Category Archives: Uncategorized

Lizzie Borden: Democrat or Republican? Listen to WSAR Radio Friday, August 29, 2008 at 8:00 am

Over ten years ago….but in case you were wondering.

Tattered Fabric: Fall River's Lizzie Borden

I was invited back to WSAR Radio – this time to talk about one of Fall River’s most accomplished – if not notorious – women – Grace Hartley Howe – also a cousin to Lizzie Borden. Tune in if you’re in the area.

What was, if any, Lizzie Borden’s political affiliations? August 26th is “Women’s Equality Day” and as every indication tells us Lizzie was one to assert her rights, (by virtue of her sense of entitlement or legally) she most likely exercised her right to vote as ratified by the 19th Amendment in 1920.

Did she vote for the first time for Democrat James Cox or Republican Warren G. Harding? In 1924, did she vote for Calvin Coolidge who had been Harding’s Vice President, or did she vote for progressive Democrat John Davis?

She didn’t have much of an opportunity to exercise her hard-fought right to vote before she…

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Posted by on September 15, 2018 in Uncategorized


Fall River Police Dept

Tattered Fabric: Fall River's Lizzie Borden


Fall River, MA., like so many other cities across the nation struggling to provide necessary services in the face of ominous budgetary shortfalls, is laying off 149 employees.  Even worse, 98 of those are policemen and firemen.  Now when a city lays off  “first responders” you know it’s in trouble.

With its unemployment already nearly 14% (and we all know with high unemployment comes an increase in crime) Fall River is reverting back to its 1976 levels of uniformed police coverage.  Even Lizzie Borden would not be pleased.

From the Fall River Police Department website here is their Uniform Police Compliment of 1976.


In 1976,  they had 12 men in patrol cars, 10 on walking beats and 1 K-9 unit.   The Fall River Herald News reported there would be only 10 patrol cars, no walking beats, and special police services cut or eliminated altogether.  This is not good news, and…

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Posted by on September 6, 2018 in Uncategorized


Lizzie Borden – For Brevity’s Sake

Sometimes we just need to chuckle about it all.

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 Artist Charles George does a variation on a theme.





Here’s a couple more of his clever illustrations:

Lizzie swoons in court when skulls of her father and stepmother are presented by Prosecutor Knowlton.

A forlorn and depressed Lizzie stares out a window in an attic room at her home on 92 Second Street – or is it Maplecroft?







Yearbooks & Obituaries – Fall River Notables

This was originally posted June 11, 2011.

Tattered Fabric: Fall River's Lizzie Borden

Although Lizzie Borden never attended BMC Durfee High School (built when she was 27 years old), we can search through the yearbooks and find plenty of contemporaries and decendents of those who factored in her life.

The original structure of BMC Durfee High School was built as a donation from Mrs. Mary B. Young to the people of the City of Fall River, in memory of her son Bradford Matthew Chaloner Durfee, who had died at a young age in 1872.

Image by Marcfoto on Flicker

The Yearbooks of BMC Durfee H.S. can be found online through the Ambrose F. Keeley library.   I’ve been to this library (and online site) many times over the years and it’s resourcesare wonderful for studying the history of Fall River.

Ambrose F. Keeley Library at BMC Durfee

If, like me, you enjoy looking over very old yearbooks you will love looking at…

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Posted by on August 12, 2018 in Uncategorized


Borden Murders: Comprehensive Timeline May 9, 1892 thru August 4, 1892

Tattered Fabric: Fall River's Lizzie Borden

(Originally posted August 2, 2016 – Be sure to click link at bottom left for “…..As It Happened” minute-by-minute Timeline of day of murders.)



WS = Witness Statements (Fall River Police Dept.)

CI = Coroner’s Inquest (Second Distrct Court, Fall River)

PH = Preliminary Hearing (Second District Court, Fall River)

TT = Trial Testimony – Superior Court (New Bedford)

LR =  Lizzie Borden Past & Present (Len Rebello)

VV = Victorian Vistas – 3 Volumes (Philip T. Silvia, Jr.)

May 9-10, 1892 Painting of Borden house begins by John W. Grouard; Lizzie selects “drab” color.                           (LR32)
May/June 1892 Andrew kills pigeons roosting in the barn.  Morse visits end of June.
June 30, 1892 Morse spent 1 day at Borden’s; takes Butcher Davis daughter &Emma for ride.                      JohnMorse-older          (CI 96)
July 10, 1892 Morse again visits Bordens.  AJB asks Morse if  he knows of manto run Swansea farm.                  (CI 96)

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Posted by on July 30, 2018 in Uncategorized


Lizzie Borden: Timeline of Significant Prior Events and the Murders

Tattered Fabric: Fall River's Lizzie Borden

(RECYCLED POST from July 2014)


Lizzie’s motivation and the trigger to the murders can be found here. As the August 4th date approaches and all things Lizzie resurface and regurgitate, you may enjoy using this source as a focal point and research reference.


July 10, 1892 Morse again visits Bordens. AJB asks Morse if he knows of man to run Swansea farm. (CI 96)
July 11, 1892 Union laborers in Fall River celebrate new 58-hour workweek with giant parade.
July 18, 1892 Emma and Lizzie deed back house on Ferry Street to Andrew and receive $2,500 each. (LR556)
July 19, 1892 Lizzie’s 32nd Birthday.
July 20, 1892 Grover Cleveland passes thru FR enroute to NYC for Democratic Convention. (VVII-326)
July 20, 1892 Lizzie supposedly sees a stranger at the back door when she returns from being out that evening.
July 21, 1892 Lizzie & Emma leave Fall River…

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Posted by on July 27, 2018 in Uncategorized


Lizzie Borden & the Dutiful Escort

Tattered Fabric: Fall River's Lizzie Borden

Copy of 1892-1Lizzie Borden circa 1890

(Note: this image has not been photo-shopped by a  50 year old, financially strapped, unemployed spinster in Fall River).

1057152123313_MA_Fall_River_Cen_Cong_ChCentral Congregational Church

In various interviews at the time of the murders, Lizzie Borden had been described as “odd” by some who knew her.    During her younger years it has been said by Michael Martins, Curator of the Fall River Historical Society, she did not have the proper dresses to attend the elegant grand parties up on “the Hill”.  But it is now known Lizzie did attend some parties – according to the private journal of an old school chum of Lizzie’s – owned by an elderly descendant who is still living in Fall River.   However, there is nothing on record, as yet, of Lizzie ever having a boyfriend or romance during her teens and early twenties.  I suspect her alleged moodiness and being “odd” was…

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Posted by on April 20, 2018 in Uncategorized