Life Sites & Inspiration
One of the most fascinating attributes of the Judy Bolton Series is that Margaret
Sutton has woven into it real events and places from her experiences and those
of friends and acquaintances. As the books advertised, "Slim clues lead Judy
into breath-taking situations, each based on an event that actually happened."
Farringdon, the fictionalized town that Judy moves to with her family after the
Roulsville flood, is based on the real life town of Coudersport, Pennsylvania
where Margaret Sutton grew up. Coudersport is a quaint town, located in Potter
County "God's Country" in north-central Pennsylvania. The primary tourism draw
is hunting, fishing and outdoor acivities. For indoor types the Judy Bolton sites
offer plenty of excitement.Visit the Coudersport photo
gallery to see the Farringdon-Pett mansion, Judy's home at 1365 Grove Street
Please note that a fire destroyed the home that Margaret
The town of Roulsville, where Judy lived with her family before the dam breaks
and destroys the town is based on the real life town of Austin, Pennsylvania.
Austin is located south of Coudersport in Potter County. As Margaret Sutton indicates
in this letter, the Austin dam, which broke and flooded
the town of Austin, Pennsylvania on September 30, 1911, and killed 89 people,
became the basis for the first Judy Bolton book The Vanishing Shadow (which
was originally titled "The Missing Hero").
Dry Brook Hollow
Dry Brook Hollow, where we first find Judy (visiting her Grandparents) in the
first scene in the series, is based on the real life area of Odin, Pennsylvania.
Odin is located about halfway between Coudersport and Austin.Judy's Grandparents
house ~ which later becomes Judy and Peter's home after they are married ~ is
based on the house that Margaret's father built in 1895. The house still stands
and is located in a secluded, rural area surrounded by beautiful woods.
Please visit the Austin/Odin
photo gallery to view the dam, as well as the Dry Brook Hollow house
The Sand Castle/Fire Island, NY
The Secret of the Sand Castle, the last Judy Bolton to be published
in 1967, was based on the Fire Island, New York summer home of one of Margaret's
best friends, author Helen Diehl Olds. The charming, beach cottage still stands,
but is now owned by another family.They became aware of its place in literary
history in 1995.The Sand Castle was featured in the August 1989 edition of Country
Living magazine. It even made the cover! Visit the Fire
Island photo gallery to see the beach cottage.
The quilt in The Clue in the Patchwork
Quilt was based on Margaret's family quilt. The real quilt's bowtie design
was accurately depicted in the original cover artwork by artist Pelagie Doane.
View the photo, taken in Berkeley, California on July
21, 1977 where Margaret is proudly showing off the real life patchwork quilt to
View a map
of Potter County, Pennsylvania. If you decide to visit Judy Bolton Country I recommend
you stay at the Frosty
Hollow Bed & Breakfast.
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