Located on Gardner’s Neck in Swansea, this late Georgian home is one of the few survivals of the Gardner family settlement of the Neck in the 18th century. John and Joseph Gardner, brothers, were the sons of Peleg Gardner (1719-1789) whose father Samuel, bought the land now known as Gardner’s Neck from the Brentons of Newport in 1693. King Philip of the Wampanoags had previously sold this portion of the Indian territory to the Brentons. The Gardners maintained the property as a farm until the Civil War. In 1874, the house and 50 acres were acquired by Andrew J. Borden and his business partner, William Almy, both of nearby Fall River. Mr. and Mrs. Borden and their daughters, Lizzie (yes that Lizzie Borden) and Emma, used the house as a summer residence for a number of years. The house was enlarged with a 17-foot south addition (on the left side) with a secondary front door to accommodate the Almy family. After the infamous murders, Lizzie and her sister Emma continued to summer here until 1912, when they sold it. It is rumored that this is the property that Lizzie’s father’s assigned in his will to his wife, which precipitated the double murder. The home was converted back to a single family residence after WWII, and thankfully, the home has retained the additional door to denote this significant past of the home.
Oh, fun fact… Peleg Gardner and his wife Hannah had 16 children!