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Real 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 PEtt MAnsionFarringdon/Coudersport
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 and more!

Please note that a fire destroyed the home that Margaret

The Dam Roulsville/Austin
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 and countryside.

Sand Castle on the Cover of Country Living Magazine 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 me.

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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