Borden B&B wins right to Lizzie name in settlement

Deborah Allard

Lizzie Borden apparently does belong to Fall River, at least in name.

The Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast won its legal battle Tuesday with a Salem museum using the infamous Lizzie Borden name in its title.

The matter was settled out of court when “The True Story of Lizzie Borden” run by Leonard Pickel in Salem agreed to change the name of the business and the Web site address.

The Salem museum opened more than a month ago in that city’s busy witch district.

Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast owner, Donald Woods, sued the Salem museum in federal court.

He said “The True Story of Lizzie Borden” was infringing on the bed and breakfast's trademark, would create confusion for visitors and may siphon business away from the actual site where Lizzie Borden’s father and stepmother were brutally axed to death in 1892.

Lizzie was tried and acquitted of the murders, but the unsolved case still draws attention and tourists to Fall River looking to glimpse into Lizzie’s world and home.

“We have an agreement,” Woods said. “I’m happy with the settlement. I’m very satisfied for the people of Fall River. I thought it was something worth working for.”

Pickel did not immediately return a call from The Herald News seeking comment. But, it seemed he would change the name of the museum and gift shop to The 40 Whacks Museum.

The museum’s Web site already had a note to visitors on Tuesday afternoon. It said its Web address would change from to

Pickel told the Associated Press on Tuesday that the settlement agreement allows him to use the Lizzie Borden name in a tagline describing his business. But he can’t use the full name in the name of his business.

Woods said that despite the legal battle, he looked forward to working with the Salem museum in the future.

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