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Tag Archives: Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast

Inside Lizzie Borden’s Renovated Maplecroft

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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Lizzie Borden in Hawaii

I decided to take Lizzie Borden with me to Hawaii this year.  Aside from bringing the most inappropriate clothing and a few surprising missteps in behavior, she was a most agreeable travel companion.

I usually stay on the more touristy side of the Big Island, Kona, but this year opted for Hilo – the only place in the entire State that is still representative of old time Hawaii.

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DSCN6421From the balcony of our hotel room we had a view of the cruise ships harbored in the distance.

Lizzie so enjoyed watching them sailing in and out and told me of her voyage on the Grand Tour in 1890.DSCN6657

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DSCN6685  I was surprised at her exploratory nature at my friend’s 5 acre estate just north of Hilo.

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“Lizzie get down from there, you’ll hurt yourself.”

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“That’s better.”

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One day we drove straight across the middle of the island on the new between the two volcanoes.

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Lizzie was in awe of its beautiful terrain.

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We lunched in Kailua Kona.

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We visited the old stone church across from the Queen’s Palace…….

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….where Lizzie suddenly became distressed that no one was in the pews.  I had to remind her it was Thursday.

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At one point she even climbed aboard the display of the ship on which the missionaries sailed from Boston in the 1870’s.

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Lizzie loved the many beaches and when she asked “Will we see more up the roadway?” , I answered “Since we’re on an island, I’d be saying Yes.”

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At the famous Rainbow Falls.

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“Lizzie, you’re too far out…..come in closer to shore.”

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“Thank you.”

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Sunrise.

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Moonrise.

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Always conscious of her deportment, I was surprised on one occasion having to say:  “Lizzie, get up off the table, you’re embarrassing yourself.”

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But in all fairness, this is what occurred a little earlier.

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Aside from that misstep, the trip was amazing for both Lizzie and myself.   I may even take her next year.

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Aloha and Mahalo.

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The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast – Boston Herald Article

The Borden home on Second Street in Fall River, Mass., where the murders of Lizzie Borden's parents occurred, is now a bed and breakfast. (Donna Hageman/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

The Borden home on Second Street in Fall River, Mass., where the murders of Lizzie Borden’s parents occurred, is now a bed and breakfast. (Donna Hageman/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

HERE is a very good article on the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast from the Boston Herald. The lack of current info on Maplecroft is what happens when reporters can’t get in touch with Kristee Bates. I’ve told her she needs to embrace those relationships because their reportings are all free publicity. I’ve had reporters contact me asking for her phone # to do interviews. I pass on the info to Kristee, but she is always too busy. Hope that changes.

The B&B is self-promoting and gets repeat business because of what happened there and the total experience for the guests. Maplecroft’s marketability is more a one time visit without an appeal to see again – because Lizzie only lived there the second half of her life – nothing significant really happened compared to 92 Second Street. Experiences from the two different structures are like going to Disneyland versus going to Walt Disney World.

Anyway, the more references now on the internet about Maplecroft opening up in the near future to the public will pay dividends later.

 

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Interactive Aerials of Where Lizzie Borden Lived 1st & 2nd Halves of Her Life

Here’s some fun stuff to play around with via Bing Aerial Maps.  Be sure to note other Fall River locations to the left.
This is 230 Second Street, Fall River, Ma.; otherwise known as 92 Second Street, otherwise known as The Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast Museum. This aerial image was taken in around 2001-2002,  My Fall River Lizzie friends and Lizzie Borden case experts will be able to name everything shown here in a two block radius – and maybe more. Lizzie lived here from the time she was 12 in 1872 until after her Acquittal in July, 1893.

Built by Southard Miller in 1845, the house has remained in the same location and virtually unchanged for nearly 170 years.  Since this aerial was taken, however, the house has changed ownership, been painted green, the L-shape Leary Press has been demolished, the bus terminal directly across the street has been relocated and an architectural monstrosity known as the Superior Court towers in its place,  Subtle symmetry?  Perhaps.

Shown here is the French Street home, (otherwise known as “Maplecroft”)  that Lizzie and her sister moved into several weeks after her acquittal in 1893. This aerial was taken around 2001-2002. The house in the bottom of the frame, partially cut off, was also owned by Lizzie and is now owned by Michael Brimbau (author of Girl With the Pansy Pin). Stefani Koorey, Mr. Brimbau’s girlfriend, moved in to this house in 2006, Interestingly, neither one have ever been inside “Maplecroft”, which has been owned by Robert Dube’ since 1980.
Lizzie lived here the entire second half of her life until she died in 1927.
 

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Lifetime Movie Channel on Lizzie Borden Got The Most Obscure Thing Right!

While the poor reviews and commentary on the gawd-awful Lifetime Movie Channel’s Lizzie Borden Took An Axe (see my earlier post) starring Christina Ricci continue, I have to report on a most singular and obscure thing they DID get right:  The picture above the sofa where Andrew Borden met his fate.

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(Image above of the crime scene taken late afternoon of August 4, 1892, from my personal collection of second generation photos.)

You can see the picture here, actually a black and white print of a steel engraving. Here are a couple more images:

Elms1This image was also taken on August 4rh, 1892, after the sofa had been removed.

There never was any mention of this picture in any of the source documents, newspapers or subsequent books written on the case.  Apparently, never worthy of citing, it wasn’t nearly as notable as the sofa – which has been referred to as a “horsehair sofa of the Civil War era”.  But the picture has never raised an eyebrow nor an inkling of curiosity.  What that picture was remained unknown for 108 years.

In early 2000, Lizzie Borden expert Leonard Rebello, a Fall River native and author of Lizzie Borden Past & Present (1999) conducted some in-depth research and discovered it was a steel engraving called “The Village Elms – Sunday Morning in New England” by a rather prolific painter, Albert Fitch Bellows (1829-1883).  For the first time ever, EVER, the “picture above the sofa” was identified in print with the publication of the April 2000 issue (Vol. VII, #2) of the most excellent The Lizzie Borden Quarterly published by Martin F. Bertolet.  Lizzie Borden enthusiasts who subscribed to this august publication, were the first to learn of this discovery.   To my knowledge, there has never been any other feature article or any reference to this engraving – in context with the Lizzie Borden case – ever written about since.  A print of this engraving has hung above the sofa at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast since Mr. Rebello’s discovery.

bellowsAlbert Fitch Bellows

Here it is below:

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One can readily see this exact picture hanging above the sofa in the Lifetime Movie Channel’s film which first aired on January 25, 2014, nearly 14 years after the identification of the what and who first came to light.

So who, I ponder, in the production of this pitiful portrayal of the case was responsible for bringing that piece of historical accuracy to the film?  Who did the research?  How did they learn of the picture?  (Perhaps it was Lee-ann Wilber, manager of the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, who had been contacted about “borrowing” the sofa).  Nonetheless, they got the sofa wrong but the picture is correct.  They got most everything wrong but they got the picture right.  A most obscure inclusion with absolutely no relevancy to the case itself.  If they troubled to research that and incorporate it into the film, why leave out so much that WAS relevant?

While it can now be said they got something right, that singular and obscure find still lacks sufficiency for redemption of all they got wrong.  Albert Fitch Bellows.  The Village Elms  And now you know.

ElmsColorColored version of “The Village Elms – Sunday Morning in New England”

Final note:  I’d be willing to bet it never hung at “Maplecroft”.  😉

 

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LEGEND OF LIZZIE BORDEN ON DVD & OTHER COLLECTIBLES

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If you’re looking for this I have it on DVD – $25.00 plus $3.50 shipping.

Some other items for sale:

ttbThe above CD is a researchers dream, just read the label to see what all it includes!  $25.00 plus $3..50 shipping.

BK-Study in Conjecture2The much coveted Lizzie Borden – A Study in Conjecture – WITH hard to find dust jacket.  $125.00.  Usually sells for several hundred.

playsThree Lizzie Borden plays = $20 plus $5.00 shipping.

Look me up on eBay – user name: promedimi888. or just enter Lizzie Borden at the eBay search line.

IF YOU WISH TO PURCHASE, EMAIL ME AT:  phaye@outlook.com.

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2014 in Collectibles

 

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Lifetime Movie Channel Presents Christina Ricci as Lizzie Borden

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If you get Google Alerts on Lizzie Borden, you’ve known for a long time that the Lifetime Movie Channel is doing a movie of our endearing Lizzie and the most mystifying, classic unsolved murder case.  You would also know that filming and post production has concluded and it is scheduled to be broadcast on January 25th, 2014.  But I post this here for those of you who may NOT know.

I predict the airing, and undoubtedly repeat airings, of this production will serve to perpetuate so many myths and untruths about Miss Borden and the case in general. I’ll tell you why:

1.  In the first place, Lizzie was 32 at the time, not a “young girl”.

2.  The murder weapon was a hatchet, not an axe.

3.  The production company and research people did little to no in-depth research, as is usually the case with these formulated productions.

4.  None of the cast members, ( including Christina Ricci), production crew, or director even bothered to visit the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast to get a sense of what was then a territorial layout between the sisters on the one hand and the father and stepmother on the other.

5.  The LMC’s productions appeal to a target market that has an interest in “love gone wrong” kind of shows and have become noteworthy in cable news and social networking sites when trending.   They have a pool of production companies and directors, none of whom are “A”-listers.

6.  Budgets are tight,  on “short shoot” schedules, and often sacrifice authenticity for cost effectiveness.

7.  Christina Ricci playing Lizzie would be a good fit if Justin Bieber were playing Andrew Borden.

Nope, I’ll say it here and now:  This will NOT be a movie that captures the depth and texture of the case, Fall River, and Lizzie herself.  Just as Elizabeth Montgomery’s looks and performance is burned into the minds of a viewers from a generation ago, Ricci and the LMC will permanently embed its story into the minds of a newer – and younger – generation.

The mass of viewers (who are not Borden case afficionados) will forever believe Lizzie Borden was a young, psychopathic girl who wielded a bloody axe to do her daddy and stepmother in.   Thus, the iconic one dimensional Lizzie Borden will remain.

Sad.

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2013 in TV, Theatre & Film

 

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