Inside the “Maplecroft” Restorations

16 May
Inside the “Maplecroft” Restorations

FRHN My friend Kristee Bates tells readers what she’s been doing lately restoring Maplecroft.  She shares some of her discoveries and plans.  I’ve persuaded her to do short videos of each renovation project in each area of the house to document its progress.  She’s been sending these to me to string together for a DVD.  I felt it was important to have a video record of what was being done.  And so much more is being discovered and worked on than what is conveyed in the article.

The bottom half of the page above, i.e., “Borden expert not a fan of series spin”  is my interview with the same reporter on Episode 6 of The Lizzie Borden Chronicles.  (I thought it was kinda cool our interviews appeared the same day on the same page.)

With regards to “Maplecroft” becoming a B&B, it’s important to keep in mind the primary differences from 92 Second Street with regards to the “Lizzie Borden” connection.  The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum was built in 1845 in the Greek Revival architectural design.  Lizzie moved in when she was 12 years old and lived there until she was 33. She had only lived in 3 houses in her entire lifetime:  1) The Ferry Street “homestead” where she was born, where her sister was born and where her father was born; 2) 92 Second Street; and 3) 306 French Street.

The house on French Street she subsequently named “Maplecroft”, was built in 1891-92 and Lizzie moved in when she was 33 and lived there for 33 years – the entire second half of her life.  While 92 Second Street is notorious for the events of August 4, 1892 – a singular date in time – the French Street home is only notorious because Lizzie lived and died there.

When the Second Street house was being renovated  to operate as a B&B, Martha McGinn and Ron Evans took great pains to be as precise as possible in restoring furniture and fixtures to be as accurate to that “date in history” as possible.  Kristee Bates has no such restrictions other than keeping “Maplecroft’s” interior true to the Victorian and Edwardian age.   She has the freedom to mix periods as she wishes.

The photographs below are most all that are known taken of the interior of Maplecroft to date.  They include photos recently appearing in the Fall River Herald News, photos taken by me on separate occasions inside the home, and photos taken by Shelley Dziedzik on separate occasions while inside the home.  Robert Dube’, former owner of more than 30 years, rarely allowed photos to be taken inside even when he operated it as a B&B for a short period. I know Kristee has allowed several neighbors into the home since she began her restorative labor of love, but has restricted the taking of photos..

sitting room-parlor   SR-pic                                                      Sitting Room/Parlor

SR-SDparlour-nov-2000                                    1999 – Sitting Room – before piano was moved.



Most famous mantelpiece -SD

My Home FP-SD

Front fhall FP mantel-SD  FP Manel other view-SD View to ahall frm DR-SDFrom Dining Rm looking thru hallway to front door.  Note original chandelier and wall    scounces. aa                                                         Original wallpaper

DRfp                                                                           Dining room fireplace.

entrytodining1999 deDR Triple Windows-SD                                   Triple windows in curved wall Dining Room. Dining Room-SD                                                         Triple windows in dining room. BigFoyer                                Front foyer looking towards dining room. Newell post Maple leave inlay stairsw-SD                                                              Mapleleaf cluster on stairway posts. Stairway-SD                                              Stairway from 1st floor.

foyer1999                                         Front entry inside enclosed porch.

2ndbedroom                                 Lizzie’s bedroom on 2nd floor with Bay window.

F DR floor inlay          maplestairs-20002000

stairway                                                                                   2015

Bathroom tub-SD                                           2nd Floor Bathroom but not “her” tub.

orig tile bathroom                                        Tile detail – upstairs front bathroom.

Back stairs for servants. Carpet has been removed.

Servantw back stairs                                                     Carpet has been removed.

Kitchen sink-SD                                                     Kitchen is now completely gutted.

The stained glass features of the house are lovely.

stain glass-SD  Stain glass window-SD      


more stainglass-SD

StainedGlass staircawse-SD

OSstain2 Above/Below:  Video of the stained glass on front of house inside enclosed porch.


NOTE:  If you’re on Facebook, check out my Lizzie Andrew Borden Chat Page.

1 Comment

Posted by on May 16, 2015 in Uncategorized


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One response to “Inside the “Maplecroft” Restorations

  1. James Baaden

    July 26, 2015 at 4:54 PM

    You say that “the French Street home is only notorious because Lizzie lived and died there”. Well, that is the nature of its notoriety as such notoriety relates to Lizzie Borden. But here on this blog site you have a newspaper article from 1893 which reports – if I read it correctly – that the French Street house was already highly notorious in Fall River at that time, namely when Lizzie and Emma Borden bought it, as the previous owner, Alfred Butterworth had committed suicide there by hanging himself. At least, that’s the way I understand what’s written in the article. And that’s … intriguing in itself – the fact that Lizzie and Emma would have consciously chosen ANOTHER house associated (in the Fall River citizenry’s minds) with scandal and tragedy.

    You know much more about the house and about Fall River (and probably about the Butterworths!) than just about anyone in the world, so I am a bit taken aback that you don’t draw attention to the Butterworth suicide (which seems to have taken place in 1892, the same year as the Borden murders). To me, it’s striking that these two sisters left one “notorious” house for another: I find it strange, mysterious, vaguely unsettling. Or have I misconstrued something? (My only source is that July 1893 article about the Borden sisters’ house-buying plans.)

    Anyhow, this is a brilliant blog and you come across as a fascinating (not notorious!) person yourself – I have very much enjoyed listening to your Spooky Southcoast radio interviews. Your comments and reflections are always extremely interesting, trenchant, well-considered and thought-provoking.

    Finally. In relation to the concept of notoriety, I often come across the Lizzie Borden case compared to Jack the Ripper. I live in London. The name Jack the Ripper is, yes, notorious, and the crimes likewise. But I think that as a mystery probably the Dr Crippen case or the death of Charles Bravo may be more comparable to Lizzie Borden. True, Crippen was convicted and hanged. But the nature of the fascination the case exercised; the repeated treatments of the story in drama, text, film etc; the doubts and mysteries surrounding it to this day; the acquittal and disappearance of Ethel le Neve, the other defendant; and the enduringly well-known name of Hilldrop Crescent here in London – all of these things remind me from time to time of Lizzie Borden. But you are right – the Lizzie Borden case is definitely more fascinating, more intriguing, more compelling.


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