An interesting find added to the B&B museum archive


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You never know what you may find in an auction box stuffed full of odds and ends.  Recently Lizzie Borden B&B co-owner, LeeAnn Wilber inherited an interesting document signed by Abby Borden’s half-sister, Sarah Bertha Whitehead. Case historians will tell you how important the Gray-Whitehead house on Fourth Street figured in the further decline of warm family feelings among the Borden sisters and their stepmother when Andrew Borden bought out and deeded over this property to his second wife without informing “the girls”.

This 1901 document grants right of way for septic hook-up on the property until such a time Spring Street pipes were installed, and is signed by Bertie Whitehead.  At the time of the murder, Spring Street stopped at the corner of Second Street. Later on the Gray-Whitehead house was shifted onto a new foundation on the continued Spring Street where it rests today.

(courtesy of the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast Museum Archive)


Prussic Acid and Eli Bence


Pharmacist Eli Bence made the cut in the Ricci film but why Lizzie told Bence she needed prussic acid to kill rats in the attic is hard to explain. The real reason is every bit as interesting. Lizzie wanted the poison to clean a set of sealskin sacques (loose fitting coat) of moths and moth eggs. Furs were generally put into cold storage in summer. Lizzie hung hers up in muslin bags on the third floor of the house. Lizzie denied going to the pharmacy at the corner of Columbia and South Main, or even acknowledging she knew where it was. Two men in the pharmacy at the time, Kilroy and Hart, backed Bence up. For more on Bence

A flurry of new Borden books is on the way


After the great ratings and enthusiastic reception of the less-than-accurate Lifetime attempt at telling the Borden story, you can be sure a little flurry of books will soon be out there, hopefully getting all the facts right. Random House has signed up a new Lizzie young adult book to be published in Spring ‘16.  It’s a narrative non-fiction book called The Borden Murders, and is by Sarah Miller. Another released this month is now available on Amazon. Keep your fingers crossed for accurate research.  We can only hope, Lizziephiles!


Another hatchet on the loose in 1893

The hatchet killing which happened just before Lizzie’d trial began and which was referred to in the Lifetime movie this past weekend was the Bertha Manchester crime- which thankfully was solved. Care was taken that Lizzie’s jurors did not learn about this case as it would seem to suggest a killer was still on the loose in Fall River with a hatchet. Bertha Manchester is also buried in Oak Grove Cemetery.

Lifetime’s Lizzie Borden Took an Axe

o-LIZZIE-BORDEN-570Did you watch tonight?  What did you think?  Airing again Sunday, January 26th.

As the leaves turn. . . .


As the leaves begin to turn in September, thoughts begin to turn towards Lizzie Borden again. After a brief respite from the August Lizzie fever, cooler temps and the approach of Halloween always seem to inspire revivals of Borden-centered plays around the country. The Boston Lyric Opera has some exciting news. The BLO’s Opera Annex production this year is a commissioned work, a new chamber version of Jack Beeson’s Lizzie Borden (Nov. 20-24, in the Castle at Park Plaza). – (See more at:

Paranormal groups and television production companies are drawn to the house on Second Street to capture that something extra which flavors the very atmosphere this time of year.  The house is busy with overnight guests and day tours and thoughts are turning to Halloween night, which is a sell-out every October 31st.


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