It was back to the scene of the crime in chilly November, the first time the group had opted for an autumnal get-together since rebooting in 2007. We visited out old stomping grounds at the FRPD and presented the Chief with his own Muttoneater headgear. A few of us found out what it was like on the other side of the bars in the lock-up, and then enjoyed a tour of the station, especially delighting in the new display of vintage FRPD photos which adorn the walls. We visited the animal rescue society as ever, bringing bags of treats and cash donations to our favorite local charity, paid a visit to Oak Grove, and enjoyed experiments and presentations back at the Borden House. The theme was “Total Immersion Lizzie”- and we did just that! Back for more in 2015!
Winners of the 2012 Lambie awards for Best Actor and Best Actress are Carol Ann Simone as Lizzie Borden and Mark LoMaestro as Officer Harrington!
The Lens of Sherlock was captured this year by Diana Porter for new information and photo of Bridget Sullivan.
The coveted Lizzie Medallion goes again this year to Noble Order of Muttoneaters, JoAnne Giovino and Barbara Morrissey
Congratulations one and all!
This year the fearless Flock of intrepid Muttoneaters will be on the road in Connecticut, investigating the Amy Archer-Gilligan case. The arsenic-wielding nursing home owner who may have done away with over 40 patients was the inspiration for the play and Cary Grant film, Arsenic and Old Lace. A trip to Windsor to see the scene of the crime is on the schedule, as well as the Mark Twain house, Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Gillette’s Castle, and the Goodspeed Opera House. Crime and Victoriana are on the docket for the weekend, which this year will be a first away from the usual #92 Second Street annual venue. So much crime- so little time!
The Archer-Gilligan House today shown below
Once again the N.O.M.E. gave out their much-coveted Lambie Awards to two worthy actors who performed in the August 2011 dramatization of the murders at #92. Ben Rose has been with the Pear Essential Players for a long time playing Officer Medley and Detective Seaver. He is a great ad libber, fast study, and pinch hitter when needed. Thanks Ben, for all you do for us!
Suzann Rogers, who works at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum also, won her Lambie as Bridget Sullivan on her very first year out! Congratulations Suzann- you have a very convincing Irish accent.
This past weekend the cordial society of armchair sleuths returned to #92 Second Street for the annual flocking of the Second Street Irregulars (Muttoneaters) for a jam-packed tour of many Borden-related sites around the area. Friday morning the group of 16 visited the Fall River Historical Society to bestow the yearly awards upon the recent publication by Michael Martins and Dennis Binette, Parallel Lives. The flock enjoyed a coffee hour, tour and photo session in the beautiful Victorian garden before heading off to Fairhaven for a picnic at Fort Phoenix and a city tour given by Chris Richards who was dressed to impress!
Chris fired off a vintage rifle, explained how teeth were extracted, limbs were amputated and the life and activities of a wartime barber-dentist-surgeon, a role he re-enacts in costume with a local history group at Fort Phoenix annually. Afterward the Muttoneaters toured city hall and learned about Mark Twain’s dedication speech given on the stage there, visited the locales of the homes in which Helen Brownell stayed (Emma Borden’s alibi), and visited the beautiful Millicent Library where a letterbox was found in a very special place inside. (see Atlasquest.com for clues!) The group then returned to Fall River for a pizza party and presentations on the Villisca murders of 1912 and discussions on Andrew Jennings, one of the attorneys for Lizzie whose journals they saw at the historical society earlier.
Saturday was a busy day which began with a trip to Oak Grove Cemetery to see the room in which the Bordens were autopsied on August 11, 1892, and to inspect the interior of the holding tomb used to house the coffins of the Bordens both before and after the heads were removed by Dr. Dolan.
The morning concluded with a very special visit to Maplecroft and a great tour by Mr. Bob Dube who conducted the group through every room of the three-storied home and explained what was original to Lizzie’s tenure there. This was a very special and much-appreciated opportunity as the house is currently for sale with the future owner still unknown.
On the “piazza” at Maplecroft in the spot where the recently published photo of Lizzie and her dog appeared in Parallel Lives.
Poppy garden at Maplecroft
After lunch the Muttoneaters visited the Animal Rescue League of Fall River, an annual stop, to bring dog and cat treats and a special 1927 newspaper detailing Lizzie and Emma Borden’s donation to this worthy cause, bequeathed in their wills.
The afternoon brought a real surprise when the group was invited to visit the cellar of the Lodowick Borden (also known as Dr. Kelly’s) home next door to the Borden house on Second Street to view the chimney and cellar where in 1848 Eliza Darling Borden threw three of her children in a cistern and then committed suicide behind the chimney. Beautiful cabinetry with little drawers and cupboards were added much later when the Kellys moved to the house in 1891 and are still intact. The room was most likely used then as Dr. Kelly’s home office.
Saturday evening concluded with a visit from the “Women’s Christian Temperence Union” with Muttoneaters dressed as Mrs. Brayton, Carrie Nation and Mother Willard, followed by a Sunday-style chicken Gospel bird dinner and many hours of animated conversation about the famous Borden case. As always, nobody wanted to leave on Sunday morning and the planning begins again for next year’s adventures.
The sixth annual gathering of the Second Street Irregulars will take place May 17-19th, 2012 at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum. Along with the usual research presentations and field trips, the recent release of Parallel Lives has furnished the group with new places and people from the past to explore over the weekend. Some of the “Muttoneaters” will be visiting the Villisca crime scene, site of the 1912 axe murders, and spending the night onsite two weeks before the Fall River annual meeting, and will no doubt have much to report. Annual awards of recognition will be presented at the house this year.
Jennifer Levitz has done a feature for the Wall Street Journal and mentions the flock . http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904006104576502872036735688.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
Of course the annual antics of the mighty Muttoneaters could furnish enough for several articles if news of the secret doings were made public!