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The History

The Lizzie Borden House is full of history.

Andrew Borden was murdered while he lay napping on the couch

It shouldn’t have happened here, in this austere raw-boned structure on 2nd street. Implausible that it occurred in broad daylight at one of the busiest times with horses, buggies, and street traffic only mere feet from the front door with the number 92 tacked to its column. And yet, it did. Two people, Andrew and Abby Borden, both in their golden years by that era’s reckoning, were mercilessly hacked to death with a hatchet; Abby as she cleaned the upstairs guest room, and Andrew as he lay napping on the sitting room couch downstairs. Not a sound had been heard by the myriad pedestrians outside, but the house, now stained with blood, had witnessed it all.

Andrew Borden bought the home in 1872 and immediately had it remodeled from a two-tenant dwelling into a place his small family could call home. He chose the house due to its pragmatic location—a short walking distance to his businesses on main street, one block over. It sat amid other businesses, horse stables, stores, a laundry, and a make-shift restaurant.

Abby Borden was hacked to death while she was cleaning the upstairs guest room

Andrew’s wife kept house and took pride in it, while his two daughters Emma and Lizzie looked about at the heavily floral-covered walls as a prison. A young Irish maid, Bridget Sullivan, was the only other inhabitant. There were no hallways in the house, with the exception of an upstairs landing. One had to go through one room to get to another. As a result, locks abounded. Locks that would play an invaluable role in the murder mystery that would captivate the world after that fateful morning of August 4, 1892.

Today, the house is just as it was. The furnishings retain their rightful place, the décor has been painstakingly duplicated, and the original hardware and doors are still intact. Artifacts from the murder case are displayed while memorabilia from the era line shelves and mantel tops. A visitor is literally transported back to that morning when a perfect storm of events culminated in a double murder.

A different view of Abby Borden, found murdered in the upstairs guest room