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Mayberry, North Carolina - Rural southern town on the sitcom THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW/CBS/1960-68. Located somewhere in the eastern portion of North Carolina near the Virginia border, Mayberry (population 5260) was the home of Sheriff Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith), his Aunt Bee Taylor (Frances Bavier) and his small son, Opie (Ronny Howard). Assisting Andy was Deputy Barney Fife (Don Knotts), his well-meaning but bumbling cousin.

Andy Taylor once described his town as "just a little town. We hang around, get up in the morning and go to work and come home. For entertainment, we have television and movies, and we take rides in the car out of town on Sundays."

Cast of 'The Andy Griffith Show'
Andy, Barney, Aunt Bee, Opie, Gomer and Otis

The town's roster of citizens included:

  • Gomer Pyle (Jim Nabors), a gas pumper and mechanic at Wally's Filling Station
  • Helen Crump (Aneta Corsaut), Opie's elementary school teacher and Andy's future wife
  • Floyd Lawson (Howard McNear), the town's only barber
  • Otis Campbell (Hal Smith), an alcoholic who often slept off his drunken stupors at the Mayberry jailhouse
  • Howard Sprague (Jack Dodson), the County Clerk
  • Emmett Clark (Paul Hartman), the town's fix-it man
  • Thelma Lou (Betty Lynn), Barney's longtime girlfriend
  • Clara Edwards (Hope Summers), the town's gossip and friend of Aunt Bee's.
  • Warren Ferguson (Jack Burns), hw took took over as deputy when Barney Fife left town..

Lyrics about Mayberry written by
Aunt Bee and Clara Edwards

My Hometown
My home town is the greatest place I know,
Where the neighbors I find are gentle and kind,
And the living is easy and slow,
My hometown is the only place to be,
Here the worries are small, and
And the kids grow tall and healthy & free,
It's my hometown, my hometown,
Mayberry, Mayberry.

The Andy Griffith Show

A spin-off series MAYBERRY, R.F.D./CBS/1968-71 starred Ken Berry as newcomer Sam Jones, a widower/gentleman farmer who raised his small son Mike (Buddy Foster) with the able assistance of Andy's Aunt Bee and later Aunt Alice (Alice Ghostley). Sam's girlfriend was Millie Swanson (Arlene Golonka). Goober Pyle (George Lindsey), Gomer's cousin and most of the regulars from the original series continued their roles as Mayberry's town folks.

On the two hour reunion "Return to Mayberry" telecast on NBC on April 13, 1986, Andy Taylor who had moved out of Mayberry to work as a Postal Supervisor, returned home to run for his old job of Sheriff, only to find that Barney Fife was also running for the vacancy. In the final scene of the program, Andy (newly elected as Sheriff) and Barney (again his Deputy) were seen on the main street of Mayberry taking down the flag from the town's flagpole. One of the happy points of the program found Barney finally marrying Thelma Lou, who had returned to Mayberry on a visit.

Cast of 'Mayberry, RFD'
Cast of 'Mayberry, RFD'

The original town of Mayberry featured on THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW was located on the back lots of Culver City Studios. The 1986 reunion movie used the small town of Los Olivos as the backdrop for Mayberry. Los Olivos is located near President Reagan's Ranch near Santa Barbara.

In 1992, THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW REUNION special featured a candid description of Mayberry by Andy Griffith in which he said:

"You won't find Mayberry on any map of North or South Carolina cause Mayberry was a mythical town, kind of a state of mind. Over the years a lot of people have come to believe that Mayberry is based on my home town (Mt. Airy, North Carolina) and, it is NOT, cause real towns have real problems that have to be dealt with. All of Mayberry's problems were solved in half an hour. It was a place full of joy, sometimes a lot of laughs and always a lot of love."

The town of Mayberry was first seen on the February, 15, 1960 episode of THE DANNY THOMAS SHOW when Andy Griffith as Sheriff Andy Taylor cited a New York City nightclub entertainer, Danny Williams (Danny Thomas) with a moving violation while traveling through the fair town of Mayberry.

The places most visited by Mayberry residents were the neighboring towns of Raleigh and Mt. Pilot and the fishing holes at Meyer's Lake (actually a small lake in Coldwater Canyon, outside of Los Angeles).

TRIVIA NOTE: Opie Taylor's first name was taken from Opie Cates, a prominent bandleader from the 1940s and 1950s whom Andy Griffith admired. Fans of Andy Griffith can visit his hometown of Mt. Airy (37 miles northwest of Winston-Salem) to see the Andy Griffith Playhouse and his boyhood home at 711 East Haymore Street. And if you get hungry you can visit the Mayberry Cafe in Danville, Indiana as well as the Blue Goose in Starkville, Mississippi; Brown's Diner in Nashville, Tennessee; and Dick's Hot Dog Stand in Wilson, North Carolina-all of which celebrate the Mayberry mystique. Another interesting trivia point: within 30 miles of Mt. Airy are the municipalities of Lawsonville, Walkertown, Crumpler, and Taylorville. Is it a coincidence that characters on THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW are named Floyd Lawson, Ellie Walker, Helen Crump and Andy Taylor?

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