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Category Archives: Kristee Bates

Lizzie Borden’s Maplecroft to Open to Public by April

Pictured is Ryan Woods.  Photo credit Jack Foley, Herald News

 

The Fall River Herald News ran this story today.

Just think of it – visitors will be able to tour both homes where Lizzie lived all but 12 years of her life.  She was born on Ferry Street in Fall River in 1860, but in 1872 Andrew purchased the home at 92 Second Street.  Indeed, from age 12 to 32 she continued to live under the auspices of her father, Andrew J. Borden.  Then, shortly after her 1893 Acquittal, she lived the remaining 33 years of her life at “Maplecroft” in The Highlands.  The contrast is astonishing.

She loved her home on French Street and coveted it as if  it were her child, nurturing it with nothing but the best.   (Paranormal enthusiasts take note:  If the spirits of Andrew and Abby Borden reside at 92 Second Street,  the spirit of Lizzie Borden resides at Maplecroft.)

I look forward to the inevitable videos, documentaries, travelogs, social media input, (and perhaps even a film on the second half of her life) etc.,  that will be forthcoming on the interior of Maplecroft for the multitudes interested in Lizzie.

Not only past and repeat visitors to the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast will be flooding back to Fall River for a brand new experience related to their most compelling icon, but completely NEW visitors to Fall River will come for a look-see.  These new visitors, who may just want to stay at a Victorian B&B on their way to Newport may take a look around at development opportunities and……well, who knows.

Again, I say HUZZAH to the new owners.  And again, it was the only purchase that made sense.

 

 

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3D Tour of Maplecroft – Puts You Right Inside

 

From Sotheby’s International Realty’s listing of 306 French Street, aka “Maplecroft” here is a wonderful 3-D tour of the inside.  I especially like utilizing the blue circle to guide me up, down, sideways, close-up, around corners, through doorways, etc.,  to see virtually every bit of the home, –  its furnishings, paintings, portraits, photographs, ornamental items, original doors, doorknobs, tin ceilings, servant stairways, servants’ rooms, etc.

You can pause and zoom and take your time.  Making use of the blue circle – moving it to enlarge or reduce – really makes you feel you are walking around inside.  And truly gives you a better appreciation for the quality and detail Kristee Bates put into restoring this home.

Except for the stove and fire sprinklers – it is truly a turn-key operation for new owner, Donald Woods and his son, Ryan, who will be the Manager.  Huzzahs!

Click the link HERE and scroll down to the 2 images of Maplecroft and click the box on the right hand side to walk around inside Maplecroft.

Note:  The first time I was inside this home the dining room still had Lizzie’s original drapes.

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

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          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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Inside Lizzie Borden’s Renovated Maplecroft

UPDATE:  “MAPLECROFT” FOR SALE AGAIN.

http://www.heraldnews.com/news/20170906/lizzie-bordens-maplecroft-on-market-again

 

Created by author Rebecca Pittman – The History & Haunting of Lizzie Borden.  Enjoy.

BTW, while I think Kristee Bates has done a very good job in renovating “Maplecroft”, I still do not think this is how Lizzie had it furnished and decorated in her day.  Lizzie selected only the very best of furnishings, fixtures and equipment because she could well afford it.  Her home, which she nurtured and lovingly maintained as if it were her child, had the very best appointments.  She bought only “the very best”.   Kristee worked on a budget and it does not escape the discerning eye.  Nonetheless, it is still beautiful and representative of Victorian homes of the 1890’s.  However, one only has to go to the Fall River Historical Society  or the Easton Tea Room (1870 Alexander Dorrance Easton residence also owned by the FRHS) to see the high quality wallpaper and exceptional quality furniture donated over the years.  The difference is remarkable and unmistakable.  There one will find furniture and fixtures inside these two establishments closer to what “Miss Lizbeth” would have had in her own home.

While the precise decade (1893 to 1927)  Maplecroft’s renovated interior  is reflecting is unclear, the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum is furnished exactly as it would have been on August 4, 1892.  Aspiring and inspired detectives can play out what they know or suspect of the crimes with a full and thoroughly captivating  “stage”.   Kudos to the original “set decorators” and Kudos to General Manager Lee-ann Wilber  (since 2004)  and owner, Donald Woods,  who have not altered  its base authenticity.

And a special Kudo to Rebecca Pittman for providing us with the first ever video showing the interiors of both the Second Street and French Street homes in which Lizzie lived the entire first half and entire second half of her life, respectively.   Well done!

 

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New Book on Lizzie Borden Unlike Any Other

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Been reading Rebecca Pittman’new book which is unlike any other Lizzie book written to date. This 826 page marvel shows deep research, surprisingly probable speculations, and is an overwhelmingly thrilling read. There is a generous number of images – many never seen before in this stunning work. In the “A New Address” chapter readers will find exclusive post-renovation interior images of “Maplecroft“, the home Lizzie lived in the entire second half of her life.

In the “Interviews” section we find a “coming together” (inside joke) of the three major Borden Blogmasters,, i.e., Shelley Dziedzic, Stefani Koorey, and moi revealing our embryonic interest in the case, etc.

I’ll be doing an in depth review when I finish reading this book and after I return from an overseas vacation.  Meanwhile, don’t wait.  Buy it!  Available at Amazon.

 

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