St. Anne’s Church & It’s Notable Shrine


St. Anne’s – this magnificent, iconic edifice – is destined for the wrecking ball.  Google “St. Anne’s, Fall River” for articles about its closing.

Tattered Fabric: Fall River's Lizzie Borden

Located on South Main Street, across from Kennedy Park in Lizzie’s Borden’s Fall River, is this magnificent Catholic Church built by French Canadian immigrants in the early 1900’s.  It is one of the iconic skyline structures immediately recognizable upon the Braga Bridge approach to Fall River.

This structure was put on the National Historic Register of buildings in 1983.

St. Anne’s Parish was founded in 1869 when there were about 500-600 French families in the city.  The Church was founded in 1894.  In 1900, Fall River had a population of slightly more than 100,000 people, of which nearly 40,000 were French.  The surge of French Canadian immigrants at the turn of the Century came from the agricultural crisis in Quebec.  They had a profound influence in the labor, language and culture.  Even by the 1930’s, Fall River still kept sort of a French flavor, and even today one comes across…

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Posted by on October 19, 2018 in Uncategorized


Lizzie Borden – One Book, Lots of Good Reads


Lizzie Borden: Democrat or Republican? Listen to WSAR Radio Friday, August 29, 2008 at 8:00 am

Over ten years ago….but in case you were wondering.

Tattered Fabric: Fall River's Lizzie Borden

I was invited back to WSAR Radio – this time to talk about one of Fall River’s most accomplished – if not notorious – women – Grace Hartley Howe – also a cousin to Lizzie Borden. Tune in if you’re in the area.

What was, if any, Lizzie Borden’s political affiliations? August 26th is “Women’s Equality Day” and as every indication tells us Lizzie was one to assert her rights, (by virtue of her sense of entitlement or legally) she most likely exercised her right to vote as ratified by the 19th Amendment in 1920.

Did she vote for the first time for Democrat James Cox or Republican Warren G. Harding? In 1924, did she vote for Calvin Coolidge who had been Harding’s Vice President, or did she vote for progressive Democrat John Davis?

She didn’t have much of an opportunity to exercise her hard-fought right to vote before she…

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Posted by on September 15, 2018 in Uncategorized


Fall River Police Dept

Tattered Fabric: Fall River's Lizzie Borden


Fall River, MA., like so many other cities across the nation struggling to provide necessary services in the face of ominous budgetary shortfalls, is laying off 149 employees.  Even worse, 98 of those are policemen and firemen.  Now when a city lays off  “first responders” you know it’s in trouble.

With its unemployment already nearly 14% (and we all know with high unemployment comes an increase in crime) Fall River is reverting back to its 1976 levels of uniformed police coverage.  Even Lizzie Borden would not be pleased.

From the Fall River Police Department website here is their Uniform Police Compliment of 1976.


In 1976,  they had 12 men in patrol cars, 10 on walking beats and 1 K-9 unit.   The Fall River Herald News reported there would be only 10 patrol cars, no walking beats, and special police services cut or eliminated altogether.  This is not good news, and…

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Posted by on September 6, 2018 in Uncategorized


Lizzie Borden – For Brevity’s Sake

Sometimes we just need to chuckle about it all.

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 Artist Charles George does a variation on a theme.





Here’s a couple more of his clever illustrations:

Lizzie swoons in court when skulls of her father and stepmother are presented by Prosecutor Knowlton.

A forlorn and depressed Lizzie stares out a window in an attic room at her home on 92 Second Street – or is it Maplecroft?







Yearbooks & Obituaries – Fall River Notables

This was originally posted June 11, 2011.

Tattered Fabric: Fall River's Lizzie Borden

Although Lizzie Borden never attended BMC Durfee High School (built when she was 27 years old), we can search through the yearbooks and find plenty of contemporaries and decendents of those who factored in her life.

The original structure of BMC Durfee High School was built as a donation from Mrs. Mary B. Young to the people of the City of Fall River, in memory of her son Bradford Matthew Chaloner Durfee, who had died at a young age in 1872.

Image by Marcfoto on Flicker

The Yearbooks of BMC Durfee H.S. can be found online through the Ambrose F. Keeley library.   I’ve been to this library (and online site) many times over the years and it’s resourcesare wonderful for studying the history of Fall River.

Ambrose F. Keeley Library at BMC Durfee

If, like me, you enjoy looking over very old yearbooks you will love looking at…

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Posted by on August 12, 2018 in Uncategorized


Maplecroft Meeting ADA Requirements

Maplecroft Update:

Handicap ramp being installed today and a chair lift for main staircase later. These are necessary to meet ADA requirements for permit issuance to operate as a B&B.

The Second Street location did not have to comply back in 1996. New time, new council.

Some may think a chair lift in the foyer may take away from the Edwardian era ambience.  Some may be right.  But hey, do you want to see it open to the public or not?

Bless Donald and Ryan Woods for doing what it takes.

It was my pleasure recently to review and edit the tour script.  Thank you, Ryan.  🙂


Posted by on August 7, 2018 in Maplecroft Bed & Breakfast


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