Even though Lizzie Borden was acquitted on the gruesome hatchet murders of her father and stepmother in 1893, her legacy and story live on in United States history, pop culture and nursery rhymes more than 125 years later.
And the second part of her legacy — post-acquittal — lies here, in the Maplecroft mansion, which is currently on the market.
After the death of her parents, Lizzie received a large inheritance and bought this 1887 mansion in the hoity-toity area of Fall River. She changed her name to Lizbeth, and lived here with her sister, Emma (and servants who resided on the third floor) for many years.
Lizzie was never accepted by Fall River high society after the murders, and was also accused of shoplifting in 1897 while in Rhode Island.
Still, she lived her life and enjoyed traveling, making trips to New York to attend theater shows.
Emma moved out abruptly in 1905, reportedly over a dispute over Lizzie’s relationship with actress Nance O’Neill. The sisters remained estranged for the rest of their lives.
Maplecroft was Lizzie’s home until her death from pneumonia at age 66. Nine days later, Emma died of kidney disease a New Hampshire nursing home.
The sisters, neither of whom ever married, were buried side-by side in the Borden family plot in Oak Grove Cemetery in Fall River.
Now, if you’re not creeped out any of this, Maplecroft — which comes fully furnished with period furniture — is currently on the market for $890,000.
With nearly 4,000 square feet, it boasts seven bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms, coffered ceilings, six fireplaces, walnut wainscoting, detailed mantelpieces on six different fireplaces and a garage.
“It’s incredible,” Jerry Pacheco told Boston Magazine. “And it’s more impressive when you’re inside of it.”
And, Pachecho says, it may even come with something a little extra.
“Honestly, it has a lot paranormal activity in it,” Pachecho told the magazine, as he spoke from the allegedly haunted Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast, where he has been operations manager for 16 years. “Even more than here, I’d say.”
In 2018, Maplecroft was purchased by Donald Woods and Leeann Wilber, who also own the original Borden house in Fall River, which has operated as a bed and breakfast and museum since 1996. Their intent was to transform Maplecroft into a second B&B and companion museum.
After investing about $200,000 in improvements, Woods was asked by the city to add more, including an elevator for the three-story home. Then Covid-19 hit, and with retirement looming, he decided it was time to put the home on the market.
Maplecroft was previously owned by Kristee Bates, who spent two years lovingly restoring the house after it had fallen into complete disrepair under a previous owner.
“The place looked like a crack den flophouse,” Pachecho told The Providence Journal in a recent story about Maplecroft being up for sale.
Bates “was a big Lizzie Borden fan,” Pachecho said. “Kristee had grand plans for this place, and so did Donald.”
But, Pachecho told the Providence paper, Kristee and her husband ultimately didn’t have the money to comply with all the building department’s requests, either.
So now it’s up to you… do you have the money and the brave heart to make this place your own?