Lizzie Borden’s ‘Maplecroft’ mansion hits market for $890,000

A Queen Anne Victorian in Fall River that dates to 1887 is sure to catch the eye of a buyer seeking a property with period charm.

But the mansion at 306 French St. in the city’s Highlands District is historic in more ways than one.

The famous home known as “Maplecroft” was so named by its onetime owner, Lizzie Borden, the local accused of the grizzly ax murders of her father and stepmother in 1892. Maplecroft is about a mile from the site of the murders, and the name is chiseled into the front steps.

Borden quietly lived in the seven-bedroom, 3.5-bath home following her acquittal in 1892 until her death in 1927 — and it’s easy to see how.

The mansion has been fully restored to Borden’s day, thanks to previous owner Kristee Bates, according to Jerry Pacheco, operations manager for the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum at 230 Second St., the scene of the infamous homicides.

“Just in itself it’s a beautiful home,” Pacheco said of Maplecroft.

The owners of the Lizzie Borden museum, Donald Woods and Lee-ann Wilber, purchased the mansion from Bates in 2018 for $600,000, according to The Herald News. Woods and Wilber intended to turn the home into a bed and breakfast while also offering tours of the site.

“Of course since it wasn’t previously used as such, there are building codes and requirements that need to be met in order to get that done,” the listing agent, Suzanne St. John of Century 21/The Seyboth Team in Gloucester, R.I., told Boston.com in an e-mail. “[Woods’] son was doing a lot of that footwork, but then COVID happened and shut the world down in the midst of it.”

Woods, looking to retire soon, opted to list the property for $890,000, according to Pacheco, who also oversees the French Street home.

The current owners have put $200,000 in upgrades into the home, including a well-camouflaged sprinkler system and a back porch renovation, St. John said.

“We understand that an offer would probably include contingencies for zoning or codes for whatever the new prospective owner would like to do, and we welcome that,” she said.

The 3,935-square-foot home sits on a 0.41-acre lot and boasts coffered ceilings, walnut wainscot, parquet flooring with inlays, stained glass, and a kitchen with a tin ceiling. Scattered throughout the home are six fireplaces with “exquisite mantelpieces that some say hold a hidden meaning,” the listing on RealEstateBook.com reads.

The home, which has off-street parking for up to four vehicles and a three-car garage, comes with period furnishings.

See more photos of the property below:

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