Episode Eight: The Historic Fires of Fall River

Fall River, MA  has been described as  “a city built to burn.”  In this episode Dr. Stefani Koorey takes the listener through the major conflagrations that destroyed large swathes of Fall River throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.  This episode also takes the Lizzie Borden Podcast on its first detour away from Lizzie Borden’s personal story, however it remains in Lizzie Borden’s city of Fall River, which has its own richly textured and fascinating history.

Fall River’s nineteenth century textile boom brought with it a series of fiery disasters. The Big Fire of 1843 left more than one thousand people homeless and destroyed two hundred buildings, as well as more than twenty acres of land. After the Steiger Store Fire of 1916, mill owners pressured the city to replace its horse-drawn brigades with more modern fire engines. The intense heat from the Kerr Mill Thread Fire of 1987 melted hoses as first responders battled the blaze. Author Stefani Koorey chronicles these and other  historic infernos of the Spindle City and celebrates the community’s resilience in the face of adversity.

Purchase the book here.


Dr. Stefani Koorey holds a PhD in Theatre History and Dramatic Criticism and an MS in Library Science.

She lives in Fall River, and has been featured in the Discovery Channel’s documentary “Lizzie Borden Had an Axe.” and lectures far and wide on the subject Lizzie Borden. Her most recent discoveries of the portraits of Lizzie’s father Andrew Borden and his first wife Sarah, as well as the image of Lizzie Borden as a child, has helped to renew interest in this fascinating unsolved mystery.

Dr. Koorey was the indexer and an editor of the award-winning history of Lizzie Borden and Fall River published by the Fall River Historical Society—Parallel Lives: A Social History of Lizzie A. Borden and Her Fall River.

She is also the editor and publisher of The Literary Hatchet, as well as the publisher/editor at PearTree Press, which specializes in Borden titles, true crime, Fall River history, gothic poetry and short stories.


Producer: Nine Muses Books
Engineer: Mason Amadeus
Writer/Director: Richard Behrens
Music: Melora Creager

Richard Behrens is the author of the Lizzie Borden Girl Detective mystery series and the co-founder of Nine Muses Books and host of The Lizzie Borden Podcast.

Mason Amadeus is an on-air personality for 103.7 KNE-FM and Sunny 97.7.  In his spare time he makes music and short films with his friend Tucker. You can find them at http://MasonAndTucker.Bandcamp.com and http://Facebook.com/MasonAndTucker.

Mason runs an independent sound design group in Keene:  Amadeus Imaging. They offer reasonable rates for high-quality studio recording of voice and music, commissioned music from professional studio musicians,  as well as sound design and effects for theater and radio.
Contact them at MWasher@WKNE.com


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