On the Market: Lizzie Borden’s Historic “Maplecroft” Mansion
Own a local piece of (macabre) history in Fall River.
306 French St., Fall River
If you’re in the market for a fully furnished, gorgeous historic Queen Anne that’s been painstakingly restored, complete with gleaming inlaid parquet floors and an expansive parlor, look no further than this manse in Fall River’s Highlands District. The only catch is that this stunner—where Lizzie Borden lived out the rest of her days after she was acquitted of killing her father and stepmother—is haunted by a little red tape and maybe some paranormal activity.
Dubbed “Maplecroft” by Borden, the 3,935 square-foot estate was built around 1887, and the peaks of its grand Victorian architecture sing among the Highlands homes. Along with her sister Emma, the alleged ax murderer moved here in 1893 following her trial and attempted to live a quiet life, even going by the name of Lizbeth. Maplecroft was last up for sale in 2017 after the previous owner, Kristee Bates, restored the manor to its former grandeur. Donald Woods and Lee-ann Wilber, who own the nearby Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum where the grisly murders actually took place in 1892, purchased the home in 2018 with a plan to convert it into a companion museum and B&B to tell the story of the latter part of Borden’s life.
Woods sank about $200,000 into improvements, according to Jerry Pacheco, operations manager for the Borden B&B and museum, including installing a sprinkler system that’s deftly hidden in the decor. But the city of Fall River asked for additional updates to the property including an elevator, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and Woods decided he wanted to retire soon. So he and Wilber opted to put the home on the market for someone else to take whack at turning it into a B&B or resurrecting it as a private home.
Inside, the fourteen rooms—including seven bedrooms and 3 and a half bathrooms—overflow with historic details like walnut wainscoting, coffered ceilings, and ornate mantle pieces that bedeck the six fireplaces. “It’s incredible,” Pacheco says. “And it’s more impressive when you’re inside of it.” Maplecroft comes fully furnished with period pieces and maybe some unexpected guests.
“Honestly, that house has a lot of paranormal activity in it,” Pacheco says, speaking from the allegedly haunted Borden B&B. “Even more than here, I would say.”
For additional information, contact Suzanne St. John, Century 21, the Seyboth Team, realestatebook.com
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