BOSTON (AP) – Two Massachusetts businesses are battling over the macabre legacy of a former Sunday school teacher who was accused in the hatchet deaths of her wealthy father and stepmother more than 110 years ago.

The owner of the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast in Fall River, which is in the home where the 1892 slayings took place, has filed a federal lawsuit to prevent a new museum and gift shop in Salem from using Borden’s name.

Donald Woods insists the attraction would infringe on his trademark of “Lizzie Borden Museum” and siphon business away from Fall River, a gritty industrial community 80 miles south of Salem, which is in Boston’s far-north suburbs.

Fall River Mayor Robert Correia said the double-murder mystery is one of his community’s top tourist attractions. Borden was acquitted but widely believed to be guilty. No one else was ever charged.

“It’s not something we are proud of that happened, but it’s a fact,” he said. “It has become a mystery that enthralls people, and to that extent, I’d love to see businesses here take advantage of that,” Correia said.

Leonard Pickel plans to open the Lizzie Borden museum this weekend in Salem, a historic seaport famous for its 17th century witch trials.

He said the new museum should help bring more interest to Fall River.

“The majority of the people that are walking past our door have no idea even what state the Borden murders took place, much less what city,” Pickel said. “By us explaining to them the place that the murders happened is only 80 miles south of here, it’s going to drive traffic to Fall River.”

Pickel’s group owns the domain name and an e-mail address with a similar name,

Woods is asking a judge to prevent the group from using the term Lizzie Borden in a trade name, trademark, domain name or e-mail address.

His attorneys also want the judge to order the Salem business not to represent itself as affiliated with the Fall River business, or to engage in conduct that will cause confusion over the relationship between the two businesses.

Pickel contends his Salem facility would also draw more visitors to the Fall River Historical Society, a nonprofit that maintains the largest collection of artifacts relating to Borden’s life and trial.

Woods did not return a call seeking comment, and a tour guide at the bed and breakfast said staff had been instructed not to talk to reporters.

Woods’ attorney, Jeremy Blackowicz, declined to comment.

A hearing on the case is not scheduled until after this weekend’s planned opening of the new museum in Salem.

On the Net:

The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum:

The Fall River Historical Society:

The True Story of Lizzie Borden museum:

AP-ES-08-21-08 1621EDT

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