• 1 cup white or yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar, maple sugar, or molasses
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups boiling water or scalded milk
  • 1 tablespoon corn oil
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Our recent visit to my hometown of Fall River, Massachusetts, took us to the Lizzie Borden Bed and breakfast, and no, we did not stay there!

Erected in 1845, this beautiful Victorian home was originally a two family and was later made into a single family by wealthy businessman and banker, Andrew J. Borden and his wife Abby, who purchased the house at 92 Second Street to be close to Andrew’s bank and various downtown businesses.

Andrew J. Borden

Abigail Borden

The history of this home and family changed on August 4, 1892 when Andrew and Abby were found brutally murdered in their Victorian home in Fall River, Massachusetts.  As you can imagine, the quiet community of Fall River was shocked when the accused was their youngest daughter, Elizabeth Andrew Borden, aka “Lizzie”.

Elizabeth Andrew Borden, aka, Lizzie

Due to the lack of evidence against her, Lizzie was found not guilty after a trial. One of the most famous crimes in American history, the mystery surrounding this case still remains today.  Did Lizzie Borden kill both of her parents, and if not, then who did?

Would you believe that this 1845 Greek-Revival home has been beautifully restored and is a very popular bed & breakfast? Oh yes, and it has been featured on CNN Travel, the Huffington Post and MSNBC.  Although it has been listed as one of the creepiest places to visit and one of the top ten haunted places in the country, the sign out front almost always reads “No Vacancy”.  With 6 beautiful bedrooms to choose from, you can be a guest and roam the house to learn the facts about Lizzie Borden and the murders of 1892. While visiting the B & B you will hear about the thoughts of the first police officers on the scene, you will learn who the suspects were and what the public’s reaction was at the time of the murders and afterwards. Will you join those who ostracized Lizzie, or will you choose to defend her innocence?

Not your normal B & B, you will enjoy a breakfast of bananas, Johnny-Cakes, Sugar Cookies and Coffee reminiscent of the food the Borden family ate on that fateful Thursday in 1892.

Tours of the B&B/Museum are also given and a gift shop is located behind the Borden home.

The “Dead of Winter” Dinner has space for only 25 people and reservations fill up quickly. Why? I have no idea, but they do! I guess if you like history this would be an interesting evening, but it is said that the home is haunted.  Will I be staying there any time soon? I think not! The evening consists of a sit-down dinner, a lecture on legends and paranormal research, an appearance by Lizzie Borden historian Lee-Ann Wilber and much more.

The interior and exterior of the home has been restored to its original Victorian splendor, with careful attention to making it as close to the Borden home of August, 1892 as is possible.

One of New England’s famous and most popular places to visit, the Lizzie Borden home is not for the faint of heart.

Johnny-Cakes

Johnny-Cakes, aka Johnny Bread, is an early American food typically found in New England and was part of the last breakfast the Borden’s ate together as a family.  First made by the Native Americans, this “cake” is made from yellow or white cornmeal that is mixed with salt and hot water or milk, and is sometimes sweetened. In Southern United States, where I now reside with my family, it is referred to as hoecake.

 

Found throughout New England, particularly in Rhode Island, Johnny-Cakes can be found in most eateries.

Mix ingredients; your batter may be a little thick. Put corn oil in a heavy frying pan, preferably a cast iron pan if you have it.  Warm pan to medium-hot; drop batter by the tablespoon. Cook each side to golden brown and enjoy. Some folks adorn these Johnny-Cakes with maple syrup similar to a pancake.

Fall River represents more than just the unfortunate fate of the Borden family.  To learn more about the beautiful city my grandparents, parents and I grew up in, watch this video created by the Fall River Historic Society.