A Scary Place Located in Fall River, Massachusetts
Fall River (MA) Our tour guides will be informing you of the history and mystery of each room during your tour of the house where the most infamous crime of 19th century America took place. We are providing this guide to assist you and hope you will be able to decide for yourself who murdered Andrew and Abbey Borden on that fateful day.
On Thursday, August 4, 1892 the bodies of Andrew and Abbey Borden were found shortly after 11:00 am in the house at 92 Second Street, Fall River, Massachusetts.
Lizzie Borden B&B in Fall River, Mass.
Andrew Jackson Borden, 69 years old at the time of his death, was a wealthy retired businessman. He lived in this home with his second wife Abby Durfee Gray Borden, 64, and his two adult daughters by his first marriage, Emma and Lizzie.
Emma Lenora Borden was 41 in 1892. Lizzie Andrew Borden was 32 at the time of the murders. An Irish servant, Bridget Sullivan, had quarters in an attic room. She was 26 years old and was called “Maggie” by Emma and Lizzie.
Andrew’s first wife was Sarah Anthony Morse. She bore him three daughters, Emma, Alice and Lizzie. Alice died when she was an infant. Sarah Borden died in 1863 when Lizzie was almost 3 years old.
John Vinnicum Morse was Sarah Morse Borden’s brother. He had remained close to the Borden family and was considered to be a friend by Andrew. He was visiting the Borden household at the time of the murders and was considered an early suspect.
Lizzie Borden Bedroom
Alice Russell was a friend of Emma and Lizzie. Lizzie had visited Miss Russell on the evening before the murders and complained of being “depressed” and she feared that someone would do harm to her father. Adelaide Churchill lived next door to the Bordens in the Buffinton house. Lizzie summoned both Miss Russell and Mrs. Churchill to the house immediately following the murders.
City Marshall Rufus Hillard was head of the Fall River Police Department. His assistant was John Fleet. A portion of the police department were at their annual outing at Rocky Point Amusement Park in nearby Warwick, Rhode Island on August 4, 1892.
Shortly after the murders, Lizzie was required to testify at an inquest without the presence of an attorney. She was charged with the crime, arrested and sent to the Taunton House of Correction and remained there until her trial in June 1893. Lizzie did not testify at her trial in New Bedford and the prosecution was not allowed to introduce her inquest testimony.
After her acquittal, Lizzie and Emma returned to this house. They soon purchased a home in the fashionable Highland section of the city which Lizzie later named “Maplecroft.” Lizzie and Emma remained together until 1905 when Emma moved away. The house at 92 Second Street remained a rental property for 25 years until Emma and Lizzie sold it in 1918.
Both Maplecroft and the Borden’s summer house in Swansea are still standing and are private homes.
Lizzie died at her home in 1927 from heart failure. She was 66 years old. Emma passed away 9 days later in Newmarket, New Hampshire at the age of 76. The Borden family is buried at the family plot in Oak Grove Cemetery in Fall River. The cemetery is open daily from dawn to dusk.
At the turn of the century, Lizzie began calling herself Lizbeth. Her granite gravestone has Lizbeth carved on it. The larger family marker is inscribed Lizbeth Andrews Borden.
Thanks to Sally McGinn, proprietor of the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, for this story and photos. For more information or to make reservations, phone/fax 508.675.7333.