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Author Archives: phayemuss

About phayemuss

If you've stumbled across this blog, I hope you will enjoy in the musings, images, and perspectives as much as I enjoy sharing them. As a writer, scholar and collector of the infamous Lizzie Borden case of Fall River, MA (1892), I have spent over 40 years collecting rare books, journals, letters, photographs and memorabilia on this most compelling case. I like to say: "Some people play golf - I do Lizzie." My first read on the case was Victoria Lincoln's A Private Disgrace, and my first visit inside 92 Second Street(when it was numbered 230)was in 1978. For the next 15 years, I traveled to Fall River doing research and meeting with long time residents. In 1992, I was a presenter at the Lizzie Borden Centennial Conference in Fall River. Since 1998, I have stayed at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast two to three times a year, often serving as tour guide and night manager. I've lectured at University campuses, women's groups, genealogical societies, civic clubs and fraternal organizations, and libraries conducting multi-media presentations on Lizzie Borden and Fall River's history. I am the creator of the Lizzie Borden board game: "Journey to Maplecroft" and have produced several research and reference materials in both print and CD formats, some of which are available at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast. My personal images are copyrighted and not intended for other blogs or internet sites or print publications or any commercial use without permission, however, please feel free to copy them for your own personal collection. Also, feel free to email email me at phaye@npgcable.com. -Faye Musselman Cypress, California

Andrew Borden’s Prince Albert Coat

(Recycled from March 2008)

James E. Windward, “funeral director to the stars” or at least to all the best Fall River families (translation: Bordens, Braytons, Durfees, Chaces, etc.) during Lizzie’s time, was at the Borden house with his assistant around 4:00 pm on August 4, 1892. As Doctor Dolan testified, it was Undertaker Winward who removed the money from Andrew’s clothing and gave it over to him.

Winward had to wait until the in-situ crime scene photographs were taken and preliminary autopsies were concluded before he could claim possession of the bodies for preparation for Saturday’s funeral services. Could it be that Lizzie told him directly or had it conveyed to him as a discreet request by another (Alice? Uncle John?) that she wished her father to be “laid out” in his Prince Albert coat because it was such a signature garment to all those that knew him? The same Prince Albert coat that was photographed crumbled up under his head on the sofa. The same Prince Albert coat that his usual custom was to hang on a hook when switching to his more comfortable coat in which he wore in death? The same Prince Albert coat that is not on the list of clothing buried nor presented at Trial. The same Prince Albert coat that magically disappears like socks in the dryer. The same Prince Albert coat that District Attorney Knowlton alluded to as a possible shield against the assailant’s own clothing during his Trial summation? The same coat that had it been laid out and studied would have had telling blood splatters and not just a large stain from the seeping wounds of the ten hatchet blows to his head.

Let us assume that the Prince Albert coat was indeed removed from the premises by Undertaker Winward at Lizzie’s request. Let us further assume it was subsequently cleaned, pressed and put back upon the corpse of Andrew Borden. It would seem such an appropriate thing to do that his open coffin next to Abby’s in the Sitting Room would warrant narry a comment pertaining to evidence. “How peaceful he looks with his head on the side, and isn’t it natural that he should be wearing that oh so familiar coat?”, one might have commented to another.

Fast Forward – Oak Grove Cemetery:

The mortal remains of Andrew Jackson Borden lay crushed from a collapsed coffin, wood fragments embedded in the decomposed and tattered fabric of a certain Prince Albert coat. A high school ring dangles from his skeletal finger and his skeletal foot stretches out to just inches above Lizzie’s head. Each day at the stroke of 11:00 am, he shoves his foot against her head and in a muffled but strident voice only the dead can hear he speaks out to her: “Bad girl, Lizzie. Bad, bad, girl.” Thus, every day throughout eternity she hears those words at the stroke of Eleven – Lizzie’s own hellish, eternal doom.

I’d be willing to bet if Andrew’s grave were dug up, the collapsed coffin opened, there we would find the mortal remains of Andrew Borden. His head would be detached and displaced but he’d be dressed in that Prince Albert coat.

Smart girl, Lizzie.  Clever girl, Lizzie.

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Cara Robertson Donates Historical Document to Fall River Historical Society

 

 

As a follow-up to my previous post, here is the final disposition of those two documents.  THANK YOU, Cara, for ensuring they were secured for the Fall River Historical Society.

You can read about it HERE.

 

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LIZZIE BORDEN POWER OF ATTORNEY ON AUCTION BLOCK

 

Break open your piggy bank.  LOL!

Click HERE.

Also to be auctioned, same day, same auction house, is a document signed by Emma Borden settling her 1/2 share of the 1917 sale of the Second Street home.

 

ANSWERS TO: Who, What, Where Am I? The Lizzie Borden Connection Quiz

Tattered Fabric: Fall River's Lizzie Borden

THE WINNER IS KEITH JUDSON OF RENO, NV.He answered 21 of 25 questions correctly.  He wins a copy of the Knowlton-Pearson correspondence.  Prior to publishing his first essay on the case, Edmund Pearson was given entre’ to the private correspondence of D.A. Hosea Knowlton by his son, Frank Knowlton.  Frank also arranged for Pearson to meet many of those still living in Fall River who knew Lizzie or were in some way involved in the case.  This is a seldom made available and most interesting collectible.

THE CORRECT ANSWERS ARE IN ITALICS BELOW:

Can you identify these images?  Can you tell what they are, where they are or who they are and their relevancy to Lizzie Borden?   If so, email me.  If you get a minimum of 12 of the 25 correct, I’ll send you a prize – a Bordenia collectible – valued at $25.00.

#1

Known…

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Posted by on October 5, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

SEE NEW ARTICLE OF 9-14-17 = More on the Sale of Maplecroft with Interior Images

HERE’S AN UPDATE AS OF 9-14-17 FROM THE FALL RIVER HERALD NEWS

Here’s more on the sale of Maplecoft with some good images of the interior and other related Borden case images.   The article is full of errors in respect to what was original in Lizzie’s time in terms of furniture.  The bathroom shown is actually in the attic and was the maid’s bathroom, and that is not an original sink.  The only original wallpaper is in the dining room.  One cannot get a real sense of Lizzie’s library (with her inlaid mahogony desk) as it’s been altered to be a bedroom.  Actually, when one is in the basement it is the closest one feels to Lizzie’s time.   (I’ve been in the house many times, first in 1992 and several times between then and 2015 when Bob Dube’ owned it).

I have about a dozen short videos Kristee Bates sent me showing the various rooms of the house during the renovations.  I’ll be glad to share if you email me.  It’s the last chance to actually see what it looked like inside before The Big Change.

Click HERE.

 

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Click HERE for actual “ownership” of the property.  Twilight Enterprises was formed by Kristee’s friend, Howard, who provided all funds for the purchase and her renovation project.  (Type “French” in the blank field for Street after clicking link and then scroll down to 306 French Street.)

 

Time to Offload Maplecroft – Yep, It’s on the Market Again.

 

maple.jpg

          Photo by Trip Advisor

Read Deborah Allard Dion’s article by clicking link below:

Lizzie’s French Street home for sale again.

Kristee Bates was the only nibble previous owner Robert Dube’ had.   Sooooo, rots a ruck on this one.

A “serious buyer”needs to be interested in operating it as a B&B and tourist destination, but discretionary dollars say the out-of-town Fall River visitor interested in Lizzie will go to Second Street instead and spend their money at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum.  A winning formula has been in place there since 2004.

The appeal on French Street just isn’t the same.   Besides, the interior is overly exposed.  It can all be found on the internet and at various posts at this blog site.  Specifically, a very comprehensive compilation of images of the entire interior can be found within the Fall River Herald newspaper article provided above and clicking on the “Virtual Tour” provided by the listing agent.

The asking amount is grossly overpriced.   Also, it should be noted the furniture is NOT Lizzie’s nor exactly what she would have purchased.  However, the entire renovation was nicely done.

I could imagine this property being run as a Victorian Bed & Breakfast for those wanting a full blown Victorian experience with the Lizzie Borden component as a kicker.  But that still would necessitate bringing up to code what remains AFTER paying an amount about $400,000 over its comparable value for the neighborhood.  And the kitchen – well it needs some serious updating if it is NOT going to run as a B&B.

Unfortunately,  Ms. Bates purchase was emotionally based.  Lack of marketing (as a B&B) due diligence set this project up for failure.  Nonetheless,  who the heck knows.  Remember what P.T. Barnum said?  So there’s that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2017 in Kristee Bates, Maplecroft

 

Lizzie Borden’s Wallpaper

Lizzie favored the dark floral patterns of the late Victorian and early Edwardian age.  Here are images of the wallpaper she had in her front bedroom at Maplecroft and the golden colored heavy silk drapes.  I received these scraps from Kristee Bates who purchased the property over 2-1/2 years ago but has not met the city’s permit requirements to open it up to the public.  But you can view the interior via these links:

http://www.heraldnews.com/article/20150729/NEWS/150726398

http://www.heraldnews.com/article/20150511/NEWS/150519327

https://phayemuss.wordpress.com/2015/05/16/inside-the-maplecroft-restorations/

The best assemblage (dozens of never before seen) interior photos are in the excellent book, The History and Haunting of Lizzie Borden by Rebecca Pittman, a book I consider the second best non-fiction book (second only to Parallel Lives) on Lizzie and the Borden murders case.

Meanwhile, here’s what Lizzie had on her bedroom walls.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2017 in Kristee Bates, Maplecroft

 

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