fb-pixel Skip to main content

For $2 million, you can own the house where Lizzie Borden’s family was murdered

“Picture yourself serving fun hatchet cookies, tiny johnny cakes and a scrumptious breakfast to overnight guests,” says the listing for the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast and Museum.

Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum in Fall River.
Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum in Fall River.J.W. Ocker/OddThingsIveSeen.com

The scene of one of the country’s most infamous crimes, the Fall River home where Lizzie Borden’s father and stepmother were hacked to death with an axe, officially hit the market Monday.

According to an online listing, the asking price for the three-story clapboard house, which operates as a museum and popular bed and breakfast, is $2 million.

“This is an unbelievable opportunity to own and operate one of New England’s top tourist attractions,” the listing reads. “Picture yourself serving fun hatchet cookies, tiny johnny cakes and a scrumptious breakfast to overnight guests who have just enjoyed an experience of a lifetime!”

Advertisement



Suzanne St. John, a realtor with the Seyboth Team at Century 21 and the listing agent for the property, said the current owners are retiring after owning the bed and breakfast for more than 15 years.

She said the sale is a “turnkey” opportunity, and the potential buyer would become the owners of the home where Borden allegedly murdered her father and stepmother with an ax, the business, as well as the bed and breakfast’s website, intellectual property, and the merchandise sold there.

“We are hoping that someone will come in and buy it and keep it as a bed and breakfast and for tours,” said St. John, who is also a part-time tour guide at the home. “It’s one of the most visited tourist attractions in New England. It’s well known all over the world, and on a normal year you have people that come in from all over.”

St. John teased out that the house was going on the market Sunday by sharing a picture on Facebook of the property with a Century 21 realty sign in front of it.

“‘Axe’ me what’s coming on the market?,” she wrote in a comment accompanying the post, piquing some people’s interest.

Advertisement



The mutilated bodies of Andrew Borden and his wife, Abby, were found on the morning of Aug. 4, 1892, at the home on Second Street.

“Their heads smashed with a hatchet,” read a Boston Globe headline a day after the murders. “No clue as yet to this most atrocious and brutal crime.”

Borden was eventually charged for the murders and went to trial, but was acquitted.

“Yet, regardless of the liberating decision delivered by the jury, the specter of suspicion remained ever-present, haunting Lizzie relentlessly for the rest of her days,” according to the Fall River Historical Society’s website. “The Borden case is viewed as one of the most famous unsolved mysteries of all time.”

Borden later moved into a nearby home on French Street, where she lived with her sister, Emma. She lived there until her death in 1927. That seven-bedroom property, known as “Maplecroft,” went up for sale to much fanfare last year and remains on the market, St. John said.

The listing for the house where the double murder took place says the two properties can be purchased together.

According to the bed and breakfast’s website, the house is largely unchanged from the time of the grisly murders.

“The furnishings retain their rightful place, the décor has been painstakingly duplicated, and the original hardware and doors are still intact,” the website says. “Artifacts from the murder case are displayed while memorabilia from the era line shelves and mantel tops.”

Advertisement



Sue Vickery, a tour guide who has worked at the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast and Museum for the past 10 years, said she hopes whoever decides to buy the property keeps it operating as is, and that employees who offer visitors an in-depth look at what transpired that summer day can keep their jobs.

“It’s a very sad thing that it’s up for sale,” she said. “It’s hard to predict what new owners would want to do with the property, but I’m hoping it remains a bed and breakfast.”

Those interested in taking a peek inside the home can take a 3-D tour online.

Emily Sweeney of the Globe staff contributed to this report.


Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.