Lizzie Borden’s Former House Is On The Market And The Inside Is Nothing Like People Expect


If your house was a part of history, then congratulations: you’re likely the proud owner of both a hot piece of real estate and an interesting story to tell around the office water cooler!

But if you own the house of a notorious (albeit acquitted) murderer? Well… that’s another story entirely. Maplecroft Mansion, the Queen Anne Victorian home in Fall River, Massachusetts, that belonged to Lizzie Borden, could be yours now that it’s fresh on the real estate market.

The three-story, eight-bedroom house once owned by the woman accused of America’s first media frenzy-inducing murder is now for sale. What might surprise you is that it’s actually pretty gorgeous…

From the outside, Maplecroft Mansion may look like your average Queen Anne Victorian home—a remembrance of historic architecture from centuries long ago. However, that beautiful exterior belies the dark history that took place within.

Mott & Chace Realty

Located in the the town of Fall River, Massachusetts, this historical home once belonged to none other than Lizzie Borden, who was famously accused of killing her father and step-mother with hatchets back in 1892. Now the house is for sale, but why would anyone want to buy it?

Nasheville Ballet

Borden’s trial and subsequent acquittal are legendary amongst true-crime fanatics. As Rolling Stone‘s Elizabeth Yuko put it, Borden’s story was “one of the first trials in American history that both fueled and was fueled by major mass-market newspapers and magazines.”

Rollingstone

Curious townspeople visited the murder scene and tampered with evidence. The only suspect, Borden gave inconsistent, morphine-slurred testimonies about her role—or lack thereof—in the crimes. Given much of this shaky evidence, the jury acquitted her.

Public Domain / Wikimedia

Years later, a movie called The Legend of Lizzie Borden, which starred Elizabeth Montgomery, fictionalized the trial. But why? Why did a murder trial that ended in acquittal capture the attention of so many people? A staff reporter shared her thoughts on the case’s fame with Rolling Stone

“Our proper Victorian ancestors couldn’t fathom that someone among the upper class—especially a woman—could commit such a heinous crime,” said journalist Deborah Allard of the local Herald News.

Mott & Chace

 Obviously, the details of the murders of Borden’s father, Andrew Borden, and her stepmother, Abby Durfee Grey Borden, were quite grisly. Nevertheless, after the trial concluded, Borden came into some wealth—namely her father’s estate—which she used to purchase Maplecroft Mansion.

The million-dollar—or should we say, $699,000—question is: was this mansion home initially bought with blood money? Since the residence was put up for sale, the details of Borden’s time there have once again been placed under the microscope.

Mott & Chace Real Estate

Any prospective owner should be sure to understand what they’re buying. But after taking one look inside the property, one might say that whatever history was attached to this house might not even matter…

Mott & Chace

The house has been restored since the Bordens owned it and has served as a private residence to other families. The realtors at the listing agency even noted that it would make an excellent bed and breakfast—all of the furnishings are included with the sale!

http://www.mottandchace.com/real-estate/306-french-st-fall-river-ma-02720/1172623/45108027

Even better? The murders forever attached to the Borden name didn’t occur at this residence, so the future buyer is (hopefully) safe from all manner of ghosts, ghouls, and apparitions. Still, Maplecroft Mansion itself is not without its own controversy.

http://www.mottandchace.com/real-estate/306-french-st-fall-river-ma-02720/1172623/45108027

After Borden’s infamous acquittal in 1893 and subsequent purchase of the Maplecroft Mansion with money that may or may not have been tainted, a few article-worthy controversies and whispers spread…

http://www.mottandchace.com/real-estate/306-french-st-fall-river-ma-02720/1172623/45108027

The New York Times, for instance, couldn’t help but raise a few questions about the Borden sisters. In a September 10, 1893, article, one writer critically noted that they weren’t wearing black in remembrance of their father… even though it’d only been one year after the murders.

Mott & Chace

Still, the press wasn’t all bad. After Borden and her sister moved into the 4,000-square-foot residence, The New York Times also wrote, on September 24, 1893, “The orphans have shaken from their pretense surroundings that must have been a nightmare for them … And they are at last living in a style becoming to their means…”

Mott & Chace

Regardless, the knowledge of this home’s history cannot be erased by any of the chandeliers or six fireplaces, although the beautiful walnut wainscoting and parquet flooring might help to assuage some concerns.

http://www.mottandchace.com/real-estate/306-french-st-fall-river-ma-02720/1172623/45108027

And if something in a home buyer’s subconscious still turns them away from a house followed by a controversial history, maybe a view of the master bedrooms might change their mind. There’s plenty of room for activities, for instance.

Mott & Chace

After taking a visual tour through all the rooms of the house, it’s obvious the realtors see the history of this property as its real selling point, given how many framed pictures of Lizzie Borden are scattered about.

http://www.mottandchace.com/real-estate/306-french-st-fall-river-ma-02720/1172623/45108027

You know you’re in a top-notch dream home home when even the staircase screams aristocracy. With (another) picture of Lizzie Borden, a crystal chandelier, and eccentric running carpets, it’s as eye-popping as the fully furnished living room!

Mott & Chace

 Originally, the house itself was listed for $799,999, but not long after posting, it fell to $699,999. That could be a bargain, depending on your view of the murders—and whether or not you want to chance waking up to the tune of that creepy Lizzie Borden nursery rhyme.

Mott & Chace

So what do you think? Is this house worth the price tag? Or does its association and history scare you away? Whatever your feelings, you can’t deny that Lizzie Borden certainly had great taste in real estate!

Mott & Chace

This would be an awesome house to own, right? Not just because you’d be living in a mansion, but because it packs a powerful history, too!


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