UPDATE: The Salem Exhibit not only lost its lawsuit with the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast but closed down after 1 year. The following RECYCLED post shows the enttire exhibit via the photos I took when visiting Salem.
I’ve posted before about the Lizzie Borden “True Story” exhibit in Salem and now, I give you some overall glimpses of most of the exhibit.
I’ve written before on this subject and those posts can be found HERE
The facility is 3,500 square feet of which 3,000 feet is exhibit space. It is brand, spanking new, extremely well organized with the spacial layouts of the storyboards which are very well done with a clear, readable font. It seems more thought and planning went into the storyboards than the actual floor displays.
There is nothing new to be found here in terms of information or “true” story. What it is, is a factual telling of the case thru the extremely text-heavy storyboards. All the content is what has already appeared in numerous books or newspapers. One feels they ARE reading a book.
The “True Story” exhibit is located on Essex Street in Salem’s “boardwalk” of numerous museums, shops, restaurants, cafes, bookstores, etc.
It is right next door to the large Witch History Museum
The first thing you see when approaching the door is the display of “Halloween’ type skulls displayed in the large glass window.
Once inside, your eyes take in the neatly displayed variety of gift and souvenier items.
There are NO interactive displays. No audio memories. No audio guides. No videos of any kind. No forensics display. No interactive forensic exhibit that would engage the visitor to “solve the crime”. It’s all about the READING.
After paying for your ticket and going thru the entry turnstyle, you enter a small narrow hallway and the READING begins:
CAUTION: CAN BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR EYES!
READ ABOUT THE BORDEN FAMILY (Too bad there isn’t audio with voices depicting the family members *telling* you about themselves. Oh well. Ho-hum.)
KEEP MOVING – KEEP READING……..
Now if you didn’t know better and skipped the “reader boards”, you would incorrectly assume both Andrew and his wife were murdered in the same room because of the body outlines shown in the same display space. One is FORCED to read to get the facts. (Might as well get a book.)
OKAY, MOVE ON NOW. THERE’S MORE READING TO DO……….
Ahh! Finally something different to LOOK at! A 3-D paper mockup of the Borden house and immediate neighbors. (Here you can relax your eyes for a moment or two.)
YOU KEEP ON READING……….
AND READ ABOUT THE DISCOVERY OF ANDREW’S BODY AS OUTLINED ON THE BLUE, NOT BLACK (SO00000 “UNTRUE” SOFA).
READ ABOUT THE LEGAL PROCEEDINGS AND TRIAL IN A VERY UN-AUTHENTIC MOCKUP OF THE JUDGES BENCH AT THE SUPERIOR COURT IN NEW BEDFORD.
The “mastoidian” type teeth in the skull of “Abby” was so inaccurate that Mr. Pickel removed them. The skull is now without teeth. However, the autopsy report on Abby clearly states she had false teeth in the upper jaw, but visitors do not see the “true” replica of Abby’s skull.
READ ABOUT LIZZIE MOVING TO MAPLECROFT. NO, THAT’S NOT LIZZIE’S FURNITURE. NOTHING IN THE EXHIBIT IS A LEGITIMATE ARTIFACT FROM THE CASE OR FALL RIVER’S HISTORY. BUT DON’T LET THAT STOP YOU FROM READING BECAUSE THERE IS FAR MORE TO READ THAN ITEMS TO LOOK AT.
I don’t know why the picture of these dogs are on the wall. They were not the kind of dogs Lizzie or Nance O’Neil had. Perhaps something was just needed to fill up the wall space and its just temporary.
READ ABOUT NANCE O’NEIL
READ ABOUT FALL RIVER TODAY (HUH?) AND THE LIZZIE BORDEN BED & BREAKFAST (THEY FORGOT TO ADD THE WORD “MUSEUM”)
There is no really “Wow!” factor in the exhibit. But I suppose the closest would be this replica of the Andrew Borden grave site in Oak Grove Cemetery. Very well done. It is the next to last thing you see in the exhibit. It has a dark-mirrored background in back of which is the gift shop.
THE GUEST BOOK BEFORE YOU GO THRU THE EXIT TURNSTYLE.
There has been much reporting in the media lately of Leonard Pickel’s new “True Story of Lizzie Borden”. What follows is pure FICTION.
YOU CAN MAKE UP YOUR OWN NEWSPAPER HEADINE AT THIS SITE.