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!
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 weekend started with chilly weather and a coating of snow, but that did not deter the intrepid “Muttoneaters” as they kicked off the weekend with a visit to meet the mayor at city hall and to hear about the old city hall eagle which was salvaged from the demolition of the former edifice. Chris Donovan told the story of his family’s involvment with the building, and made the announcement that a new museum of the City of Fall River will be opening on the second level of The Eagle performance hall on North Main in the near future.
(Mayor Flannigan becomes an honorary Muttoneater)
photo: Barbara Morrissey
(at Joe’s American Grill in Dedham)
The group managed to pack the weekend full with a trip to Dedham’s Pine Ridge pet cemetery and shelter to visit Lizzie’s dogs, ramble down to Swansea to visit Borden properties there including Lizzie’s favorite fishing hole, a stop at Border City Mill to see a working curtain factory, a stop at the art association to see the portrait of Lizzie by Tiego Finato, a jaunt to Faxon Animal Shelter which was so generously remembered in the Borden sisters’ will, an expedition to see the waterfalls on Anawan Street, and still found the time to hold a Nance O’Neil supper party on Friday night and awards banquet at the Quequechan Club on Saturday night followed by a dessert party at #92. Stay tuned for a slide show of activities, guests, food and fun.
Thanks and appreciation go out to Lee Ann Wilber and Jack Faria for special efforts in facilitating itinerary and accommodations, and JoAnne Giovino, Barbara Morrisey and Ginny Lahman for amazing hospitality and good things to eat back at #92 Second St.
A few of our “Mutton Eaters” will be involved in the first murder mystery weekend at the B&B on Second Street. For all the details, with more to come visit http://lizziebordenmysteryweekend.com/
April Fool’s weekend (March 31-April 3) has been announced as the date for the annual Mutton Eaters gathering. The Banquet at the Q club, annual awards, and usual “On the Road ” outings will be augmented with a Nance O’Neil theatre party at the house on Second Street. The Mutton Eaters will have a Maplecroft-style soiree for Nance and her troupe. They will enjoy some non-Temperance punch and deck themselves out in some theatrical attire for the evening-hopefully Nance herself will make an appearance. This year there will be a new award, the Silver Quill, given for excellence in writing- either fiction or non-fiction which incorporates the Borden case and case personalities. And as usual- a few surprises are in store for the Mutton Eaters.
The annual Mutton Eaters weekend in Fall River 2010 is now just a good memory. The armchair sleuth group had a jam-packed weekend visiting Lizzie Borden-related sites for three days, beginning with a stop early Friday morning at the Fall River Police Department on Pleasant Street. Deputy Chief Moniz greeted the group in the entry foyer and took them to the second floor to meet the new Chief of Police, Chief Racine who recently took over the position from Chief Souza. Chief Racine knew his Bordenia, and solemnly (with a twinkle) swore in 18 new recruits as “official deputies” on the Borden case. The group enjoyed a great ten minutes chatting with the busy Chief, who mentioned there was a $200 reward on the “tip hot line” for any clue which would assist in solving a case. After reflecting on the FRPD and their involvement in the Borden case, the “Mutton Eaters” were treated, as a special surprise, to a complete tour of the entire facility from the booking room to the dispatch and receivng room to the holding cells. The Wall of Chiefs, which included Medley, Hilliard and Fleet was a big hit as well as the arrest book showing Lizzie Borden’s name. They learned that chief and deputy chief badges are turned in when the officer retires, and that the three numbers which appear over the badge are numbers of fallen policemen, killed in the line of duty. Currently three numbers appear although the force has actually lost more. The badge has not changed style since the era of Lizzie Borden as witnessed by the badge of Chief Medley, Fall River’s first titled Chief of Police. It was learned that the crime scene camera in the archive was not the one used by Mr. Walsh to photograph the Borden house, but was dated slightly after 1892.
Vintage police blue lantern from the old station at the corner of Bedford and High Streets.
The facilty was impressive, with the 24 hour dispatch and call -in room a state-of-the art- facility. The night before the visit, Fall River sustained a large fire in a private residence, with the loss of one four year old child. The dispatcher took the group through the procedure of how the calls were received, and how the response teams were sent out. Also on the tour were the booking desk and a tour of the lock-up where sliding doors have replaced bars. Male and female detainees are separated from each other in different sections of the building.
During the visit a review of a recent incident involving the discharging of an officer’s gun during a chase was being conducted, which is general procedure. The briefing room was included and looked exactly like those seen on so many popular television programs. The white board showed ongoing activity around the city, using the historic terminology for the sections of the city like Corky Row, Flint, Globe, etc.
The visit was a highlight of the weekend for the group, and the viewing of the arrest book a special memory along with the great kindness and hospitality of the officers and employees.
We’re Kicking Up Our Hooves in April!
April 16-18 2010 will mark the fourth annual gathering of the Second St. Irregulars Mutton Eaters.
As to itinerary, Friday we will be investigating the city of Taunton for our early adventure followed by our annual banquet Friday evening at White’s Restaurant Presidential Room. Saturday will bring a very indepth tour of Fall River, a visit to the Fall River Room at the library, city cemeteries, and a tour of Borden-related houses still standing in the city. Saturday night we will be having our usual Open House for LB Society members and the first Hyman Lubinsky Ice Cream Social with 1890’s music. There will be visits to our usual Victorian Venue of course. Also, we will have our “Call for Papers” and will hope several of you will again present research projects you will be doing over the Fall and Winter. Some of our recent endeavors will be published on Warps and Wefts very soon.