The Tragic Case of Sarah Cornell

The sad story of mill girl Sarah Cornell is a well-known Fall River tragedy. Found hanging by the neck in a tree, she had written a note saying if anything happened to her, see the Reverend Avery! Here is her stone in Oak Grove which is in the third section over in front of the door of the brick outbuilding in the north- central part of the cemetery. Her stone is wearing very thin and is nearly illegible. For more about poor Sarah’s story http://www.brown.edu/Facilitie​s/University_Library/exhibits/​RLCexhibit/avery/averyms.html  The site of her hanging is now the westernmost part of Kennedy Park.

The Ivy Arch

There are several postcards of Oak Grove, made during the golden age of postcards from 1900-1920 when every prominent beauty spot and building or structure was fodder for the photographer’s camera. A penny postcard was the way to keep in touch with friends and family while traveling or on vacation and there are hundreds postcards of Fall River scenes available on Ebay and through dealers in ephemera.

The postcard above was postdated 1910 and shows ivy-covered walls and archway at Oak Grove. The ivy obscures the magnificent iron work of the gates as well as the inscription.  There is a photograph of Oak Grove taken in 1890 which also shows the ivy growing on the gates, so it is likely this is how the Prospect Street entry looked at the time of the Borden funeral on August 6, 1892.

Below are two cards with no dates, showing the arch with and without ivy.  All postcards shown here were purchased on Ebay. 

Arch today: 

The Kelly/Hart Connection

Lydia and Abraham Hart gravestones

Banker, Abraham Hart, was one of the last people to see Andrew Borden alive on the morning of August 4th 1892 when Andrew stopped by the bank near City Hall.  Mr. Hart would later tell police that Mr. Borden looked weak and feeble that morning.  The Bordens had been suffering from an unknown illness since Tuesday evening after supper.  Abraham Hart would also be one of the Borden pallbearers on the morning of Saturday, August 6th at the short service at #92 Second Street and procession to Oak Grove Cemetery.

Dr. Michael Kelly, the Borden’s next door neighbor to the south was away on August 4th but Dr. Kelly’s wife, Mary Caroline Cantwell Kelly was the last (but one) to see Andrew Borden alive as he entered his front door moments before his murder.  Mrs. Kelly was expecting a baby at the time and was on her way to the dentist.  Mrs. Kelly’s second child, Mary Philomena married the grandson of Abraham Hart, Bertrand K. Hart.  Both are buried in the Gifford/Hart plot at Oak Grove, directly across the path from the Rev. Augustus Buck, Lizzie’s minister and champion throughout her ordeal.  All are together for eternity in a fascinating entertwining of personalities who had Lizzie Borden in common.

Bertrand and Philomena Kelly Hart

The Rev. Augustus Buck of the Central Congregational Church