Tour Guide Kathleen describes discovery of the murders to visitors at the Borden house on July 31, 2008. (FRHN video)
How fortuitious that the fatal fourth of August falls on a Monday this year – 116 years later from the 1892 Borden murders that made Lizzie Borden an enduring fascination. This week day date allows for a long preceding weekend for the local media, particularly the Fall River Herald News, to do what it has continuously done from that very day (when it was known as the Fall River Globe), i.e., fill its paper with remembrances of the case and its iconic female enigma, Lizzie Borden. It is The Big Weekend for the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast and the Fall River Historical Society.
Also, more vehicles will pass through the beautiful entrance of Oak Grove Cemetery and follow the arrows painted on the pavement leading to the Borden family plot than any other weekend of the year. And traffic on French Street, already congested with insufficient curbside parking, will be heavily traversed with the “lookie-loos” getting a gander where Lizzie lived the rest of her life – the once stately abode she named “Maplecroft”. Lizzie died in the add-on bedroom over the veranda she had built as seen in this photo.
So it’s no surprise that the papers are full of Lizzie. It’s that time of year. Always has been, and (as long as the case remains one of the great murder mysteries) it always will be. The anniversary draws more tourists to Fall River and thats good business for the City and its tourist attractions. We can also look forward to the annual re-enactments and (don’t hold your breath) the opening of the Salem “Lizzie Borden Museum”. Come Tuesday, August 5, 2008, the local and regional papers will be still be full of Lizzie.
Yep, one long weekend. A virtual Lizzie bonanza for the media looking to increase viewership, radio listeners and on-site visitors! Free publicity all around. Especially for a town long suffering in its economic development that could use an infusion of revenue. No wonder they love her. Go, Fall River! Go!
On Monday, August 4th, I’ll post an updated Timelime of events the day before and the day of the murders.