join us at Friends of Oak Grove Fall River tonight.  A prize will be awarded to the winner- and the competition will be fierce! How well do YOU know Oak Grove?

    * Contestants will need a  free Facebook account to post answers.

  • Wade’s Market

    For students of the Borden case, the name of Wade’s Market crops up several times.  The little local grocery was located just to the south of Dr. Kelly’s house and had the number of 98 Second St.  Newspaper story stringer and newspaper vendor, John Cunningham had just exited Wade’s and was heading north on Second Street when he overheard Adelaide Churchill telling Tom Bowles of the carnage on the Borden sofa. Cunningham subsequently headed to Gorman’s paper and paint store to telephone the police station, after first informing the newspapers of the sensational story unfolding at the Borden house. 

    It wasn’t long after the discovery of Andrew Borden’s body that news of the murder was heard in Wade’s store, where the lunch hour crowd got the details of the gruesome killing while awaiting their nickel’s worth of bologna lunch meat. Above Vernon Wade’s store lived Mary and Nathan Chace. Mary Chace was the lady who had seen a man stealing pears out of the Borden back yard earlier in the day.  That man was soon run down and turned out to be an innocent party working in Crowe’s yard.  It is probable that Abby and Lizzie Borden frequented Wade’s often.

    Vernon Wade’s substantial and handsome stone is at the southernmost end of Birch Avenue very close to the Terry plot where Lizzie’s chauffeur, Ernest Terry is buried. If you stand in front of the Terry plot and look west, you will see the Wade monument.

  • Taking a Whack at Lizzie

    This year the August 4th production at the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast will debut a new leading lady.  She is no stranger to the part.  The photos here are taken from an episode filmed last summer for the Travel Channel.  Kathleen Troost-Cramer, day manager at the famous B&B in Fall River, may be remembered for performances in years past as Irish maid, Bridget Sullivan.  This year, having gotten in a few practice whacks with a hatchet, Kathleen is ready to take on the legendary Lizzie Borden, probably the most difficult role of the lot as expectations are so varied and anticipated by the sold-out crowd which assembles every year on the 4th to re-live the Borden tale of mystery.

    Mild-mannered mother of two, and Bible scholar, this role is quite a stretch, but anyone who has been “under the hatchet”to Kathleen can testify- she means business!

    Congratulations and “break-a-leg” to Kathleen as we wait to see her unique spin on the unforgettable Lizzie Borden!

    First performance on August 4th at 10:30 a.m., last performance at 3:30 p.m.

  • Get your Tickets Now !

     As posted yesterday, Miss Lizzie is coming home for two performances August 5th and 6th at the Nagle Auditorium at B.M.C. Durfee High School in a production by the Covey Theatre Company of Syracuse, N.Y., according to the Fall River Herald News http://www.heraldnews.com/entertainment/x2108626470/Latest-Lizzie-Borden-play-to-be-staged-Aug-5-6-in-Fall-River

    For reviews of the play and some color stills, visit this link http://www.thecoveytheatrecompany.com/production-archives.html

    Tickets may be purchased online at the link and word is out that this new treatment of the case promises to satisfy the most ardent Bordenite.  Snag a ticket early!

  • She’s Back for August!

    In addition to anticipating the upcoming release of the historical society’s Parallel Lives, August will welcome a new play about the famous case.  The Herald News reports:

    A new play, “Lizzie Borden Took an Axe,” depicting the well known Lizzie Borden case will be staged in Fall River for the 119th anniversary of the hatchet murders of Andrew and Abby Borden.

    There will be two performances on Aug. 5 and 6 at the Nagle Auditorium at B.M.C. Durfee High School by the Covey Theatre Company of Syracuse, N.Y.
    Fresh from winning two Syracuse Area Live Theatre awards for Best Original Play and Best Costumes, as well as the Gloria Peter Playwright competition from Aurora, NY, “Lizzie Borden Took an Axe” left critics enthralled and Bordenophiles raving.

    “Lizzie Borden Took an Axe” will be staged Friday and Saturday, Aug. 5 and 6 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by calling 315-420-3729 or online at”  www.thecoveytheatrecompany.com.

    Read more: http://www.heraldnews.com/archive/x2108614302/-Lizzie-Borden-Took-an-Axe-to-be-staged-at-Durfee-High-School#ixzz1QatgYTzn 

    The annual costumed recreation of August 4th will take place as usual at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast on the 4th, which this year, will be a Thursday, just as it was in 1892.

    Plenty of Lizzie on the way for August!

  • Spinner Publications & Keeley Library

    Although many of these publications are out of print, Amazon and Ebay frequently have Volume 3 and 4 of Spinner at a good price.  Volume 4 has many wonderful old photos of Fall River and New Bedford, and features articles and interviews which give invaluable details of the “good old days”.  Mrs. Florence Brigham, former curator of the Fall River Historical Society, gives a memorable interview about her memories growing up in the city. The history of ice cream parlors in New Bedford is another article full of information and charm.

    Spinner Publications http://www.spinnerpub.com/Home.html site posts on new publications, calendars, maps, etc. and maintains an unparalleled archives of vintage photos.

    Also not to be missed, for the serious student of Fall River history, is the Keeley Library Online collection of photographs and postcards, Fall River yearbooks and articles- many hours of free online material to enjoy if you cannot come to Fall River. http://www.sailsinc.org/durfee/fulltext.htm (articles)  http://sailsinc.org/Durfee/ (index page)  http://sailsinc.org/Durfee/fallriver.htm (vintage slides of the city)

  • The Falls in Fall River

    Most visitors to Fall River today never link the name of the city to waterfalls mostly because one has to hunt to find the falls. 

    The Quequechan River, nearly 3 miles long, (pronounced “Quick-a-shan” by natives), is the river that flows in a northwesterly direction from the South Watuppa Pond to the Taunton River. The word Quequechan means “falling water” in Wampanoag, which is the origin of the city’s name.  At one time, there were eight falls between the Taunton River and where South Main St. is today.

    When route 195 was built running beneath Government Center during the 1960’s, much of the river west of Plymouth Avenue was re-routed by a series of box culverts.  It takes a careful eye to spot the few places in the city where a glimpse of the old Quequechan can still be seen.  There is a small view at Hartwell and Fourth streets.

     The most impressive view can be found on Anawan Street near the Work Out World gym where a section of surging river sweeps beneath a granite arch and then plunges down on the other side.  With the Spring rain and melted snow swelling the river, April is the time to see the falls in their glory, flanked by enormous growths of pussey willows on the banks. It’s easy to imagine how the force of the falling water and coursing river was a boon to powering the great mills long ago. (video by Chris Striker Bound, April 1, 2011).

    (wild pussey willows, photos by Chris Striker Bound)

  • Spring comes to Fall River

     

    With all of the rain and snow melt of the past few months, the Quequechan river is swollen and the current is running fast under the granite arch.  The river can be seen “daylighted” at a few spots around the city. The most impressive place may be on Anawan Street, near the Work Out World smoke stack.  The falls are roaring and the water level touches the old granite arch as the river surges through.  The ducks are back at Heritage Park and there are signs of Spring everywhere.

    A visit to the Border City mill revealed a bustling curtain factory business on the top floor.  Mr. Raposa employs twenty-four workers Monday-Friday, and has been at the site for twenty-two years.  The mill is built to stand the test of time and the light streaming through the many windows cascades across the oak floors as it did in 1880.

    Underneath the Braga bridge, currently half green and half blue, the river courses at a lively pace beneath the old railroad tracks.  There are some spectacular views of the mills and the river from behind the railroad museum under the Braga bridge.

  • W&W Top Ten Favorites

    With winter showing no signs of letting up in New England, seems a good time to stay inside by the fire with a few good blogs and web sites to read.  Here are some you may enjoy which include Victoriana, fictional and true crime. It’s hard to narrow it down to just ten, but here’s ten good ones you might have missed.  Hours of reading- pack a lunch!

      1. Murder by Gaslight  http://murderbygasslight.blogspot.com/

    2. Clews– historic true crime  http://laurajames.typepad.com/

    3. Anne Perry – Detective Pitt in Victorian England, and other great series  http://www.anneperry.net/

    4. 1893 Columbian Expo in Chicago  http://columbus.gl.iit.edu/

    5. Victorian Station– all things Victorian  http://www.victorianstation.com/home2.html

    6. Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes (ASH)  http://www.ash-nyc.com/AboutASH.htm

    7. Victoriana– free online magazine, great articles and links http://www.victoriana.com/site_map.htm

    8.  Historic New England Homes and events http://www.historicnewengland.org/

    9.  Victorian Society in America – lectures, events, tours, classes http://www.victoriansociety.org/

    10.  Jack the Ripper http://www.casebook.org/

  • 40 Whacks Museum Closed in Salem

    As has been reported elsewhere, the Salem enterprise has decided to call it quits.  A number of newspapers have carried the news and comments by locals on the closing.  The economy and failure to connect with local schools, plus high cost of operation have been cited as reasons the business failed to make a go of it in Salem, a city connected with witches far more than Lizzie Borden in the minds of tourists.

      Fall River Herald News
  • First Murder Mystery Weekend

      The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum will be hosting its first Murder Mystery Weekend over the Valentine’s Day weekend. Characters from the past will be coming together to hear the revelation of city marshal Rufus Hilliard, who has received startling new information which leads to unveiling the identity of the REAL Borden murderer.

    The action will commence with a tea on Friday afternoon, followed by a themed dinner, a murder mystery play, followed by a lively round of sleuthing, games, and off-site activities.  Saturday night will feature the grand revelation of Whodunnit at the Quequechan Club banquet.  Guests will try to portray their historic characters throughout the weekend, with costumes and props encouraged.  The event is sold out, but hopefully will be repeated again soon! To follow the storyline of the weekend, you can read Rufus Hilliard, City Marshal’s journal at http://marshalhilliard.wordpress.com/  More details and photos of the event will be posted to W&W.

  • Bristol House Tour

    Saturday, December 11th

    17th Annual Home for the Holidays House Tour, Bristol

    11:00am–5:00pm. Linden Place, 500 Hope Street. The tour includes several select historic homes, including Linden Place Mansion, that open their doors to showcase their unique holiday decors and beautiful interiors. $20 in advance; $25 at the door. Call (401) 253-0390.

    Visit the Linden Place web site to learn more about the Colt Family history and high Victorian society in Bristol.

      http://www.lindenplace.org/tours.htm

    Also, while in Bristol, plan on stopping by historic Blithewold, decorated for the season with special events and holiday teas.

    http://www.blithewold.org/event/show/147