The Andy Griffith Show: The history of Mayberry and Mount Pilot

Cheryl E Preston

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Mayberry and Mount Pilot

MeTV has a fascinating collection of trivia related to the memorable television programs they air. One of those popular TV series is The Andy Griffith Show which ran on CBS from 1960 to 1968 and has never been off the air. You can currently catch episodes on network television, Streaming services, and retro channels. The action in the series took place in the fictional town of Mayberry, and the nearest big city was Mount Pilot.

Those who grew up in rural areas can relate to having to "go into town" the same way the people of Mayberry went to Mount Pilot. Anything and everything not available in the local setting was always found to be in supply when you went into the "big city" so to speak. Two other television shows that were set in rural areas, were Green Acres and Petticoat Junction. Both were in the fictional town of Hooterville and often mentioned the neighboring towns of Pixly and Crabwell Corners. The Clampet family on The Beverly Hillbillies came from Bugtusssle Tennessee and their nearby place of action was Silver Dollar City. There is an interesting tale related to Mayberry and Mount Pilot that not all fans may be aware of.

A change in plans

According to Griffith, the producers of The Andy Griffith Show wanted the town to be located somewhere in the south. When the factor first suggested his home state of North Carolina he was turned down. Initially, the town was to be called Mount Pilot and Griffith points out that there was an actual place called Pilot Mountain that is located near Mount Airy. North Carolina which is where he was from. Some fans to this day believe that Mount Airy is the city that is the real Maberry.

There are stories about a real Floyd the barber and a deputy who was just like Barney Fife who lived there. The main character of The Andy Griffith Show was Andy Taylor who for a short time was the sheriff of Mount Pilot. Griffith once revealed that he began dropping subliminal messages regarding his choice for the town name by referencing cities in North Carolina like Asheville and Raleigh while in character, as Andy Taylor. He obviously had the ability to Ad lib his lines and his ploy worked.

Andy Griffith gets his way

Griffith says he pushed hard for the series to be rooted in Mount Airy where he himself grew up and what he was doing was finally noticed. He said that Mayberry was based on Mount. Airy but he never disagreed with fans who believe that Mount Airy is the actual real-life Mayberry The physical location of Mayberry was the same place where Gone with the Wind Star Trek and close to 100 other movies and tell all shot scenes on the RKO Forty Acres lot in Culver City, California.

During an interview with Larry King in 2003, Griffith clarified some things about the famous fictitious burg. Contrary to popular belief Griffith was not the one who chose Mayberry as the town name. There are articles on the Internet giving him credit but he told a different story to King. Griffith revealed that Artie Stander one of the show's creators and writers is the man who came up with the name that today is a household word.

Stander wrote four episodes of The Andy Griffith Show and also wrote episodes of the television series "The Jimmy Durante Show" "I Married Joan", and "Make Room for Daddy", This includes the episode "Danny Meets Andy which became the pilot for "The Andy Griffith Show."." Mayberry" has been mentioned in television shows many times in recent years including Scrubs., Criminal Minds, Cheers, How I Met Your Mother, House, and Supernatural. According to The Andy Griffith Show episode "The Battle of Mayberry", the town was almost named Taylortown in honor of Colonel Carleton Taylor, an ancestor of Andy who was one of the first town settlers. Instead, it was named for the fictional John Mayberry who founded Mayberry.

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I write, about breaking news, and current events. I wrote a newspaper column from 1997 to 2007 and have written for various online platforms since 2012 including Yahoo Contributor Network, Hubpages, and Vocal Media.

Roanoke, VA
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