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Category Archives: Maplecroft

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.)

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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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Lizzie Borden’s Dying Act of Kindness

 (Originally published in June 1st, 2010)

https://phayemuss.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/image055.jpg?w=515&h=412

 

Lizzie Borden died 84 years ago today.  She died at 8:30 pm on June 1, 1927  (a Wednesday) in her home in Fall River, MA.  She had been lingering all day, surrounded by her chauffeur and two servants:  Ernest Terry, Ellen Miller, and Florence Pemberton.  There were others who came to the house as well.

The Reverend Cleveland from the nearby Church of Ascension – a few doors down from Central Congregational  Church on Rock Street – would execute the wishes Lizzie had written out on March 31, 1919.   Vida Turner would come in and be instructed to sing “My Ain’ Country”, tell no one she had been there and then leave immediately.

The reporting a few days later of Lizzie’s Will was regional front page news and appeared in many newspapers across the country recounting the horrific hatchet murders of August 4, 1892, and Lizzie’s subsequent arrest, trial and acquittal.

Her Will was probated for 6 years with four separate Probate Court Accountings submitted by the executor of her estate, Charles Clarke Cook (as shown below from Men in Progress-1896):

Scan_Pic0008 (2)                                     Photo credit (cropped):  Fall River Herald News

 

Probate of Lizzie’s Will.

Proceeding Inclusive Dates Held
1st Accounting June 24, 1927 – May 1, 1929 October 2, 1931(Fall River)
2nd Accounting May 2, 1929 – Jan. 1, 1932 February 17, 1933(Taunton)
3rd (Substituted)Accounting Jan.1, 1932 – Nov. 28, 1932 February 17, 1933(Taunton)
4th FinalAccounting Nov. 28, 1932 – March 3, 1933 March 24, 1933(Attleboro)

The primary reason for the long probate was Mr. Cook’s failure to include the house/property at 328 French Street known as the “Henry House” which was situated directly east of “Maplecroft”.

Mr. Cook claimed the house was his as a gift from Lizzie.   However, Grace Hartley Howe and Helen Leighton, the two major legatees in Lizzie’s Will, were having none of it.  They claimed fraud and the matter went to court – Probate Court – in several sessions.   The testimony in those proceedings are rich in insight into Lizzie’s character as gleamed from those who testified, including Winifred F. French, who was to receive $5,000 as a bequest from Lizzie.  What the witnesses on behalf of Grace & Helen had to say was insightful, but the most provacative was this:

So here we have Lizzie dying and she knows she is about to die but what is on her mind?  She is remembering her promise to Ernest Terry to pay for his house repairs and tells him to write a blank check, which she signs and which he takes to the bank.  She may or may not have remembered she left him and his wife money in her will, but she wanted this to be extra.   A blank check – reluctantly approved by Cook, but cashed at the bank.    And Cook, dear man, tried to convince Mr. Terry that that check of $2,500 was to be considered part of the $3,000 cash bequest from Lizzie.  What a guy.

Ultimately the court ruled in favor of Helen & Grace and the proceeds from the sale of the property was considered a part of Lizzie’s estate.  Although he was judged not guilty of fraud or had bad faith in carrying out the terms of the Will, Judge Mayhew R. Hitch of the Probate Court made Cook accountable for that $10,000 (which was the amount he had sold it for but not yet pocketed) plus interest.   Cook made this right in the Final Accounting.  I find it amusing that he also included the cost of services from the attorney who represented him, Arthur E. Seagrave.  The court approved it.  His submittal of the heating bill for the Maplecroft garage where he parked his car, however, was not approved.  (Good try but too bad, Charlie).

So as she lay dying on this day 83 years ago, Lizzie Andrew Borden made no deathbed confession (and had she, I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog) but she was focused on a potential financial hardship to her faithful driver and friend, Ernest Terry.   Her last documented act was to issue a blank check.

Yes, there were many acts of kindness that Lizzie Borden did throughout her life, particularly the second half of her life when she had the money to use as she wanted.  We will most likely read more about them in Parallel Lives and perhaps finally see a photograph of Ernest Terry (I’ve never seen one and the book is to have well over 500 photographs – yep, you read that right).

I would like say, on this day:  “Rest in peace, Lizzie Borden.”

But we all know that ain’t gonna happen.

                                                                                             xxx

 

Note:  Here’s the full article to that posted above as well as the follow -up explaining Charles Cook being exonerated of any fraud in that pesky purchase and sale of the Henry House next door to Maplecroft.  (Catherine MacFarland, btw, mentioned in this article, was also a beneficiary in Lizzie’s Will.)

Added Note:  More information on Charles C. Cook can be found HERE   (Representative Men and Old Families) and from Men in Progress 1896 HERE.

 

The House That Lizzie Owned – 328 French Street

Next door to “Maplecroft” this house was  once owned by Lizzie Borden. This Victorian  is and always has been a three family home but was once known as the James Davenport House and was built in 1879 by the ninth mayor of Fall River.

Painted last summer with lovely new landscaping and planters added – among other improvements –  it  was listed for $315,000 last August but sold just before Christmas last year for $282,000.

See full information HERE.

Michael Thomas Brimbau

 I wrote about this last October but had wrong information.  Michael Brimbau, the owner since 1992 (and author of The Girl With The Pansy Pin) moved out to work on the charming fixer-upper he purchased on Charlotte White Road in Westport.   Stefani Koorey remained until it was sold.

 

One of those very old homes built with one bathroom on first floor but second bedroom on the second floor.  Improvements have been made.

Mr. Brimbau has also written a clever comedy By the Naked Pear Tree: The Trial of Lizzie Borden, actually a play in which two of the scenes had been performed at the Somerset Library by the Pleasure of Poetry Club .

And yes, that’s Stefani Koorey in the front.  The one with the moustache.   Judging by the photos on the link above, looks like this group had a lot of fun.  By the way, I highly recommend Mr. Brimbau’s book.  It is quite funny and very well written.

 

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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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