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Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast Museum listed for $2M

Lizzie Borden
The Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast Museum in Fall River is for sale for $2 million. (WJAR)

The Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast Museum in Fall River is for sale.

It’s listed for $2 million, with NBC 10 News learning that there are several potential buyers that want to continue welcoming visitors for tours and overnight stays.

“I have not spoken to anybody who does not want to keep it a bed and breakfast,” Suzanne St. John, a real estate agent from Century 21-Seyboth Team selling the home, said 10 during a phone interview Monday.

Borden was accused of murdering her father, Andrew, and step-mother, Abby, in their Massachusetts home on Second Street in 1892. She was later acquitted, with the double homicide remaining unsolved.

Nearly 130 years later, St. John said the house still captures worldwide attention, as people travel from throughout the globe to spend a night or two there.

“People are so excited to be there,” said St. John, who also works at the bed and breakfast as a tour guide . “Most of them know a lot about Lizzie already and they are just fascinated to be in the actual house. It’s really exciting for me to be able to provide an enjoyable time for the guests.”

The eight-bedroom house was originally built in 1845 as a two-family home. Andrew purchased it in the early 1870s and converted it into a single-family house.

Donald Woods and Leeann Wilber are the current owners.

“Donald is 74 years old and he and his partner have owned it for almost 20 years and he just wants to retire,” St. John said. “I have Maplecroft on the market, as well.”

Maplecroft is a three-story Queen Anne Victorian mansion at 306 French St., also in Fall River, that’s listed for $890,000. Borden moved there with her older sister, Emma, the year after the murders.

While Emma later relocated, Borden lived there until her death in 1927.

A listing for Maplecroft notes that the house has seven bedrooms, six fireplaces and 3 1/2 bathrooms, while the bed and breakfast is referrd to as “a turn key operation” and “lucrative” business.

Jerry Pacheco, who is the operations manager for Maplecroft, as well as the bed and breakfast, said that’s a great way to describe it.

“It’s a viable business,” he said, adding that he thinks whoever purchases the home will keep it open as a bed and breakfast. “There’s no reason for anybody to dismantle it.”

St. John agreed. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, she and other staff members continue to lead tours.

It was closed for a few months at the start of the pandemic, but it reopened with a few restrictions in place, with guests asked to wear masks and practice proper social distancing.

“It is an incredible money-maker,” St. John said. “It’s one of the top tourist attractions in New England. Most lucrative are the tours, and then the bed and breakfast, of course, which is a destination point for lots of travelers.”

The staff also hosts special events, such as reenactments of the moments following the murder, ghost hunts, and other paranormal events, as many people believe the house is haunted.

The bed and breakfast also features a gift shop, which would be included in the sale, along with all furniture and other goods inside the home.

Once a sale is made, no one can force new owners to keep it a bed and breakfast, but St. John said she’s confident it will stay open.

“If someone comes in with the $2 million and wants to turn it into an alligator farm, they can do that,” she said. “That’s a horrible thought, but I really do think someone is going to want it as a bed and breakfast.”

Learn more at Century21.com.

For a virtual tour of the house, visit my.matterport.com.