So many visitors come to call upon the Bordens that cemetery staff finally had to mark the way from the main gate by spraypainting black arrows on the ground. No matter what time of year one visits, there is always a flower, coin, note, or some remembrance on Lizzie’s grave. William Almy, Andrew Borden’s business partner and friend is interred nearby. Over time, many feet have worn a well-trod path to the old oak tree which watches over the infamous family.
The concept of a beautifully -landscaped park where families might come to visit departed Loved Ones was first fully-realized in London’s Highgate and Cambridge’s Mount Auburn. The Victorians rivalled the Ancient Egyptians in their ritual observances of death and burial, monuments and memorials. Beautiful Oak Grove Cemetery in the North end of Fall River is one of many New England mid- century Victorian memorial parks where the streets are named for trees, and fanciful wrought iron gates enclose the fine families of the city like fences of stately homes in the earthly life.
For those who love cemeteries, – the peacefulness and quiet of the Past- Oak Grove holds unparalleled verdant vistas and peerless carved monuments of another age. Whether a student of Victorian symbolism , or of Fall River history- a pensive hour spent in silence at Oak Grove is a retreat from the pressures of modern society, and a glimpse into the intriguing past of the city’s notable citizens.
Plagued with the problems all cemeteries are faced with today, vandalism, landscaping and maintenance costs, security, lack of volunteerism, etc. -perhaps now is the time for those who truly appreciate the heritage and history enclosed within the gates and walls of Oak Grove to come together.