Tag Archives: Fall River Historical Society




Sex, gore and schlock rock ratings. The Lifetime Movie Network airing of Lizzie Borden Took an Axe should have good ratings tonight (January 25th) – at least in the New England market. I find people here on the west coast, either haven’t heard about it, don’t care, or wouldn’t watch it anyway.  The current Lizzie Borden hype is more regional and of more interest (as to the accuracy of this production) by case experts than it is to the general public.

When anything airs about Charlie Manson and the Manson murders, it gets huge ratings here in SoCal because SoCal is where it happened.  People in Fall River don’t care that much about it.  And most of them in Fall River don’t care about Lizzie Borden.  It’s the sex and gore that attracts.  Always does.  Can you say “Jody Arias”?

However, I’m still kaphitzed about how this kind of crap perpetuates all the myths and misinformation and I’m certain this airing will move to the front of the line tonight in that regard. I hope when it begins showing there is a caveat in front of the Title feed that says: “Any resemblance to the real Lizzie Borden or consistency of facts is purely unintentional.” LOL

I think the curators at the Fall River Historical Society have shown their usual professional restraint and class in not seeking out to be interviewed in connection with this grossly inaccurate production.  Another person, however, has aggressively pursued being quoted or interviewed and is planning to strategically place herself in a local Fall River bar which will be airing the program and where the local print media will be showing up to interview customers – again planning to be one of them. .  Some people just LOVE getting their names in the paper – it serves to self-validate who they are and their own self-worth.  Sad.

One of my friends in Fall River said: “Faye, I’ll Skype you and you can watch it with me on my TV here 3 hours earlier!”   I said, No, that I was gonna record it and wouldn’t be near a TV anyway between 7 an 10:30 tonight.

Anyway, as to the quality and accuracy of LMN’s rendition of the Lizzie Borden case,  I don’t need to see two trains going head to head on the same rail to know the result.   Excuse them, Lizzie, for know not what they do.  Uhhh.  Scratch that.  They know exactly what they’re doing.  😉

I, myself, am capitalizing on the thousands of Google searches that will undoubtedly follow the airing so as to sell off some of my overflow collection on eBay.  HERE, HERE, and HERE.

As to the REAL facts of the case, here’s a terrific 13 minute video by the Fall River Historical Society.  Please do yourself a favor and watch it!


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This is Lizzie Borden in 1922. This image appeared for the first time in the magnificent book: Parallel Lives – A Social History of Lizzie A. Borden and Her Fall River – written by Michael Martins and Dennis Binette, Curator and Assistant Curator of the Fall River Historical Society. I snatched it from Pinterest, as posted by Stephen Martin. Lizzie died in 1927, just short of her 67th birthday.  If you really want to know about Lizzie, buy the book. 

PLWide    dennis-michale


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Lizzie Borden CD’s – Unique – Christina Ricci could have used these. ;()

I have copies of these for sale – $15.00 each, plus postage.  Email me at




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Posted by on December 28, 2013 in Collectibles


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Lizzie Borden Video – Fall River Historical Society


This excellent video produced by the Fall River Historical Society bears repeat posting.  The clarity of the crime scene photographs and others are because they were taken from first generation photos taken at the time of the early murder investigation on August 4, 1892.   At the beginning part of the video we hear Lizzie’s words written while in the Taunton Jail…based on an actual letter acquired by the FRHS while developing their massive, award winning book Parallel Lives – A Social History of Lizzie A. Borden and Her Fall River.

While the video was produced to promote the Society, Parallel Lives,  and its collection during the peak visitor period – August – it is well worth watching because whatever the FRHS does, it is always of the highest quality.   Michael Martins and Dennis Binette are your tour guides.  Enjoy.


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From my eBay post this evening – runs for 7 days.


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Lizzie Borden/Fall River Historical Society Tourism Video

frhwsImage by photoshy

I posted this piece  over 3 years ago about Lizzie Borden being ingrained in the identity of Fall River and how she should be embraced by the city and its people.   The Fall River Historical Society, through generous donations and a state grant, has taken a giant leap forward in this regard by creating an exciting 13 minute video promoting the FRHS.

This video is one of the best promo videos I’ve ever seen.  Wonderful graphics, fast pace, great use of artifacts and artsy visuals.   The first several minutes are all about the Lizzie Borden murders with great use of crime scene photographs and the (now) Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum.  Curators Michael Martins and Dennis Binette speak about recent new findings – revelations – in the case and address certain artifacts debunking long standing myths about the murder and our Miss Lizzie.   Makes you wanna jump up and go there.

Watch the video HERE.


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Timeline of Events Around and During the Borden Murders

NEWS FLASH:   Stefani Koorey wrote on her forum (regarding her partner’s new novel on Lizzie, “The Girl With the Pansy Pin” the following:

“To give you a brief history about Lizzie Borden novels, there are 3 full-length titles written since 1939 centered and structured around the actual Borden murders. It began with Marie Belloc Lowdes, LIZZIE BORDEN A STUDY IN CONJECTURE, published by Longmans, Green Co. Then, in 1984, Evan Hunter came out with his block-buster best seller LIZZIE, published by Arbor House. This was followed in 1991 by Elizabeth Engstrom’s LIZZIE BORDEN, published by Tom Doherty Associates Book. Now it’s the PearTree Press’s venture with, LIZZIE BORDEN, THE GIRL WITH THE PANSY PIN. “

She forgot to mention Walter Satherwait’s Miss Lizzie, which was originally published in 1989 – 24 years ago, and shown here in a Kirkus Review.   I’ve had this book (autographed) for years.  It has recently been reprinted for Kindle.   I’m surprised Ms. Koorey missed this as it appeared in the same issue of the book that featured her research on the Preliminary Hearing.



UPDATE:  As I said, there will be many articles acknowledging the anniversary of these gruesome murders.  Here is a sampling.  Also news about the upcoming Lifetime Movie Channel presentation on the Trial starring Christina Ricci.

From the Fall River Herald News is THIS and THIS. 

And this is the BEST.

And also this from the FRHN.  Debbie Alard Dion has for many, many years been the go-to local reporter for writing all things Lizzie Borden as the stories develop.  This is her (pretty much stock) annual recap.  Depending upon what happens Sunday, August 4th at US embassies overseas, it may or may not be a slow news day, relegating Ms. Borden to page 2 in some local papers.


It’s almost that time of year when focus on Fall River, MA is dominated by Lizzie Borden and the unsolved hatchet murders of her father, Andrew, and her stepmother, Abby on August 4, 1892.

A regurgitation of media mentions, short site and sound bytes, videos of the “murder house” (a Bed & Breakfast Museum since 1996) accompanied by eerie music and bloody graphics, and the gratuitous recitation of that inaccurate quatrain, “Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her father……” (please, don’t make me go any further) will surely play out on various TV channels throughout the country.

The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum will be having its annual re-enactments which is always very entertaining and worth the price of a ticket.  The Fall River Historical Society will have its special display of Lizzie Borden artifacts – another “must see” if you’re anywhere in the area during its exhibition.  And of course the Andrew J. Borden burial plot at Oak Grove cemetery, as well as the high volume “drive-bys” in front of “Maplecroft” in the Highlands neighborhood of Fall River will thrill both newcomer and repeat OCD’r.  😉

Also, it’s this time of year new books on Lizzie come out and this year it’s an attractively packaged fiction hardback by first time author, Michael Brimbau titled:  The Girl With the Pansy Pin Limited edition with color photographs (most all of which we’ve seen before) and its own slip case for a mere $85.00 (or the standard black and white paperback for $22).   In my opinion, if you’re going to buy any book on Lizzie Borden – invest heavily right off the bat and get to know about the real Lizzie Borden and her Fall River.    Buy THIS book:  Parallel Lives.   I’ve written about it myself several times HERE.  Trust me.  It should be your FIRST book if you haven’t read anything about her before.

In the upcoming days, TV’s will be saturated with all the WRONG information about the “notorious” Lizzie Borden, depicted as a LB-TVmaniacal, axe wielding psychopath. And the masses buy into it because they don’t bother reading the facts that are available in a multitude of books, let alone free access to online primary source documents such as the police “witness” statements,  Coroner’s Inquest, and Preliminary Hearing.  In fact, the Preliminary Hearing is available at this blog site.


So…. before you indulge yourself in the hash and rehash (pun intended) put down the bong and get a focus on what was going on in Lizzie’s Fall River and her life in general before, during and right after the crimes.  Below is an extract from my “Lizzie Borden Historic Timeline” which is a comprehensive document focusing on local,  U.S. and world events from1610 to 2010.

Let’s take a look specifically at what was going on starting just two weeks before the murders.  The windows of time that the killings could have taken place for first Abby, and then Andrew, are shown in RED.   The Timeline was developed over a number of years involving comprehensive study and analysis of the primary source documents mentioned above.   (The more expanded Timeline book cites the sources).

Visualize the events at 92 Second Street in a different way – factual details that won’t be shown or reported on TV.

July 18, 1892 Emma and Lizzie deed back house on Ferry Street to Andrew and receive $2,500 each.                                                                                   
July 19, 1892 Lizzie’s 32nd Birthday.
July 20, 1892 Grover Cleveland passes thru FR enroute to NYC for Democratic Convention.                                                                         
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; Emma stopping at Fairhaven to visit the Brownell’s.
July 21, 1892 Lizzie travels on to New Bedford, staying with Mrs. Poole and her daughter at 20 Madison Street.
July 23, 1892 Lizzie went on the street alone (New Bedford) to buy some dress goods gone from rooming house 30 minutes.  (Did she buy a new hatchet?).
July 25, 1892 AJB writes letter to Morse telling him to wait about getting a man to run his farm in Swansea.
July 25, 1892 Lizzie visits the girls at Marion at Dr. Handy’s cottage.
July 25, 1892 FR Daily News reports on ladies (including Lizzie)  vacationing in Marion.                                                                                 
July 26, 1892 Lizzie, Mrs. Poole & Mrs. Poole’s daughter ride to Westport to visit Mrs. Cyrus Tripp (Augusta, old schoolmate).
July 26, 1892 Lizzie takes train from Westport to New Bedford to connect with Fall River.
July 30, 1892 Fall River Board of Health reports 90 deaths due to extreme heat, 65 are children under age 5.                                                   
July 31, 1892 Bridget prepares first serving of the infamous mutton for Sunday supper.
August 2, 1892 Andrews tells associate there is “trouble” in the Borden household.
August 2, 1892 Swordfish is served for supper and served again warmed over for dinner.
August 2, 1892 Andrew and Abby vomit during the night.
August 3, 1892




8:00 am Abby goes across street to Dr. Bowen; tells him she fears she’s been poisoned.
9:00 am approx Dr. Bowen crosses street to check on the Bordens; Lizzie dashes upstairs; Andrew rebuffs his unsolicited visit.
10:00-11:30 am Lizzie attempts to buy prussic acid from Eli Bence at Smith’s pharmacy on Columbia Street.                                            
12:00 Noon Lizzie joins Andrew and Abby for the noontime meal in the dining room.
12:35 am Uncle John Vinnicum Morse leaves by train from New Bedford for Fall River.                                                                                         
1:30 pm John Morse walks from train station & arrives at Borden house; Abby lets him in front door.
2:00-4:00 pm John Morse and Andrew talk in Sitting Room; Lizzie hears their conversation.                                                                       
4:00 pm John Morse hires horse and wagon at Kirby’s Stable and drives to Swansea in late afternoon.                                                    
7:00 pm Lizzie visits Alice Russell in the early evening, states her fear “something will happen”.
7:00-8:00 pm John Morse visits Frederick Eddy at Borden farm in Swansea, brings back eggs.                                                                       
8:45 pm Morse returns from Swansea, talks in sitting room with Andrew and Abby.                                                                                 
9:00 pm Lizzie returns from Alice Russell’s, locks front door, and goes upstairs to her room without speaking to father or uncle. 
9:15 pm Abby Borden retires to bed.
10:00 pm Andrew and Morse retire for the night.  Morse sleeps in the guest room next to Lizzie’s room.                                                                                                 
August 4, 1892   


 (Note: Times given are based on various testimonies taken primarily from the Preliminary Hearing held August 25-September 1st, 1892, and are approximated as close as possible).

6:15 am Bridget goes downstairs, gets coal and wood in cellar to start fire in kitchen stove, and takes in milk. 
6:20 am Morse goes downstairs to Sitting Room. 
6:30 am Abby comes downstairs, gives orders for breakfast to Bridget
6:40-6:50 am Andrew goes downstairs, empties slops, picks up pears, and goes to barn.
6:45 am Bridget opens side (back) door for the ice man.
7:00 am Bordens and Morse have breakfast in dining room.  (Lizzie is still upstairs).
7:15 am Bridget sees Morse for first time at breakfast table.
7:30 am Bridget eats her breakfast, and then clears dishes.
7:45-8:45 Morse and Andrew talk in sitting room; Abby sits with them a short while before beginning to dust.
8:30 am Morse sees Abby go into the front hall.
8:45 am Andrew lets Morse out side door, invites him back for dinner.
8:45-9:00 am Morse leaves for Post Office and then to visit a niece and nephew at Daniel Emery’s, #4 Weybosset Street.                                  
8:45-9:00 am Andrew goes back upstairs and returns wearing collar and tie, goes to sitting room
8:45-9:00 am Abby tells Bridget to wash windows, inside and out.
8:45-8:50 am Lizzie comes down and enters kitchen.
8:45-9:00 am Bridget goes outside to vomit.
9:00 am Andrew leaves the house.
9:00 am Bridget returns, does not see Lizzie, sees Abby dusting in dining room, does not see Andrew.
9:00 am Abby goes up to guest room.
9:00-9:30 am Bridget cleans away breakfast dishes in kitchen.
9:00-10:00 am Abby Borden dies from blows to the head with a sharp instrument.
9:30 am Abraham G. Hart, Treasurer of Union Savings Bank, talks to Andrew at Bank.
9:30 am Morse arrives at #4 Weybosset Street to visit his niece and nephew.
9:30 am Bridget gets brush from cellar for washing windows
9:30 am Lizzie appears at back door as Bridget goes towards barn; Bridget tells Lizzie she need not lock door.
9:30-10:05 Andrew visits banks.
9:45 am John P. Burrill, Cashier, talks to Andrew at National Union Bank.
9:40 am Morse arrives at the Emery’s on Weybosset Street.           
9:50-10:00 am AJB deposits Troy Mill check with Everett Cook at First Nat’l Bank; talks with William Carr.                                                         (
9:30-10:20 am Bridget washes outside windows, stops to talk to “Kelly girl” at south side fence.
10:00-10:30 am Mrs. Churchill sees Bridget outside washing NE windows.  
10:20 am Bridget re-enters house from side door, commences to wash inside windows.
10:29 am Jonathan Clegg (fixed time by City Hall clock) stated Andrew left his shop heading home.                                                       
10:15-10:30 am Andrew stops to talk to Jonathan Clegg, picks up old lock; Southard Miller (at Whitehead’s Market) sees AJB turn onto Spring St; Mary Gallagher sees AJB at corner of South Main & Spring; Lizzie Gray sees AJB turning north on Second Street.                          
10:30-10:40 am Joseph Shortsleeves sees Andrew.                      
10:40 am James Mather sees Andrew leave shop                              
10:30-10:40 am Mrs. Kelly observes Andrew going to his front door.            
10:30-10:40 am Andrew Borden can’t get in side door, fumbles with key at front door, and let in by Bridget.
10:30-10:40 am Bridget hears Lizzie laugh on the stairs as she says “pshaw” fumbling with inside triple locks.
10:35-10:45 am Bridget sees Lizzie go into dining room and speak “low” to her father.
10:45 am Mark Chase, residing over Wade’s store, sees man on Borden fence taking pears.                                                                           
10:45-10:55 am Lizzie puts ironing board on dining room table as Bridget finishes last window in the dining room
10:45-10:55 am Lizzie asks Bridget in kitchen if she’s going out, tells her of note to Abby & sale at Sargeant’s.
10:50-10:55 Mark Chase observes man with open buggy parked just beyond tree in front of Borden house.
August 4, 189210:55 am Bridget goes upstairs to her room to lay down.                    
10:55–10:58 am Bridget goes up to her room; lies down on her bed.               
10:55-11:00 am Andrew Borden dies from blows to the head with a sharp instrument.
11:00 am Bridget hears City Hall clock chime 11:00.
11:05-11:10 am Hyman Lubinsky drives his cart past the Borden house.   
11:05-11:10 William Sullivan, clerk at Hudner’s Market notes Mrs. Churchill leaving the store.                                                                
11:10 am  APPROX. Lizzie hollers to Bridget to come down, “Someone has killed father”.                                                                                  
11:10-11:12 am Lizzie sends Bridget to get Dr. Bowen.                              
11:10-11:13 am Bridget rushes back across the street from Bowen’s, tells Lizzie he’s not at home.                                                                         
11:10-11:13 am Lizzie asks Bridget if she knows where Alice Russell lives and tells her to go get her.                                                                  
11:10-11:13 am Bridget grabs her hat & shawl from kitchen entry way and rushes to Alice Russell’s.                                                                  
11:10-11:13 am Mrs. Churchill observes Bridget crossing street, notices a distressed Lizzie and calls out to Lizzie who tells her “someone has murdered father.”                                                 
11:13 am Mrs. John Gormely says Mrs. Churchill runs through her yelling “Mr. Borden is murdered!”                                                
11:10-11:14 am Mrs. Churchill goes to side door, speaks briefly to Lizzie, and then crosses street looking for a doctor.                                       
11:12-11:14 am John Cunningham sees Mrs. Churchill talking to others then uses phone at Gorman’s paint shop to call Police.
11:15 am Marshal Hilliard receives call from news dealer Cunningham about disturbance at Borden house.
11:15 am Marshal Hilliard orders Officer Allen to go to Borden house. (Allen notes exact time on office wall clock).
11:16 – 11:20 am Mrs. Churchill returns from giving the alarm.                  
11:16 – 11:20 am Dr. Bowen pulls up in his carriage, met by his wife, rushes over to Borden’s.                                                                          
11:16-11:20 am John Cunningham checks outside cellar door in Borden back yard, finds it locked.
11:18-11:20 am Dr. Bowen sees Andrew, asks for sheet; alone with Lizzie for approx. one minute.
11:20 am Officer Allen arrives at Bordens, met at door by Dr. Bowen.  Sees Lizzie sitting alone at kitchen table. 
11:20–11:21 am Allen sees Andrews’s body at same time Alice Russell and Mrs. Churchill come in.  (Where was Bridget?)
11:20-11:22 am Allen checks front door and notes it bolted from inside, checks closets in dining room and kitchen.
11:20 am Morse departs Daniel Emery’s on Weybosset Street, takes a streetcar back to the Borden’s.
11-22-11:23 am Officer Allen leaves house to return to station, Bowen goes out with him.  Allen has Sawyer guard back door.
11:23-11:33 am Dr. Bowen returns home, checks rail timetable, goes to telegram Emma, and stops at Baker’s Drug store. Telegram is time stamped at 11:32.                                           
11:25 am Off. Patrick Doherty, at Bedford & Second, notes City Hall clock time enroute to Station.                                                        
11:23-11:30 am Lizzie asks to check for Mrs. Borden; Bridget & Mrs. Churchill go upstairs, discover body.                                                        
11:32 am Officers Doherty & Wixon leaves police station for Borden house.  Reporter Manning on rear steps, Sawyer inside at screen door. (Bridget in s/e corner near sink)                                      
11:34 am Bridget fetches Doctor Bowen’s wife, Phoebe.                   
11:35 George Petty, former resident of 92 Second Street, enters the Borden house with Dr. Bowen.                                                       
11:40 am Bowen returns to Borden house.   Churchill tells him they’ve discovered Abby upstairs.
11:35-11:40 am Officer Patrick Doherty & Deputy Sheriff Wixon arrive at house; see Manning sitting on steps, met at back door by Dr. Bowen, who lets them in.                                                                            
11:35-11:40 am Francis Wixon and Dr. Bowen check Andrew’s pockets and remove watch.
11:35-11:40 Officer Doherty questions Lizzie who tells him she heard a “scraping” noise.
11:35-11:40 am Officer Doherty views Abby’s body with Dr. Bowen pulls bed out to view her better.                                                                  
11:35-11:45 am Morse arrives at Borden house, first going to back yard.    
11:37 am Officer Mullaly arrives.
11:39-11:40 am Officer Medley arrives at 92 Second Street.                  
11:44 am Doherty runs to Undertaker Gorman’s shop around corner and phones Marshal Hilliard.                                                 
11:45  Dr. Bowen shows Doherty Andrew, then Abby.  Pulls bed out 3 feet. 
11:45 am Doherty returns; Officers Mullaly. Allen, Denny, and Medley arrive.
11:45 am Dr. Dolan arrives, sees bodies.
11:45 am Morse talks to Sawyer at side door, later testifies he heard of murders from Bridget.
11:45-11:50 am Morse sees Andrew’s body, then goes upstairs and sees Abby’s body.
11:50 am Morse speaks to Lizzie as she lays on lounge in dining room. Lizzie goes from dining room to her room and changes into a “pink wrapper”.
11:50 am-Noon Asst. Marshal Fleet arrives; sees bodies; talks to Lizzie in her room w/Rev. Buck, says “…she’s not my mother, she’s my  stepmother”                      
11:50 am Morse goes out to back yard and stays outside most of the afternoon. 
11:50 am –Noon Deputy Sheriff Wixon climbs back fence and talks to workmen sawing wood in Chagnon yard.                                          
11:50-Noon Doherty, Fleet and Medley accompany Bridget to cellar where she shows them hatchet in box on shelf.                                    
12:15-12:20 am Officer Harrington arrives at the Borden house.                                                                                   
12:25 am Officer Harrington interviews Lizzie in her bedroom (she wears pink wrapper).                                                                                       
12:45 am Marshal Hillliard & Officers Doherty & Connors drive carriage to Andrew’s upper farm in Swansea.
2:00 pm Dr. Dedrick arrives at Borden house.
3:00-4:00 pm Crime scene photographs are taken of Andrew & Abby.     
3:40 pm Emma leaves on New Bedford train for Weir Junction to return to Fall River.                                                                               
4:30 pm Stomachs of Andrew and Abby removed and sealed.
5:00 pm Emma arrives in Fall River.                                                )                         
5:00-5:30 pm State Detective George F. Seaver arrives from Taunton.       
5:30 pm Dr. Dolan “delivers” bodies of Andrew and Abby to Undertaker James Winward.                                                                
5:35 pm Winward & assistant remove sofa from house and store it in a room at his building.                                                                  
6:00 pm Alice leaves 92 Second St. to return home for supper.         
8:30 pm Mrs. Charles Holmes leaves the Borden girls and returns to her home on Pine Street.
8:45 pm Officer Joseph Hyde, observing from a northwest outside window, sees Lizzie & Alice go down cellar.
9:00 pm Officer Hyde observes Lizzie in basement alone.

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