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Lizzie's B&B: For the Ax-cidental Tourist

August 04, 1996|BOB McCULLOUGH

Visitors who want a look at the darker side of New England history can now spend the night in the house where the notorious Lizzie Borden was accused of hacking her father and stepmother to death in 1892.

On Monday, the house at 92 2nd St. in Fall River, Mass., opens as a slightly macabre bed and breakfast. During a yearlong renovation, owners Martha McGinn (pictured, right) and Ron Evans took pains to restore the 1890s look of the house, adding period furniture, a wood-burning stove, gas lanterns and authentic Borden artifacts. In refurbishing the rooms, they even referred to crime scene photos of the downstairs sitting room where Andrew Borden was killed and the upstairs guest room where his wife, Abby, was murdered. Tried for the ax murders, Lizzie was acquitted, but suspicions of her persist.

The mix-and-match wallpaper and carpeting reflect the eccentricity of Andrew Borden, a wealthy businessman whose extreme frugality kept him from installing indoor plumbing. The six-room B&B, however, has modern amenities: central heating, air-conditioning, a refurbished kitchen and working bathrooms.

Visiting the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast/Museum "is just like stepping back into Fall River the way it was in 1892," McGinn says. Two suites and a room on the second floor, including the location where Abby Borden was killed, all rent for $219.40 a night, including taxes and a full breakfast. Three rooms on the third floor rent for $164.55. For reservations, call (508) 675-7333.

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