It's a common debate...or discussion. The mythical town of "Mayfield" where the Cleaver family lives on the show Leave it to Beaver. There has been many speculations over the decades and some fans of the show have really set out to debunk the myth. However, there are some facts that we can look at...
Two of the states that commonly enter into this debate are Ohio and California. Early on in the show's run some evidence may point to Ohio whereas later on some fingers may point to California...hmmmm.
The show makes numerous mentions to neighboring cities and communities, and even street names, that would correspond with the Mayfield located in Ohio. Ohio is always the most popular speculation. In one of the episodes Wally takes the Beaver to the new amusement park with his friends, to ride on The Giant Dipper.
The Giant Dipper is located in Santa Cruz but it is also in San Diego and in Chippewa Lake, Ohio. It is obvious that the contradictions are done on purpose. If they live in Mayfield, Ohio it would have taken Wally 1 hour and 13 minutes to drive to Chippewa Lake, That isn't far but for a teen taking his little brother to a park it would probably be out of the question.
Some say it was not California because the people who owned the Haunted house in the episode "Mistaken Identity" moved to California. They are not from Indiana because the new student who moves there (young blond girl) that Wally had a crush on and Mrs. Cleaver invited to the picnic at Friends Lake, was from Indianapolis Indiana or "one of those states."
This seemed to eliminate Ohio, though the evidence seems to point to Illinois, Ohio or Indiana to be "one of those states"?? Also, Fun Fact: This "haunted House" was later used as the Munsters House!
A fan on a Leave it to Beaver forum wrote in: 'I live in Cleveland and the references made in the episodes can't be any where else. Grant Avenue, Mayfield, and all the other bits of information indicate Mayfield Ohio. We do have a Mayfield Ohio. '
And upon close inspection the prop checks from a checkbook used in the 1997 Leave It To Beaver movie shows an Ohio address of "211 Pine Street, Mayfield, Ohio." -- again, hmmmmmmmm...
Looking at the occasional exterior shots on Leave It To Beaver, Mayfield’s neighborhood looks pretty like the Pacific area, right around the region where Leave It To Beaver was filmed in Hollywood, California. But hears the kicker...Most of the shots that show "Mayfield" are stock footage of a town called Skokie in Illinois!
----here we see a screen shot of "Mayfield" from the show: if you notice (tough to tell in this photo) the bank sign says "Of Skokie"...next to the clock on the right hand side of the photo!
----And here we see an archival photo of Skokie Illinois (from the town hall records!)
By the 6th and final season, the producers seem to have grown tired of trying to keep up the "Anytown" USA appearance. When Wally and Ward take a test drive (“Wally Buys a Car; Season 6:, Episode 16, first broadcast January 10, 1963), they drive right down 3rd Street in Santa Monica, past the El Miro Theater to the right.
At left in the back stands the Clock Tower Building on Santa Monica Boulevard at 3rd. The El Miro facade has been preserved as part of the multiplex theater standing there today. Sooooo Mayfield, eh??
In his 1998 memoir "And Jerry Mathers as 'The Beaver,' " Jerry says, "Mayfield is anywhere, USA. ...Actually, there are twenty-seven Mayfields across the country," the book continues. "Some people think it's Akron, Ohio, because there's a Mayfield near Akron. But at different times Mayfield is described as being only twenty miles from the ocean. Others think it is somewhere in California, but the characters travel to California. We even altered the mileage signs at the bus station when Beaver goes on a trip, so viewers wouldn't be able to go their atlas and pinpoint a town."
And one more picture...just for fun. Even with the proof of Skokie Illinois on the table some fans of the show still want to believe that the "downtown Mayfield" shots were taken wherever this Mayfield may be...Well here is a modern day photo of Skokie...the same buildings from the previous pictures...So what-say-you?? Made up "Anytown" USA for the Cleavers or does this "Land of Mayfield" really exist??
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