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House Where Alleged Axe Murderer Lizzie Borden Lived Is Up For Sale

Lizzie Borden lived in the Fall River, Massachusetts house after being acquitted of her father and stepmother's murders in 1893, until her death in 1927.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

The Massachusetts house where notorious alleged axe murderer Lizzie Borden lived is officially on the market.

The seven-bedroom, four-bedroom home, located on French Street in the Fall River area, was put up for sale last month, according to an online real estate listing. The house, built in 1887, is a Queen Anne Victorian-style home where Borden lived until her death in 1927, the listing states. The description calls the property a “piece of American history” that will “bring you back to a gentler time but with today's modern conveniences.”

Borden was famously accused of murdering her stepmother and father with an axe in the fall of 1892, when she was 32 years old, but she was acquitted of both crimes. After that, she continued to live in the Fall River area with her sister Emma in the house that she named “Maplecroft.” It is now up for sale for $890,000, after the owner, Donald Woods, was unable to turn the property into a bed and breakfast as originally planned, The Herald News reports.

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It’s a formula that worked for the Massachusetts home where the Borden murders actually took place; that location — which Woods also owns, with co-owner Leeann Wilber — was turned into the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast Museum and has been operating as a successful tourist attraction since the 1990s. Woods purchased the Maplecroft home with the intention of doing the same with that property, but while the house’s former owner, Kristee Bates, did a fine job restoring the home after it had fallen into disrepair, Woods ultimately ran into too many roadblocks to create a second bed and breakfast.

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“Kristee had grand plans for this place, and so did Donald. She wanted to have weddings and events,” Jerry Pacheco, who’s worked as an operations manager for the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast Museum for more than 15 years, told The Herald News.

Woods spent $200,000 repairing the home’s infrastructure, but allegedly was told by the city that he’d have to get an elevator installed in the home, in addition to taking other steps, before opening it as a bed and breakfast, according to the paper. The ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which would undoubtedly have an effect on business operations, was enough to lead Woods to throw in the towel and list the house in July.

“It was the final nail in the coffin,” Pacheco told the paper.

The house has been put up for sale with the inclusion of period-appropriate furniture that “speak to the very special past inhabitants of this home,” according to the listing. Pacheco also told the paper that he believes the Maplecroft home to be a hotbed of paranormal activity.

Borden, who never married, lived in the house on French Street until her death from pneumonia in 1927. She went on to become a popular figure in pop culture, inspiring everything from schoolyard rhymes to TV shows and movies.

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