Viva Fall River

Trolley Stops #4 + #5

St. Mary’s Cathedral & Lizzie
Borden House and Lower
Highlands & Troy St.

3

Dive Into the “Troy City” Experience

Those seeking interesting architecture, spooky stories, and, of course, lots of delicious food will be satisfied in the area comprising South Main, Second, and Borden Streets in central Fall River. Attend a mass and marvel at the ornamental architecture of St. Mary’s Cathedral, then explore the eclectic local shops and boutiques. Learn about the Borden family, the notorious murder case of Lizzie Borden, and the alleged chilling hauntings. Then, warm up at one of the area’s myriad dining establishments for a delectable meal at any time of day.

The Troy Street & Lower Highlands district includes many important fixtures from Fall River’s past and present.

The Troy Store, active here for decades until its demolition in the 1930s, was famous for its claim to be “The World’s Cheapest Store.” Today, the area is the home of Fall River Government Center, the U.S. Custom House and Post Office, and the Fall River Museum of Contemporary Art. Steps away is the Purchase Street Dining District, with more opportunities to sample the many flavors of Fall River.

Click here for more things to do in the area

A Legendary Legacy

1800s

Despite the unfortunate reality that slavery was a major part of foundational American history, Fall River played an important role in fighting slavery as a center for abolitionist activity. In addition to Underground Railroad safehouses in the Lower Highlands, in 1835 the wife of a wealthy textile manufacturer Elizabeth Buffum Chace, co-founded the Fall River Female Anti-Slavery Society. Despite backlash from other members, Chace fought for African American women to be allowed to serve as members.

1850s

A sizable Gothic-style church completed in 1858 (and expanded upon since), the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption is one of this area’s most substantial architectural features. The flagship facility of the Fall River Diocese, “St. Mary’s”, is recognized by its 190-foot steeple and distinct windows, some of which date back to the 19th century.

1870s

Located at 100 Rock Street, The Historic Abbey (formerly known as the Central Congregational Church) was built in 1875. It spent the majority of its life as a church; notably, it was the home church for Lizzie Borden and her family. Lizzie is said to have taught Sunday School here, and the property has since become the subject of paranormal investigation. Today, The Historic Abbey is a wedding and event venue. (Fun fact: Aerosmith filmed part of their “Cryin’” video here!)

1890s

Andrew Borden, part of a wealthy Fall River business family, and his second wife Abby were murdered with a hatchet inside their home in 1892. Despite testimonials suggesting that Andrew’s daughter Lizzie Borden was the murderer, Lizzie was famously acquitted at trial in 1893. Today, you can visit the Lizzie Borden House, a hotel and museum offering house & ghost tours, at 92 Second Street. Next door, Miss Lizzie’s Coffee has themed decor and serves up beverages and light fare.

1970s - 1980s

Fall River’s Government Center is one of the city’s most ambitious modern architectural feats. An example of Brutalist architecture, the building opened in 1976, and was the first public building in the United States to be built over a federal highway (I-195). Nearby, also on South Main Street, Alexandra’s Boutique has attracted brides-to-be and pageant contestants with its extensive dress collection since 1986.

2020s - Today

The South Coast region’s local art scene is alive and well, congregating around Troy Street. The Fall River Arts & Culture Coalition (FRACC) was launched in 2019 to promote “Arts, Culture, and Economic Prosperity for the City of Fall River” and hosts a gallery space where local artists can display their works. Next door, the Fall River Museum of Contemporary Art aims to connect the local community through the common outlet of creative and artistic expression. Nearby, the Viva Fall River Welcome Center and Maker Shop provides visitors with a place to learn more about what the city has to offer, as well as a curated selection of locally made goods.

A Legendary Legacy

Click each photo below to zoom in

To Do

• See Art:
Fall River Museum of Contemporary Art
FRACC: The Ignition Space
St. Mary’s Cathedral
– Attend a Mass or Visit the interior (call ahead)

Explore More

Subscribe

Stay updated on all things Fall River.