Thursday, 17 July 2014

Days 23 & 24: LIzzie Borden - and a friend!

Sunday, June 22nd was a fairly lazy day, with just a short drive around the Portsmouth area of Aquidneck Island, where there were some lovely bays.

An interesting sign!  Was there really a Common Fence? Or did someone mistake the old style s for an f, and should it have really been Common Sense Point?

On Monday, we travelled north and crossed the border into Massachusetts.

Our destination was Fall River, and the home of Lizzie Borden.
Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.

We had a tour of the house with an excellent and entertaining guide in 1890s costume who told us about society in Fall River at that time, the Borden family, and the main details of the trial and Lizzie's acquittal.

This was the dining room.

And here's Ralph, my friend's husband, posing on the couch where Mr Borden was hacked to death (with 11 blows, not 41!)

The guide then  got two of the tour group, a mother and daughter, to act out the hacking of Mrs. Borden (with 18 whacks not 40)

The Kitchen


And we assume this car belonged to the tour guide or one of the staff - FRTYWX - Forty Whacks!

I was tempted to buy one of the tee-shirts in the shop which read:
'Everything I know about anger management,
I learned from Lizzie Borden.'

Later that afternoon, by way of a complete contrast, I was delighted to meet up with Toni Lynn Cloutier and her husband Billy, who took me out for a meal at Fieldstones in Portsmouth. Toni has been my critique partner and online friend for over 5 years, so it was a thrill to finally meet her in person!


  1. Lizzie! Nice that you had such a great guide. You get the facts about the whacks and a few giggles! I would own that shirt!

    1. It really was an excellent presentation. So much so, that I bought a booklet to read more about the murders and Lizzie. Still can't decide if she was guilty or not! But the Irish maid definitely knew something!

  2. Common Sense...hmmm, in RI, not too likely! I think the Lizzie Borden tour would give me the creeps. Love that t-shirt, and the car has an RI license plate--haven't seen it around here, but if I do, I think I'll avoid that driver, LOL. really enjoying this tour with you, Paula.

    1. Elaine, evidently there are islands nearby called Prudence, Patience and Hope, so Common Sense could be another of those names Quakers gave to places.
      The Borden house wasn't very creepy, although I don't think I'd like to spend the night there (even though they do bed and breakfast for visitors!)