My. Airy (Mayberry), North Carolina - The Andy Griffith Show
Actor Andy Griffith was born in Mount Airy, and the town is believed to have been the basis for Mayberry, the setting of the TV shows The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry RFD. The community holds an annual "Mayberry Days" celebration during the last weekend of September; 30,000 attended in 2009, and 50,000 attended for the show's 50th anniversary in 2010. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro estimates the town receives $5 million each year as a result. Surviving members of the cast, along with family members of other cast members, often visit. The 2012 event was slated to have Karen Knotts (Don's daughter) and George Lindsey Jr. (eponymous son of the actor who portrayed Goober).
The Andy Griffith Museum, founded in 2009 by Emmett Forrest, attracts 200 visitors a day. The 2,500-square-feet museum, located half a mile from Griffith's childhood home, houses the world's largest collection of Andy Griffith memorabilia. Personal items on exhibit includes a rocking chair that Andy Griffith's father, Carl Griffith, made for his mother, Geneva. A large portion of the museum includes pieces from the sets of The Andy Griffith Show, which aired from 1960 to 1968, and the Matlock television series. The museum also houses objects related to actress Betty Lynn, who now lives in Mount Airy, and the late Don Knotts.
Coversations/Things we learned:
This is a great visit for any classic TV fans to include the Andy Griffith Show. The exhibits at the museum are nice and profile the career of actor Andy Griffith who is from Mt. Airy. The town of Airy features a “Wally Service Station” from the TV show and visitors can pay from the service station for a short tour of the town in a classic police car.
However, the museum is very small and should only take an hour at best. The downtown area is cute but very touristy. We would recommend not going out of your way to visit this location. But if you are in the areas, this is a nice day-visit.
218 Rockford Street
Mount Airy, NC
Phone: (336) 786-1604
Website for museum:
Andy Griffith Playhouse and Museum
The Early Years
Other original scripts:
Betsy Lynn Exhibit
The Later Years