Tag Archives: Fall River

Lizzie Borden and the Month of June

(Originally created and posted June 1, 2009 without images)

Partial extracts from my historic timeline for the month of June follows.    It helps one gain a perspective on what influenced Lizzie Borden and the world she lived in.   Well, sort of.  One can also watch old films like Pollyanna to get a peek into the mores, customs, societal hierachy of the Victorian and Edwardian eras.

Speaking of Pollyanna, I watched it the other day and was particularly struck by its accurate depiction of the power the founding families had within their communities, including the Church.  Just as Polly Harrington (Jane Wyman)  dictated what her church minister (Karl Malden) would trumpet from the pulpit, made me wonder if the Bordens and Durfees influenced what their ministers would speak on for the Sunday sermons at the Central Congregational Church.

June 20, 1635 John Borden, wife, and two children set sail for America.
June 9, 1772 First naval battle of the Revolutionary War, British customs schooner Gaspee is burned off Rhode Island.
June 17, 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill in Boston.
June 18, 1804 Name of “Fallriver” changed to “Troy”
June 2, 1832 Caleb Blodgett (later Judge at Borden Trial) is born in Dorchester, New Hampshire.
June 12, 1836 Justin Dewey, later Judge at Borden Trial, is born.
June 26, 1838 Mary Augusta Demarest is born in NYC; later writes “My Ain Countrie”.
June 9, 1861 John W. Coughlin born; later three-term Mayor of Fall River.
June 19, 1863 Earl P. Charlton born in Chester, Conn.  (Later becomes richest man in Fall River).
June 9, 1863 Ricca Allen is born in Canada, later friend of Nance O’Neil MV5BYzQ2ZTNmYjMtNDdlYS00NDRjLWEyMDItYmEwZmQ5YzY5YzliXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMzI5NDcxNzI@._V1_and Lizzie Borden.
June 6, 1865 Andrew Borden, 43, marries Abby Durfee Gray, 37, (43 days before Lizzie’s 5th birthday).  Emma is 16.
June 16, 1867 Helen Leighton born in Millbridge, Maine.
June 28, 1870 Jerome C. Borden marries Emma Tetlow. (Did 10 yr old Lizzie go to wedding?)
June 19, 1874 Andrew has running water installed in the Second Street house with service from city.
June 25, 1876 General Custer and entire regiment killed at “Battle of the Little Big Horn.”
June 29, 1876 Mill #2 of the American Linen Company, foot of Ferry St., suffered fire damage in the two upper stories.
June, 1879 Spinner’s strike, major summer long strike of mill workers.
June 11, 1885 William Almy dies in Fall River.
June 17, 1885 The Statue of Liberty, a gift from France, arrives in the U.S.
June 2, 1886 President Grover Cleveland marries Frances Folsom in Blue Room of the White House.
June 15, 1887 Dedication of BMC Durfee High School. content William Lambert is first principal.
June 4, 1890 Lizzie signs her passport application for Grand Tour to Europe.
June 16, 1890 The first Madison Square Garden, designed by McKim, Mead & White, opens in New York City.
June 21, 1890 Lizzie sails on S.S. Scythia from Boston to Liverpool, England,a4d651cdc6715f48b87de1ebb407a453 embarking on 19 week long “Grand Tour”.
June 24, 1891 Daylight “robbery” at the Bordens.      (KP74)
May/June 1892 Andrew kills pigeons roosting in the barn.  Morse visits end of June.
June 30, 1892 Morse spends one day at Bordens; takes Butcher Davis’ daughter & Emma for a ride.            (CI 96)
June 1, 1893 Grace Hartley graduates from Fall River High School.      (FRHN 3/21/2004)
June 3, 1893 Jose Correiro arrested in Manchester case. (Jury is sequestered and does not learn of this arrest.)
June 3, 1893 Lizzie transfers to New Bedford Jail on Ash Street.
June 1893 Grace Hartley graduates from Fall River High School.      (FRHN 3/21/2004)
June 5, 1893Monday Court convened at 11:28 am.  111 questioned before the 12 jurymen are were selected.  Charles I. Richards chosen as jury Foreman.
June 6, 1893 Tuesday Indictment is read; William Moody opens for theMoodyRep Prosecution.  Lizzie faints and is revived.
June 6, 1893 Tuesday Civil Engr. Thomas Kieran called, gives measurements, testifies a man could have hid in front entry closet.
June 6, 1893 Tuesday Jurors travel to Fall River; visit Kelly’s house, Wade’s store, Crowe’s stone yard, Chagnon’s house, Kirby’s yard, Alice Russell’s house, Gorman’s store, Clegg’s store and banks.  Tour finished at 4:00 pm.
June 6, 1893Tuesday Jurors taken to Mellen House, Franklin & North Main Street where they spend the night.
June 7, 1893 Wednesday James A. Walsh, photographer testifies as to the accuracy of the pictures he had made of the victims and the house on the day of the killing.
June 7, 1893 Wednesday John Vinnicum Morse examination conducted by Moody, not different from that as in the Preliminary Hearing.  Lizzie 90519563_1052082498499115_2915583178171219968_nsmiled as her uncle tried to calculate her age and shook her head vigorously when he stated she was “33.”   (She was only 6 weeks shy of 33),
June 7, 1893 Wednesday Abraham G. Hart, Treasurer of Union Savings Bank, testifies as to Borden’s movements on morning of the 8/4.
June 7, 1893 Edwin Booth, brother of John Wilkes Booth, dies.  Had home in Middletown, RI.
June 9,  893Friday John Minnehan, patrolman assigned to follow John Morse on August 5, 1892, dies at age 48 in Fall River.
June 12, 1893 Monday Lizzie’s Inquest Testimony ruled
June 13, 1893 Tuesday AG Pillsbury arrives by train from Boston, consults with Knowlton & Moody & returns same evening.
June 14, 1893 Wednesday John T. Burrill, Cashier of  Union National Bank, Everett M. Cook, Cashier of the First National Bank, Jonathan Clegg, a hat dealer, Joseph Shortsleeves, a carpenter, and John Maher, a carpenter give testimony as to Andrew’s movements August 4th.
June 14, 1893 Judges ruling excludes Eli Bence’s prussic acid testimony .
June 14, 1893 At Knowlton’s request during Dr. Draper’s testimony, Dr. Dolan brings in the skulls of Andrew & Abby. Lizzie is allowed to retire from the courtroom.                                (TT1046)
June 14, 1893 Wednesday 9th Day: C. C. Potter’s son (Freddy) finds hatchet w/gilt on roof of Crowe’s barn.  Carpenter Carl McDonnel claims it is his hatchet; prussic acid testimony (Eli Bence) ruled inadmissible.
June 15, 1893 FR Evening News reports hatchet found on roof of John Crowe’s barn.                           ( FREN18)
June 15, 1893 Wednesday Opening statements by Defense are given by Andrew Jennings1webJennings.
June 16, 1893 Wednesday Emma Borden testifies.
June 16, 1893 Governor Robinson reads from Bridget’s Inquest Testimony (a missing document)                (TT)
June 17, 1893 Carpenter McDonald claims Crowe’s roof hatchet is his.   (FRHN)
June 18, 1893 Carrie Poole, Lizzie’s friend residing 20 Madison Street, New Bedford, dies.
June 19, 1893 Wednesday Governor Robinson gives closing arguments; Knowlton begins his closing.
June 20, 1893 3:24 pm 13th Day: The Jury retires to deliberate.
4:32 pm Lizzie Borden pronounced “Not Guilty” Lizzie_Borden_by_B.W._Clinedinst at 4:35 pm.                                         (TT1928)
8:15 pm Lizzie & Emma arrive by coach w/Mrs. Holmes at 67 Pine St. in FR; small reception follows.  Lizzie spends night there.  Large crowd gathered at 92 Second St.                             (CaseBook228)
June 22, 1893 Reupholstered sofa is delivered back to the house on Second Street.                                                                         (LR1111-112)
June 23, 1893 Lizzie visits the Wm. Covel’s in Newport, RI, has classic picture of her “standing behind the chair” taken.
June 23, 1893 Morse attempts to get mileage reimbursement from Iowa to New Bedford from Co. Treasurer.                                                (FRHN)
June 27, 1893 Lizzie & Emma go to Taunton to visit Sheriff Wright’s wife.
June 4, 1900 Mary Howe (Baker) is born, daughter of Grace and Louis Howe.
June 5, 1905 Newspaper article states Lizzie writing play for Nance O’Neil.                      (Spiering p208)
June 5, 1905 Boston Globe reports Emma moving out of “Maplecroft”.
June 21, 1905 Bridget Sullivan marries John M. Sullivan in Anaconda, MT.
June 2, 1906 Emma Borden departs on White Star liner RMS Cymric, departing from Boston for Queenstown & Liverpool, enroute to Scotland.
June 30, 1908 Lizzie writes to Asst. Supt R. I. Hospital re her maid Hannah B. Nelson.                   (Gateway Mag. Summer 1997)
June 15, 1909 Marshal Hilliard retires.
June 19, 1911 Opening Day of Fall River’s Cotton Centennialcontent
June 23, 1911 President Howard Taft arrives in Fall River for Cotton Centennial celebration.
June 10, 1912 Grisly axe murders of 2 adults and 6 children, all while they sleep, in Villisca, Iowa.
June 25, 1914 Animal Rescue League of Fall River established as a corporation (Later becomes Faxon Animal Rescue League).
June 29, 1914 Austrian Prince, Archduke Ferdinand shot by Serbian assassin, in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, leading to World War I.
June 28, 1915 Patrick Doherty (Captain, FRPD) dies in Fall River, Mass.
June 15, 1918 Lizzie and Emma sell 230 Second St. (changed from #92)  to John W. Dunn.              (LR557)
June 19, 1919 Naval Fighting Ship commissioned “Moody” launched. William H. Moody’s sister, Mary E. Moody, sponsored the ship.
June 22, 1922 Emma Borden signs the Codicil to her Will.
June 1, 1923 Leontine Lincoln dies. (Grandfather of Victoria Lincoln and a founder of Fall River Historical Society).
June 1, 1927 Lizzie Andrew Borden dies of heart failure at 8:30 pm at her home “Maplecroft” in (59 days short of her 67th birthday).
June 4, 1927 Nance O’Neil’s interviewpersonfull_1379450894 about Lizzie appears in New Bedford Standard.
June 7, 1927 Lizzie’s Will is filed in Taunton Probate Court.
June 10, 1927 Emma Borden dies in Newmarket, New Hampshire at age 76.
June 12, 1927 Helen Leighton interview saying Lizzie was bitterly unhappy, suffered from depression.                            ( FRHN)
June 13, 1927 Emma Borden is buried at Oak Grove Cemetery.
June 30, 1927 Emma’s Will is filed in Taunton Probate Court.
June 3, 1939 Arthur Sherman Phillips writes to son of Defense Attorney Robinson asking to be forwarded Lizzie’sPhillipsweb answers to the questions he posed her back in 1892.
June 23-27, 1936 Grace Hartley Howe attends Democratic Nat’l Convention in Philadelphia as a Delegate At-large.
June 14, 1955 Grace Hartley Howe, Lizzie’s cousin and legatee, dies at the age of 80 in Fall River.         (FRHN)
June 1, 1961 Adelaide Churchill home destroyed by fire.              (LR44)
June 13, 1981 Author Victoria Lincoln Lowe dies at age 76.  Her body given to Science at John Hopkins University.6590319
June 22, 1994 Josephine Vohnoutka McGinn (wife of John) dies in Fall River.
June 1, 2001 Jules Ryckebusch retires from Bristol Community College and names Gabriela Schalow Adler Publisher of The Lizzie Borden Quarterly.
June 2, 2004 Robert Dube files for variance to convert garage to single family residence on Maplecroft property.
June 7, 2004 FR Herald News reports 92 Second Street purchased by Donald Woods of Portsmouth, RI.; says he will tear down “Leary Press”, increase parking & rebuild the barn.
June, 2008 Lizzie Borden Took an Axe, or Did She? – A Rhetorical Inquiry by Annette Holba is published.
June, 2008 Leonard Pickel announces he will open a Lizzie Borden Gift Shop & “Museum” in Salem, MA.

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Renovation of Maplecroft – short videos


Image by Joey Radza

Back in the spring of 2015, Kristee Bates, former owner of Maplecroft in Fall River, was busy with restorations in preparation for turning it into a Bed and Breakfast. She sent me many short videos of her progress, however, she sold the property before going operational. Now, five years later, it is being sold again. Lizzie Borden lived in this house for the full second half of her life – from 1893 to 1927. (She died a few days after Charles Lindberg crossed the Atlantic.) Anyway, when viewing the interior being gutted, altered, stripped, painted, dressed up, modified, and prepped for showing – let’s peek behind the curtains.

You can view 12 of these very short videos posted on my Facebook Page by clicking  HERE 

or the individual videos as shown below, however, the quality is inferior.  Please be patient while the videos load – takes about 15 seconds.

















The final result of the restoration can be viewed HERE.  (Click an image and take a tour.)


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Lizzie Borden’s Maplecroft Falls Victim to Covid-19

Fall River Herald News photo

The For Sale sign is out again at this French Street beauty – the home where Lizzie lived the entire second half of her life and where she died. The Mello Group – Real Estate Sales and Development, is representing the property. (They have a Facebook page).

It’s really no surprise given past difficulties with the State of MA for special clearances and then the impact of COVID-19. This will truly be a “hard” sell. But best of luck to Donald Woods. He gave many Lizzie Borden fans an immeasurable service by allowing so many people in that would not otherwise have had the opportunity. Please accept our gratitude.

Here’s the prior listing with a wonderful 3D Tour.

Yes, indeed. The Times they are a-changing.


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Lizzie Borden’s Pandemic


                                           Image by Harry Widdows (R.I.P.)

It was 1918, and Lizzie Borden was very worried about the Spanish Flu.

The pandemic started in January, probably in France, China or Great Britain.  Nobody knows for sure but the first case in the United States was in March of 1918 at a military base in Kansas.  The death toll is thought to be 50 million – 3% of the world’s population.  Some scientists think it could have been as high as 100 million.  In the United States, 675,000 people died.  One third of the population became infected

In the late summer of 1918, the second wave hit the U.S. hard with doughboys returning from the war and arriving in ports in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston.

The specific impact of the 1918 Spanish Flu on Fall River River can be read HERE.

Lizzie, now 58 years old and still living in “Maplecroft”, would have read of the horrifying results of the spread of the virus.  She would have also read of the March 3rd death of Dr. Seabury Bowen, aged 78.

Alone, except for her hired help (her sister Emma had moved out of Maplecroft nearly 13 years previous), one can picture Lizzie in her upstairs suite of rooms.  Sitting at her inlaid mahogony desk and reading the Providence Journal or Evening Standard our enduring Lizzie would be a woman sad, depressed and worried.

And in these present days we can feel a little empathy for her, can we not?


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Threads That Bind – A Lizzie Borden Presentation


I made this over 10 years ago.  Enjoy.

Click here and then keep clicking to advance presentation —–> THREADS THAT BIND


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Lizzie Borden & The Animal Rescue League

Here’s a recycled post (from April 2009) of Lizzie Borden and the Animal Rescue League of Fall River.


Lizzie Borden not only left a huge amount of money to the Animal Rescue League of Fall River when she died on June 1, 1927, but she was also one of its initial financial contributors when it was created in 1914.  Her friend, nurse Helen Leighton and Helen’s friend, school teacher Gertrude Baker were there at the beginning and became founding members of the League.

                                   image by faye musselman

Reading over the Annual Reports from my collection, its interesting to contrast how the League began.  Here’s a sample Report and a history document recapping its early beginnings.

Click on the link below for a scanned image of the April 15, 1926 “12th Annual Report of the Secretary” of the Animal Rescue League of Fall River who, at that time, was Annie E. Allen.

12th Annual Report-1926

Little did the Board of Directors know that less than 14 months later they would be the recipients of large bequests from the Wills of Lizzie ($30,000) and Emma ($20,000) Borden.  Subsequent “Annual Reports” reveal these monies were invested so well that income is still derived from this fund.

The “History” tells us that early fundraising after its incorporation was done in private homes – perhaps even Lizzie’s?  And that they even dressed up as playing cards and had various games.  I like to think Lizzie participated and had some fun.  Stuffy Emma would probably have deferred even if she had still been living at “Maplecroft”.   It was the League who took care of the burial of Lizzie’s dogs according to later Reports filed.



Today, the Faxon Animal Rescue League, (formerly the Animal Rescue League of Fall River) located at 474 Durfee Street, pays tribute to the Borden sisters by keeping their photographs on the wall in their lobby.  You can see their pictures in the upper right corner of that photograph as is shown here.

photo by faye musselman


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Posted by on October 29, 2019 in Fall River History, Maplecroft


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Lizzie Borden – Actual Trial Transcript



These are random images from my 10-volume set of the original Trial Transcript as transcribed from shorthand taken by Frank Burt’s stenographers in the court room and passed on to the typists in back of the New Bedford Superior Court in 1893.  This is what allowed national papers to transmit over wires all over the country to the public awaiting the next edition of their home town papers.

Each volume includes the index and image(s) I created/assembled that were reflective of the of testimony included for that specific volume.

How I acquired these and produced them for sale on eBay (a couple decades ago) is explained in the first image above.  I have used these volumes countless times when fact-checking various published works on the Borden case and Superior Court Trial.  I’ve referred to them most recently with Cara Robertson’s book, The Trial of Lizzie Borden to be released for sale in less than 2 weeks.

I have always relished in the thrill of reading the actual transcripts exactly as they were typed and made available to reporters in just a matter of hours from when the  testimonies were actually given.    The testimony comes alive, putting you in the court room itself (something, by the way, which Cara’s book does), so much more than reading the contemporary digital recreations into a WORD or .pdf document more than a century later.   So enjoy, and to borrow from today’s vernacular – “let’s keep it real”.






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