Fall River is a city steeped in history and known for many things: Portuguese cuisine, Battleship Cove, a rich history intertwined with America’s textile industry. However, we are perhaps most famous for the chilling Lizzie Borden case- a gruesome double murder that has fascinated people for over a century. If you’re a history enthusiast or a true crime buff, Fall River offers an intriguing and spine-tingling experience. Let us take you on a self-guided tour of some of the most significant locations connected to the Lizzie Borden case.
The Lizzie Borden House
Our journey into the Lizzie Borden case obviously begins at the infamous Lizzie Borden House, located at 230 2nd Street. It was here, on the fateful morning of August 4, 1892, that Andrew and Abby Borden were brutally murdered. Lizzie, Andrew’s daughter, was accused of the crime but found not-guilty, making her one of the most notorious and mysterious figures in American history.
Today, the Lizzie Borden House operates as a museum and bed-and-breakfast. Visitors can explore the rooms where the murders took place, including the infamous “Guest Bedroom” and “Lizzie’s Bedroom.” You can also view a collection of artifacts and documents related to the case. The house offers tours, and guests and ghost hunters alike have reported paranormal activities at the property.
After your chilling visit to the crime scene, it’s time to head to 306 French Street, the former home of Lizzie Borden herself. Known as Maplecroft, this Victorian mansion was Lizzie’s residence after her acquittal in the murder trial. Today, the house is privately owned, but you can still appreciate the elegant exterior and imagine the life Lizzie led during her later years.
Although you can’t go inside, a stroll through the neighborhood allows you to feel the historical ambiance of the city. You will see many other beautiful Victorian-era houses that have been preserved in Fall River, offering a glimpse into the past.
Oak Grove Cemetery
The next stop on your tour is Oak Grove Cemetery, located at 765 Prospect Street. This is where Lizzie Borden was laid to rest alongside her family, providing a peaceful and somber contrast to the violent events of her life. Her parents, Andrew and Abby Borden, are also buried here.
You can explore the cemetery at your own pace, locating Lizzie’s grave and perhaps paying your respects. You will likely find her gravestone- a small, unassuming marble rectangle marked with the word “Lizbeth”- covered in pennies and other offerings from fellow history buffs and true crime junkies.
If you plan to visit between October and May, please note the following hours of operation: Monday through Saturday 7:00 A.M. – 5:30 P.M. and Sundays 9:00 A.M. – 5:30 P.M.
Bonus stop: Viva Fall River Maker Shop
Stop by the Viva Fall River Maker Shop, located at 333 S. Main St, to pick up some very Lizzie goodies! The shop offers a curated selection of items from artisans and makers local to Fall River, including a handful of Lizzie Borden-related merchandise and souvenirs. The Maker Shop is the perfect place to pick up a memento from your visit to Fall River.
The shop is open Tuesday & Wednesday 10:00am – 3:00pm, Thursday & Saturday 10:00am – 6:00pm and Friday Noon – 8:00pm.