Lizzie Borden and the Fall River Animal Rescue League

15 Apr

It’s been a week of Portuguese Water Pirates.  No wait.  That’s wrong.  In any event, in honor of Bo Obama, here’s a recycled post tribute of Lizzie Borden and the Animal Rescue League of Fall River.


Lizzie Borden not only left a huge amount of money to the Animal Rescue League of Fall River when she died on June 1, 1927, but she was also one of its initial financial contributors when it was created in 1914.  Her friend, nurse Helen Leighton and Helen’s friend, school teacher Gertrude Baker were there at the beginning and became founding members of the League.

Helen Leighton

Gertrude Baker

Below is the founding document establishing the League as a corporation by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  (Right click images for larger view).

Reading over the Annual Reports from my collection, its interesting to contrast how the League began.  Here’s a sample Report and a history document recapping its early beginnings.

Click on the link below for a scanned image of the April 15, 1926 “12th Annual Report of the Secretary” of the Animal Rescue League of Fall River who, at that time, was Annie E. Allen.

12th Annual Report-1926

Little did the Board of Directors know that less than 14 months later they would be the recipients of large bequests from the Wills of Lizzie ($30,000) and Emma ($20,000) Borden.  Subsequent “Annual Reports” reveal these monies were invested so well that income is still derived from this fund.

The “History” tells us that early fundraising after its incorporation was done in private homes – perhaps even Lizzie’s?  And that they even dressed up as playing cards and had various games.  I like to think Lizzie participated and had some fun.  Stuffy Emma would probably have deferred even if she had still be living at “Maplecroft”.   It was the League who took care of the burial of Lizzie’s dogs according to later Reports filed.



Today, the Faxon Animal Rescue League, (formerly the Animal Rescue League of Fall River) located at 474 Durfee Street, pays tribute to the Borden sisters by keeping their photographs on the wall in their lobby.  You can see their pictures in the upper right corner of that photograph as is shown here.


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One response to “Lizzie Borden and the Fall River Animal Rescue League

  1. Terry Boyle

    April 16, 2009 at 11:21 PM

    What a dyamite blog you have. I think you probably know more about Lizzie Borden case and her home town fall river than any other blog or website I’ve seen. Do you know of Stefani Koorey’s MondoLizzie? Yours is much better but I sometimes read hers too. Please keep up the good work and dont ever solve the case!


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